ON THIS DAY: May 14, 2020

May 14th is

Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Lewis and Clark Day *

Stars & Stripes Forever Day *

Underground America Day *


MORE! Cai Chang, Charley Furnas and Tania León, click




Liberia – Unification Day

Malawi – President Banda’s Birthday

Paraguay – Día de la Independencia


On This Day in HISTORY

1264 – In the Second Barons’ War, Henry III is defeated at the Battle of Lewes by Simon de Monfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, who becomes the “uncrowned King of  England” when Henry is forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding most of his powers to the Earl, and his son Prince Edward is held hostage by the barons

Simon de Montfort, in a stained glass window at Chartres Cathedral

1607 – Jamestown Virginia becomes the first permanent English settlement on the American continent

1643 – Louis XIV (the ‘Sun King’) becomes king of France at age 4 when his father dies

Louis XIV at age 5, painted by Philippe de Champaigne

1727 – Thomas Gainsborough baptized (birth date not recorded), dominant English portrait painter of the second half of the 18th century, but he preferred painting landscapes and was also very influential in the development of the English landscape school; a founding member of the Royal Academy

Self-Portrait by Thomas Gainsborough – 1759

1771 – Robert Owen born, Welsh manufacturer-turned-utopian socialist reformer; for the workers at his cotton mill at New Lanark in Scotland, he founds a cooperative shop that sells good quality goods and food to his workers at low cost, starts a school for the children, becomes a pioneer in British infant child care, vocal advocate for the 1819 Cotton Mills and Factories Act, and institutes an 8-hour workday; then gives most of his fortune to a utopia scheme in America

New Lanark mill – portrait of Robert Owen (c. 1825), by Henry William Pickersgill 

1787 – Delegates gather in Philadelphia PA to draw up the U.S. Constitution

1796 – Dr. Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox inoculation, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England

1800 – The process of moving the United States capital city from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. begins

1804 – Lewis & Clark Day * celebrates the day that Meriwether Lewis & William Clark’s expedition, commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, sets out from St Louis Missouri

1832 – The premiere of Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides (also called Fingal’s Cave

1842 – The Illustrated London News begins publication; the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper

1852 – Gail Borden patents his process for condensed milk

1861 – The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite (around 285 pounds), strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain

1862 – Adolphe Nicole of Switzerland patents chronograph, a very accurate time recorder

1878 – Mary Wilhelmine Williams born, American historian, educator, feminist and pacifist, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom member, and founder of the California chapter of the National Women’s Party. She specialized in Latin America, and was honored for her work in promoting understanding between countries

Mary Wilhelmine Williams – left, circa 1898 – right, 1940

1884 – The national Anti-Monopoly Party is founded at a convention in Chicago IL, as several state-level parties join together; their platform called for direct election of senators, a graduated income tax, industrial arbitration, establishment of labor bureaus to protect the legal rights of organized labor, and strong antitrust legislation; they opposed tariffs and the granting of public land to railroads and other corporations

1889 – The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children becomes the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

1897 – “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day * commemorates the first public performance of John Philip Sousa’s stirring march. It is so popular that Congress has declared it the National March of the United States

1899 – Charlotte Auerbach born, German-Jewish zoologist and geneticist, pioneer in the science of mutagenesis, a process that changes the genetic information of an organism, causing a mutation, which can occur naturally, or due to exposure to a mutagen, such as radiation or harmful chemicals; co-discoverer with A.J. Clark and J.M. Robson that mustard gas could cause mutations in fruit flies. She wrote 91 scientific papers. Auerbach was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1949) and of the Royal Society of London (1957). In 1976, she was awarded the Royal Society’s Darwin Medal

1900 – Cai Chang born, Chinese politician and women’s rights activist; she was the first chair of the All-China Women’s Federation, a women’s rights group founded in 1949. She began to work for the Central Women’s Department in the Nationalist Party in 1925, and in 1927 joined the Central Women’s Committee, and contributed to the Marriage Decree of 1930, which declared that “free choice must be the basic principle of every marriage. She also helped write the Provisional Constitution of 1931. From 1934–1935, she joined her husband Li Fuchun on the Long March

