ON THIS DAY: May 8, 2020

May 8th is

Coconut Cream Pie Day

National Student Nurse Day *

World Ovarian Cancer Day *

Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day *


MORE! Margarete Böhme, Romain Gary and Miyoshi Umeki, click



WWII –1945 Armistice celebrated in most European countries as Victory Day/VE-Day, accompanied by Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the WWII *, which continues to May 9

Israel – Yom Ha’atzma’ut
(Independence Day –
begins at sundown)

Natalicio de Miguel Hidalgo

Norway – Veteran’s Day

Slovakia –
Liberation of the Republic Day

South Korea – Parents’ Day


On This Day in HISTORY

453 BC – Battle of Jinyang: in the State of Jin on the Shanxi plateau, the rival houses of Zhao and Zhi end a protracted battle after allies from the Wei and Han houses change sides from the Zhi to the Zhao, and the House of Zhi is annihilated. This leads to the Tripartition of Jin between the three victors’ houses, during the early days of the Warring States period

413 – Emperor Honorius signs an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria, which had been plundered by the Visigoths

The Favorites of the Emperor Honorius, by John William Waterhouse – 1883

589 – Urged by Bishop Leander of Seville, Reccared I, Visigothic King of Hispania and Septimania (the Occitanie region of modern-day France), summons the Third Council of Toledo. He formally accepts a return from Arianism (sect that believes Christ, as the Son of God, is separate and subordinate to God, and allows clergy to marry) to the ‘true faith’ (Roman Catholicism), making it the state religion. Restrictions are placed on Jews, forbidding them to have Christian wives, concubines or slaves; existing children of such unions must be baptized; Jews are banned from any office in which they might have authority to punish Christians, and Christian slaves whom they had circumcised, or made to share in their rites, are ipso facto freed. Civil authorities are forbidden from “laying burdens” on clerics, or on slaves of the church or clergy. Wailing is banned at funerals, and on the eve of Saint’s days any dancing or songs deemed “indecent” are forbidden

1450 – English King Henry VI is a weak and unpopular ruler; corruption and high taxes to pay for years of warfare with France lead to an unsuccessful uprising by rebels from Kent and the surrounding counties; their undisciplined army, led by Jack Cade, marches on London, but they are forced back by denizens of the city in a bloody battle on London Bridge; considered a precursor to the Wars of the Roses

Jack Cade Rebellion 

1516 – Trần Cảo Rebellion: A group of imperial guards, led by Trịnh Duy Sản, murder Emperor Lê Tương Dực and flee, leaving the Vietnamese capital Thăng Long undefended

1541 –Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River, naming Río de Espíritu Santo

1737 – Edward Gibbon born, English historian and politician; The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

1788 – The French Parliament is suspended, to be replaced by the creation of forty-seven new courts; it will be formally abolished in 1790

1794 – Antoine Lavoisier, ‘father of modern chemistry,’ is executed by guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror

1821 – Greek War of Independence: Odysseas Androutsos, with his 120 Greek soldiers barricaded in the Gravia Inn, hold off 9,000 Ottoman Empire troops. After suffering heavy losses, the Turks pause to bring up their artillery, giving the Greeks a chance to slip away, escaping through Ottoman lines. The Turks are ultimately forced to retreat from the area

1828 – Henry Dunant born, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize

1829 – Louis Gottschalk born, American composer and pianist; initially, his application to the Paris Conservatoire was rejected without even hearing him play, the head of the piano faculty declaring, “America is a country of steam engines” but family friends aided him in getting an audition, and he was accepted. He traveled extensively in the U.S., the Caribbean, and South America, and his music is full of the melodies and rhythms of his native New Orleans and the countries he visited

1846 –Future U.S. President Zachary Taylor defeats Mexican troops at the Battle of Palo Alto north of the Rio Grande, the first major engagement of the Mexican-American War

1847 – Oscar Hammerstein I, American theatre impresario; father of Oscar Hammerstein II of Rogers and Hammerstein

1865 – Dr. Mary Harris Thompson opens the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children because, of the two existing hospitals in Chicago, neither allowed women on staff, and one didn’t allow women patients. Thompson initially opens the hospital to treat widows and orphans of the Civil War

1867 – Margarete Böhme born, German novelist and autobiographer; her best-selling book, Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (The Diary of a Lost Girl),  the story of a woman forced by circumstances into a life of prostitution, created a sensation when it was published in 1905, at first anonymously, and remained in print until suppressed at the beginning of the Nazi regime

