ON THIS DAY: July 17, 2020

July 17th is

Yellow Pig Day *

World Emoji Day *

National Tattoo Day

Peach Ice Cream Day

. . .

International Firgun Day *

Wrong Way Corrigan Day *

World Day for International Justice *


MORE! Diahann Carroll, Nelson Mandela and Nancy Giles, click


World Festivals and National Holidays

India – Meghalaya: U Tirot Sing Day
(Khasi chief  led guerrilla war on British)

Lesotho – King Letsie III’s Birthday

Slovakia – Independence Day

South Korea – Constitution Day


On This Day in HISTORY

180 – Twelve people in Scillium (near Kasserine in modern-day Tunisia) are executed for being Christians, the earliest known record of Christians in that part of North Africa

1048 – Poppo de’ Curagnoni, a native of Bavaria, is elected as Pope Damasus II, for 23 days, one of the shortest papal reigns. He died of malaria on August 9th in Palestrina, where he had gone seeking relief from Rome’s hotter temperatures

1203 – The Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople by assault, and the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos flees from his capital into exile

1212 – Spanish rulers unite forces to defeat the Moorish Almohad army

1402 – In China, Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumes the throne of the Ming dynasty

1429 – Charles VII crowned King of France in Rheims Cathedral after a successful campaign by Joan d’Arc. She will be captured by Burgundian troops at the siege of Compiègne in May 1430, and burned at the stake in May 1431. Charles VII ruled until his death in 1461, but in his last three years he was slowly consumed by infection, which drove him into madness. He died of dehydration and starvation after an abscess in his mouth became so large he was unable to swallow food or water, believing he was surrounded by traitors. Louis XI, his eldest son and heir, with whom he had a falling out years earlier, refused to come to his death bed, but waited outside Paris for news

Charles VII of France

1585 – Anthony Babington, chief conspirator of the Babington Plot, solicits the Spanish to invade England in aid of the plotters’ plan to assassinate Protestant Queen Elizabeth I and put Catholic Mary on the throne in her place. When Mary, Queen of Scots, replies in a long letter dated July 17 to Babington, advising him on ways to increase the plot’s chances of success, she is unaware that their correspondence is being intercepted by cipher and language expert Thomas Phelippes, employed by Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham

1665 – Portugal secures its independence from Spain with victory at the Battle of Montes Claros, the final battle of the Portuguese Restoration War

1717 – Handel’s Water Music first heard aboard King George I’s barge on Thames River

Water Music, painting by Edouard Hamman

1762 – Catherine the Great becomes ruler of Russia after her husband’s murder

1794 – Sixteen Carmelite nuns, lay sisters and externs become the Martyrs of Compiègne,  executed ten days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror for refusing to obey the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of the Revolutionary government, which mandates the  suppression of monasteries and convents

1821 – Spain cedes Florida to the U.S.

1835 – Sir Erskine Holland born, English legal scholar, noted for his knowledge of international law; Sir Erskine Holland’s Elements of Jurisprudence became a classic in the study of law, undergoing thirteen editions between 1880 and 1924

1867 – The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston, Massachusetts, the first dental school in the U.S. affiliated with a university

1894 – Georges Lemaitre born, Belgian astronomer, cosmologist and priest

1889 – Erle Stanley Gardner born, American mystery novelist and lawyer, creator of Perry Mason

1898 – Berenice Abbott born, American photographer and poet; noted for black-and-white photos in her “Changing New York” project during the 1930s

Grand Central Station – by Berenice Abbott

1899 – James Cagney born, American performer and 1943 Academy Award winner for Best Actor for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy

1902 – In Buffalo NY, Willis Carrier creates the first air conditioner

1902 – Christina Stead born, Australian novelist and short-story writer known for her wit and insightful psychological characterizations; she left Australia in 1928, and worked in Paris for a time at a bank (1930-1935), where she also published her first novel, Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934); she became a Marxist, and spent time in Spain just before the Spanish Civil War broke out; she returned to Australia in 1968; her best-known book is The Man Who Loved Children

1914 – Eleanor Steber born, American soprano, best known for her performances of starring roles in operas by Mozart and Richard Strauss, but memorable as well in operas by Samuel Barber, Wagner and Puccini. She was one of the first opera stars trained in the U.S. and making her debut in her home country, who also achieved international success, notably at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival

1917 – During WWI, King George V proclaims that henceforth, male descendants of the British Royal Family will bear the surname Windsor instead of Saxe-Coberg

1917 – Christiane Rochefort born, French journalist and author, press attaché to the Cannes Film Festival; bestselling novel Le Repos du guerrier (The Warrior’s Rest)

