ON THIS DAY: May 9, 2020

May 9th is

Butterscotch Brownie Day

National Sleepover Day

World Moscato Wine Day

National Lost Sock Memorial Day


MORE! Fay Kanin, John Uzo Ogbu and Eleanor Roosevelt, click



Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Transdniestria, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine – Victory Day

Armenia – Victory & Peace Day

Bosnia and Herzegovina –
Victory Over Fascism Day

Alderney, Guernsey & Jersey –
Liberation Day

Japan – Goku Day *

Uzbekistan – Day of Remembrance and Honors


On This Day in HISTORY

1092 – In England, Lincoln Cathedral, also called St. Mary’s Cathedral, is consecrated. The cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of the diocese of Canterbury

1271 – Ninth Crusade: Edward I (‘Edward Longshanks’) of England, disembarks at Acre, the last remaining city of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291), now part of modern-day Israel

1386 – England and Portugal formally ratify their alliance with the signing of the Treaty of Windsor, sealed by the marriage of King John I of Portugal to Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster; it is the oldest diplomatic alliance still in force in the world

Tomb of John I and Philippa

1450 – Abdal-Latif Mirza, who had his father and brother murdered so he could take the throne of Transoxiana (now Uzkekistan, Tajikistan and parts of their neighbors), is in turn assassinated by his amirs after ruling only six months. His cousin Abdallah Mirza succeeds him. Abdallah Mirza lasts 13 months, before he is defeated by Abu Sa’id Mirza, who executes Abdallah. Abu Sa’id lasts ten years before he is captured during a military campaign and executed

1540 – Hernando de Alarcón sets sail on an expedition to the Gulf of California

1540 – Pratap Singh I born, 13th Maharana of Mewar (1572-1597), now the Indian state of Rajasthan, who spent much of his reign fighting off the Mughal Empire

1662 – The figure who later became Mr. Punch, of Punch and Judy, makes his first recorded appearance in England

1746 – Gaspard Monge born, French mathematician, inventor of descriptive geometry, the basis of technical drawing, and ‘father of differential geometry’

1763 – The Siege of Fort Detroit begins during Pontiac’s War against British forces

1800 – John Brown born, American abolition extremist, who led a group of volunteers during the ‘Bleeding Kansas’ crisis in 1856, killing pro-slavery supporters, then in 1859 led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in what is now West Virginia, killing seven defenders. Tried and convicted of treason, murder and inciting a slave insurrection by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and hanged

1850 – Edward Weston born in England, American chemist, worked on electroplating; developed electrochemical cell, named Weston after him, for the voltage standard

1860 – J. M. Barrie born, Scottish novelist and playwright; best known for Peter Pan

1865 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation ending belligerent rights of the rebels and enjoining foreign nations to intern or expel Confederate ships

1865 – Elizabeth Garver Jordan born, American journalist, author, editor, and suffragist, editor of Harper’s Bazaar

1873 – Der Krach: the Vienna stock market crash heralds the Long Depression, which began to ease in 1879, but did not end completely until 1896

1874 – The first horse-drawn bus makes its début in Mumbai, India

1874 – Howard Carter born, British archaeologist and illustrator who worked in Egypt; discoverer of the tomb of King Tutankhamun

Howard Carter birds: Falcon, Owl, and Duck 

1874 – Lilian Baylis born, English theatrical manager, founder of the Old Vic theatre, famed for its Shakespearean productions

1883 – Jose Ortega y Gasset born, Spanish philosopher, essayist and humanist; noted for his 1917 essay, La rebelión de las masas (The Revolt of the Masses), first published in the Madrid newspaper El Sol. He founded La Revista de Occidente, an academic journal, in 1923, and was its editor until 1936

1887 – Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opens in London

1895 – Lucian Blaga born, Romanian poet, playwright, and philosopher

1901 – Australia’s first parliament is opened by Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York, later King George V, in temporary quarters in Melbourne

1904 – The steam locomotive City of Truro becomes the first steam engine in Europe to exceed 100 mph (160 km/h)

1906 – Eleanor Estes born, American children’s author-illustrator and librarian; The Hundred Dresses was a Newbery Honor Book, and Ginger Pyewon the 1952 Newbery Medal

1911 – The works of Gabriele D’Annunzio, an author associated with the Decadent movement, are placed in the Roman Catholic Index librorum prohibitorum (Index of Forbidden Books) by the Vatican

