ON THIS DAY: June 20, 2020

June 20th is

American Eagle Day *

World Refugee Day 2017

Kouign Amann Day *

Nystagmus Awareness Day *

Vanilla Milkshake Day

UN World Refugee Day *


MORE! Helena Rasiowa, Muhammad Ali and Virginia Raggi, click



Summer Solstice in Northern Hemisphere (Celtic: Alban Heruin – Pagan: Litha)
Winter Solstice in Southern Hemisphere
(Celtic: Alban Arthuan – Pagan: Yule)

Argentina – Día de la Bandera Nacional
(Day of the National Flag)

Azerbaijan – Day of the Gas Sector

Eritrea – Martyr’s Day


On This Day in HISTORY

451 – Western Roman Empire general Flavius Aetius battles Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons, but with inconclusive results; Attila retreats, and the Romans declare victory

1005 – Ali az-Zahir born, Seventh Caliph of the Fatamids (1021-1036), was 16 when he came to the throne, after his father Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, disappeared. The search for Al-Hakim found only his donkey and some bloodstained garments. Ali az-Zahir’s aunt, Sitt al-Mulk, became regent from 1021-1023, when she died. The Fatamid state slipped into crisis, overwhelmed by political infighting, and famine and plague in Egypt.Ali az-Zahir himself died of plague in 1036

1180 – Japan, Genpei War, First Battle of Uji: The beginning of the Genpei War, fought by the Minamoto and Taira clans after a coup d’état by the Taira clan in 1179. Though the Taira clan won this battle, capturing and killing Prince Mochihito, the Minamoto’s claimant to the Imperial Throne, the war would be ultimately be won in 1185 by the Minamoto clan

1248 – The University of Oxford is granted a royal charter by King Henry III, but Oxford had been a center of learning as early as 1096

1631 – The village of Baltimore in West Cork, Ireland, was attacked by Ottoman Algeria and Republic of Salé slavers from North Africa’s Barbary Coast. 107 villagers were captured, put in irons and taken to North Africa to be sold as slaves. The remaining villagers move to Skibbereen, and Balitmore was abandoned for generations

1615 – Salvator Rosa born, Italian Baroque painter and etcher

The Finding of Moses – Salvator Rosa

1723 – Adam Ferguson born, Scottish historian and philosopher; noted figure of the Scottish Enlightenment; called “father of modern sociology” for his influence on the field; author of Essay on the History of Civil Society

1756 – Troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, hold British prisoners of war, both soldiers and employees of the British East India Company, in the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta, a dungeon in Fort William. The conditions were so cramped that over 140 of the 164 prisoners died of suffocation and heat exhaustion

1786 – Marceline Desbordes-Valmore born, French poet and novelist; an orphan by 16, she became an actress and singer, at the Paris Opéra-Comique and other theatres, but retired from the stage in 1823; in 1819, she became one of the founders of French romantic poetry when she published her first poetic work, Élégies et Romances, followed in 1821 by her narrative Veillées des Antilles, and five more volumes of poetry between 1825 and 1860 (the last one published posthumously).  She is the only woman writer included in the notable Les Poètes maudits anthology published by Paul Verlaine in 1884

1791 – Thomas E. Bowdich born, English science writer, traveler, and peace negotiator; The Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee published in 1819 is the earliest European account of the Asante Empire, now part of Ghana, and his criticism of the African Company led the British government to abolish it; he also published geographic and scientific works, some illustrated by his wife, including An Essay on the Geography of North-Western Africa and An Essay on the Superstitions, Customs and Arts, Common to the Ancient Egyptians, Abyssinians, and Ashantees

1819 – Jacques Offenbach born, notable French composer

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne; her reign for 63 years and 7 months was the longest of any female monarch in history, until Queen Elizabeth II passed her in September 2015

1840 – Samuel Morse granted a patent for “An Improvement in the Mode of Communicating by Signals by the Application of Electromagnetism” – the telegraph

1861 – Frederick Gowland Hopkins born, English biochemist; 1929 co-Nobel Laureate in Medicine with Christiaan Eijkman for their work on the causes of the disease beriberi

1868 – Helen Miller Gould Shepard born, American heiress and philanthropist; during the Spanish-American War, she gave $50,000 toward military hospital supplies, and was active in the Women’s National War Relief Association, working in a hospital for wounded soldiers. She donated the library building at New York University and gave $10,000 for the NYU engineering school. She also gave contributions to Rutgers College, the YMCA and the YWCA, and served on the national board of the YWCA

1884 – Mary R. Calvert born, American astronomical computer and astrophotographer; began working at the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin for her uncle, astronomer Edward E.Barnard, as an assistant and human computer in 1905; when Barnard died in 1923, she became curator of the Yerkes photographic plate collection and a high-level assistant, until her retirement in 1946; co-author, with Frank Elmore Ross, of Atlas of the Northern Milky Way, published in 1934

