ON THIS DAY: August 19, 2020

August 19th is

International Orangutan Day

National Aviation Day *

Coco Chanel Day *

Soft-Serve Ice Cream Day

World Humanitarian Day *

World Photography Day


MORE! Mary Ellen Pleasant, Joaquim Nabuco and Patricia Scotland, click



Afghanistan – Independence Day

Canada – Yukon: Discovery Day

Norway –
Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Birthday

Philippines – Quezón City:
Manuel Luis Quezón Day

Vietnam – August Revolution Day


On This Day on HISTORY

295 BC – Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges, serving as curule aedile (city of Rome official charged with maintaining public buildings, regulating festivals and maintaining order), raises enough denarii from noble Roman matrons fined for disorderly conduct to dedicate a Temple to Venus

AD 14 – Roman Emperor Augustus dies; his immediate deification launches the Imperial Cult of Rome; Tiberius is confirmed as his sole surviving heir

1398 – Íñigo López de Mendoza, 1st Marquis of Santillana born, Spanish poet and Castilian politician; notable for his serranillas, a Spanish short poem form

1561 – Mary, Queen of Scots, aged 18, returns to Scotland after living in France 13 years

1570 – Salamone Rossi born, Italian-Jewish composer and violinist, a court musician and concertmaster in Mantua

1583 – Daišan born, Prince Li of the First Rank, influential Manchu prince and statesman of the Qing dynasty who served under three emperors, Nurhaci, Huangtaiji, and during the first years of the Shunzhi Emperor

1585 – The Treaty of Nonsuch is signed by Elizabeth I of English and the Dutch Rebels fighting against Spanish Rule, at Nonsuch Palace in Surrey; it is the first international treaty signed by what would become the Dutch Republic. On December 31 1584, Philip II of Spain had signed the Treaty of Joinville with the Catholic League, in which Philip promised to finance the League’s attempt to eradicate all Protestants. The majority of the Dutch were recent converts to Calvinism. Elizabeth I agreed to supply foot soldiers and cavalry to lift the siege of Antwerp, and 600,000 florins annually, about 25% of the cost of the revolt. In exchange, the Dutch were to hand over Brill and Flushing, coastal towns with good harbours, to England as security

Nonsuch Palace by Joris Hoefnagel

1612 – The Samlesbury Witches: three women from the village of Samlesbury in Lancashire, England, are put on trial, accused by a 14-year-old girl of practicing witchcraft, including child murder and cannibalism. Ten others accused during the same Assizes are hanged, but the three from Samlesbury are acquitted when the girl is discredited as a “perjuring tool of a Catholic priest”

1646 – John Flamsteed born, English astronomer; the first Astronomer Royal, who laid the foundation stone for the Royal Greenwich Observatory and oversaw it from 1676 to 1684; also catalogued over 3000 stars, and predicted the 1666 and 1668 solar eclipses

1692 – Five people found guilty of witchcraft executed by hanging in Massachusetts colony, including John Proctor, who with his wife Elizabeth, would be used by Arthur Miller as major characters in his play The Crucible. Elizabeth was given a stay of execution because she was pregnant, then released after witch hysteria had died down.

1737 – Johann Georg Christoph Schetky born, German composer

1745 – Prince Charles Edward Stuart raises his standard in Glenfinnan: The start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as “the 45”

Raising the Standard at Glenfinnan, by Mark Churms

1772 – Gustav III of Sweden stages a coup d’état, in which he assumes power and enacts a new constitution that divides power between the Riksdag and the King

1782 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Blue Licks is the last major engagement of the war, almost 10 months after British commander Charles Cornwallis surrenders following the Siege of Yorktown

1785 – Seth Thomas, American clock manufacturer, a pioneer in mass production

1814? – Mary Ellen Pleasant born as a slave, American abolitionist and entrepreneur, self-made multimillionaire; she often “passed for white” which helped keep her from getting caught as an Underground Railroad conductor, but changed her designation to “Black” after the civil war; sometimes called the “Mother of Civil Rights in California” – her successful lawsuit against a streetcar company for forcing her and two other black women off the streetcar ended segregation on public transportation in San Francisco, and set a precedent used by the California Supreme Court in other cases ”(her birth year is disputed)

1815 – Harriette Newell Woods Baker born, American children’s book author and editor; she used the pen names Mrs. Madeline Leslie and Aunt Hattie. Her best-known book was Tim, the Scissors Grinder. As ‘Mrs. Leslie,’ she wrote moral and religious tales. Her first published story appeared in The Youth’s Companion magazine when she was 11 years old, and earned for her the sum of one dollar. She wrote almost to the end of her life, dying at age 77 of a respiratory ailment at the home of her son

