ON THIS DAY: June 21, 2020

June 21st is

Daylight Appreciation Day *

World Make Music Day *

Atheist Solidarity Day

Day of the Gong *

Go Skateboarding Day

International Yoga Day *

National Seashell Day

Peaches ‘N’ Cream Day

World Humanist Day

UN World Hydrography Day *


MORE! Daisy Turner, Paolo Soleri and Shirin Ebadi, click



 Bolivia – Solsticio de Invierno/Willkakuti
(Winter Solstice/Aymaran New Year)

Canada – Northwest and Yukon Territories: National Aboriginal Day

Egypt,  Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria,
Uganda, UAE – Father’s Day

Greenland – Ullortuneq (National Day)

Togo –Day of the Martyrs


On This Day in HISTORY

533 – Vandalic War: Justinian I, the Eastern Roman Emperor (527-565), orders the launching of a Byzantine expeditionary fleet commanded by Belisarius to attack the Vandals in Africa, by way of Greece and Sicily. This is the beginning of Justinian’s first war of reconquest of the lost Western Roman Empire

Justinian I

906 – Abu Ja’far Ahmad ibn Muhammad born, Amir of Sistan (923-963), the restorer of Saffarid rule over Sistan, and a great patron of scholars and poets. He was murdered by the pretender Abu’l’Abbas and Abu’l-Fath, commander of the army, during a drinking party. The assassins plundered the treasury, but the Amir’s son and heir, Abu Ahmad Khalaf, was not in the capital that night, and less than two months later, he had established himself in Zarang (Saffarid city that was the birthplace of Ya’qūb-i Layth-i Saffārī, the founder of the Saffarid dynasty. Today it is on the Afghan side of the border with Iran)

1307 – Külüg Khan is enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor Wuzong of the Yuan Dynasty (1307-1311)

1730 – Motoori Norinaga born, prominent Japanese scholar of Kokugaku during the Edo period. Kokugaku (“ancient Japanese studies”), a nationalist school of Japanese philology and philosophy which started during the Tokugawa period, refocused Japanese scholarship away from the dominant study of the time of Chinese, Confucian, and Buddhist texts in favor of research into the early Japanese classics

1732 – Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach born, ninth son of J.S. Bach; appointed harpsichordist at Bückeburg, and later Konzertmeister

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, by Georg David Matthieu – 1774

1734 – Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave in New France, is put to death, having been convicted of setting the fire that destroyed much of  Old Montreal. Scholars do not agree about her guilt or innocence, but her testimony gives insight into slavery in Canada then

1788 – New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and it officially goes into effect

1834 – Cyrus Hall McCormick receives a patent for his reaping machine

1846 – Marian Adams-Acton born, Scottish non-fiction writer (mostly about dogs and travel), playwright, and children’s author; often under pen name “Jeanie Hering”

1870 – Clara Immerwahr born, German chemist of Jewish descent; first woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany (magna cum laude); a women’s rights advocate who was frustrated with the limitations marriage to chemist Fritz Haber placed on her; unable to work outside the home, she contributed to her husband’s work without recognition, and translated some of his papers into English; during WWI, she disapproved of Haber’s work on chemical weapons, including the first mass use of poison gas, at the second Battle of Ypres in Belgium, speaking out against the research as a “perversion of the ideals of science.”  In 1915, shortly after he returned from Belgium, she committed suicide, using his military pistol to shoot herself in the chest, and died in her 13 year-old son Hermann’s arms. Haber left the next day to stage the first gas attack against the Russians on the Eastern Front

1881 –Natalia Sergeyevna Goncharova born, influential Russian avant-garde painter, costume designer, illustrator, set designer and writer; founding member of the Jack of Diamonds (1909-1911) Moscow’s first radical independent exhibiting group. With her life partner (and later husband), fellow artist Michail Larionov, she invented Rayonism (1912-1914), a Russian style of abstract art. She was also a member of the German-based art movement Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), whose members included Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, Marianne von Werefkin and Albert Bloch. She designed costumes for the Ballets Russes, and worked in Moscow for the noted designer Nadejda Lamonava, and in Paris for the House of Myrbor. In 2007, her painting Picking Apples set a new record at auction for a work by a woman painter, selling for $9.8 million USD

