ON THIS DAY: July 27, 2020

July 27th is

Bagpipe Appreciation Day

Barbie-in-a-Blender Day

Crème Brulee Day

Helen Keller Day

Scotch Whisky Day

Walk on Stilts Day


MORE! Myrtle Lawrence, Frederick Banting, and Marielle Franco, click



Finland –
National Sleepyhead Day

North Korea –
Liberation Victory Day (1953)

United States – Puerto Rico:
José Celso Barbosa Day

Vietnam – Remembrance Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1054 – Siward, Earl of Northumbria invades Scotland, defeating Scottish King Macbeth

1202 –Battle of Basiani: during the Georgian-Seljuk Wars, the army of Tamar, Queen regnant (1184-1213) of the Kingdom of Georgia wins a decisive victory over the army of Süleymanshah II, Sultan of Rum (Selijuqid ruler of Anatolia), north of Erzurum in what is now Turkey

Tamar, Queen regnant – Vardzia fresco detail

1245 – Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for failing to honor his pledge to lead another Holy Land Crusade when Frederick turned back because of illness. Frederick’s governing policies at home helped establish the primacy of the Rule of Law, which made him unpopular with both clerics and nobles

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II

1299 – (Traditional date) Osman I invades Nicomedia, founding day of  the Ottoman Empire

1549 – Jesuit (Society of Jesus) co-founder Francis Xavier’s ship reaches Japan, but not permitted to enter port until August 15, when he is allowed to go ashore at Kagoshima. He is received in a friendly manner as envoy of Portuguese King John III, but Shimazu Takahisa, daimyō of Satsuma, at first says he would allow the Jesuits to spread Christianity in his domain, later under pressure from Buddhist monks, forbids conversion of his subjects under penalty of death

1663 – The English Parliament passes the Second Navigation Act, requiring all goods bound for the American colonies to be sent in English ships from English ports

1681 – Five Presbyterian preachers are killed in Edinburgh Scotland during a battle between Presbyterians and Episcopalians

1689 – Battle of Killcrankie: Jacobite Scottish Highlanders under John Graham, the Viscount Dundee, defeat the royalist forces supporting King William of Orange under General MacKay, but Viscount Dundee is killed by a musket shot – in 1828, Sir Walter Scott adapted the old tune “Bonnie Dundee” to his poem in praise of the Viscount

1694 – A Royal Charter is granted to the Bank of England as a commercial institution

1733 – Jeremiah Dixon born, English surveyor and astronomer, Charles Mason’s partner in surveying what is now known as the Mason-Dixon line, which is the demarcation between Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia (in 1733 still part of Virginia). The Missouri Compromise in 1820 made it the dividing line between the Northern free states and the Southern slave states

1768 – Charlotte Corday born, Girondin assassin of Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat; Marat was a key figure in the mass execution of the Girondins, who tried to stem the Reign of Terror

Charlotte Corday painted by Jean-Jacques Hauer just before her execution

1775 – U.S. Army Medical Department founded, establishing an army hospital

1781 – Mauro Giuliani born, Italian composer, singer, guitarist and cellist

1789 – The U.S. federal agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs (later renamed the State Department) is established

1794 – Maximilien Robespierre, merciless “soul” of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is arrested, and condemned to La Guillotine, a fitting end to the head of the  “Committee of Public Safety” that condemned  17,000 “enemies of France” to the guillotine during the 11 months of the Terror; his supporters are declared outlaws – only verification of their identity is required after capture before they are executed without trial

1824 – Alexandre Dumas fils born, French author and playwright, noted for his tragic romance novel La Dame aux camélias (The Lady of the Camellias)

1841 – Linda Richards born, American nurse and educator; she was the first graduate of the New England Hospital for Women and Children nursing program in 1873, one of the first nurses professionally trained in the U.S.; Richards established training programs in the U.S. and Japan, creating a system for hospital medical records

1853 – Elizabeth Plankinton born, American philanthropist who inherited a fortune and a tradition of giving from her father, businessman John Plankinton; she never married because her engagement was broken when her fiancé ran off with a dancer whom he married instead; she gave $100,000 (equivalent to over $2.5 million USD today) for the building of the first YWCA hotel in Milwaukee Wisconsin, to provide affordable housing to unmarried working women

1853 – Lucy Maynard Salmon born, American historian and educator; pioneered the use of artifacts from everyday life – laundry lists, advertisements, bulletin-board notices, architectural plans, ledgers, packing slips – in historical research and in the teaching of history; first woman member of the executive committee of the American Historical Association; professor and founder of the history department at Vassar College. She was active in the National College Equal Suffrage League and on the Executive Advisory Council of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, and led the suffrage movement at Vassar, despite disapproval of the trustees and the college’s male president, James Monroe Taylor (1886-1914). His goals for Vassar’s graduates were characterized by his successor, Henry Noble MacCracken, as: “to be cultured . . . not leaders but good wives and mothers, truly liberal in things intellectual but conservative in matters social.” MacCracken continued, “Throughout Taylor’s term Vassar was a college for women developed by men.” Vassar students were finally given permission to form an on-campus suffrage club in 1914

