ON THIS DAY: May 7, 2020

May 7th is

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Day

Beaufort Wind Scale Day

Cystinosis Awareness Day *

Roast Leg of Lamb Day

National Barrier Awareness Day *


MORE! Olympe de Gouges, Gary Cooper and Almudena Grandes, click



Belarus – Radunitsa
(Ancestor Veneration Day)

Kazakhstan – Homeland Defender Day

Malaysia – Pahang: Hari Hol Pahang
(Remembrance day for Sultan)

Russia – Communication Workers’ Day
(Alexander Popov demonstration using radio waves)

Vietnam – Ngày Chiến thắng Điện Biện Phủ
(Dien Bien Phu Victory Day)


On This Day in HISTORY

160 AD? (exact year uncertain) – Julia Maesa born in Syria, Augusta (Feminine form of Augustus, a Roman Imperial honorific title for empresses and other prominent women of the imperial families). Politically able and ruthless, she contended for political power after her sister, Roman Empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimus Severus, committed suicide following the assassination of her son, Emperor Caracalla. Julia Maesa was ordered into exile in Emesa in Syria by the Praetorian prefect Macrinus, who had usurped the throne. She used her immense wealth to gain support from soldiers stationed at a nearby military base to launch a coup to put her 14-year-old grandson, Elagabalus, on the throne in place of the upstart Macrinus. But Elagabalus lavished favors on male courtiers, and caused so many sex scandals that Julia Maesa was part of the plot to assassinate him at age 18. He was replaced by her other grandson Severus Alexander, who ruled from 222 to 235, before being assassinated by his own army because he was trying diplomacy and bribes instead of warfare to deal with the Germanic and Sarmatian tribes who crossed the Rhine and the Danube in hordes. The date of Julia Maesa’s death was not recorded, but it was likely around 224-226 AD. She was deified in 227 AD

558 – In Constantinople, the dome of Hagia Sophia collapses; Justinian I immediately orders that the dome be rebuilt

1429 – Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) is wounded between the neck and shoulder, pulls the arrow out herself, and returns to lead the charge on the key English position, les Tourelles, a turreted gatehouse at Orléans, which breaks the siege that had lasted over six months

1487 – The Siege of Málaga commences during the Spanish  Reconquista, the campaign by the Catholic Monarchs to take Spain back from the Muslims

1664 – Construction begins on the Palace of Versailles for Louis XIV of France

1697 – Stockholm’s royal castle, dating back to medieval times, is destroyed by fire; it is replaced by the Royal Palace, which is finally completed in 1760

1711 – David Hume born, Scottish economist, historian, and philosopher

1718 – The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville

1748 – Olympe de Gouges born, French playwright, philosopher, feminist and abolitionist; Her famous Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791) was her response to Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which she wrote after the petition for equal rights for women presented to the National Assembly by the participants in the Women’s March on Versailles was denied. She wrote: “This revolution will only take effect when all women become fully aware of their deplorable condition, and of the rights they have lost in society.” She also wrote over 70 pamphlets, advocating free speech, an end to slavery and oppression of the poor and marginalized, care for the elderly, institutions for homeless children, hostels for the unemployed, a woman’s right to divorce her husband, and the introduction of a jury system. Female political participation of all kinds was formally banned by the French National Assembly in 1793, after one of several uprisings led by women. That year, Olympe de Gouges and two other women were sent to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Even while awaiting her execution, she smuggled out pamphlets that condemned prison conditions, and challenged how the rights of free speech were embodied in the New Constitution. She was the only woman executed during the Reign of Terror for her political writings

1763 – Pontiac’s War begins with attacks by his coalition of over a dozen tribes on a number of British forts and settlements in the Great Lakes region

1794 – Robespierre introduces the Cult of the Supreme Being in the National Convention as the new state religion of the French First Republic, intended to replace both Roman Catholicism and the Cult of Reason

Fête de l’Etre suprême by Pierre-Antoine Demachy

1812 – Robert Browning born, major English Victorian poet and playwright

1818 – Juliet Opie Hopkins born, American nurse and administrator during the Civil War, “the Florence Nightingale of the South,” buried in Arlington National Cemetery

1822 – Nathaniel H. Egleston born, American forester, conservationist and academic; Professor of Rhetoric at Williams College; co-founder of the American Forestry Association in 1882; appointed as head of the precursor to the U.S. Forest Service (1883-1886)

1824 – Premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria

1832 – At the London Conference of 1832, Britain, France and Russia decide, without consulting Greece, that the country, which had just freed itself from the Ottoman Empire with their help, should be governed by a monarchy, and the throne is offered by them to Bavarian Prince Otto

1833 – Johannes Brahms born, German Romantic composer and pianist

1840 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky born, the first Russian composer to attract international acclaim; noted for ballets and symphonies