Gardening, by Natalia Goncharova

1883 – Daisy Turner born, American storyteller, noted for oral recording of her family history traced back to Africa and England

1905 –  Jean-Paul Sartre born, French existentialist philosopher, author, and playwright

1906 – Grete Sultan born, German-American pianist; gave her last recital at Merkin Concert Hall in New York at the age of 90

1912 – Mary McCarthy, American novelist, critic and liberal activist; her most successful novel, The Group, remains on the Best Seller List for two years

1918 – Josephine Webb born, pioneering American woman electrical engineer, holder of two patents for oil circuit breaker contact design, nicknamed “switchgear.” In 1942, she worked for Westinghouse as a Design Engineer on the electrical grids for the Coulee, Hoover and Boulder Dams. In 1946, while working as Director of Development for Alden Products, she designed an 18 inch, full newspaper size fax machine with superior resolution. Co-founded Webb Consulting Company with her husband Herbert, another electrical engineer, specializing in electrical-electronic measurement instrumentation, communications applications and photographic test devices

1919 – Paolo Soleri born in Italy, Italian-American architect; pioneer in “arcology” combining architecture and ecology; he developed his concepts at Cosanti, his gallery/studio, and trained architecture students; created Arcosanti, an experimental town in Arizona, designed to be self-sustaining with a bronze bell casting business, to show how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing destructive impact on the planet

Top: Cosanti and Soleri-designed bronze bells
Below: bronze bell and model of Arcosanti

1921 – Judy Holliday born, American comedian, stage and film actress, and singer; she originated the role of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday on stage, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for playing the character again in the film version. She used the character to her advantage when she was suspected of being “pro-Communist” in 1952, and was subpoenaed by Senator Pat McCarran’s Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Her legal counsel, Simon Rifkind, advised her to “play dumb,”so she played ‘Billie Dawn’ for the committee, avoided naming any names, and was cleared by the anti-Communist investigation. Her career was unaffected, unlike many others in the entertainment industry whose careers were damaged just by being investigated

1925 – Larisa Avdeyeva born, Russian mezzo-soprano; star of the Bolshoi Opera for 30 years, noted for her performances in Rimsky-Korsakov works and the title role in Bizet’s opera Carmen. In 1964, she was honored as a People’s Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

1932 – Lalo Schifrin born, Argentine composer and conductor, noted for film and TV scores, including the theme for Mission: Impossible

1935 – Françoise Sagan born, French novelist, playwright and screenwriter; Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness), Un certain sourire (A Certain Smile), Château en Suède (Château in Sweden) and La Chamade; (That Mad Ache)

1940 – Mariette Hartley born, American actress and founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Notable for her performances in Ride the High Country and The Last Hurrah, and her many guest appearances on numerous television series. Hartley is a three-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress. She also appeared onstage in her one-woman show, If You Get to Bethlehem, You’ve Gone Too Far, and as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter. But many television viewers recognize her from the popular series of TV commercials she made with James Garner for Polaroid cameras, where the rapport between the two made some viewers convinced they were married in real life. Hartley had a t-shirt printed with “I am not Mrs. James Garner,” to which Garner’s wife Lois responded with a t-shirt of her own, “I am Mrs. James Garner.” When their contracts for the commercials came up for renewal, James Garner struck a blow for equal pay for equal work when he discovered he was paid considerably more than Mariette Hartley. He refused to sign his contract until her contract was for the same amount as his. Hartley is a long-time suicide prevention activist, and promotes awareness of bipolar disorder, because of her father’s suicide

James Garner with Mariette Hartley in one of their  TV commercials

1942 – Marjorie Margolies born, American journalist, Democratic politician, academic, and women’s rights activist; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1993-1995); Director/Deputy Chair of the U.S. delegation to the UN’s 4th World Conference on Women (1995); Founder and Chair of Women’s Campaign International (WCI), which provides advocacy training for women throughout the world; adjunct professor at Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania; The Girls in the Newsroom, and co-author of They Came to Stay

1943 – Diane Marleau born, Canadian Liberal politician, Member of the Canadian House of Commons for Sudbury (1988-2008); Minister for International Cooperation (1997-1999); Minister of Public Works (1996-1997); Minister of National Health and Welfare (1993-1996)

