ON THIS DAY: July 21, 2020

July 21st is

ASPCA No Pet Store Puppies Day

Crème Brûlée Day

Legal Drinking Age Day

National Junk Food Day

Lowest Recorded Temperature Day *


MORE! Buchi Emecheta, Robin Williams and Althea Gibson, click


World Festivals and National Holidays

Australia – Lamington Day (dessert
inspired by Queensland Governor Lord Lamington)

Belgium – National Day

Guam – Liberation Day

Guadeloupe and Sint Maarten –
Victor Schoelcher Day (abolition of slavery) *

Russia – Summer Kazanskaya
(Our Lady of Kazan, Holy Protectress of Russia)

Singapore – Racial Harmony Day


On This Day in HISTORY

356 BC – The Ephesus Temple of Artemis, one of the ancient world’s Seven Wonders, is destroyed by arson fire set by Herostratus, the first recorded person to commit a criminal or evil act to gain notoriety. His name becomes a metonym (synonymous for an act or idea, like Benedict Arnold for traitor) of his time

Artist’s conception of the Ephesus Temple of Artemis

365 – In Alexandria, Egypt, and much of the surrounding area, thousands are killed by a tsunami from a 8.5 earthquake on Crete. Nearly all the towns on Crete are destroyed, as the island is forced upward by almost 30 feet (9 metres)

541 – Emperor Wen of Sui born, founder and first emperor (581-604) of China’s Sui dynasty. As a Buddhist, he encouraged the spread of Buddhism.  He reunified China in 589, after centuries of division since the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in 316, and during his reign the construction of the Grand Canal began

1030 – Kyansittha born, King of the Pagan dynasty of Burma (now Myanmar) from 1084 to 1112/13. He is considered one of the greatest Burmese monarchs. Kyansittha continued the social, economic and cultural reforms begun by his father, King Anawrahta. The Pagan dynasty became an internationally recognized power during his 28-year reign, and the Burmese language and culture continued to gain ground

1403 – The Battle of Shrewsbury is waged by the army of Lancastrian King Henry IV against a rebel army of Harry “Hotspur” Percy of Northumberland; the King is victorious, and the Percy rebellion is crushed. Shrewsbury is the first battle in which English archers are used by both sides, demonstrating the deadly effectiveness of the longbow

1588 – At daybreak, the English fleet, which maneuvered upwind during the night to gain the weather gage (a significant advantage) engages the Spanish Armada off Plymouth near the Eddystone Rocks. The Armada maintains a crescent formation, with galleons and great ships at the center and tips of the crescent’s horns. Sir Francis Drake leads the attack from the north, while Charles Howard comes from the south with the bulk of the fleet, both groups using their superior speed and maneuverability to stay out of range of the Spanish grappling hooks. But the English cannon are ineffective at that range, and darkness falls, ending the first day in stalemate

1620 – Jean Picard born, French astronomer and priest, the first person to estimate the size of the Earth nearly accurately, by measuring one degree of latitude along the Paris Meridian along 13 triangles, stretching from Paris to the clocktower of Sourdon in the Hauts-de-France region

1645 – Qing regent Dorgon orders Han men to braid their hair into queue like Manchus

1653 – Sarah Good born, one of the first three women accused of witchcraft in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts. When she was found guilty, the Reverend Nicholas Noyes persisted in trying to force her to confess, but she shouted at him, “I’m no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink.” Sarah Good was hanged with four other women, but 25 years later, Noyes died from choking on his own blood

1656 – Elizabeth Key Grinstead wins her lawsuit, gaining freedom from slavery for herself and her baby son with the argument that her father was an Englishman and she is a baptized Christian. The Virginia House of Burgesses later passes laws that the status of children will follow that of the mother, not the father, abandoning English Common Law, which determines a child’s status based on the father, for the Roman partus sequitur ventrem, based on the mother’s status, which condemns all children born of enslaved women in Virginia to slavery


Jamestown, the first colonial capital of Virginia, in the 1600s

1669 – The colonists officially recognize the July 21, 1669, version of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina as the valid version. Since John Locke is in service to Anthony Ashley Cooper, the Lords Province of Carolina’s proprietor most involved in the conception of the constitution, it is widely accepted that Locke is much involved in the development of the Carolina Constitution