1861 – George B. McClellan is put in command of the Union’s Army of the Potomac

1866 – First permanent transatlantic telegraph cable completed

1867 – Enrique Granados born, Spanish pianist and composer

1870 – Hilaire Belloc born, French poet, humorist and author who served as MP for Salford after became a British subject in 1902

1875 – Mary Olszewski Kryszak born, American educator and politician, Polish newspaper editor, librarian, and bookkeeper; served seven times as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly; in spite of her impressive list of accomplishments, when running for office, the national press stated that “Mrs. Kryszak ‘takes in’ hemstitching work at home when not engaged in lawmaking.”

1877 – Ernst von Dohnányi born as Ernő Dohnányi, Hungarian composer

1882 – Geoffrey De Havilland born, English aircraft designer and manufacturer

1889 –  Vera Karalli born, Russian ballerina, choreographer and silent film performer

1890 – Vincent van Gogh shot himself. He died two days later

Wheat Field with Crows – Vincent Van Gogh’s last painting

1891 – Myrtle Lawrence born, sharecropper and labor organizer, worked with the biracial Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union from 1936 to 1943, honored on the 1976 Bicentennial Freedom Train Exhibition

1900 – Kaiser Wilhelm II speech compares Germans to Huns – ‘Hun’ becomes a derogatory name for Germans

1904 – Lyudmila Rudenko born in the Russian Empire, Soviet chess player, second Women’s World Chess Champion (1950-1953), the first woman awarded a FIDE International Master title, and Woman Grandmaster (1976). During WWII, she organized a train to evacuate children from the siege of Leningrad

1906 – Helen Wolff born, editor and publisher, published many acclaimed translations under the imprint “A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book” at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, founded Pantheon Books with her husband in 1942

1907 – Irene Fischer born in Austria, American mathematician and geodesist; she and her family fled Nazi Austria in 1939; she worked on stereoscopic projective geometry trajectories for John Rule at MIT; she then began her career (1951-1976) in the Geodesy Branch of the Army Map Service working on what became the World Geodetic System, rising through the ranks to branch chief; her contributions to geodetic science gave scientists a more accurate picture of the size and shape of the earth, and helped determine the parallax of the moon, crucial information for NASA’s Mercury and Apollo moon missions;  National Academy of Engineering Member; Fellow of the International Geophysical Union, Inductee of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Hall of Fame, and the third woman to be honored with the 1967 Distinguished Civilian Service Award, given by the U.S. Army to civilians for outstanding public service which aids accomplishment of the Army’s mission

1916 – Elizabeth Hardwick born, American author and literary critic, co-founder of The New York Review of Books; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; noted for her novel The Simple Truth, and four collections of her criticism

1919 – A riot erupts in Chicago IL at an unofficially segregated beach after a young black man is killed; Chicago Mayor William H. Thompson refuses to ask Governor Frank Lowden to send in the National Guard until the fifth day of riots. Over 500 people were injured, 23 African Americans and 15 whites are killed, making it the worst race riot in Illinois history

1921 – Frederick Banting’s University of Toronto team proves that insulin regulates blood sugar

1929 – Geneva Convention concerning prisoner-of-war treatment signed by 53 nations

1930 – Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby born, British politician and scholar, one of the “Gang of Four” founders of the Social Democratic Party in 1981, served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 2001 to 2004, still active in the House of Lords and Professor Emerita at Harvard University

1930 – Joy Whitby born, English radio and television producer, director and writer of innovative children’s programmes for the BBC (1956-1967), including Play School and Jackanory; produced dramas for London Weekend Television (1967-1969); founded her own company, Grasshopper Productions (1970-1975); Head of Children’s Programmes for Yorkshire Television (1975-1985); since 1985, has produced animated films based on quality picture books; first TV producer to win the Eleanor Farjeon Award for contributions to children’s literature

1931 – Hordes of grasshoppers swept across farmland in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, destroying thousands of acres of crops

1940 – Bugs Bunny is introduced in animated short,  A Wild Hare

1940 – Pina Bausch born, German dancer and choreographer, leading influence in modern dance, creator of the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Le Sacre de Printemps – Pina Bausch 

1942 – Peggy Lee records “Why Don’t You Do Right” with Benny Goodman

1948 – Betty Thomas born, American actress, director and producer of television and motion pictures. Known for her work on the television series Hill Street Blues (1981-1987), for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Emmy for the 1984-1985 season. She directed several episodes of TV series like Hooperman, Doogie Howser MD, and Arresting Behavior, then won a Best Director Emmy for her work on the series Dream On. Her feature film debut as a director was 1992’s Only You. Her seond feature The Brady Bunch Movie, was a domestic box office hit, grossing almost $47 million USD, one of the highest grossing movies directed by a woman up to that time. She followed that with other successes, including Dr. Dolittle (starring Eddie Murphy), 28 Days, and 2009’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