1946 – Kate Hoey born, British Labour politician; Member of Parliament for Vauxhall since 1989; Minister for Sport and the Olympics (1999-2001)

1947 –  Shirin Ebadi born, Iranian lawyer, judge,  author, human and women’s rights activist. She was the first woman judge in Iran (1969-1979), but was forced to leave the bench after the Islamic Revolution.  In 2000, Ebadi was jailed for three weeks and suspended from practicing law for five years after being accused of releasing a supposedly slanderous video about members of the government. She was the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugee rights, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to be honored with the peace prize. In 2006, she published her memoir, Iran Awakening: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country, followed by Refugee Rights in Iran in 2008, when she began receiving death threats. After her office was raided and closed down without explanation by Iranian security forces in December 2008, Ebadi went into exile in the UK as the Iranian government continued to increase persecution of any citizens critical of its policies. By the end of 2009, Iran had her bank accounts frozen. In 2011, her book, The Golden Cage: Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny, was published, and in 2016, Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran

1950 – Anne Carson born, Canadian poet, essayist, translator and Classics professor; won the 1996 Lannan Literary Award, 1997 Pushcart Prize, and 2001 T.S. Eliot Prize for The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos

1951 – Lenore Manderson born, Australian medical anthropologist; early research in the field of Tropical Health led to her becoming a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences; her later research concerns social history, public health and anthropology,  studying the effects of inequality, social exclusion and marginality on health and public health policy; professor at Monash University  since 2005

1953 – Benazir Bhutto born, Pakistani stateswoman and politician; Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms (1993-1996 and 1988-1990). After her father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was ousted and executed in military coup, she and her mother Nusrat led the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy campaign. She became the leader of the Paskistan People’s Party (PPP – 1982-2007). Bhutto was repeatedly imprisoned  by the military government, then exiled to Britain in 1984. She returned to Pakistan in 1986, and was victorious in her run for election as Prime Minister, but was dismissed in 1990, amidst charges and counter-charges and a rigged election which ensured victory for the conservative Islamic Democratic Alliance. Bhutto served as Leader of the Opposition (1997-1999) until the new regime was dismissed on corruption charges. She went into self-exile in 1998, then returned to Pakistan in October 2007 (there was a bombing attack on her motorcade which she survived, but which killed 180 people and injured 500) to compete in the January 2008 election. Bhutto was killed in another attack, by gunfire and a suicide bomber, after a political rally in December 2007. The bombing killed another 24 other people in the crowd

1957 – Ellen Fairclough is sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister: Secretary of State (1957-1958); in February 1958, she briefly served as Acting Prime Minister, the first woman to have the responsibility; as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (1958-1962), she introduced new regulations that greatly reduced racial discrimination in immigration policy, and increased the number of immigrants allowed into Canada; she then served as Postmaster General (1962-1963). She was also a Member of Parliament (1950-1963), where she advocated for women’s rights, including equal pay for equal work, but was defeated in her 1963 bid for re-election. Fairclough was active in the Consumers Association of Canada and YWCA. In 1979, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, then was promoted to Companion in 1994. In 1995, her book, Saturday’s Child: Memoirs of Canada’s First Female Cabinet Minister, was published

1960 – Kate Brown born in Spain, where her father was serving in the U.S. Air Force; Democratic politician; Incumbent Governor of Oregon since 2015. Previously Oregon Secretary of State (2009-2015); Oregon state Senator for the 21st district (1997-2009); Oregon state House of Representatives member for the 13th district (1991-1997). Brown has a BA in Environmental Conservation and a certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1981), and a J.D. degree and certificate in Environmental Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College (1985). Noted for her rigorous performance audits to help balance the state’s budget, and signing of a “motor voter” bill to automatically register voters using driver’s license data. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Oregon became the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to use iPad and tablet technology to help voters with disabilities mark their ballots

1964 – Three civil rights workers disappear in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their bodies are found buried in an earthen dam 6 weeks later. Eight Ku Klux Klan members go to prison on federal conspiracy charges; none serves more than six years (see 2005 entry)

