ON THIS DAY: July 11, 2020

July 11th is

World Population Day *

Blueberry Muffin Day

Bowdler’s Day *

Cheer up the Lonely Day

National Mojito Day

Rainier Cherries Day

All American Pet Photo Day


MORE! Gwendolyn Lizarraga, Harold Bloom and Jhumpa Lahiri, click



Belgium – Flemish Community Day

China – National Maritime Day

Mongolia – National Day

Northern Ireland – Ulster:
Eleventh Night

Poland – Remember Genocide
Victims of Ukrainian Nationalists


On This Day in HISTORY

154 –Bardaisan born, Syrian Gnostic mystic, philosopher, scholar, and astrologer

472 – After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius is captured in St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death by Flavius Ricmer, his Romanized Germanic general

Emperor Anthemius

1174 – Baldwin IV, age 13, becomes King of Jerusalem, with Raymond III, Count of Tripoli as regent and William of Tyre as chancellor. Baldwin contracted leprosy at a young age, but was a successful war leader and ruled until his death in 1185

1274 – Robert the Bruce born, King of Scotland (1306-1329)

1302 –Battle of the Golden Spurs *- a Flemish coalition army of civilian militiamen beats France’s Royal Army

1405 – Chinese fleet commanded by Zheng He sets sail to explore the world

1533 – Pope Clement VII excommunicates England’s King Henry VIII


1690 – Williamite War, Battle of the Boyne: Forces in favor of William of Orange defeat adherents of deposed King James VII (aka James II of Scotland) by the River Boyne in County Meath, Ireland. James flees to France. Celebrated by the Orange Order in Northern Ireland as Eleventh Night

Members of the Orange Order in Belfast

1735 – Mathematical calculations suggest that it is on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979

1754 – Bowdler’s Day * – Thomas Bowdler born, infamous re-writer of Shakespeare, who changed the endings of tragedies to ‘happy’ ones, and took out words he found offensive; “bowdlerize” means to censor or alter text to change meaning or weaken its effectiveness – some Shakespeare lovers ‘celebrate’ by throwing darts at Bowdler effigies

1801 – French Astronomer Jean-Louis Pons discovers the first of his 36 comets

1804 – Alexander Hamilton is fatally wounded by Aaron Burr in a duel

1835 – Antônio Carlos Gomes born, Brazilian composer, the first New World composer to be acclaimed in Europe, noted for operas

1848 – Waterloo Station opens, now Britain’s busiest railway station

1850 – Annie Armstrong born, American lay Southern Baptist leader; co-founder and first correspondent secretary (de facto leader – 1888-1906) of the Women’s Missionary Union, which was forged in spite of fierce opposition by male Southern Baptist leaders; she worked tirelessly as an advocate for missionaries, especially those in the U.S. and Canada, telling their stories and raising funds to support their missions

1851 – Millie and Christine McCoy born, American conjoined twins, born into slavery in North Carolina; after the Civil War, the twins received an education, learning five languages, dancing and music; they had a successful career as “The Two-Headed Nightingale” with the Barnum Circus until their deaths

1871 – Edith Rickert born, American author and influential medieval scholar at the University of Chicago; notable for works about Chaucer. She worked as a Cryptographer for the U.S. government in Washington DC during World War I. 

1881 – Isabel Martin Lewis born, American astronomer; first woman hired by the U.S. Naval Observatory as an assistant astronomer; elected in 1918 as a member of the American Astronomical Society; after the birth of her son, she worked part-time at the observatory, but wrote three books and countless articles to popularize astronomy and earth science, including a monthly column for thirty years in the American Nature Association’s Nature Magazine (not the same as the journal Nature). She returned to full-time work when her husband died in 1927, and promoted to Assistant Scientist, then in 1930 to the rank of Astronomer; specialized in eclipses, contributing a faster and more accurate method of determining where an eclipse would be visible, and the moon’s occultations. She went on solar eclipse expeditions to Russia in 1936 and to Peru in 1937, and retired from the Naval Observatory in 1951, but continued to write articles for newspapers and magazines; she had of one the longest and most successful careers of any woman astronomer in the first half of the 20th century

1882 – The British Fleet begins a bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt, in support of Khedive Tewfik Pasha amid a nationalist uprising led by Egyptian army officer Ahmad Ourabi. A huge fire raged for two days in civilian areas before it burned out, the British remaining aboard their ships until July 14, but smaller fires, and looting made restoring order, while propping up the Khedive’s shaky government, take weeks. About 700 people onshore were killed, many of them civilians. After the revolt was put down, Egypt became a British protectorate until 1922.

