ON THIS DAY: August 18, 2020

August 18th is

19th Amendment Yellow Rose Day *

Bad Poetry Day

Ice Cream Pie Day

Mail Order Catalog Day *

National Fajita Day *

Pinot Noir Day

Serendipity Day *


MORE! Ragini Devi, Harry Burn and Miss Febb, click



 Australia – Long Tan Day
(Vietnam Veteran’s Day)

Indonesia – Constitution Day

Macedonia – Armed Forces Day

Pakistan – Arbor Day

Thailand – National Science Day


On This Day in HISTORY

684 – Second Islamic Civil War – Battle of Marj Rahit: The combined forces supporting Umayyad Caliph Marwan I defeat the army of Abdallah ibn al-Zubayr of Mecca, self-proclaimed Caliph, strengthening Umayyad control of Syria

1305 – Ashikaga Takauji born, founder and first shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate, beginning the Muromachi period of Japan. He ruled from 1338 until his death in 1358

1450 – Marko Marulić born, considered Croatia’s national poet, a Renaissance humanist who coined the term “psychology”

1572 – Protestant Henry IV, King of Navarre, and Margaret of Valois (daughter of Catherine de’ Medici and Henry II) marry at Notre Dame – a week later, thousands of Huguenots, who flocked to Paris for the wedding celebration, are murdered in the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre – King Henry escapes with the help of his wife after he promises to convert to Catholicism; he is kept at the French court until his escape in 1576, when he repudiates Catholicism and rejoins the Protestant forces

1587 – Virginia Dare born, first English child born in North America, at the Roanoke Colony; all of the colonists mysteriously disappeared at some time between the end of 1587 and August of 1590 when the ship bringing supplies returned to the colony

1606 – Maria Anna of Spain born, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess consort of Austria; she the first wife (1631-1646) of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor. It was a successful marriage, with affection and respect on both sides. She was a trusted advisor to her husband, acted as regent during his absences, and promoted a strengthening of relations between the Imperial and Spanish branches of the House of Habsburg. She was also a notable patron of the arts, especially painting. Maria Anna gave birth to six children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Her first-born son Ferdinand IV was King of Bohemia (1646-1654), and briefly King of the Romans (1653-1654), and her son Leopold I, succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor (1658-1705). She died from complications during her final pregnancy at age 39 in 1646

1612 – At Lancashire England Assizes, 8 of the 9 accused ‘Pendle Witches’ are found guilty

1629 – Agneta Horn born, Swedish autobiographer, whose family often traveled with her father, a Swedish Count and military officer, during Sweden’s war with Denmark, until he was captured and held for eight years as a prisoner of war. When her mother died, she was sent to live with an aunt she detested. She married a soldier in 1648, and went with him to Poland and Germany, but he was killed in Poland, and she returned home as a 26-year-old widow with four children, where she ran her estates. She is remembered for her account of her life and travels, Agneta Horn’s Leverne

1735 – Boston’s Evening Post newspaper begins publication

1750 – Antonio Salieri born, Italian composer

1774 – Meriwether Lewis born, American explorer, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery

1834 – Marshall Field born, American department store owner; benefactor of the University of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History, re-named for him

1849 – Benjamin Louis Godard born, French composer

1871 – Francis John McConnell born, American university president, Methodist bishop, and labor reformer. He was president of DePauw University (1909-1912). As chair of an interfaith commission of inquiry, he was influential in abolishing the 7-day workweek and 12 hour workday in the steel industry

1872 – Mail Order Catalog Day *- Aaron Montgomery Ward publishes his first mail order catalog – a single page with 163 items for sale

1885 – Gertrude “Nettie” Higgins Palmer born, Australian poet and essayist, one of Australia’s leading literary critics

1886 – Florence Lawrence, daughter of inventor Charlotte Bridgwood, became the “Biograph Girl” the first actress in silent films to become a star without being famous before making movies. Like her mother, Lawrence was inventive, credited with designing the first “auto signaling arm”, a predecessor to the modern turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. Unfortunately, she did not patent these inventions, so she received no credit or money for either one