1917 – Phyllis Diller born, American stand-up comedian, author and film and television performer; one of the first women comics to become a U.S. household name, paving the way for the success of other women comedians like Joan Rivers and EllenDeGeneres. Her best-selling books include Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, Phyllis Diller’s Marriage Manual, and The Joys of Aging & How to Avoid Them. In 2006, she published  her autobiography, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse – My Life in Comedy, co-authored with Richard Buskin

1918 – In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks

1921 – Mary Osborne born, American jazz guitarist

1923 – Jeanne H. Block born, American psychologist who researched sex-role socialization; with her husband Jack, she created a person-centered personality framework; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

1924 – Olive Ann Burns born, American author and journalist for the Atlanta Journal;wrote novel Cold Sassy Tree under pen-name Amy Larkin

1929 – The USSR breaks diplomatic relations with China, just before the short-lived but bloody Sino-Soviet conflict of 1929 over the jointly-operated Chinese Eastern Railway

1932 – Karla Kuskin born, prolific American children’s author, poet, illustrator and children’s book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. Kushin sometimes published under the pen name Nicholas J. Charles. She illustrated almost half of the many books she wrote, including Roar and More, The Rose on My Cake, and Soap Soup

1934 – In Brazil, the University of São Paulo is established, by combining existing schools of law, engineering, and agriculture with new departments of philosophy, and sciences and letters. It is now the largest Brazilian public university

1935 – Diahann Carroll born, American stage, film and television actor-singer, starred on Broadway, in early films casting black actors, and in Julia, one of the first television series starring an African American woman; recipient of many awards and honors; co-founder of Celebrity Action Council for the Los Angeles Mission; co-organizer with James Garner of Hollywood’s large-scale turnout for the 1963 March on Washington, in spite of attempts by J. Edgar Hoover to intimidate Hollywood’s elite with phone calls claiming the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were all Communists

1935 – Peter Schickele born, American composer, musical educator, and parodist, noted for his hilarious performances and compositions as ‘P.D.Q. Bach’ which won four consecutive Grammys for Best Comedy Album in the 1990s

1936 – Spanish generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola lead a right-wing uprising, starting the Spanish Civil War

1938 – Wrong Way Corrigan Day * – Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn, New York for Los Angeles, California, but heads east and lands in Ireland

1943 – LaVryle Spencer born, American author of atypical romance novels from the 1970s to the 1990s, featuring “ordinary” people and “nice men,” beginning with The Fullfillment, a novel based on her grandmother’s life on a Minnesota farm. Her second and third books were initially rejected by the publishers –Hummingbird for having “too much humor,” and her third book, The Endearment, because the hero, not the heroine, was the virgin, and he was also her protagonist. She retired after writing twenty-three books, which all sold millions of copies, having reached the financial goal she had set for herself when she first began writing

1945 – WWII: In Potsdam, Churchill, Truman and Stalin hold their first meeting

1948 – Southern Democrats, opposed to the party’s position on civil rights, meet in Birmingham AL, to endorse South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for president

1948 – Operation Dekel: The Israeli army, after capturing Nazareth the day before, forces evacuation of the village of Nimrim, and then destroys it

1950 – Phoebe Snow, American singer-songwriter with a four-octave contralto voice, best remembered for her song, “Poetry Man.” Her first album, Phoebe Snow, was released in 1974, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best new Artist. But in 1975, her daughter was born with severe brain damage. Snow refused to institutionalize her, caring for her at home until her daughter died in 2007. Her marriage ended in 1978, and Snow’s career also nearly ended. She had to spend long periods away from recording, and often worked on commercial jingles to support herself and her daughter, including the “Cotton, the Fabric of Our Lives” campaign.  In January, 2010, Snow suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, slipping into a coma, and died on April 26, 2011

1954 – The first Newport (Rhode Island) Jazz Festival

1954 – Angela Merkel born, German chemist and politician; Chancellor of Germany since 2005; leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000

1955 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim CA

1956 – Julie I. Bishop born, Australian politician; Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2013; Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party since 2007. In February, 2019, she announced she would be retiring at the next election

1957 – Wendy L. Freedman born in Canada, Canadian-American astronomer and astrophysicist, best known for her measurement of the Hubble constant (the rate at which astronomical objects are receding from Earth’s position because of the expansion of the universe); currently Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago; initiated and served on the board of directors of the Giant Magellan Telescope Project (2003-2015); member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; co-recipient of the 2009 Gruber Cosmology Prize, and honored with the 2016 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

1958 – Thérèse Rein born, Australian founder of Ingeus, an international employment and business psychology services company; married to Kevin Rudd (Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010), the first Prime Minister’s wife to maintain a separate career during her husband’s time in office; long-time activist for human rights, especially for people with disabilities, and patron of numerous charities and rights groups; awarded the 2010 Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission

1959 – Manzila Pola Uddin born in what is now Bangladesh, Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green; non-affiliated British politician, and community activist; Life Peer since 1998, the youngest woman on the benches and the only Muslim woman to be appointed to the House of Lords; advocate for women’s equal rights, and people with disabilities rights, and campaigns for increasing opportunities for Asian women to learn skills, founding the Jagonari Centre, which offers education and training programmes

1959 – Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovers partial skull of a new species of early human ancestor, Zinjanthropus boisei or ‘Zinj’ (now called Paranthropus boisei) which lived in Africa almost 2 million years ago

1959 –North by Northwest, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason, premieres in Los Angeles

1960 – Nancy Giles born, African American commentator on CBS News Sunday Morning, co-producer/co-host with Erin Moriarty of two public affairs series for radio, and actress on the television series China Beach

1961 – Motown Records releases The Supremes’ first single, “Buttered Popcorn”

1962 (? – exact year uncertain) – Two Princeton mathematics students, Michael Spivak and David Kelly, obsessively analyze the random properties of the number 17, and after many hours, a mysterious yellow pig sprang fully-grown from their fevered brains. There are now Yellow Pig Carols and Yellow Pig Cakes in honor of Yellow Pig Day *

1962 – The U.S. Senate rejects Medicare for the aged; it will not be signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson until July 30, 1965

1964 – Nelson Mandela, ANC leader serving a life sentence in prison, is awarded the Joliot Curie Gold Medal for Peace

1967 – Gladys Knight & the Pips record “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

1968 – The Beatles film Yellow Submarine premieres in London

1975 – An Apollo spaceship docked with an orbiting Soyuz spacecraft in the first superpower linkup of its kind

1976 – Indonesian President Mohamed Suharto annexes East Timor

1984 – U.S. National drinking age is raised from 18 to 21

1987 – Oliver North and John Poindexter testify at Congressional Iran-Contra hearings

1989 – First flight of B-2 Stealth Bomber

1995 – Forbes magazine announces that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, having amassed $12.9 billion

1997 – After 117 years, Woolworth Corporation closes its last stores

1998 – The Mask of Zorro released, starring Antonio Banderas in the title role

2010 – World Day for International Justice * is declared at the Review Conference of the Roman Statute held in Kampala, Uganda, on the anniversary of the statute’s adoption, which created the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands, in 2002, to prosecute individuals for international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression, either when national courts are unable or unwilling to prosecute such criminals, or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the ICC. Currently, 122 nations are parties to the Statue of the Court, and 31 countries have signed but not ratified the Rome Statue. The U.S. had signed but not ratified the statue during the Clinton administration, then subsequently withdrew its signature and declared it did not intend to become a party to the statute during the George W. Bush administration. The Obama administration had re-established a working relationship with the Court as an observer. The Trump administration has been openly hostile to the Court, especially its efforts to investigate possible war crimes in Afghanistan linked to U.S. military and intelligence personnel

2014 – The first World Emoji Day *

2014 – International Firgun Day * is founded by the Israeli non-profit community group JLM, to spread the concept of ‘firgun’ – taking a genuine, unselfish delight in the accomplishment or good fortune of another. The word itself is a comparatively modern addition to Hebrew, but the concept is found in Talmudic Hebrew: ‘ayin yafa’ (translates as “a good eye”)

2015 – A Colorado jury found James Holmes guilty of multiple murder charges for his shooting rampage at an Aurora movie theater which killed 12 people, and wounded 70

2016 – The killer of Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media star, model and feminist activist, was her brother, who confessed to the so-called honor killing. Baloch, whose real name was Fouzia Azeem, was known for posting provocative photos of herself on Facebook and Instagram. Baloch, who was the main breadwinner for the family, sought refuge recently in her parents’ house after receiving death threats for posting a picture of herself with a Muslim cleric. Her brother, Muhammad Wasim, said he drugged then strangled her to restore “family honor.” Nearly 1,000 women are murdered in Pakistan each year for violating conservative norms on love and marriage. The so-called “honor killings” are often carried out by family members. Such killings are considered murder. But Islamic law in Pakistan allows a murder victim’s family to pardon the killer, which often allows those convicted of “honor” killings to escape any punishment

2017 – Marcha Verde: Thousands of protesters jammed the streets of the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, demanding the resignation of top officials embroiled in a corruption scandal; most protesters wore green to show support for the environmental justice movement; solidarity marches were also held in New York City, Miami Florida, and in Madrid Spain

2018 – A team of scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science discovered 12 additional moons orbiting the planet Jupiter, bringing the total number of known moons orbiting Jupiter to 79


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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