ON THIS DAY: June 4, 2020

June 4th is

National Cognac Day

National Cheese Day

National SAFE Day *

National Old Maid’s Day *

International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression *

International Tiananmen Square Protests Memorial Day


MORE! Virginia Ragsdale, George Eastman and Monica Dacon, click



Estonia – Flag Day

Ghana – Revolution Day

Hungary – Day of National Unity
(Treaty of Trianon, 1920)

Iran – Imam Khomeini

Memorial Day

Tonga – Emancipation Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1394 – Philippa of England born; she marries Eric of Pomerania, heir to the throne Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and becomes Queen from 1406 until her death in 1430. Noted for her significant participation in state affairs, and her role as soror ab extra (lay sister) of Vadstena Abbey in Sweden. She donated a holy relic, established a choir, and successfully petitioned Pope Martin V for an exception to be made for the abbey after he banned double monasteries (separate communities of monks and nuns living in the same monastic complex) in 1422. She was a trusted advisor to her husband, who altered the terms of her dowry to give her a single immense dower land in Central Sweden. As Eric’s proxy, she was frequently given power to handle Swedish affairs in his name. When King Eric went on pilgrimage (1423-1425), she served as regent of the three kingdoms, and solved a dispute with the Hanseatic League by establishing a new convention for the validity of the coinage system.  She organized the defense of the Danish capital during the 1428 Bombardment of Copenhagen by a fleet of ships sent by an alliance of Northern German city-states. She died in 1430 at age 35, after giving birth to a stillborn baby while she was already suffering from an unidentified illness

Philippa of England – detail of statue by Herman Wilhelm Bissen (1798-1868)

1411 – French King Charles VI grants a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, as they had been doing for centuries

1561 – The steeple of St Paul’s, the medieval cathedral of London, is destroyed in a fire caused by lightning, which burned so hot, it melted the bells and the lead covering the wooden spire poured down on the roof. The steeple is never rebuilt

1615 – In Japan, the Siege of Osaka ends when forces under the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu take Osaka Castle

1784 – Eight months after the first manned balloon flight, Élisabeth Thible becomes the first woman to fly in an untethered hot air balloon. Her flight with M. Fleurant covers four kilometers in 45 minutes, and reaches an estimated altitude of 1,500 meters. She dressed as the goddess Minerva, and fed the firebox to keep them aloft

1792 – Captain George Vancouver claims Puget Sound for the Kingdom of Great Britain

1812 – Following Louisiana’s admittance as a U.S. state, the Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory

1825 – General Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolutionary War, speaks at what would become Lafayette Square, in Buffalo NY during his visit to the U.S.

1855 – Major Henry C. Wayne departs New York aboard the USS Supply to procure camels to establish the U.S. Camel Corps

The short-lived U.S. Camel Corps in action

1866 – Miina Sillanpää born, key figure in the Finnish workers’ movement and editor of two different magazines for working women; she was one of nine children in a peasant family, and went to work at age 12 in a cotton factory, then at a nail factory; in 1884, at age 18, she moved to the city of Porvoo and became a maid – 4 years later, she founded the Servant’s Association and became its director in 1898; in 1907 she was one of the first 19 women to be elected to parliament in the world, and served intermittently for 38 years; among her many accomplishments, she was one of the architect’s of Finland’s first Municipal Homemaking Act in 1950, a system of municipal homemakers paid by their municipalities to help rural families with children who were living in poverty; she became the first woman minister in Finland, as the Minister of Social Affairs (1926-1927); in 2016, the Finnish government declared October 1st an official day to raise the Finnish flag in her honor

1867 – Baron Carl Gustaf Emile Mannerhein born, Finnish military leader and statesman; served as leader of the Whites (the Finnish Senate’s troops) in the Finnish Civil War, Regent of Finland (1918-1919); commander-in-chief of Finland’s WWII defence forces, Marshal of Finland, and President of Finland (1944-1946). He got his military training in the Imperial Russian Army, rising of the rank of lieutenant general

1870 – Virginia Ragsdale born, American mathematician; graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1887 as valedictorian. She was one of the founders of Guilford’s Alumi Assocation.  Ragsdale was awarded a scholarship to Bryn Mawr because she had the highest scholastic average of women graduates in her year. She studied physics at Bryn Mawr with Charlotte Agnes Scott, then won a scholarship to study for a year at the University of Göttingen, in Germany. When she returned, she taught school until another scholarship allowed her to complete her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr. Her dissertation, “On the Arrangement of the Real Branches of Plane Algebraic Curves,” was published in 1906 by the American Journal of Mathematics. Ragsdale was hired by the mathematics department (1911-1928) at Woman’s College in Greensboro (now University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and was the department’s head (1926-1928). She retired in 1928 to care for her ailing mother. Ragsdale bequeathed her home to Guilford College, which now serves as the house of the college’s president