1893 – Ragini Devi born, American specialist in classical and folk ethnographic dances, won acclaim from dance critics, author of Dance Dialects of India (1972) performed with her daughter and granddaughter

1894 – U.S. Bureau of Immigration is established by Congress

1900 – Ruth Grigorievna Bonner born, Soviet Communist activist who was sent to a labor camp during Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge. In 1937, she was a health official in Moscow when her husband was arrested on charges of espionage and sentenced to death. She was arrested a few days later, and spent 8 years in the Gulag in Kazakhstan, then another 9 years in internal exile. In 1954, she was one of the first of Stalin’s victims to be “rehabilitated” under new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Her husband was rehabilitated posthumously. Then her daughter, human rights activist Yelena Bonner, and her son-in-law, Andrei Sakharov, were exiled to Gorky in 1980. Ruth Bonner, at age 80, was allowed to move to the U.S. to be with her grandchildren. After her daughter was released, she came home in 1987 and died in Moscow a few months later

1902 – Leona Baumgartner born, physician, first woman to be commissioner of New York City Department of Health (1954); advocate for public health education; head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (1962)

1902 – Mardy (Margaret) Murie born, author and pioneering conservationist, worked for wilderness preservation, instrumental in passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, and the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Noted for her books, Two in the Far North and Island Between. Murie was honored with the 1980 Audubon Medal, the 1983 John Muir Award, and was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton in 1998. She lived to be 101 years old.

1907 – Howard Swanson born, American composer

1908 – Minnie Postma born as Magdalena Jacomina Wille, South African writer who published short stories and novels in Africaans, many for young readers, including Kewaantjie and Kewyntjie, which was broadcast on South African radio

1911 –  Amelia Boynton Robinson born, American suffragist, civil rights activist and playwright; American Civil Rights Movement leader who ran for Congress, the first African American woman to run for office in Alabama and the first woman of any race to run for the ticket of the Democratic Party in the state. She was a key figure in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. Robinson was the founding vice-president of the Schiller Institute; awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Medal in 1990

1911 – Klara Dan von Neumann born in what was Austria-Hungary, Hungarian-American pioneer in computer science. As a teenager she was a figure skating champion. She emigrated to America in 1938 to be with her second husband, physicist John von Neumann. By 1943, she was the head of the Statistical Computing Group at Princeton University. In 1946, she and her husband moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory where she worked on programming the MANIAC I machine designed by John von Neumann and Julian Bigelow. She was also involved as a primary programmer, and in designing new controls, for ENIAC

1914 – President Wilson issues “Proclamation of Neutrality” for U.S. at WWI start

1914 – Lucy Ozarin born, American psychiatrist and physician, one of the first seven women in psychiatry who served as commissioned officers during WWII. After Pearl Harbor, almost all the male staff left the state hospital where she was working, leaving her the only physician for 1000 patients, and she quickly felt overwhelmed. When Federal legislation established the W.A.V.E.S. as part of the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1942, she decided to join. The hospital refused to approve her request for leave, so she resigned her position. As an “officer and a gentleman” (the Navy just used the commission papers for women that they already had for men), she started an Assistant Surgeon, Lieutenant Junior Grade. With no military training, she was immediately assigned to the military hospital at Bethesda, Maryland, then sent to Camp Lejeune. There, the hospital’s commander assigned her to doing physical examinations on civilian applicants for laborer jobs, even though male doctors with only 90 days of psychiatric training were treating psychiatry patients. A colleague helped her get a transfer, and she returned to Bethesda, to treat WAVES. She also studied for and passed the boards in psychiatry (1945). After the war, she went to work for the Veterans Administration, and was soon promoted to Chief of Hospital Psychiatry. She visited all of the Veterans Hospitals to investigate and make recommendations on clearing up the backlog of mental health services. She started programs for VA hospital staffers to improve their skills in relating to patients, and a training institute for clinical directors on advances in psychiatry. Ozarin joined the U.S. Public Health Services in 1957, working in the Kansas City regional office while studying for a Masters in Public Health, which she earned in 1961. The National Institute of Mental Health chose her as one of 5 people to write the regulations and establish community health centers across the U.S. after passage of the 1963 Community Mental Health Act. She was an advocate for deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients. In the 1970s, she did a study for the World Health Organization (WHO) on drug and alcohol treatments in 9 European countries, then convened a conference to report her findings, attended by representatives from 21 countries. After her “retirement” in 1983, she volunteered to catalog medical books, and thousands of documents, medical dissertations, and publications for the National Library of Medicine, to facilitate medical research. Received the Director’s Honor Award for her efforts in 2008. Even in her late nineties, she continued working, this time as author of over 50 mini-biographies of notable psychiatrists, posted at Wikipedia. She lived to be 103 years old