1830 – J. Lothar Meyer born, German chemist; one of the pioneers who worked on developing the first periodic table of chemical elements

1839 – Louis-Jacques Daguerre unveils his daguerreotype photographic process to the French Académie des Sciences at a Paris meeting

1848 – The New York Herald reports the discovery of gold in California

1848 – Gustave Caillebotte born, French Impressionist painter and supporter, engineer, and yacht builder

The Rue Halévy, Seen from the Sixth Floor, 1878 by Gustave Caillebotte

1849 – Joaquim Nabuco born, Brazilian writer, statesman, and a leading figure in the Brazilian abolitionist movement who founded the Brazilian Anti-Slavery Society; Brazil’s Ambassador to the U.S. (1905-1910), advocate for Pan-Americanism

1856 – Gail Borden patents his process of condensing milk by vacuum

1858 – Ellen Willmott born, English horticulturalist, influential member of the Royal Horticultural Society, one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and with Gertrude Jekyll, one of only two women to receive the Victorian Medal of Honour in 1897, newly instituted that year for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. She published two books, Warley Garden in Spring and Summer, and the two-volume work, The Genus Rosa

Ellen Willmott and the Ellen Willmott Hybrid Tea Rose

1870 – Bernard Baruch born, American financier, philanthropist and advisor to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt

1870 – Annie Webb Blanton born, American suffragist, educator, and author of a series of grammar textbooks. Blanton was elected Superintendent of Texas Public Instruction in 1918, making her the first woman in Texas elected to statewide office

1871 – Orville Wright born, American inventor and aviator; with his older brother Wilbur, he made humanity’s dream of flight a reality

1881 – Georges Enescu born, Romanian composer and violinist

1883 – Coco Chanel Day * – Coco Chanel born, influential French fashion designer of the ‘little black dress’ and the Chanel suit. She began her fashion career as a milliner in 1910, then opened a boutique in 1913, in the resort town of Deauville, to sell deluxe clothing for leisure and sport, making jersey and tricot fabrics into high-fashion sportswear. Next, she expanded her enterprise to Biarritz in 1915, which was so successful she was able to pay back her lover’s investment after the first year. By 1919, she was a registered couturière and established her maison de couture in Paris. By 1927, she owned her original building and four adjacent buildings. By 1935, she employed 4,000 people, but Elsa Schiaparelli had become a serious rival. She closed her business in 1939, moved into the Hotel Ritz, favored hotel of high-ranking Nazi officers, and narrowly escaped being tried as a Nazi collaborator after the war, due to Winston Churchill’s intervention, said by some to be due to her close association with several English peers, and even members of Britain’s royal family. After several years living in a sort of exile in Switzerland, she returned to Paris in 1954 with her come-back collection.  She was back in business, and continued until her death at age 87

Coco Chanel, left, working on a version of her “little black dress”

1900 – Dorothy Burr Thompson born, classical archaeologist, art historian and academic; a leading authority on Hellenistic terracotta figurines; the first graduate from Bryn Mawr College with a major in Greek and archaeology, summa cum laude in 1923; she then studied at the American School of Classical Studies, and worked on excavations at Phlius on the Peloponnese peninsula with Carl Blegen. She discovered a tholos (‘beehive’) tomb in 1925, which was the burial place of the king and queen of Midea. Completed her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr in 1931. In 1933, she was the first woman appointed as a Fellow of the Athenian Agora excavations, where Canadian archaeologist Homer Thompson was the assistant director of field work. They were married in 1934. In between giving birth to three daughters, she still did some work on the Athenian excavations, discovering the garden of the Temple of Hephaistos in 1936. The family moved to Princeton NJ in 1946 when Homer Thompson accepted a chair at the Institute for Advanced Study, where she continued to carry out her research and publish her work. In 1987, she was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement by the Archaeological Institute of America

1902 – Ogden Nash born, notable American humorous poet

1903 – James Gould Cozzens born, American novelist; 1949 Pulitzer Prize for his WWII novel Guard of Honor

1905 – Jacques de Menasce born in Austria, American composer and pianist

1909 – The first automobile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

1911 – Anna Terruwe born, Dutch psychiatrist, noted for work on emotional deprivation and obsessive-compulsive disorders; used writings of Thomas Aquinas as her premise

1914 – Dame Rose Heilbron born, British barrister and High Court judge; the first woman to achieve a first class honours degree in law at the University of Liverpool (1935); the first woman to win a scholarship to Gray’s Inn (1936); one of the first two women to be appointed King’s Counsel (1949) in England; the first woman to lead in a murder case, the first woman  recorder (1956), and the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey (1972), and the first woman treasurer of Gray’s Inn. She was also the second woman to be appointed a High Court judge