1845 – Mary Eliza Mahoney, one of the first African Americans to gradutate from nursing school, and the first African American to work as a professionally trained nurse; co-founder with Adah B. Thoms of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, which challenged racial discrimination in the registered nursing profession. The NACGN merged in 1951 with the American Nurses Association. Mahoney was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993

1846 – The Cambridge Chronicle, America’s oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts

1864 – The world’s oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide, is launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, for transporting passengers and goods between Britain and Australia

1892 – Archibald MacLeish born, American Modernist poet, playwright, and lawyer

1895 – In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Popov  demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, a primitive radio receiver which uses radio noise to detect lightning strikes

1901 – Gary Cooper born in Montana, American film actor and movie star, began his career as a stunt rider in silent movies, but became a star in 1929 in the early sound picture, The Virginian; notable for his performances in A Farewell to Arms, Meet John Doe,  Sergeant York, The Pride of the Yankees,and High Noon. Won Academy Awards for Best Actor in Sergeant York and High Noon

1909 – Dorothy Tabbyyetchy (‘Sunrise’) Lorentino born, Native American Comanche teacher. As a child, Dorothy Sunrise v. District Board of Cache Consolidated School District No. 1, became a landmark education judgment which allowed Native American children in Comanche County, Oklahoma, to attend public schools rather than the government-mandated Bureau of Indian Affairs Schools. Language from her case was incorporated into the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. Her case predated a case allowing Native American children in California to attend public schools, and Brown v. Board of Education, which declared racial segregation of schools unconstitutional. She grew up to be a special education teacher, and taught ESL classes and students with disabilities for 34 years in schools in Arizona and Oregon, then retired to return home, where she taught the Comanche language and songs to tribal members. In 1997, she was the first Native American and first Oklahoman to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame 

1915 – World War I: German submarine U-20 sinks RMS Lusitania, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans. Public reaction to the sinking turns many formerly pro-Germans in the United States against the German Empire

1915 – China received a revised ‘Thirteen Demands’ from Japan, an ultimatum with a two-day deadline for response; in January, 1915, the Empire of Japan had originally sent the Republic of China ‘Twenty-One Demands’ which would have greatly extended Japanese control of Manchuria and the Chinese economy and ended the Open Door Policy, which had kept China open to trade with all countries equally since 1899

1919 – Eva Perón born, dubbed Evita, influential First Lady of Argentina (1946-1952), advocate for labor rights, healthcare and women’s suffrage

Eva Perón by Numa Ayrinhac

1920 – Treaty of Moscow: Soviet Russia recognizes the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia only to invade the country six months later

1920 – The Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, opens the first exhibition by the Group of Seven, a group of Canadian landscape painters, also known as the Algonquin School

1927 – Ruth Prawer Jhabvala born in Germany to Jewish parents; her family was among the last to escape from the Nazi regime in 1939, emigrating to Britain; she then lived in India with her husband from 1951 until 1975, when she moved to New York after his death; British-American novelist and screenwriter; Heat and Dust

1928 –The Ji’an Incident: the Japanese Army, allied with Northern Chinese warlords, resume the Northern Expedition in violation of their standing orders and Chinese sovereignty, moving into Ji’an and Qingtao; Chiang Kai-shek’s Kupmintang troops ignore his orders to avoid engagement, and move to meet the Japanese coalition.  Leaders on both sides call for a truce and cease-fire, but the Japanese generals, building their stocks of food and ammunition, hold 17 of the Chinese negotiators hostage, while issuing demands with a 12-hour deadline that the Chinese would never accept. When the chief negotiator protests in Japanese, he and the rest of the negotiators are tortured and killed. Japanese forces go on to kill over 2000 Chinese civilians after fierce fighting drives the Chinese troops from the area

1936 – Aviator Amy Johnson set a new world record, flying from England to Cape Town, South Africa, in 3 days, 6 hours and 26 minutes. She was a pioneer in women’s aviation, the first woman to fly solo. Johnson died while ferrying a plane for the Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII when she was caught in a snowstorm, and forced to parachute into the icy water of the Thames Estuary near Herne Bay in Kent in January 1941. Her body was never recovered

1939 – Germany and Italy announce their alliance, the Rome-Berlin Axis

1940 – After Germany’s surprise invasion of neutral Norway, the Norway Debate in the British House of Commons begin, and lead to a ‘no confidence” vote, and the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain by Winston Churchill

1940 – Angela O. Carter born, English novelist, journalist, poet and feminist; Nights at the Circus, The Magic Toyshop, Wise Children

1945 – General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany’s participation in the war, which take effect the next day

1948 – The Council of Europe is founded during the Hague Congress

1949 – Deborah Butterfield born, American sculptor, noted for horses made from found objects; credits her interest in sculpting horses to being born on the day of the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby

Deborah Butterfield in her Montana Studio

1952 – The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer

1954 – Indochina War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat and a Vietnamese victory