1949 – First flight of de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner

1951 – Roseanna Cunningham born, Scottish National Party politician, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform since 2016; Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (2011-2014); Depute (deputy) Leader of the Scottish National Party (2000-2004); Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire Perth (1999-2011)

1953 – Korean War armistice agreement ends fighting, not signed by South Korea

1955 – Cat Bauer born, American novelist; known for HarleyLike a Person (2002), which won an American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults award

1960 – Emily Thornberry born, British Labour politician and barrister who specialized in human rights law (1985-2005); Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury since 2005; vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Choice and Sexual Health Group; advocate for affordable housing, the environment and gender equality, and an opponent of detention of terrorist subjects without charge for 90 days, and renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme

1964 – 5000 more advisors join 16.000 U.S. military advisors already in South Vietnam

1965 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act  requiring cigarette makers to print health warnings on all cigarette packages about the effects of smoking

1968 – Sabina Jeschke born in Sweden, German academic and mechanical engineer; professor at the RWTH Aachen University; member of the management board of Deutschen Bahn AG, a railway company, for digitalization and technology since 2017, and involved with building the think tank “Strong Artificial Intelligence” at the Volvo Car Corporation in Göteborg

1968 – The Who releases their single “Magic Bus” in the U.S.

1968 – Mama Cass Elliot releases her first solo single, ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’

1973 – Cassandra Clare born as Judith Lewis, American author of Young Adult Fiction, best known for her series, The Mortal Instruments. Her book, City of Ashes, was a awarded a 2009 ALA Teens Top Ten Title

1974 – U.S. House Judiciary Committee votes 27-11 to recommend impeachment of President Richard Nixon for personally obstructing justice in the Watergate case

1979 Marielle Franco born, Brazilian PSOL (socialist party) politician, feminist, human rights activist, and an outspoken critic of police brutality and extrajudicial killings. She ran in 2016 as a black bisexual woman and single mother from the favelas (slums), and won a seat on the city council of Rio de Janiero (2017-2018), where she fought against gender violence, for reproductive rights, and for the rights of favela residents. Franco chaired the Women’s Defense Commission, and worked with the Rio de Janeiro Lesbian Front. She and her driver were shot to death in March, 2018. Franco was 38 years old. In 2019, two former police officers were charged with her murder

1981 – Stevie Nicks releases her first solo album, “Bella Donna”

1982 – Madonna, the singer’s debut album, is released

1986 – U.S. Bill introduced to ban smoking on all public transportation

1990 – Belarus declares independence from Soviet Union

1995 – Korean War Veterans Memorial dedicated in Washington DC

1996 – A pipe bomb explodes during Summer Olympics in Atlanta GA

1999 – An apology issued by the current president of the Natal Law Society, David Randles, is published in the Johannesburg newspaper The Star: “The society apologises unconditionally, albeit posthumously, to the late Mahatma Gandhi for having attempted to restrict his rights to practise as an advocate in Natal.”

2006 – Peruvian president-elect Alan Garcia makes good on his campaign pledge to draw talent from across the political spectrum by appointing six women to his cabinet, including Peru’s first woman justice and first women interior ministers 

2012 – Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in London UK

2013 – The first Przewalski’s horse (whose wild populations were believed extinct in 1969) is born via artificial insemination at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as part of a worldwide effort to rebuild the wild herds

2016 – At a news conference in Florida, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump publicly appealed to Russia to find and release private emails from Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton; a Special Counsel investigation, begun in 2017, has since determined that Russian operatives began hacking into servers at the Democratic National Committee on that same day, leading to the historic July 13, 2018, indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers

2019 – Romania’s prime minister Viorica Dancila announced she is considering a referendum on harsher penalties for crimes like murder, rape and pedophilia in the wake of the rape and killing of a 15-year-old girl that has shocked the country. She also called for reducing the authorities’ reaction time in similar cases. Police took 19 hours to respond after the victim’s first call saying she had been beaten and raped by a man who picked her up in his car as she was hitchhiking. Her repeated phone calls for help to the country’s emergency hotline did not speed up their response. Romania’s national police chief was fired over the handling of the case. Thousands of people took part in a march protesting the delayed response, blaming Romanian officials for negligence, incompetence and a lack of empathy. The protesters marched from Victoria Palace, the government headquarters, to Revolution Square, where they lit candles outside the Interior Ministry. Some taunted police officers with shouts of “Hide, your hands are stained with blood!” Authorities say the man suspected in the case has been detained on suspicion of trafficking minors and rape.

Viorica Dancila


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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