1876 – The Transcontinental Express train arrives in San Francisco a record 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City

1878 – The Cyprus Convention, a secret agreement between the Ottoman Empire and the United Kingdom, grants the UK control over Cypress in exchange for British support of the Ottomans during the Congress of Berlin, and British use of the island as a base against possible Russian aggression

1879 – Mabel Lucie Atwell born, successful British illustrator and comics artist, specializing in cute babies and toddlers for everything from cards and calendars to children’s china and nursery equipment; illustrator for children’s classics like Mother Goose, The Water Babies, and Alice in Wonderland, but also contributed to popular periodicals like The Tatler and The Illustrated London News, and advertising artwork

1881 – Natalya Goncharova born, Russian modernist painter-sculptor-stage designer

Linen by Natalya Goncharova (Tate)

1896 – Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile, and gives it a successful test run on the streets of Detroit

1907 – Patience Strong born as Winifred May; English lyricist, poet and author of books on Christianity and psychology; wrote lyrics for over 100 songs, and daily poems for her own column, The Quiet Corner, in The Daily Mirror newspaper, and for the weekly magazine Woman’s Own

1912 – Massachusetts becomes the first state of the United States to enact a minimum wage law, which only applies to women and children under 18 years of age and doesn’t set a standard wage, just a panel to study complaints about low wages; employers who are found to pay wages inadequate to cover the cost of living and maintain a worker’s health, are reprimanded by having their names printed in local newspapers

1913 – Bruno Bettinelli born, Italian composer

1913 – Emily Davison, British suffragette, is trampled by King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby after she rushes out on the course carrying a white, green and purple suffrage flag.  She never regains consciousness, and dies four days later

1917 – The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded, the winners selected by the trustees of Columbia University

1919 – The U.S. Congress finally approves the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification

1920 – Hungary loses 71% of its land and 63% of its population in the post-WWI Treaty of Trianon, breaking up the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

1923 – Elizabeth Jolley born in England, Australian novelist, non-fiction writer and pioneering Australian creative writing teacher; The Well won the 1986 Miles Franklin Literary Award for presentation of Australian life; The George’s Wife won the 1994 National Book Council Awardhonored in 1997 as an Australian Living Treasure

1926 – Judith Malina born in Germany, American co-founder of The Living Theatre, a radical political theatre troupe prominent in New York and Paris in the 1950s and 60s; honored in 2008 with an Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Off-Off-Broadway

1928 – Ruth Westheimer born in Germany, Jewish immigrant to the U.S., famous as ‘Dr, Ruth,’ sex therapist, media personality and author of over 35 books on sexuality

1929 – George Eastman demonstrates the first Technicolor movie in Rochester NY

1934 – Dame Monica Dacon born, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines educator and politician; acting Governor-General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2002); Deputy Governor General (2001); teacher at her alma mater, The Girl’s School, for fifteen years, then lecturer at St. Vincent Teachers’ Training College

1934 – Dame Daphne Sheldrick born in Kenya of British parents; Kenyan author, conservationist and expert in reintegrating orphaned animals, especially elephants, into the wild, the first person to perfect a substitute milk formula for elephants and rhinos; co-warden with her husband David of Tsavo National Park (1955-1976). When her husband died in 1978, she founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, which operates the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programme in the world, and runs mobile veterinary units, anti-poaching teams, and other projects to safeguard habitats and educate the public

1936 – Grocery chain owner Sylvan Goldman introduces the shopping cart. Inspired by a wooden folding chair, he worked with mechanic Fred Young to construct a cart, basically a chair on wheels, with removable wire baskets. Arthur Kosted, another mechanic, developed a method to mass-produce them. At first, customers were reluctant to try them, so Goldman hired several women and men as pretend shoppers to show how useful the contraptions were, and greeters to explain them

1939 – The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, in the U.S., after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps

1942 – WWII, Battle of Midway: a Japanese attack is ordered by Admiral Nagumo on U.S. forces at Midway Island

1944 – WWII, Italy: Rome falls to the Allies as the U.S. Fifth Army begins its liberation