1893 – Mikimoto Kokichi produces first ‘mabes’ – cultured pearls

1894 – Erna Mohr born, German zoologist, long associated with the Zoological Museum Hamburg, where she started as a volunteer (1914-1934), then later became department head of the Fish Biology Department (1934-1936), then the Department of Higher Vertebrates (1936-1946), and finally Curator of the Vertebrate Department (1946-1968?); made contributions to ichthyology and mammalogy, producing over 400 publications; first woman to be elected as an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mammalogists

1899 – E.B. White born, American writer, contributor to The New Yorker for over 50 years; author of Charlotte’s Web (Newbery Medal winner) and Stuart Little; co-author of The Elements of Style; in 1978, awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for Letters, for his body of work

1901 – Gwendolyn ‘Madame Liz’ Lizarraga born, Belizean businesswoman, women’s rights activist and politician; founder of the United Women’s Group in 1959, with 900 members initially, to empower women culturally, economically and politically; co-founder of the United Women’s Credit Union. She helped women to become “property owners” (then a requirement for voters) by surveying and mapping parcels in the swamps and registering them with the Lands department. In 1961, women were allowed to run for the first time in the national elections, and Lizarraga won her race with 69% of the vote, becoming the first woman elected to the British Honduras Legislative Assembly (1961-1974 –now Belize House of Representatives), she was the first woman appointed as a government minister, the Minister of Education, Housing and Social Services. In 1969, Lizarraga spearheaded a low-cost housing project, and spoke out against granting casino concessions. She collected folklore and music, helping to revive the Mestizada dances. She was also a chess player, and one of the organizers of the first Belize chess club.

1906 – Grace Mae Brown, a worker in the factory of the Gillette Skirt Company in Cortland NY, becomes pregnant during an affair with the owner’s nephew, Chester Gillette. He takes her to Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks, registers at the hotel under a false name, takes her out on the lake in a rowboat, then strikes her on the head so she falls out of the boat and drowns. His trial and conviction attract national attention, inspiring Theodore Dreiser write An American Tragedy, in which he uses some direct quotes from Grace Brown’s love letters

1914 – Babe Ruth makes his Major League debut

1918 – Venetia Burney born, English girl credited by Clyde Tombaugh with suggesting Pluto as the name for his 1930 discovery when she was 11 years old. The asteroid 6235 Burney and Burney Crater on Pluto were named in her honour. In July 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft was the first to visit Pluto and carried an instrument named Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter in her honour. As an adult, she taught economics and mathematics at girls’ schools in the London area

1918 –  Enrico Caruso records George M. Cohan’s “Over There”

1921 – The Mongolian People’s Republic founded after capture by Red Army

1922 – The Hollywood Bowl opens in Los Angeles; the original structure is a wooden stage with a removable canvas cover

The Hollywood Bowl – 1922 preseason production of Carmen

1928 – Andrea Veneracion born, Filipina choirmaster, founder of the Philippine Madrigal Singers in 1963, which won major awards in international competition; founding choirmaster and first conductor of the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music Chorale; 1999 Philippine National Artist for Music

1930 – Harold Bloom born, influential American literary critic and humanities professor at Yale; author of over 40 books and editor of hundreds of anthologies

1934 – German Engelbert Zaschka flies his human-powered plane, the Zaschka Human-Power Aircraft, about 20 meters at Berlin Tempelhof Airport without an assisted take-off

1938 – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, American historian, author of  A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812 and Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