Mary Calvert’s passport picture, 1927

1891 – Giannina Arangi-Lombardi born, prominent Italian spinto soprano; she sang at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1924-1930), and toured internationally; best known for her performances in operas by Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini

1893 – In New Bedford, MA, a jury finds Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother

1895 – Carolyn Willard Baldwin receives the first ever PhD in Science awarded to a woman by an American university, from Cornell University, graduating third in her class; Baldwin had previously been the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Mechanics at the University of California

1897 – Elisabeth Hauptmann born, German author and playwright; best known for her collaboration with Bertolt Brecht on the The Threepenny Opera. With the rise of the Nazis, she went into exile in the U.S. (1934-1949), then worked as a dramaturg for the Berlin Ensemble after her return to Germany

1905 – Lillian Hellman born, American playwright and screenwriter; Toys in the Attic, The Children’s Hour and The Little Foxes; she was blacklisted by Hollywood after she refused to answer when questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee

1910 – Chester Arthur Burnett born, “Howlin’ Wolf” American blues singer and composer

1910 – Josephine Johnson born, American author and poet, won the 1935 Pulitzer Prize for her novel Now in November

1911 – Gail Patrick born, American actor and executive producer, noted for producing the Perry Mason television series

1914 – Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky born, Israeli poet; awarded the Brenner Prize, the Bialik Prize for Literature, and the Wertheim Prize

1914 – Muazzez İlmiye Çığ born, Turkish archaeologist, Assyriologist and author, specialist in the Sumerian civilization, notable for her painstaking research and success in deciphering cuneiform tablets; advocate for secularism and women’s rights in Turkey; her 2005 book, Bereket Kültü ve Mabet Fahişeliği (Cult of Fertility and Holy Prostitution), caused a storm of controversy because her research into the history of the khimar, the headscarf worn by Islamic women, revealed it did not originate in the Muslim world, but was worn 5,000 years ago by Sumerian priestesses who initiated young men into sex. She and her publisher were charged with “inciting hatred based on religious differences.” She testified at the first hearing in 2006: “I am a woman of science . . . I never insulted anyone.” The charges were dismissed, and she and her publisher were acquitted, in less than half an hour

1917 – Helena Rasiowa born, Polish mathematician, her work on algebraic logic continues to be highly influential; during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, her family’s home and all its contents, including all her notes and the only copy of her Master’s thesis were burned; she rewrote the thesis, and got her Masters in 1945, then her Doctorate in 1950

1921 – Alice Robertson ((Republican-Oklahoma) becomes the first woman to chair the U.S. House of Representatives

1928 – Asrat Woldeyes born, Ethiopean surgeon, professor of medicine at Addis Ababa University, and Haile Selassie’s personal physician. He became the founder and leader of the All-Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO) in 1991. In 1994, he was sentenced to two years in prison for “planning violence against the state.” Amnesty International named him a prisoner of conscience. Woldeyes was convicted of additional charges and sentenced to three more years, then his new trial was repeatedly adjourned, keeping him in prison indefinitely. In 1998, he was suffering from heart problems, but the government denied him permission to travel to receive treatment until the end of the year. Although his initial treatment in the U.S. was successful, he died five months later at the age of 70, in 1999

1929 – Edith Windsor born, American LGBT rights activist and IBM technology manager, who was honored by the National Computing Conference in 1987 as a pioneer in operating systems. She and her partner were legally married in Toronto Canada in 2007, after being registered domestic partners in New York since 1993; when her wife died in 2009, Windsor was the executor and sole beneficiary. As a spouse, she should have qualified for a spousal deduction, and paid no federal estate taxes. Windsor was forced to pay $363,053.00 to the IRS because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) specified in Section 3 that the term “spouse” only applied to marriages between a man and a woman. She filed a lawsuit against the federal government, United States v. Windsor; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as violating due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment, considered a landmark legal victory for the U.S. same-sex marriage movement

1930 – Magdalena Abakanowicz born, Polish sculptor, fiber artist and educator

Crowd, Magdalena Abakanowicz

1933 – Claire Tomalin born, English author and biographer of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys, Jane Austen, Katherine Mansfield, the actress Mrs. Jordan, and Mary Wollstonecraft; Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self and The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft both won the Whitbread Book Award

1938 – Joan Kirner born, Australian Labor politician; Premier of Victoria (1990-1992); Deputy Premier of Victoria (1989-1990); member of the Parliament of Victoria (1988-1994)

1942 – Brian Wilson born, guitarist-singer-songwriter of The Beach Boys

1943 – To mitigate the acute housing shortage caused by large number of black workers drawn to Detroit, Michigan by the promise of good-paying jobs in defense plants, public housing construction projects expand into predominately white neighborhoods. Racial tension sparks into a riot after a fist fight breaks out at the Belle Isle Amusement Park between a white man and an African-American. For 24 hours, stores are looted, and buildings burned, mostly in black neighborhoods. The Detroit police do little to stem the violence, often siding with the white rioters. Detroit Mayor Edward Jeffries asks President Franklin Roosevelt for help, and FDR sends 6,000 federal troops into the city. The death toll stands at 25 blacks and 9 whites – 17 of the black people are killed by the police, who said they were looters. Detroit property damage estimates run to $2 million