1877 – At NYC’s Gilmore Gardens, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens

1884 – Harry S. Truman born, 33rd President of the United States

1886 – Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invents the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola

1895 – Edmond Wilson born, influential American critic, essayist and editor/book reviewer at Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books

1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produces its first play, The Countess Cathleen by W.B. Yeats

1901 – The Australian Labor Party is established

1903 – Mary Henderson Stewart born, Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch; British Labour politician and educator; served in the Women’s Auxillary Air Force (WAAF) during WWII; magistrate in the juvenile courts, and later chair of the East London Juvenile Court; created a life peer and member of the House of Lords in 1975

1905 – Red Nichols born, American cornet player, composer, and bandleader

1910 – Mary Lou Williams born, American Jazz pianist,  composer and arranger, who worked for Benny Goodman

1912 – Paramount Pictures is founded

1914 – Romain Gary born in Lithuania, French novelist, war hero and diplomat; Les Racines du ciel  (The Roots of Heaven)

1914 – President Woodrow Wilson signs a Proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day

1919 – Edward George Honey, an Australian journalist using the pen name ‘Warren Foster,’ sends a letter to the London Evening News suggesting as a commemoration of the first anniversary of WWI Armistice Treaty, signed November 11, 1918: “Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession. Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow…” at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”

1922 – Mary Q. Steele born, American naturalist and author; her children’s book, Journey Outside, was a Newbery Honor Book

1925 – A. Philip Randolph organizes the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

1926 – David Attenborough born, British environmentalist, naturalist, non-fiction author and host of BBC television natural history programs; Life On Earth

1927 – Nora Marks Dauenhauer born, Tlinglit poet, short-story writer and scholar of the language and traditions of the Tlingit nation in Alaska. Won an American Book Award for Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804

1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and François Coli disappear after taking off aboard L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird) biplane. They have never been found. Twelve days later, Charles Lindbergh takes off, flying solo in the Spirit of Saint Louis

1929 – Girija Devi born, Indian classical singer, known for the genre thumri,on the faculty of ITC Sangeet Research Academy and Banaras Hindu University. In 2016, Devi was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honor, for “exceptional and distinguished service.” She died at age 88 in 2017

1929 – Ethel D. Allen born, African American physician and Republican politician; she described herself as a ‘ghetto practitioner” and made house calls in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Concerned about the crime she saw daily, she ran for the Philadelphia City Council, and won after out-performing the incumbent in series of debates. She was the first black woman on the city council (serving the Fifth District 1972-1976, and then as an At-Large member 1976-1979); appointed as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1979). She died in 1981 from complications after double-bypass heart surgery

1929 – Miyoshi Umeki born in Japan, Japanese-American actress and singer; first Asian and the only Asian woman to win an Academy Award for acting, for her supporting role as Katsumi in Sayonara; also originated the role of Mei Li in Flower Drum Song on Broadway and in the 1961 film; operated a business with her husband renting editing equipment to film studios and college film departments

1932 – Julieta Campos born, Cuban-Mexican novelist, translator and politician; appointed as Secretary of Tourism for the Government of Mexico City in 2000; noted for El miedo de perder a Euridíce (The Fear of Losing Eurydice)

1933 – Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a one-year campaign to help the Harijan movement, his name for the Dalits (‘Untouchables’)

1943 – Pat Barker born, English novelist; her novel Union Street, featuring interlinked stories of seven working class women was rejected by publishers as “too depressing” until she submitted it to the feminist publisher Virago; noted for her WWI-based historical novels in The Regeneration Trilogy about the aftermath of trauma for British soldiers in the Great War, and her re-telling of the Trojan War, The Silence of the Girls

1944 – The first “eye bank” is established, in New York City

1945 – The Sétif massacre, a series of killings of Muslims around this Algerian market town by French authorities and European settlers. The death toll is much disputed – the French total is 1,020, while Radio Cairo reports 45,000 people killed

1945 – Janine Haines born, Australian Democratic politician, the second Leader of the Australian Democrats in Parliament, and first woman to be a federal parliamentary leader of an Australian political party (1986-1990); Australian Democrats Deputy Leader (1985-1986); Senator for South Australia (1981-1990); author of Suffrage to Sufferance: One Hundred Years of Women in Politics, published in 1992, which has been a prescribed text in many Australian universities and schools. She died in 2004 from a degenerative neurological condition, and was honoured with a state funeral