1902 – Helen Flanders Dunbar born, American doctor and pioneering psychobiologist, important early figure in U.S. psychosomatic medicine; advocate of cooperation between physicians and clergy in treating the sick

1904 – The first Olympic Games to be held in the United States open in St. Louis MO

1907 – Sweden adopts universal suffrage for elections to its lower house and proportional representation for both houses

1908 – Charley Furnas, a 28-year-old mechanic who sometimes did odd jobs for the Wright Brothers, becomes the first airplane passenger, in the Wright two-seater Flyer, during its test flight at Kitty Hawk North Carolina

1908 – Betty Jeffrey born, Australian nurse and author; During WWII, she was serving in the Australian Army Nursing Service when she was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942, and became a prisoner of war for 3½ years. She neverfully recovered her health after the ordeal. Jeffrey wrote about her experiences in White Coolies, and was a leading figure in establishing the Nurses Memorial Centre in Melbourne, and became the NMC’s first administrator. Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1987

1913 – The Frans Hals museum opens in Haarlem, Netherlands

Frans Hals Museum with ‘The Lute Player’ by Frans Hals – circa 1624

1919 – Solange Chaput-Rolland born, French Canadian journalist, author and politician; member of the National Assembly of Québec (1979-1981) and Canadian Senator (1988-1994); made on Officer of the Order of Canada in 1975; notable works include Chers ennemis (Dear Enemies), Le Mystère Québec (Mysterious Quebec), and Les Élus et les Déçus (The Elected and the Disappointed

1921 – Florence Allen becomes the first woman judge to sentence a man to death, in Ohio: gangster Frank Motto, convicted of murdering two men during a robbery – she went on to be the first woman to serve on a state supreme court, and one of the first two women appointed as U.S. federal judges

1925 – Patrice Munsel born, American coloratura soprano, youngest singer to star at the Metropolitan Opera at age 17

1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel “Mrs. Dalloway” is published

1935 – In Los Angeles CA, the Griffith Park Planetarium opens, the third one in the U.S.

Griffith Park Observatory – 1936

1935 – The Plebiscite in Philippines ratifies independence agreement

1938 – The premiere of The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland

1939 – Lina Medina de Jurado of Peru becomes the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, giving birth by caesarean section at age five years, seven months and 21 days, to a son. She never reveals the circumstances of her impregnation or the identity of the father of her child

Lina Medina de Jurado with her son

1940 – Chay Blyth born, Scottish sailor and rower; with John Ridgway, rowed across the North Atlantic in the 20 foot open dory English Rose III; first person to sail single-handedly non-stop westwards (the hard way) around the world aboard British Steel; founder of Challenge Business, which operates the Global Challenge Round the World yacht races

1942 – Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait is first performed, by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

1942 – U.S. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) forms

1943 – Tania León born, Cuban-born American composer, conductor and educator, she is the recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts among  several others

1945 – Physician Joseph G. Hamilton injects Albert Stevens (patient CAL-1), who had been misdiagnosed as having stomach cancer, with 131 kBq (3.55 µCi) of plutonium without his knowledge. Stevens lives another 20 years, surviving  to age 79 after receiving the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human; Hamilton himself dies of leukemia at age 49

1946 – Sarah Hogg born, Baroness Hogg, English economist, journalist and life peer since 1995, sitting as a crossbencher in the House of Lords; first woman to chair a FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) 100 company, the 3i Group, since 2002; Chair of the Financial Reporting Council since 2010

1948 – Israel declares its independence from British administration

1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman signs a bill establishing Cape Canaveral as a rocket test range

1951 – South Africa’s Parliament, dominated by the Afrikaner nationalists, votes for the the ‘Separate Representation Bill’ to remove all Coloured people from the voting rolls. The Minister of the Interior, Dr Theophilus Donges, said it was necessary to avoid the collapse of White civilisation in the whole of Africa. In response, the Franchise Action Council in Cape Town was formed, and over 15,000 Coloured people marched through the streets of Cape Town following a mammoth meeting on the Grand Parade. The Coloured People also challenged the Bill in the Supreme Court until it was declared invalid by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court

1952 – Orna Grumberg born, Israeli computer scientist and academic; Leumi Chair of Science at the Technion; developer of model checking, a method for formally verifying hardware and software designs; named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2015