1673 – John Weaver born, English ballet master-choreographer called “the father of English pantomime”

Left: Frontispiece, Weaver’s Orchesography – Right: Coviello, Commedia dell’arte

1694 – Georg Brandt born, Swedish chemist and mineralogist who discovered cobalt, the first person to discover an element unknown in ancient times

1730 – A bill declaring sodomy a sin against nature is passed in the states of Holland, carrying the death penalty

1798 – The Battle of the Pyramids: The French army under Napoleon Bonaparte scored a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Egyptian army

The Battle of the Pyramids by François-Louis Watteau

1804 – Victor Schoelcher born, French abolitionist and writer; head of a government commission in 1848 which issues a decree of principles in April 1848, leading to abolishing slavery in all French colonies – His birthday is celebrated as Victor Schoelcher Day * on Guadeloupe and Sint Maarten

1816 – Paul Julius Reuter born in Germany, British founder of Reuters news agency

1817 – Sir John Gilbert born, English painter and illustrator

‘With all their banners bravely spread’ by Sir John Gilbert – 1878

1831 – Leopold I becomes the first King of the Belgians as Belgium becomes independent of the Netherlands

1858 – Maria Christina of Austria born, Queen consort of Spain until her husband’s just before the birth of their son, and she became the regent for her son Alfonso XIII, until 1902, when he was crowned. During her time as regent, the Treaty of Paris (1898), was signed, ending the Spanish-American War

1877 – The Great Railroad Strike: the strike begins July 14 when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad cut workers wages for the third time in a year;  John Carroll, Governor of Maryland, calls out the National Guard to put down the strike in Baltimore. On July 21, as troops marched toward B & O’s Camden Yard, citizens of Baltimore attack them, and violent street battles erupt between the striking workers and the Maryland militia. The troopers fire on the crowd, killing 10 and wounding 25. The rioters injure several militiamen, damage train engine and cars, and burn part of the station before
President Rutherford B. Hayes sends federal troops to restore order

1896 – Sophie Bledsoe Aberle born, American anthropologist, author, physician and nutritionist who worked with Pueblo people in New Mexico; employed by the Bureau of India Affairs (1935-1944),then for the National Research Council (1944-1949), and for the University of New Mexico (1949-1954); she was a strong advocate for Pueblo land rights in her 1948 book, The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, Their Land, Economy and Civil Organization, and served on many boards and committees for land allocation and healthcare; she was one of the first two women appointed to the National Science Board by President Truman (1951-1957); Chief Nutritionist at the Bernalillo County Indian Hospital (1955-1966); professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico (1967-1970)

1897 – The Tate Gallery opens in London

1899 – Hart Crane born, American poet

1899 – Ernest Hemingway born, American author and adventurer

1900 – Isadora Bennett born, theatrical and dance publicity agent, Martha Graham was her client from 1939 until 1970, and other clients included  José Limón, José Greco, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet; she is credited with bringing much attention to modern dance, helping to establish its popularity with American audiences

1904 – Frenchman Louis Rigolly is the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land, driving a 15 liter Gobron-Brillié automobile in Ostend, Belgium

1911 – Marshall McLuhan born, Canadian communications theorist

1919 – Dutchman Anthony Fokker opens a new airplane factory outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands

1920 – Isaac Stern born, superb Polish violinist

1922 – Kay Starr born, American jazz and pop singer; biggest hit was “Wheel of Fortune”; Billie Holiday called her “the only white woman who could sing the blues”

1925 – John Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee law banning teaching Darwin’s
theory of evolution, but the judge sets his fine instead of the jury, so case is overturned

1930 – Helen Merrill born, internationally known American jazz vocalist

1930 – The U.S. Veteran’s Administration is established

1938 – Janet Reno born, American lawyer, first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General (1993-2001)

1943 – The film Stormy Weather, starring Bill Robinson, Lena Horne and Fats Waller, premieres in the U.S.

