ON THIS DAY: August 11, 2020

August 11th is

Ingersoll Day *

Daughter and Son Day

Play in the Sand Day

Presidential Joke Day *

Raspberry Bombe Day


MORE! Louise Bogan, Alex Haley and Hadiqa Kiani, click



Beginning of the Perseid Meteor Showers Peak Activity, through August 13 

Chad – Independence Day

Japan – Mountain Day

Pakistan – Flag Day


On This Day on History

3114 BC – The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar used by the Maya begins

2492 BC – (legendary) Bel the Titan is defeated by Hayk the Great, progenitor and founder of the Armenian Nation

Statue of Haik Nahapet in Yerevan, Armenia

1332 – Edward Balliol, pretender to the Scottish throne, routs the forces under the Regent of Scotland, Domhnall II, Earl of Mar, who is killed in the battle. King David II is only three years old at the time

1384 – Yolande of Aragon born, titular queen regnant of Aragon who was denied rule because she was a woman, and was forced to marry Louis II of Anjou over her objections; she later supported the claim to the French throne of Charles the Dauphin, and helped finance Joan d’ Arc’s army, tipping the balance in favor of the French during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France

Detail from a tapestry: Yolande of Aragon with the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus

1801 –Eduard Devrient born, German playwright-librettist, actor-singer, theatre  director-reformer-historian; noted for his history of German theatre, Geschichte der deutschen Schauspielkunst

1833 – Ingersoll Day * – Robert G. Ingersoll born, “The Great Agnostic,” U.S. politician and famous orator, advocate for separation of church and state, and for free thought and humanism. Gave the eulogy at his friend Walt Whitman’s funeral. “There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences.”

1860 – First successful American silver mill begins operation in Virginia City NV

1861 – James Bryan Herrick born, American cardiologist; identified sickle-cell anemia

1862 – Carrie Jacobs Bond born, American singer-songwriter of popular music; “I Love You Truly” and “A Perfect Day”

1865 – Gifford Pinchot born, conservationist and advocate of preserving natural resources; he was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service (1905-1910) when it was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior; during his tenure, the nation’s forest reserves increased from 60 reserves covering 56 million acres, to 150 reserves covering 172 million acres. Pinchot was fired after William Howard Taft became president as Taft did not share Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for expanding the Forest Service’s responsibilities

1877 – Asaph Hall discovers two moons of Mars and names them Phobos and Deimos

1892 – Hugh MacDiarmid, born Christopher M. Grieve, Scottish poet, essayist and Scottish Nationalist; developed Lallans, a literary version of  Lowland Scots

1896 – Harvey Hubbell patents electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain

1897 – Enid Blyton born, prolific English children’s author and poet; The Enchanted Wood, The Yellow Fairy Book, and many, many others

1897 – Louise Bogan born, American poet, U.S. Consultant in Poetry (re-named Poet Laureate in 1986) to the Library of Congress (1945-1946), poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine (1931-1970)

1909 – U.S. ship Arapahoe is first to use SOS distress signal off  Cape Hatteras NC

1912 – Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs born, German astronomer; assistant astronomer at the Sonneberg Observatory (1945-1954); noted for her observations of variable stars

1919 – Ginette Neveu born, French classical violinist, child prodigy, won the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition at the age of 16; she achieved international fame, but died in a plane crash at age 30

1921 – Alex Haley born, American author; 1977 Special Awards Pulitzer Prize for Roots

1924 – Newsreel pictures are taken of U.S. presidential candidates for first time

1934 – The first civilian prisoners arrive at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; it was a military POW detention center, then military prison (1861-1933)

1941– Elizabeth Holtzman born, youngest woman elected to U.S. Congress to that time, (Democrat-New York, 1973-1981); she was the first woman District Attorney in New York City (1981)

1941 – Alla Kushnir born in Russia, Israeli chess champion, Woman Grandmaster, three time winner of the Women’s Chess Olympiads

1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies used in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi

1946 – Marilyn vos Savant born, American author and “Ask Marilyn” magazine columnist; noted for The Power of Logical Thinking

1952 – Hussein bin Talal is proclaimed King of Jordan

1954 – A formal peace in Indochina ends over seven years of fighting between the French and the Communist Vietminh

1955 – Sylvia, Lady Hermon, born as Sylvia Paisley, lawyer and Northern Irish independent unionist politician, regarded as socially liberal, concerned with pensioner’s and women’s rights; she first entered politics in 1998, and became the Member of Parliament for North Down in 2001, her current position; lecturer in Law at Queen’s University of Belfast during the 1980s; longstanding supporter of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, helping to launch its Northern Ireland network centre

