ON THIS DAY: May 5, 2020

May 5th is

Cinco de Mayo

Cartoonists’ Day *

Enchilada Day

International Midwives Day *

Revenge of the Fifth Day *


MORE! Nellie Bly, James Beard and Efrat Mishori, click



Albania – Martyrs’ Day

Denmark – Liberation Day

Ethiopia – Arbegnoch Qen
(Patriots’ victory day)

Guyana – Arrival Day

Japan – Kodomo no Hi (Children’s day)

Kygtzstan – Constitution Day

Mexico – Cinco de Mayo (May 5th
victory over French troops)

Netherlands – Bevrijdingsdag
(Liberation from Nazi occupation)

Palau – Senior Citizens’ Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1215 – Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England, leading to the signing of the Magna Carta

1260 – Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire

1479 – Guru Amar Das born, third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism; noted for introducing the Manji system of appointing trained clergy, and writing and compiling hymns into a Pothi that is part of the Adi Granth (Sikh scriptures)

1494 – On his second voyage, Christopher Columbus sights an island, naming it Santa Gloria (modern-day Jamaica) and claims it for Spain

Section of 1562 map by Girolamo Ruscelli showing “Jamayca”

1646 – English King Charles I, after his army is beaten by Oliver Cromwell’s ‘New Model Army,’ flees (disguised as a servant) giving himself into the hands of the Scottish Presbyterian army besieging Newark. They take him north to Newcastle upon Tyne; nine months later, the Scots make a deal with the parliamentary commissioners and deliver Charles to them

1654 – Cromwell’s Act of Pardon and Grace to the People of Scotland is declared, a general pardon for crimes committed during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The pardon did not apply to members of the Scottish royal family. Men whose estates had already been forfeited to the Commonwealth, or who had already paid fines, would not have their property or money returned

1798 – U.S. Secretary of War William McHenry orders the USS Constitution made ready for sea

1809 – Mary Kies becomes the first woman awarded a U.S. patent in her own name, for a technique to weave straw with silk and thread in hat-making

1809 – The Swiss canton of Aargau allows Jews to become citizens

1813 – Søren Kierkegaard born, Danish philosopher-theologian and poet; regarded as the first existentialist; Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions 

1818 – Karl Marx born, German philosopher socialist revolutionary, economist and author; The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital

1821 – Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile of the island of St. Helena

1824 – Lucy Larcom born, American poet and author, editor of Our Young Folks magazine, writes songs, poems and letters describing life working in the cotton mills, and for her book A New England Girlhood

1830 – John B. Stetson born, American hat manufacturer; he develops the ‘Stetson’ cowboy hats

‘Boss of the Plains’ Stetson hat 

1862 – The Battle of Puebla took place, now celebrated as Cinco de Mayo

1864 – Nellie Bly born, pseudonym of American journalist and author Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, known as a pioneer in the field of investigative journalism, especially for her exposé of conditions in a mental institution, and for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days

1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S.

1865 – Helen Maud Merrill born, American poet, editor, and author of humorous sketches under the pen name Samantha Spriggins

1882 – Sylvia Pankhurst born, British suffragist and socialist activist; she began working full-time for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1906, founded by her mother Emmeline Pankhurst and her sister Christabel.  She devised the WSPU logo, and many of its leaflets, banners and posters. In 1907, she toured industrial towns in England and Scotland, painting portraits of working women and helping to establish the WSPU presence in Leicester. Unlike her mother and sister, she kept her affiliation with the labour movement, and did most of her campaigning among women labourers. She was arrested many times, and sent to prison, where she was repeatedly force-fed. But she wanted the WSPU to be aligned with the socialist movement and tackle more issues than women’s suffrage. In 1913, she was expelled from the WSPU, and founded the East London Federation of Suffragettes in 1914, which later became the Workers’ Socialist Federation (WSF). She was founder/editor of Women’s (Workers’) Dreadnought. The WSF campaigned against WWI, unlike the WSPU, which supported the war drive and military conscription. The WSF spoke in support of women in the poorer parts of London, and set up “cost-price” restaurants to feed the hungry without the taint of charity. The WSF also helped soldiers’ wives by setting up legal advice centres, and campaigning for  the government to provide allowances for poor soldiers’ wives. In 1936, she became a strong supporter of Ethiopia, moving to Addis Ababa in the 1950s, and becoming editor of the Ethiopia Observer. When she died in 1960, Haile Selassie named her “an honorary Ethiopian.” Sylvia Pankhurst is the only foreigner buried in front of Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital, in a section for patriots of the war against the Italian invasion