1916 – Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace becomes a national shrine

1916 – Dame Moura Lympany born, English concert pianist; in February 1945, she was the first British musician to perform in Paris after the city was liberated, as a soloist with the orchestra of the Conservatoire de Paris. In 1981, she helped establish the annual Festival des Sept Chapelles in Guidel, Brittany, France

1918 – The WWI Brazilian Medical Mission is established, led by Dr. Nabuco Gouveia and directed by General Aché, with a team of 86 doctors, as well as civilian pharmacists, administrative support staff and a security platoon. They are sent to the European Theater in order to establish a hospital in Paris. Their main role became caring for French sufferers during the deadly enfluenza epidemic, but they also ensured continuity of logistical support to troops at the front

1919 – The ‘Anti-Cigarette League of America’ forms in Chicago IL

1920 – 19th Amendment Yellow Rose Day * – The U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment is ratified, giving women the right to vote. But it almost didn’t happen. Battle of the Roses: Yellow roses were worn by suffrage supporters, red roses by opponents. Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 19th Amendment, by a single vote. That vote was cast by 24-year-old Harry Burn, who had been in the anti-ratification camp and was still wearing his red rose when he voted for passage, because he had received a last-minute letter from his mother that morning. Phoebe Ensminger Burn, called “Miss Febb,” wrote, “Hurrah, and vote for suffrage! Don’t keep them in doubt. I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet.” She ended the missive with a rousing endorsement of the suffragist leader Carrie Chapman Catt, imploring her son to “be a good boy and help Mrs.Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.” He explained his sudden change of heart, “I know that a mother’s advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification.”

Harry Burn and his mother ‘Miss Febb’

1921 – Lydia Litvyak born, Soviet fighter pilot during WWII, the first woman fighter pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft, and one of the first two women certified as aces.

1927 – Rosalynn Carter born, U.S. First Lady (1977-1981), politically active while in White House, focused on mental health, senior citizens, and community voluntarism; co-founder with husband of the Carter Center; active supporter of Habitat for Humanity

1937 – First FM radio station permit is issued, in Boston MA

1937 – Sheila Cassidy born, English doctor who is a leader in the UK hospice movement. She completed her medical studies at Oxford University in 1963. In the 1970s, she went to practice medicine in Chile when Salvador Allende was president. In 1975, after Cassidy gave medical treatment to Nelson Gutierrez, a political opponent of the new Pinochet regime being sought by police, she was arrested by the Chilean secret police and kept in custody without trial, and severely tortured at the notorious Villa Grimaldi, trying to force her to disclose information about her patients and other contacts. The combined efforts of the British Embassy and Argentinean diplomat Roberto Kozak secured her release, and she was expelled from Chile. The interviews she gave about her imprisonment and torture on the parrilla (a metal frame to which a victim is strapped and subjected to electric shock) brought attention in the UK to the widespread human rights abuses in Chile. She also published her account in Audacity to Believe. After her recovery from her ordeal, she continued to practice medicine. She was medical director of the new St. Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth (1982-1997), and set up palliative care service for Plymouth hospitals. Since retiring from St. Luke’s, she’s  been an advocate for hospice, and written books with hospice and religious themes