1955 – The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania

1955 – Marie Chouinard born, Canadian dancer, choreographer and founder-director of the Compagnie Marie Chouinard since 1990

Compagnie Marie Chouinard: Dancer Megan Walbaum in Soft virtuosity, still humid, on the edge

1956 – Hazel Blears born, British Labour politician, Member of Parliament (1997-2015); Minister of State for Policing (2003-2006), Labour Party Chair (2006-2007); Minister without Portfolio (2006-2007); Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2007-2009)

1958 – Christine Brennan born, sports reporter and columnist, advocate for women in sports journalism; first woman sports reporter for the Miami Herald (1981), first woman on the Washington Redskins beat for the Washington Post (1985); first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (1988) and developer of AWSM’s scholarship-inter program for female journalism students; currently sports columnist for USA Today;author of The Miracle of Miami, and the best-seller Inside Edge; public speaker on topics such as the importance of Title IX and the scourge of performance-enhancing drugs; her columns in USA Today sparked a national debate on the men-only membership of Augusta National Golf Club

1961 – The bus which carries the first Freedom Riders is bombed and burned in Alabama

1966 – Natalie M. Batalha born, astrophysicist, stellar spectroscopist, professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, and closely associated with the team at NASA’s Ames Research Center which identified viable planets from the data of the Kepler telescope mission. She led the analysis that yielded the discovery in 2011 of Kepler 10b, the first confirmed rocky planet outside our solar system. In 2017, she was awarded Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in Physical Sciences, and in 2019, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Natalie Batalha

1969 – Contraception and abortion are legalized in Canada

1970 – Harry A. Blackmun is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

1972 – Amma Asentewaa Asante born in Ghana, Dutch Labour politician; she and her mother moved to the Netherlands in 1978, following her father who became a Dutch citizen in 1975. Asante is Labour Party spokesperson for higher education; Member of the House of Representatives (2016-2017); Member of the Municipal Council of  Amsterdam (1998-2006)

1973 – Skylab 1, the first manned U.S. space station, is launched

1974 – Underground America Day * is founded by Malcolm Wells to advocate for earth-sheltered architecture. There are about 6,000 people in North America who are living in some form of underground dwelling

1980 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services begins operation

1981 – The UN General Assembly publishes a list of sixty-five multi-national companies deemed to be in ‘criminal collaboration’ with South Africa, and a blacklist of some 270 sportsmen and women who have furthered sports contacts with South Africa

1986 – Netherlands Institute for War Documentation publishes Anne Frank’s complete diary

Anne Frank in 1940, two years before her family went into hiding

1998 – The final episode of Seinfeld airs

2001 – The Supreme Court rules there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana to ease their pain from cancer, AIDS or other illnesses

2008 – The U.S. Department of the Interior declares the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice

photo – Eric-leFranc/solent

2011 – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and potential candidate for president of France, is charged with sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid; he resigns from the IMF; charges against him are dropped

2012 – Stanford University scientists develop prototype bionic eye

2013 – Brazil becomes the 15th country to legalize same-sex marriage

2017 – Emmanuel Macron begins his term of office as France’s new president after his decisive victory over right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen. At age 39, he is the youngest leader of France since Napoleon Bonaparte. Previously, Macron was France’s Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs (2014-2016)

2019 – Women’s rights advocates and progressive groups joined forces in a plea to U.S. media organizations covering the 2020 presidential primaries to practice unbiased reporting of every presidential hopeful, and provide fair, accurate, and equal attention to every candidate to end sexist or racist bias in reporting. Their letter was sent to executives at MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, Univision, Telemundo and PBS. The letter was written by the women’s group UltraViolet Action after CNN’s April 22 town hall, question-and-answer sessions by an all-male panel of  moderators, with five of the 2020 Democratic contenders: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. At the town hall, only the women presidential candidates were asked questions about sexism, including questions about gender pay gap, messages to young women voters, and what could be done to “level the playing field and empower working women.”

2020 – A video went viral showing New York City police officers tackling an African American woman and handcuffing her in front of her young child in a Brooklyn subway station, after she allegedly failed to wear a mask properly, and also charged her with resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office reported that of 40 people arrested  by NYPD for social distancing and mask violations, 35 were Black, four were Hispanic or Latino, and just one was white.



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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