1884 – Alice Milliat born, French pioneer in women’s sports and feminist. Her lobbying on behalf of women athletes forced inclusion of women’s events in the Olympic Games. She was a translator by profession, but participated in rowing, and was an avid swimmer and hockey player. Milliat was a member of Femina Sport, a club founded in 1911, and was one of the organizers of the Federation Francaise Sportive Feminine. In 1921, she organized the first international women’s sports event, a five-day multi-sport tournament held in Monte Carlo, which was held again in 1922 and 1924. They were the precursor of the Women’s World Games. The 1921 Women’s Olympic Games were held in Paris in 1922, with participants from France, the host country, Czechoslovakia , Great Britain, Switzerland, and the United States. The use of the term ‘Olympic Games’ infuriated the International Olympic Committee, and they convinced Milliat and the FSFI to change the name of their event in exchange for promising to add ten women’s events to the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Baron Pierre De Coubertin, widely known as the man who reintroduced the Olympic Games to the modern world, was one of the most vocal opponents to women’s participation in the games. Only five women’s track and field events actually debuted in Amsterdam, and the IOC ruled afterwards that women were “too frail” for long distance running, so women’s Olympic running events were limited to 200 meters until the 1960s. However, continued pressure by Milliat and others did expand women’s representation at the Olympics

1885 – Kingsley Ogilvie Fairbridge born in South Africa, founder in 1909 of the “Society for the Furtherance of Child Emigration to the Colonies,” which later became the Fairbridge Society. His plan was to train London slum boys to work in agriculture, and he raised funds and persuaded the British and Australian governments to contribute to sending over 3000 boys to a farm school on a large piece of land in Western Australia. After his death in 1924, schools named for him were added in other parts of Australia and in Canada and Rhodesia. But most of the schools closed as the economic conditions in Britain improved, and after a ship carrying child emigrants was torpedoed during WWI, the British government discouraged sending children such great distances. In 2008, 205 child migrants who went to Fairbridge Farm School between 1930 and 1971 were among those who were compensated for abuse suffered in State care and state-sponsored facilities

1891 – Music Hall is dedicated in New York City, later renamed Carnegie Hall; the first performer is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

1890 – Christopher Morley born, American journalist, author and poet; Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop

1892 – U.S. Congress extends the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act for 10 more years. The act requires all Chinese in the U.S. to be registered or face deportation

1892 – Dorothy Garrod born, English archaeologist, a leading authority on the Paleolithic,  who directed the first excavations at Mount Carmel in Palestine (1929-1934), which put Near Eastern prehistory on the map. The Mount Carmel cave deposits spanned 200,000 years of human occupation, and finds included over 92,000 stone tools. Most important were the finds of human fossils, including the skeleton of a female Neanderthal dated c. 110,000 BC, the first ever to be found outside Europe. She also conducted Paleolithic research at Gilbraltar and in Kurdistan. She was the first woman to hold a chair at University of Cambridge (1939-1952); The Upper Paleolithic of Britain

1893 – The Panic of 1893 – the New York Stock Exchange takes a nosedive; by year’s end, the nation is in a depression