1938 –  FDR at the opening of Thousand Islands Bridge connecting U.S. and Canada

1940 – ‘The Hardest Day’ of WWII’s Battle of Britain: The British RAF has 29 casualties, and loses 56 aircraft, with another 52 damaged; the Luftwaffe has 129 casualties, loses 69 aircraft, and another 31 damaged

1944 – Paula Danziger born, American author of over 30 children’s books, including The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, and the Amber Brown series

1952 – Elayne Boosler born, American comedian and writer; in 1986, she became the first woman comedian to get her own one-hour comedy special on cable when Showtime aired Party of One. She is active in liberal politics, and was the moderator for a 2003 Democratic presidential candidates debate on C-Span hosted by the National Organization for Women (NOW). She is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, and a strong support of women’s reproductive rights. She founded Tails of Joy in 2001, a nonprofit that benefits the smallest animal rescue organizations, and advocates for animal rescue

1954 – J Ernest Wilkins Sr., appointed as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor under Eisenhower, becomes the first African-American to attend a cabinet meeting as a member of a government department

1957 – Tan Dun born, Chinese composer, noted for his filmscore for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

1958 – Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita is published

1962 – Peter, Paul & Mary release “If I Had A Hammer”

1963 – James Meredith becomes the first black man to graduate from University of Mississippi

1966 – The first photographs of Earth taken from orbit around the Moon are sent back to Earth

1968 – Biafran separatists reject a Nigerian peace offer

1972 – Victoria Coren Mitchell born, English professional poker player, weekly columnist for The Observer, and television presenter of the BBC quiz show Only Connect since 2008

1973 – “China Grove” is released by the Doobie Brothers

1974 – Nicole Krauss born, American writer and novelist; noted for her contributions to The New Yorker, and her novels Man Walks Into a Room; The History of Love; Great House; and Forest Dark

1977 – Anti-Apartheid activist Steven Biko arrested in South Africa at a roadblock near King William’s Town– he will later die from injuries inflicted while he was in custody

1982 – Japanese election laws are amended to allow proportional representation

1988 – The FDA approves Minoxidil to treat hair loss

1994 – The 15th British Commonwealth Games open in Victoria BC Canada

1997 – Beth Ann Hogan becomes first woman to attend Virginia Military Institute (VMI)

2000 – A Federal jury finds the US Environmental Protection Agency guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo; she was passed over for promotion after repeatedly reporting complaints that a U.S. company was mining toxic vanadium in South Africa; her example helped to pass “No FEAR,” the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act (2002)

2010 – The first Serendipity Day * is established to celebrate Life’s happy surprises. The word was coined by historian and politician Horace Walpole in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. Walpole was a prolific letter writer, and he explained to one of his main correspondents that he had based the word on the title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, because the title heroes ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of

2015 (?) – Was this the first Bad Poetry Day? Not confirmed, and there have certainly been centuries of awful poetry before this. Perhaps this day was chosen because no internationally well-known poets were born on August 18, as of yet

2016 – The first National Fajita Day * is launched in honor of the sizzling Tex-Mex dish, evolved from a transplanted Catalan dish merged with Mexican cuisine

2017 – In Finland, two women were killed and eight people were injured during a knife attack in Turku, in southwest Finland. A Moroccan asylum seeker who had been rejected, and was in possession of ISIS propaganda, was arrested within minutes after the attack, and later found guilty of two counts of murder with terrorist intent, and 8 counts of attempted murder with terrorist intent. This was the first time someone had been sentenced for a terrorist crime in Finland

2019 – In Iceland, 100 activists, officials, and other concerned citizens in Iceland hold a funeral for Okjökull glacier, which has completely melted after once covering six square miles (15.5 km2)

Okjokull glacier: on Sept 14 1986 (left), and on August 18, 2019


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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