Gabriele D'Annunzio - poets quote

1914 – Patricia Swift Blalock born, American librarian, social worker, and civil rights activist in Alabama. After earning a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago, in 1937 she went to work for the Alabama State Department of Education and Rehabilitation, as district supervisor of the State Crippled Children’s Services, but retired in 1946 after she married and had a child. In 1951, she began working as a part-time assistant in the Dallas County Public Library, the only library in Selma. After ten years, the library director became seriously ill, and Blalock became the acting director. When the library board asked her to become the permanent director she hesitated because she did not have a degree in librarianship, but the board expressed their confidence in her, and she assumed the permanent position in 1963. Because Selma did not have a separate library for black patrons, they were served through the library’s back door by the library’s maid. When Blalock became the library’s director, one of her first priorities was desegregating the library. The real political power in Selma at the time was the White Citizens’ Council, founded in 1955 as a reaction to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Two of its members, Selma’s Mayor, Chris Heinz, and Judge Bernard Reynolds were also ex officio members of the library board. They wanted to protect the status quo in Selma from “outside agitators.” Blalock met individually with each of the regular members of the board trying to convince them that desegregation was inevitable, and citing recent integration orders by the federal government in Montgomery and protests in Birmingham. She argued that Selma should take control of its integration process rather than have outsiders do it for them. By May, 1963, she told the Board that there was a push to protest the library’s segregation policies, and she was unsure if she would even be able to open on the library on Monday without some kind of desegregation plan in place. An emergency meeting of the board was held at her home to work out a plan. The resulting plan was far from what she sought, but it was a beginning. The library would be closed from Monday, May 13 to Sunday, May 19. When it reopened the following Monday, all its chairs had been removed to present black and white patrons from sitting together. The desegregation was not publically announced. All library card applicants would be required to provide two references. On May 20, 1963, the library reopened. Library visitors who asked about the lack of chairs were told they were stored temporarily in the basement. Black patrons, not informed of the policy change, were slow to enter the library at first, but by November, they were becoming more common. Blalock took a few chairs out of storage, and scattered them around the library, slowly adding a few more at a time. She also pushed for integration of the library staff. Annie Molette, the library maid who had quietly served Selma’s black readers through the back door, was promoted to be the first African-American library assistant in the city, and a new library maid was hired to do the official parts of the job. Some white library patrons did not react well to the new policies. One white man, seeing black patrons using the library, angrily tore up his library card, and vowed never to return. When he came back two weeks later to check out a book, Blalock handed him his card, which she had carefully taped back together, in case he came back. She retired in 1988. In 1992, she was honored by the Alabama Library Association with its Distinguished Service Award. In ‘retirement’ she served two terms as director of the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, chaired the Tale Telling Association, and was a two-term vice president of the Selma and Dallas Tourism Council, among other commitments. She also helped found the Selma Performing Arts Center. In 2000, she was the recipient of a Librarian of the Year for Exceptional Leadership award from the International Library Science Honor Society. Her daughter Irene also became librarian and recently retired as the Director of the Birmingham Public Library

1916 – William Pène du Bois born, American author and children’s book illustrator; editor of The Paris Review; his book The Twenty-One Balloons won the 1948 Newbery Medal 

1917 – Fay Kanin born, American screenwriter, playwright and producer;  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President (1979-1983); co-author of  the screenplay for Teacher’s Pet; in the early 195os, she and her husband were blacklisted for two years by the HUAC because she had taken classes at the Actors Lab in Hollywood – some of the teachers were suspected of being communist sympathizers – and they had both been members of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization, a group which supported U.S. efforts during WWII

1920 – Richard Adams born, English novelist; best known for Watership Down

1921 – Daniel Berrigan born, American priest, poet, and activist

1921 – Sophie Scholl born, German student-activist, member of the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany; in 1943, she was convicted of high treason for distributing anti-war leaflets, and executed by guillotine

1921 – Mona Van Duyn born, American poet; Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1992); National Book Award for Poetry

1930 – Kalifa Tillisi born, Libyan historian and linguist

1934 – Alan Bennett born, English playwright, screenwriter, and novelist; The Madness of George III

1936 – Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa by force on May 5

1936 – Glenda Jackson born, British actress and Labour politician; Royal Shakespeare Company member (1964-1968); awarded two Academy Awards for Best Actress for Women in Love and Touch of Class; also gave notable performances in the BBC television series Elizabeth R and the film Sunday Bloody Sunday. Member of Parliament (1992-2015); outspoken critic of the Blair government, especially plans to raise education tuition fees in Britain, and pushed for Tony Blair’s resignation following the Judicial Enquiry into his reasons for going to war in Iraq