1898 – Elsie Eaves born, American civil engineer; first woman associate member, and first woman admitted to full membership, in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); founding member of the American Association of Cost Engineering (renamed the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering); started her career as a draftsperson for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads in Colorado, and for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, then got her civil engineering degree in 1920 from the University of Colorado. Eaves worked for McGraw-Hill in New York (1926-1963), on the Engineering News-Record and other publications, retiring as the manager of Business News. She created databases on engineering projects and trends across the U.S., before there were computers to compile the information. After retiring from McGraw-Hill, Eaves continued practicing as an adviser on housing costs for the National Commission on Urban Affairs. In 1974, she was honored with the George Norlin Silver Medal, the University of Colorado’s highest alumni award

1900 – Helen Redfield born, American geneticist who did extensive research on Drosophila Melanogaster, the common fruit fly, at Stanford University, Columbia and the California Institute of Technology, then as a research associate at the Institute for Cancer Research (1951-1961)

1903 – James Beard born, American cookbook author and TV cooking show host; The James Beard Cookbook

1907 – ‘Iryna Vilde’ born as Daryna Makohon, Ukrainian author and Soviet correspondent; wrote short stories and novels about family life and society in the Western Ukraine; best known for her two-volume novel Sestry Richynski (Sisters of Richynsky),which won the Shevchenko Prize

1911 – Pritilata Waddedar born, Bengali educator and revolutionary nationalist, teacher and headmistress at Nandankanan Aparnacharan School in Chittagong; she commits suicide rather than be arrested by British authorities after an attack on a European club

1912 – Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing

1916 – U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic

1917 – Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American military pilot to earn a flying certificate, with the French Air Service;  he originally joined the French Foreign Legion as a WWI infantryman in 1914, but later flew combat missions for France


1921 – Del Martin born, American feminist and gay rights activist; with her partner Phyllis Lyon, she founds the Daughters of Bilitis, the first social and political organization for lesbians in the US, acts as president and editor of The Ladder, helps form the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, and serves in the White House Conference on Aging. Martin and Lyon marry in 2008

Wedding of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

1922 – Irene Gut Opdyke born, Polish nurse who aided Jews persecuted by the Nazis during WWII; author of In My Hands, and honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for risking her life to save 12 Jews from certain death

1925 – John T. Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, is arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution

1926 – Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin is shown in Germany for the first time

1926 – Sinclair Lewis refuses a 1925 Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith. In his letter to the Pulitzer committee, he wrote: “. . . All prizes, like all titles, are dangerous. The seekers for prizes tend to labor not for inherent excellence but for alien rewards: they tend to write this, or timorously to avoid writing that, in order to tickle the prejudices of a haphazard committee. And the Pulitzer Prize for novels is peculiarly objectionable because the terms of it have been constantly and grievously misrepresented. Those terms are that the prize shall be given “for the American novel published during the year which shall best present the wholesome atmosphere of American life, and the highest standard of American manners and manhood.” This phrase, if it means anything whatever, would appear to mean that the appraisal of the novels shall be made not according to their actual literary merit but in obedience to whatever code of Good Form may chance to be popular at the moment . . .”

1927 – Sylvia Fedoruk born, Canadian physicist, politician and athlete, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, first woman member of the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada, former president of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association, member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame

1936 – Edward Ravenscroft patents a screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip

1937 – Delia Derbyshire born, English composer of electronic music; known for her electronic arrangement of the Doctor Who theme music

1942 – Tammy Wynette born as Virginia Wynette Pugh; Country singer-songwriter, one of the biggest-selling female singers; known for “Stand by Your Man” and “Till I Can Make It on My Own”

1942 – Baroness Jean Corston, British Labour politician, Member of Parliament (1992-2005); first woman to serve as Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party (2001-2005); commissioned by the Home Office to write a report on the vulnerable women in the UK’s criminal justice system, which outlines alternative thinking on sending mentally ill women to prison, published as the Corston Report in 2007, which is now the standard by which progress and improvements in the prison and probation services treatment of women are measured

1945 – The Netherlands and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control

1945 – Diane Willcocks born, British academic, social science researcher and administrator; advocate for more inclusive higher education; Vice-Chancellor of York St John University; Deputy Principal of Sheffield Hallam University; Director of Research at the University of North London; appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE, in 2008)