1948 – The first Old Maid’s Day * is held by Marion Richards of Jeffersonville PA to honor contributions Old Maids make to their communities and their families. During the last 70 years, women have fought hard to gain greater independence, so maybe this should be a day to find a new name and deck of cards for the Old Maid game

1951 – Wendy Pini born, co-creator of the Elfquest series of comics and graphic novels

1953 – Linda Lingle born, American Republican politician, first woman and first Jewish governor of Hawaii (2002-2010)

1954 – France grants Vietnam self-governance within the French Union

1956 – Joyce Sidman born, American poet and children’s author; Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night was a 2011 Newbery Honor Book

1961 – At the Summit in Vienna, Austria, U.S. President Kennedy meets Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev

1966 – Svetlana Jitomirskaya born, Ukrainian mathematician, noted for her pioneering work on non-perturbative quasiperiodic localization. Earned her undergraduate degree and Ph.D. (1991) from Moscow State University. Since 1990 she has held a research position at the Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory in Moscow. In 1991, she came with her family to Southern California, and started at the University of California, Irvine, as a part-time lecturer (1991-1992), then rose through the ranks to become a visiting assistant professor (1992-1994), and a regular faculty member (since 1994). She took a leave from UCI to spend nine months at Caltech (1996). She was a Sloan Fellow (1996-2000) and a speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2002. In 2005, Jitomirskaya was awarded the Ruth Lyle Satter Prize from the American Mathematical Society, a prize recognizing outstanding contributions to mathematics research by a woman in the previous five years

1973 – Don Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain patent the ATM machine

1975 – California Governor Jerry Brown signs the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act into law, the first law in the U.S. giving farm workers collective bargaining rights

1982 – On August 19, 1982, at an emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the United Nations General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children, victims of Israel’s acts of aggression,” decided to commemorate the fourth of June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression *

1984 – Bruce Springsteen’s album Born in the U.S.A. is released

1985 – In Wallace v. Jaffree, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds by 6-3 a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law providing for a daily minute “meditation or voluntary  prayer” in public schools. Ishmael Jaffree, parent of three students in the Mobile County Public School System, complains his kindergarten-aged son is being made fun of by other students for refusing to say the prayers, and that two of his children are subjected to religious indoctrination, including their teachers leading the students in reciting certain prayers in unison; when his children will not say the prayers, they are ostracized by classmates – the school district did nothing to alleviate the situation, so he filed suit

1986 – Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleads guilty in Washington to spying for Israel

1989 – The People’s Liberation Army ends the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square violently; at least 250 people are killed, but some reports indicate many more casualties

Bodies of Demonstrators, moved from nearby Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989

1991 – Pope John Paul II inflames the abortion debate by comparing abortion to the mass murders by the Nazis in the Holocaust; his comments are angrily denounced by Jewish leaders and feminists

1992 – The U.S. Postal Service announces that more people voted for the “younger Elvis” Presley stamp design

2009 – President Barak Obama addresses the Muslims of the world in a speech in Cairo, saying America has a common cause with Islam

2016 – National SAFE Day * is started by the Brooklyn Mae Mohler Foundation to prevent senseless child shooting deaths by making sure every gun in American households is stored securely

2018 – Masterpiece Cakeshop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not respected baker Jack Phillips’ religious beliefs when it found he violated anti-discrimination laws. Kennedy wrote that the baker, as a business owner, “might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws,” but “the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power” can only be addressed when there is no “religious hostility” from the state. Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg pointed out that “Phillips would not sell to [Charlie] Craig and [David] Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, a cake of the kind he regularly sold to others. When a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding—not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings—and that is the service Craig and Mullins were denied. Colorado, the Court does not gainsay, prohibits precisely the discrimination Craig and Mullins encountered.”

Two Hats Cake from Slattery in Manchester, England

2019 – Bones of a newly-identified species of dinosaur were discovered preserved in opal. The fossils, originally discovered back in the 1980s in an Australian opal field, have just been re-classified as a new species by a study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The opalized fossils belong to four Fostoria dhimbangunmal, named after discoverer Robert Foster. While some smaller fossils were discovered in opal before, these specimens are “the most complete opalized dinosaur skeletons in the world.” The bones were found all together, which indicates that the four individuals may have been part of a herd or a family. The new species “fills in a glaring gap in our understanding of duck-billed dinosaur evolution,” said Terry Gates, a paleontologist not involved with the study.


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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