1944 – Onyebuchi “Buchi” Emecheta born in Nigeria, British novelist and children’s author; The Bride Price, The Slave Girl, which won the 1978 New Statesman Jock Campbell Award, and The Joys of Motherhood

1945 – Wendy Cope born, English poet for both adults and children; has also edited several poetry anthologies

1946 – The South African Indian Congress (SAIC) Executive met in Cape Town and pledged full support to the Passive Resistance launched by the Passive Resistance Councils of Natal and the Transvaal

1949 – The U.S. Senate votes 82-13 to ratify the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO)

1949 – Christina Hart born, director, producer, playwright and actress; known for her plays Women Over the Influence and Birds of a Feather

1950 – Susan Kramer born, Baroness Kramer of Richmond Park; British Liberal Democratic Politician; Minister of State at the Department for Transport (2013-2015) Member of Parliament for Richmond Park (2005-2010)

1951 – Robin Williams born, gifted actor, comedian and international star

1954 – France surrenders North Vietnam to communists under Ho Chi Minh, two months after being defeated at Dien Bien Phu

1957 – Althea Gibson becomes first black woman to win a major U.S. tennis title

1960 – In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Sirima Bandaranaike becomes the world’s first woman Prime Minister

1961 – NASA’s Mercury 4 (Liberty Bell) launches with Gus Grissom aboard

1966 – Sarah Waters born, Welsh author known for award-winning novels set in the Victorian era, often featuring lesbian protagonists; Tipping the Velvet won a 1999 NY Times Notable Book Award, and the 2000 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction;  Fingersmith won the 2002 Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger

1969 – Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin leave the moon

1970 – Aswan Dam on the Nile in Egypt completed after 11 years of construction. After  completion of the dam there have been extensive problems, ironically caused in part because the annual flood no longer occurs. Poor drainage of the newly irrigated lands has led to soil saturation and increased salinity. Over half of Egypt’s farmland is now rated medium to poor in quality. Increased cases of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis  have been associated with the stagnant water of the fields and the reservoir. The reduced supply of silt and sediment from the annual flood has caused heavy erosion in the Nile Delta and as far away as Israel. The erosion, coupled with normal compaction of deltaic sediments, has decreased the inhabitable land on the Delta for the first time in over 10,000 years 

1979 – Robert Palmer releases “Bad Case Of Loving You”

1983 – Lowest Recorded Temperature Day * – The Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica records the lowest natural temperature at ground level on Earth, -128.6 ° F (-89.2° C)

1987 – Guns ’n Roses releases their first album “Appetite for Destruction”

1990 – The Wall – Live in Berlin concert performance by Roger Waters and guest artists commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall eight months earlier, on a section of the former “no man’s land” near the Brandenburg Gate

1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (aka “Old Ironsides”) celebrates her 200th birthday, setting sail for the first time in 116 years

2007 – J.K. Rowling’s final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, is released

2010 – President Obama signs into law the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. lending and high finance rules since the 1930s

2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis completes the last flight of NASA’s space shuttle program

2012 – Erden Eruç completes first solo human-powered circumnavigation of Earth

2016 – Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual harassment. Ailes led the far-right conservative cable news channel for 20 years, building it from scratch into a money-making ratings juggernaut. He reportedly stands to get a $40 million exit package. Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old executive co-chairman of the news channel’s parent — 21st Century Fox — takes over as acting CEO until a permanent replacement is hired

2018 – Authorities were still searching Mollie Tibbetts, age 20, a University of Iowa student named who disappeared four days earlier while out for an evening jog. Tibbetts was running in Brooklyn, a small town about halfway between Iowa City and Des Moines. She gave no indication anything was wrong before her jog in a call to her boyfriend, who was out of town. “Everything’s on the table, unfortunately,” said Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel. “We’re hoping that she’s somewhere with a friend, and she’ll show up Monday or Tuesday, and everything will get back to normal.” A month later, police identified a suspect seen in surveillance footing which showed his car following Tibbetts on her jog. On August 21, he led police to her body in a Poweshiek County cornfield. After an autopsy revealed the case of death was “multiple sharp force injuries,” he was charged with first-degree murder. He was found to be a migrant worker without documentation, who was working for Yarrabee Farms, owned by the family ofCraig Lang, a prominent Iowa Republican leader. Donald Trump and other Republicans attempted to politicize the case to increase support for anti-immigration policies, but Mollie Tibbett’s father called using her death for political purposes “heartless” and “despicable.” He said, “The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans. As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food,” and denounced those who “appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist.”

Mollie Tibbetts – photo by Jenny Fiebelkorn


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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