1952 – Hafsat Abdulwaheed Ahmed born, Nigerian writer, poet and women’s rights activist, the first Hausa woman from Northern Nigeria to have her novel published. She is a member of Baobab, a Nigerian women’s rights group. When a Baobab delegation went to the governor of the state of Zamfara to express their disappointment that there were no women in his cabinet, he said there was no woman in Zambara educated enough to serve in his cabinet. “I thought that was an insult, because in my house alone my daughters were very educated.” Ahmed said, and added,  ‘Well, we are not only going to demand for the position of a commissioner, we are going to take away his seat’. And I decided that I would contest the governor’s seat in the next election.” But her decision was greeted with an uproar, and her proposed candidacy was condemned by Muslim scholars. This led to the party on whose platform she wanted to contest denying her its backing, so her father prevailed on her to jettison the idea. Of the 30 books she has written, only five have been published, but her eldest daughter, Kadaria Ahmed, is a journalist, and the founder of Daria Media Ltd, to promote public service journalism

1955 – Damn Yankees opens on Broadway, and runs for 1,019 performances

1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space when he makes a 15 minute suborbital flight in a capsule

1964 – Efrat Mishori born, Israeli writer, poet, performance artist and filmmaker; recipient of the 2018 Landau Arts Award

1984 – Johanna Hedva born, Korean American genderqueer contemporary artist and writer; known for her 2015 lecture, “My Body Is a Prison of Pain so I Want to Leave It Like a Mystic But I Also Love It & Want it to Matter Politically” which became the “Sick Woman Theory” essay on chronic illness and the Western medical industry

1987 – The U.S. Congressional Iran-Contra hearings open

1990 – The National Cartoonists Society proclaims the first Cartoonists Day *

1991 – In New York, Carnegie Hall marks its 100th anniversary

1991 – International Midwives Day * is launched by the International Confederation of Midwives, now an observance on the United Nations calendar

2000 – Sierra Leone rebels seize UN peacekeepers from Zambia, raising to more than 300 the number of UN personnel they are believed to be holding captive and dealing another blow to UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa

2007 – Revenge of the Fifth Day * celebrates the Dark Side of the Force, playing on Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, for the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars debut

2010 – The Supreme Court of India in a landmark judgment declares the use of narco tests, brain mapping tests and lie detector tests by investigative agencies to be unconstitutional

2014 – China announces it will upgrade Ethiopia’s infrastructure in an effort to improve a China-Africa strategic partnership

2015 – The Obama administration granted licenses to at least four companies to offer ferry service between Florida and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. The move was part of an effort, announced by President Obama in December, to restore diplomatic relations between the U.S. and its former Cold War antagonist. By 2019, the Trump Administration had largely abandoned engagement by increasing economic sanctions significantly to pressure the Cuban government on its human rights
record, and tightened restrictions on travel to Cuba, including terminating cruise ship travel from the U.S. and flights from the U.S. to Cuban cities other than Havana

Baja Ferries was one of the U.S. companies granted a ferry service license in 2015

2017 – The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls is proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives, in memory of Hanna Harris, a Northern Cheyenne woman who was murdered in 2013, and RoyLynn Rides Horse, a Crow woman, who died in 2016 after being beaten, burned and left to die.

2019 – UN Women expresses its strong concern that the recent ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on female athletes with naturally elevated levels of testosterone contravenes the international human rights norms and standards expressed in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution of March 2019 on the ‘Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Girls in Sport.’  The requirement for such athletes to medically reduce hormone levels in order to compete as women plays into a discriminatory and stereotyped equivalence between testosterone, masculinity, strength and achievement that has been challenged by medical doctors, human rights, and intersex advocates, with the scientific basis questioned. The proposed method of reduction and verification requires athletes to take additional hormones with potential negative side effects. This process can result in further human rights violations, just as previous invasive testing to determine the sex of female athletes has done. 


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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