1951 – Sheila McLean born, distinguished Scottish legal scholar and author; the first appointee as an International Bar Association Professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine, and director of the Institute of Law and Medical Ethics at the University of Glasgow; book review editor for Medical Law International, a quarterly law review; UK Adviser to the European branch of the World Health Organization on revision of its ‘Health for All’ policy; member of the UNESCO Biomedical Ethics Committee

1955 – Dumisani Mabaso born, South African painter, printmaker and musician. He was a founder of the Sguzu Printmaker’s Workshop in Johannesburg

Figures around a car, by Dumisani Mabaso

1960 – The Everly Brothers single “Cathy’s Clown” is #1 on the charts

1963 – Because of long delays in communication during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. and the USSR sign an agreement to set up a “hot line” link between the two superpowers; quick communication between the two nation’s leaders via telephone, available 24/7. President Lyndon Johnson is the first president to use the “hot line” in 1967, during the Middle East’s Six-Day War, when he notifies Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin that he is considering sending U.S. Air Force planes into the Mediterranean

1966 – The Beatles album Yesterday and Today is released

1967 – Boxing champion Muhammad Ali is convicted of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted; the conviction is later overturned by the Supreme Court

1970 – The Carpenters release “Close To You”

1974 – Chinatown premieres, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway

1975 – Director Stephen Spielberg’s movie Jaws debuts in wide release at 500 movie houses across the U.S., preceded by a $700,000 TV marketing campaign. When the film grosses $7 million its opening weekend, it becomes the Hollywood movie industry’s first “summer blockbuster” – changing when and how Hollywood releases movies; it also makes Richard Dreyfuss a star, and establishes Stephen Spielberg as a major director


1978 – Foreigner releases their album Double Vision

1988 – New York State Club Association Inc. v. City of New York: The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a New York law making it illegal for private clubs with more than 400 members to discriminate against women and minorities. Lynn Hecht Schafran, a lawyer for the National Organization for Women, calls it the “latest in a line of cases recognizing the harm done to a large number of women and minorities when they are excluded from organizations and clubs which are central to the business, civic, professional, and public life of the country.”

1994 – O.J. Simpson pleads innocent in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman

1997 – The tobacco industry agrees to a massive settlement in exchange for relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills: a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement

1999 – The last of 40,000 Yugoslav troops leave Kosovo; NATO declares a formal end to its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia

2002 – UN General Assembly resolution designates June 20, the anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, as World Refugee Day *

2002 – In Atkins v. Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 that executing people with mental disabilities for capital murder violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, setting a standard of determination based on three criteria: low IQ scores (70 or lower), lack of fundamental social and practical skills, and the presence of both conditions before age 18. In 2014, the Court holds 5-4 that using only a defendant’s IQ test score to determine their intellectual disability is unconstitutional when they face the death penalty – the defendant had scored 71 on his IQ test; the Court rules that if a score falls between 70-75, defense council must be allowed to offer additional clinical evidence of intellectual disability

2009 – The Dave Matthews Band album Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King is #1

2010 – Despicable Me premieres at the Moscow Film Festival

2015 – The first Kouign Amann Day * –  Kouign amann is a small round crusty cake, made with a yeast-raised dough containing layers of butter and sugar, traditional in Brittany, originating in 1860 during a flour shortage when butter was still abundant

2015 – The U.S. Senate passes a resolution marking June 20 as American Eagle Day, sponsored by the American Eagle Foundation

2016 – Virginia Raggi is elected as Rome’s first woman Mayor (and youngest at age 37);  Rome City Council member (2013-2016)

2017 – Nystagmus Awareness Day * – sponsored by the Nystagmus Network. Nystagmus causes involuntary movement of the eyes, symptomatic of problems with the visual pathway. It is often a genetic condition, and may be related to albinism, but can also be caused by cataracts or glaucoma

2019 – The Conservative Party in Britain was plunged into scandal when Mark Field, the Foreign Office Minister, was caught on camera grabbing and manhandling a woman, one of the Greenpeace protesters who disrupted Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech at Mansion House. The activists were trying to call attention to the planet’s growing climate crisis. Field shoved the woman against a pillar, gripped her by the back of her neck, and marched her away. Greenpeace UK said: “We were shocked at the footage of an elected MP and government minister assaulting one of our peaceful protesters at the Mansion House tonight.” City of London Police said they were looking into the incident. Field has been suspended as minister. Ironically, Field had delivered a speech in May at a Westminster Hall debate in which he decried violence against and intimidation of female activists across the world


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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