1938 – Charles Simic born in Serbia, American poet and editor

1939 – John Uzo Ogbu born in Nigeria, Nigerian-American anthropologist and professor, noted for his theories on observed phenomena involving race and intelligence, especially how race and ethnic differences affect educational and economic achievement, including scores on IQ tests. He has pointed out that there are two kinds of differences between cultures: the primary differences which exist before the cultures came in contact, and the secondary differences which develop as two cultures interact with each other. Ogbu theorizes that many of the secondary differences are created by subordinate groups in opposition to the cultural references of the dominant group

1944 – Richie Furay born, American singer-songwriter; Buffalo Springfield

1945 – The Channel Islands are liberated by the British after five years of German occupation during WWII

1946 – Ayşe Nur Zarakolu born, Turkish author, publisher and human rights advocate; co-founder of the publishing house Belge (fire-bombed in 1995); as director of Cemmay, a book-distribution company, she was the first Turkish woman hired as a company director. A relentless challenger to repressive Turkish press laws, she helped publicize in Turkey the Armenian Genocide and the plight of Kurdish people living within its borders in spite of government bans on mentioning them. She was imprisoned multiple times for her publications. Amnesty International designated her a prisoner of conscience, and the International Publishers Association honored her with its inaugural International Freedom to Publish Award in 1998, but Turkish authorities confiscated her passport and she wasn’t allowed to attend the ceremony. In 2004, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey for convicting Zarakolu for publishing a book about journalist Ferhat Tepe, murdered by the militant ultra-nationalist Turkish Revenge Brigade (used by  Turkish military intelligence in operations against Kurdish insurgents). İnsan Hakları Derneği (İHD), a Turkish human rights organization she helped found, bestows the Ayşe Zarakolu Freedom of Thought prize in her honor

1948 –  Czechoslovakia’s Ninth-of-May Constitution comes into effect

1949 – Rainier III becomes Prince of Monaco

1949 – Billy Joel born, American singer-songwriter and pianist

1950 – Robert Schuman presents his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe,  to maintain peaceful relations; the “Schuman Declaration” influenced founding of the European Union

1953 – Eleanor Roosevelt lobbies Congress for a National Teachers’ Day. In 1985, the National PTA expands her idea into Teacher Appreciation Week, now in association with the National Education Association, held during the first full week in May

1955 – West Germany joins NATO

1958 – Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo premieres in San Francisco

1960 – The Food and Drug Administration announces approval of birth control as an additional indication  for Searle’s Enovid, making it the world’s first approved oral contraceptive pill

1961 – U.S. FCC Chairman Newton N. Minow condemns commercial television programming as a “vast wasteland” in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters. The name of the S.S. Minnow of Gilligan’s Island is said to have been a satirical poke at Minow

1964 – Ngô Đình Cẩn, the de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother. President Ngô Đình Diệm. before the family’s overthrow, is executed

1968 –Ruth Kelly born in Northern Ireland, British Labour politician; Member of Parliament (1997-2010); served as Secretary of State for Transport (2007-2008); Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2006-2007); Minister for Women and Equality (2006-2007); and as Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2004-2006), she was the youngest woman to hold as Cabinet position

1970 – In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 demonstrators protest the Vietnam War 

1974 – Watergate: The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary opens formal and public hearings to consider the impeachment of President Richard Nixon

1994 – South Africa’s newly elected parliament chooses Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first black president

2015 – Russia stages its biggest ever military parade in Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory Day

2015 – The Japan Anniversary Association officially declares May 9 as “Goku Day” based on the popular manga and anime series Dragon Ball

2018 – Barisan Nasional (National Front), the governing coalition of Malaysia since 1974, is loses its majority to a coalition of Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) and Parti Warisan Sabah (Sabah Heritage Party)

2018 – The Mormon Church severed its ties with the Boy Scouts of America after 105 years. The church said it made the decision jointly with the Boy Scouts, adding that the change would go into effect at the end of 2018. Mormons accounted for 19 percent of the Boy Scouts’ 2.3 million members. The church’s decision came after a period of change in which the Boy Scouts reversed a century-old policy by announcing it would admit transgender boys, and later announced it would start allowing girls aged 11 to 17 to join, beginning in February 2019, although individual scout groups would still be largely single-gender. They were also changing their name to Scouts BSA. The Cub Scouts program for ages 7-to-10 had already admitted 3,000 girls.  


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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