1945 – V-E Day, Victory in Europe, the end of WWII in the Europe

1945 – End of the Prague uprising, celebrated as Liberation Day * in the Czech Republic

1946 – Estonian schoolgirls Aili Jõgi (age 14) and Ageeda Paavel (age 15) blow up a wooden Soviet memorial erected in front of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn, protesting the Soviet occupation authorities’ systematic destruction of memorials to the fallen in the 1918-1920 Estonian War of Independence, even the gravestones of the Tallinn Military Cemetery; they are later apprehended, and sent to forced-labor camps in the USSR, but are finally released after years of hardship and able to return home. In 1998, they become the only women awarded the Order of the Cross of the Eagle, as “freedom fighters of military merit”

1948 – The first World Red Cross Day celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of founder Henry Dunant – the name was changed in 1984 to World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day *

1954 – Pam Arciero born, American puppeteer and voice actress for Grundgetta, Oscar the Grouch’s girlfriend, on the PBS children’s series Sesame Street

1958 – U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon is booed, shoved, stoned, and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru

1962 –Rabindra Bharati University, a prominent University in India, is founded in Kolkata (Calcutta), in Western Bengal, on the centenary of poet Rabindranath Tagore

Original building of Rabindra Bharati University, now a museum

1963 – South Vietnamese soldiers under the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, the day honoring the birth and enlightenment of Buddha, killing nine unarmed civilians, and sparking the Buddhist crisis, a civil resistance by Buddhist monks, including sit-ins, hunger strikes and self-immolation. The majority of Vietnamese are Buddhists, and this led to the November 1, 1963, coup by Vietnamese Army generals overthrowing Diem

1967 – Viviana Durante born, English-trained Italian ballet dancer; currently Director of Dance at the English National Ballet School, and Director of her Viviana Duranter Compamy.  She was a principle dancer with The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Teatro alla Scala

1970 – Construction workers break up an anti-war protest on NYC’s Wall Street

1970 – Naomi Klein born, Canadian nonfiction author, environmental and anti-capitalism activist; noted for No Logo; The Shock Doctrine; This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate and On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal. In 2016, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for her climate justice activism

1970 – The Beatles release the album Let It Be

1972 – U.S. President Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation

1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement (AIM) members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants

1973 – Hiromi Arakawa born, her male pen name is Hiromu Arakawa; Japanese manga artist known for Fullmetal Alchemist

1977 – Kathrin Bringmann born, German number theorist, noted for her substantial contributions to the theory of mock theta functions; she was the Emmy Noether Lecturer of the German Mathematical Society in 2015

1980 – The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the eradication of smallpox

1984 – The River Thames Flood Barrier opens, a moveable barrier in the river east of Central London

1998 – National Student Nurse Day * becomes part of National Nurses Week, initiated by the National Student Nurses Association. National Nurses Week has been sponsored by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1954, and now proclaimed by U.S. Congress

1999 – Nancy Macy becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel, the formerly all-male military school in South Carolina

2004 –  May 8 and 9 are declared a Time of Remembrance & Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War * by the United Nations

2013 – The first World Ovarian Cancer Day * – Ovarian cancer is responsible for  140,000 deaths each year;  Statistics show that 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years compared to about 89% of women with breast cancer

2016 – North Korea expelled BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes and his crew, who had arrived with a delegation of Nobel laureates, over their reporting. The country’s isolated communist government said Wingfield-Hayes was disrespectful of the nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un. He was questioned for eight hours and made to sign an apology. More than 100 foreign journalists received visas to enter the country for the duration of the first ruling Worker’s Party congress in 36 years, but they were blocked by authorities from directly covering the event, and had to use information from the propaganda-filled domestic news media, which is run by the state

2018 – Women held strikes and large demonstrations around the world calling for gender equality and empowerment to mark International Women’s Day. Spanish women launched a 24-hour strike against gender violence and the wage gap, while demonstrators filled streets in New Delhi and Seoul. This year’s annual event was energized in places by the recent #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, which have raised awareness of rampant sexual harassment and assault across all industries. Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, tweeted a call for women and men alike to “engage,” saying, “We need power to make equality a reality.” Farida Nabourema, a rights advocate from the West African nation of Togo, tweeted support for all female activists “being abusively detained by dictatorial governments.”


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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