1960 – Chad becomes independent from France

1965 – The Beatles movie Help!  has its American premier in NYC

1965 – Viola Davis born, American actress, producer and activist; first black actor to win the “Triple Crown” of American acting: the Academy Award (2008 and 2016), the Tony Award (2001 and 2010) and the Emmy Award (2015 – for How to Get Away With Murder. She is also the first black woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series). She is the co-founder with her husband Julius Tennon of the JuVee Productions. Davis is a feminist and an activist for human rights and equal rights for women, and for women of color. She is also an active supporter of the Hunger Is campaign to eradicate childhood hunger in America

1965 – The Watts Riots begin in Los Angeles CA, still a racially segregated city under restrictive covenants even after the courts ruled them illegal in 1948. A black motorist is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, and a heated argument turns into a fight, leading to charges of police racism and brutality. 34 people are killed, and there are over $40 million in damages

1972 – Final Days of the Vietnam War for the U.S.: the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, is the last American ground combat unit to leave South Vietnam

1974 – Hadiqa Kiani, Pakistani singer-songwriter, social activist and the first Pakistani woman UN Goodwill Ambassador, in 2010; after the devastating 2010 floods in Pakistan, she volunteered with her siblings, working alongside the Pakistani Army distributing food, water, clothing and shelter to flood victims, and visiting with refugees; she helped finance and oversaw construction of over 250 houses for families who lost their homes during the floods; joined with other Pakistani musicians in 2007 to produce an anti-terrorism song, and in 2015 became one of 10 mentors who are part of an initiative to support Pakistani women in becoming community and national leaders, and overcoming gender discrimination. Kiani has been outspoken on the issue of sexual abuse of children, criticizing actor Yasir Hussain for joking about child molestation, and expressing disappointment in the Pakistani entertainment industry’s support for him

1974 – Audrey Mestre born, French marine biologist and record-setting free diver; after her family moved to Mexico when she was in her teens, she studied marine biology at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur; in 2000, she broke the female world record for free diving, reaching 410 feet (125 meters) on a single breath, then broke her own record in 2001; she was killed in a diving accident in 2002

1978 – Lillian Nakate born, Ugandan civil engineer and politician; Member of the Ugandan Parliament representing the Luweero District Women’s Constituency since 2016; worked as an engineer in the private sector on construction projects and as a consultant (2011-2016);  Town Engineer for Wobulenzi Town Council (2007-2011); Assistant Engineering Officer for Loweero District Local Government (2001-2006)

1984 – President Reagan jokes, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes,” during microphone test, not aware microphone is live, which starts the tradition of Presidential Joke Day *

1994 – U.S. federal jury awards commercial fishermen $286.8 million for losses resulting from 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill

Exxon Valdez oil spill – photo by Natalie B. Fobes

1995 – All U.S. nuclear tests are banned

2003 – NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history

2006 – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) bans all liquids, gels and aerosols from airline passenger cabins one day after a thwarted terrorist attack

2014 – Japan’s parliament passes legislation for a new annual public holiday, Mountain Day, * beginning in 2016

2016 –An international scientific team, using a new method to determine the age of sharks by analyzing proteins in their eye lens, discovered a 392-year-old Greenland shark, the oldest known living vertebrate animal in the world – but a 507-year-old Icelandic ocean quahog (a kind of clam) holds the record as the longest-lived animal

2017 – Hundreds of tiki torch-bearing white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia, in advance of a larger “Unite the Right” demonstration scheduled for the next day. The marchers chanted slogans like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” the latter a phrase used by the Nazi Party. White nationalists have rallied repeatedly in Charlottesville since the city began the process of removing Confederate statues. Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer condemned the gathering as “a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

2019 – According to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, at least 79 bills relating to sex education were introduced in legislatures in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding youth education around healthy sexuality and relationships — and reducing the reach of the abstinence-only ideology that had become part of many sex ed classes over the past four decades. In Colorado, a law passed in 2019 requires any sex education taught in the state’s public schools to be medically accurate and, in an unusual move, carved out $1 million to pay for it. California’s Board of Education updated its statewide framework in May 2019 for teaching comprehensive sex education that prioritizes medical accuracy and sensitivity to diverse sexualities. And in Virginia, a measure signed into law in March 2019 requires school-based sex education to include instruction on human trafficking. In Tennessee, where Republicans control the Senate, House and governor’s office, lawmakers passed a bill encouraging schools to provide education on sexual violence awareness. Utah’s Republican governor, signed a law allowing educators to discuss contraception in public school classrooms. Renewed interest in the issue was fueled in part by legislative flips during last November’s midterm elections that brought into office more Democrats — and more female lawmakers — but also by questions about sexual assault and consent raised by the #MeToo movement. Although women hold fewer than 30% of state legislative seats, they introduced five out of every seven state bills updating sex education standards that were enacted in the past year, according to a recent brief by the left-leaning Center for American Progress think tank. Women also introduced more than half of the bills to modernize sex education in this year’s sessions.


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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