1941 – The Northern Rhodesian Labour Party holds its first congress in Nkana

1944 – Patricia Polacco born, American author and illustrator of over 60 books, mostly for children; Thank You, Mr. Falker, The Lemonade Club, Mr. Lincoln’s Way and The Mermaid’s Purse

1946 – Dean Martin makes his first recording

1947 – The SS  Exodus 1947 enroute to Palestine from France, carrying mostly holocaust survivors without immigration certifications, is seized by the British Royal Navy, and its passengers deported back to Europe; of the thousands of Jews from ‘displaced persons’ camps in Europe who attempted to reach Palestine, 50,000 ended up in British camps in Cyprus, Mauritius , or a detention camp in Palestine, 16,000 drowned at sea, and a few thousand actually reached Palestine undetected

1950 – Pakistan joins the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank

1954 – Julia King born, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, British engineer, PhD in fracture mechanics; crossbench Life Peer member of the House of Lords since 2015

1960 – Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is published

1967 – Jhumpa Lahiri born in London, daughter of Bengali Indian emigrants, moved to the U.S. when she was two; American author and professor of creative writing at Princeton; her debut short story collection Interpreter of Maladies won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

1969 – David Bowie releases his “Space Oddity” single in the UK

1972 – World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky begins

Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer

1979 – Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps, has a simultaneous film debut in Westwood CA, and an album release

1987 – Earth’s human population reaches 5 billion

1989 – World Population Day * is established by the UN, on the second anniversary of the day Earth’s human population reached 5 billion

1994 – PTV (later PBS Kids) introduces a kids programming block to broadcast educational programming to underprivileged children

2014 – The UN Security Council calls for a special meeting to discuss the current Israel–Palestinian conflict; Israel continues its attacks on Gaza

2015 – Less than a month after a Right-Wing extremist murdered nine people at a Charleston historic black church, the Confederate flag is permanently removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds in a ceremony cheered by hundreds of onlookers

2017 – Ships carrying Chinese troops depart for China’s first overseas naval base, under construction in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. China plans to use the base to resupply ships involved in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions on the coasts of Yemen and Somalia. Due to Djibouti’s strategic location at the northwestern limit of the Indian Ocean, India expressed concern that the base would extend China’s ‘string of pearls’ consisting of military allies and material surrounding India

2017 – A growing number of women in Iran, by not wearing a hijab while driving, have sparked a national debate about whether a car is a private space where they can dress more freely. Obligatory wearing of the hijab has been an integral policy of the Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution but it is one the establishment has had a great deal of difficulty enforcing. Even though the police regularly stop these drivers, fining them or even temporarily seizing their vehicle, such acts of resistance have continued, infuriating hardliners over a long-standing policy they have had a great deal of difficulty enforcing. Iran’s president,  Hassan Rouhani, has argued that people’s private space should be respected and opposes a crackdown on women who don’t wear the hijab. He said explicitly that the police’s job is not to administer Islam. Hossein Ahmadiniaz, a lawyer, said that infringing on people’s private spaces was like infringing their citizen’s rights, arguing that it was up to parliamentarians to define the private space and not the police. “The law says that the space within a car is a private space,” he said. “The government’s citizen’s rights charter [launched by Rouhani] also considers a car to be a private space and it is incumbent upon enforcers to respect that.” He says wearing a so-called “bad hijab“ (not covering the head) is not a crime under Iranian law. But Saeid Montazeralmahdi, a spokesperson for  Iranian police, disagreed. “What is visible to the public eye is not private space and norms and the rules should be respected within cars.” On “White Wednesdays”  women who oppose the law, even if they willingly wear the hajib themselves, wear white hajibs in support of a woman’s right to choose what she wears

2019 – The American Federation of Teachers is suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, charging the Education Department is illegally and unconstitutionally failing to administer a student loan forgiveness program for millions of public service workers. The program, passed by Congress a decade ago, promises to cancel the student loan debts of qualifying government or nonprofit workers who make loan payments for 10 years. More than a million people signed up, but Department of Education figures show just 1% of applications for debt forgiveness have been approved


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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