1965 – Lana Wachowski born as Lawrence, with sibling Lily (also a trans woman, formerly Andrew), a writing and film directing team, creators of The Matrix films, Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending

1967 – Carrie Preston born, American actress, producer and director; best known for her Emmy-award-winning portrayal of Elsbeth Tasconi on the drama series The Good Wife, and in the spin-off series The Good Fight, and as Arlene Fowler on True Blood. She is the co-owner/producer of the production company Daisy 3 Pictures

1972 – The first Stonehenge Free Festival is held, culminating on the summer solstice

1973 – In Miller v. California, U.S. Supreme Court determines that states may ban materials found to be obscene – lacking “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value” – according to local “community standards” – the decision vacates the jury verdict, and the case remanded back to the California Superior Court. Marvin Miller sent out a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of “adult” material, and convicted of violating a California statute prohibiting the distribution of obscene material. Some unwilling recipients of Miller’s brochures complained to the police, initiating the legal proceedings

1973 – Zuzana Čaputová born, Slovak politician, lawyer, and activist; President of Slovakia as of June 15, 2019. Čaputová is the first woman, and at age 45 the youngest, President of Slovakia. She worked in the city government of Perzinok, her hometown, and became well-known as the leader of a successful decade-long legal battle and community campaign against authorization of a toxic landfill in Perzinok, for which she was awarded the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize

1978 – The musical Evita premieres in London

1985 – Scientists testing skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil announce they are the remains of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele

1986 – Genesis album Invisible Touch is No.1  on the UK charts

1989 – The Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment

1993 – English mathematician Andrew Wiles proves last theorem of Fermat

2001 – Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is the first Hispanic woman to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp

2003 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth Harry Potter book by J. K. Rowling, is published worldwide in English

2004 – SpaceShipOne is the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight

2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, is found guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, 41 years to the day earlier (see 1964 entry)

2006 – The first World Hydrography Day * after the UN adopted a resolution from the International Hydrographic Organization making June 21 a day to promote safe navigation, especially in the areas of international navigation, ports and where there are vulnerable or protected marine areas

2006 – Pluto’s newly discovered moons are officially named Nix & Hydra

2007 – The first World Make Music Day * is inspired by the Fête de la Musique celebration in Paris; now celebrated by a growing number of events in over 750 cities in 120 countries

2009 –Day of the Gong * is launched by GongtoGo.org

2014 – The United Nations recognizes International Day of Yoga *

2015 – Daylight Appreciation Day * highlights natural light’s importance to our well-being

2016 – National Seashell Day * – sponsored by The Beaches of Ft. Myers & Sanibel to celebrate these jewels of the beach season

2019 – The International Labour Organization adopted a new convention and recommendation to combat violence and harassment at work. The Violence and Harassment Convention and Violence and Harassment Recommendation recognizes that violence and harassment at work is a human rights violation and threatens equal opportunities. The Convention recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse…is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.” It defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” It reminds member States that they have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance.” The new international labour standard aims to protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status, and includes persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants. It recognizes that “individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer” can also be subjected to violence and harassment.

2019 –  In a cover story in New York magazine, writer E. Jean Carroll relates an incident in which she encountered Donald Trump in the Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman some time in late 1995 or early 1996. She was 52 years old and had recently started an advice column for Elle magazine called “Ask E Jean,” and he would have been 49 or 50, and married to Marla Marples. Carroll alleges that Trump assaulted her in a dressing room in the store after he had asked her for advice on a present to buy a female friend. He selected a “lacy see-through bodysuit of lilac gray” and asked her to model it for him; she quipped back that he should try it on. When they reached the dressing room, Carroll alleges that Trump lunged at her and over the next three minutes sexually assaulted her. She managed to force him off her, Carroll alleges, open the door of the dressing room and flee. Trump’s response was that he “never met this person in my life.” A photograph was found of an event where they are standing near each other in a group. She filed a defamation suit against him, Trump denied her accusations, and she says, “ridiculed my reputation, laughed at my looks, & dragged me through the mud.” In February, 2020, Carroll was fired from the position she had held at Elle magazine for 36 years. Carroll says it was because of Trump smearing her professional reputation



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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