1954 – Joanna D. Haigh born, British physicist, meteorologist and academic; professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London, and co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment since 2014; noted for work on solar variability, radiative transfer, and stratosphere-troposphere climate modeling; Fellow of the Royal Society since 2013, and former president of the Royal Meteorological Society

1954 – Amy Heckerling born, American film director, screenwriter and producer; Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Look Who’s Talking and Clueless

1956 – Anne Dudley born, English composer, conductor and pop musician; first BBC Concert Orchestra Compose in Association in 2001; member of the band Art of Noise and Academy Award winner for the Best Original Score for The Full Monty

1957 – Kristina M. Johnson born, American executive, optical engineer, and academic; appointed as U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary (2009-2010), where she developed an integrated  Strategic Technologies Energy Plan for reducing our dependence on imported oil by 75%, achieving greenhouse gas reductions of 83% by 2050, and achieving 80% low-carbon electricity by 2035; leader in developing optoelectronic processing systems and 3-D imaging; co-founder of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, and the Center of Excellence in Optoelectronics at the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute; Chancellor of the State University of New York; advocate for women in leadership, science and engineering; first woman awarded the International Dennis Gabor Award for creativity in modern optics in 1993, and recipient of the John Fritz Medal for engineering; in 2015 elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016

1960 – Almudena Grandes born, Spanish writer, columnist and leftist political activist; in 1989, won the La Sonrisa Vertical prize for her novel Las ededes de Lulú (The Ages of Lulu)

1961 – Dame Sue Black born, Scottish forensic anthropologist, anatomist and author; Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee (2005-2018); will be Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University beginning in August 2018; co-author of Disaster Victim Identification: The Practitioner’s Guide, and Age Estimation in the Living: The Practitioners Guide


1962 – Judith S. Donath born, American computer scientist; fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, and founder of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab; combines concepts from many disciplines, including evolutionary biology, architecture, ethnography and cognitive science, in developing and optimizing designs of mediated virtual cities on the internet and online virtual identities; Inhabiting the Virtual City

1977 – Seattle Slew wins the Kentucky Derby on his way to winning the Triple Crown

1984 – A $180 million out-of-court settlement is announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans.

1986 – National Barrier Awareness Day * is first proclaimed, a day to break down the physical and societal barriers that make life more difficult for people with disabilities

1992 – Michigan ratifies a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment law, which bars the U.S. Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise

1992 – NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour is launched on its first mission, to retrieve an Intelsat VI satellite

1994 – Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February

1994 – In Johannesburg, legislators take oaths of office, and Blacks and Whites sit down together for the first time to govern South Africa

2000 – Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as president of Russia

2007 –  Israeli archaeologists discover the tomb of Herod the Great, south of Jerusalem

2012 – Paeleoclimatological research by the British team of Earth Science lecturer David Wilkinson, zoologist Graeme Ruxton and methane expert Professor Euan Nisbet, suggests that the flatulence of sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane gas to warm the earth during the Mesozoic Era (from about 252 to 66 million years ago)

2015 – A federal appeals court ruled that the National Security Agency’s warrantless collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is not authorized under the Patriot Act and is therefore illegal. The program “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized,” the Second Circuit Court of Appeals wrote. The White House and defenders of the controversial program claimed Section 215 of the Patriot Act allowed for warrantless phone monitoring

2016 – Guido Menzio, professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, was escorted from his American Airlines flight and interrogated for being suspected of terrorism, The Washington Post reported, describing him as olive-skinned and curly haired. His neighboring passenger, a white woman, had alerted a flight attendant to the Italian man’s activity, which, officials eventually learned, amounted to writing differential equations. The flight eventually took off with Menzio aboard

Menzio and his ‘suspicious’ equations

2018 – The first annual Cystinosis Awareness Day * is sponsored by the Cystinosis Research Network. Cystinosis is a rare multisystem genetic disorder which causes abnormal accumulation of the amino acid cystine in organs and tissues of the body. It most frequently affects the eyes and kidneys, but left untreated, it can eventually affect all tissues of the body. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to mitigating its affects

2019 – A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says too many American women still die from pregnancy-related causes, some up to a year after delivery. About 700 pregnancy-related deaths occur in the United States each year, and 3 out of 5 are preventable. Nearly 31% of the deaths happen during pregnancy, and another 36% occur during delivery or the week after. But a full third of deaths happen up to a year after a woman gives birth, the CDC found. For the study, the CDC analyzed national data on pregnancy-related deaths between 2011 and 2015, and more detailed data from 13 states gathered between 2013 and 2017. The CDC defines pregnancy-related death as one occurring within a year of the pregnancy’s end. The cause could be a related complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated medical condition by pregnancy. Heart disease and stroke caused about 1 in 3 deaths, researchers found. Other leading causes included infections and severe blood loss.  Women have died because they lacked access to good health care, resulting in delayed or missed diagnosis of crucial medical problems. Serious racial disparities also exist. Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women were about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women.


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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