1919 – Afghanistan becomes fully independent from the United Kingdom

1921 – Gene Roddenberry born, American TV screenwriter and producer, notable for creating the Star Trek series

1929 – The radio program Amos ‘n’ Andy debuts on NBC

1933 – Bettina Cirone born, American portrait photographer, worked as a Ford model in the 1960s, then began her as a photographer in 1970, at first shooting landmark buildings in downtown Manhattan, and later switching to portrait photography of political figures and celebrities

Self-Portrait, Bettina Cirone

1934 – A referendum approves Hitler’s appointment as Führer of Germany

1934 – The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio

1934 – Renée Richards born, American ophthalmologist, author and tennis player; United States Tennis Association Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame inductee in 2000; after undergoing sex reassignment surgery in 1975, she was denied entrance to the U.S. Open by the USTA; she fought the ban in court – NY State Court ruled in her favor in 1977

1938 – Nelly Vuksic born, Argentinian choral conductor and singer. When her family could not afford to pay for her secondary education, she earned the money herself by playing the piano and singing, then studied conducting at the National University of Rosario, and conducted the University’s youth choir, and later, its adult choir. After graduation in 1969, she married pianist Cesar Vuksic, and they went to the U.S. when he got a scholarship to Ball State University in Indiana. After arriving, she was also offered a scholarship continue her studies in music, and also to learn English. She became the conductor of the school’s women’s chorus, and earned her Ph.D. in conducting in 1978. In New York City, after some lean years when she had to take jobs cleaning houses and performing in night clubs, she was hired by Hugh Ross, choral director of the Schola Cantorum, as a singer. She went on to found the Americas Vocal Ensemble, and has taught at the Bloomingdale School of Music, Columbia University;  now Director of the Conservatory Chorale at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

1939 – FDR issues presidential proclamation designating Orville Wright’s birthday as National Aviation Day *

1940 – New Civil Aeronautics Administration awards Orville Wright honorary license #1

1940 – First flight of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber

1944 – Bodil Malmsten born, Swedish poet and novelist; she co-authored her first book with Peter Csihas, a children’s story called Ludvig åker. Her novel, Priset på vatten i Finistère (The Price of Water in Finistère) was translated into English by Frank Perry

1946 – Dawn Steele born, one of the first women to run a major Hollywood Studio, beginning in merchandising and rising through the ranks of production to Presdient of Production at Paramount Pictures in 1985, and took over as President of ailing Columbia Pictures (1987-1990), but after a string of loses, she resigned, and the studio was sold to Sony Corporation. Next, she formed Steel Pictures and made films for the Walt Disney Company (1990-1993), then she became a partner in Atlas Entertainment     (1994-1997); her 1993 memoir, They Can Kill You But They Can’t Eat You, described her tenure at Columbia. In Steel’s obituary, Norah Ephron said she was the first powerful woman in Hollywood to hire large numbers of women as executives, producers, marketing people and directors

1947 – Anuška Ferligoj born, Slovenian mathematician; noted for her work in network analysis, multivariate analysis, social networks, and survey methodology. Professor of Multivariate Statistics and head of the graduate program on Statistics at the University of Ljubljana, and Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology

1950 – Jennie Bond born, English journalist and television presenter; the BBC’s Royal Correspondent (1989-2003); has published several books on Britain’s Royal Family

Jennie Bond with Harris Hawk – Swinton Park

1953 – The CIA and MI-6 help overthrow the government of democratically elected  Mohammad Mosaddegh, whose many social reforms include nationalizing the Iranian oil industry, and then Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is reinstated as Shah of Iran

1955 – Patricia Scotland born in Dominica, British Leeward Islands, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, called to the Middle Temple in 1977, specializing in family law. In 1991, she became the first black woman to be appointed as a Queen’s Counsel, then was elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple. She was named as a Millennium Commissioner, and a member of the Commission for Racial Equality, in 1994. Received a Life Peerage in 1997, and is a Lord Temporal Member of the House of Lords. Parliamentary Under-secretary of State (1999-2001), then Parliamentary Secretary (2001-2003). Appointed as Attorney General (2007-2010) then Advocate General (2010) for Northern Ireland, and also served as the first woman Attorney General for England and Wales (2007-2010). Currently the first woman Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations (since 2016)

1956 – José Rubén Zamora born, Guatemalan industrial engineer, and founder-publisher of the daily newspapers Siglo Veintiuno (‘21st Century’ – 1990-1996), El Periódico (‘The Newspaper’ –1996-present), and Nuestro Diario (‘Our Daily’ – since 1998)the newspaper with the largest circulation in Guatemala, and one of the most circulated papers in Latin America. His first newspaper Siglo Veintiuno, which frequently reported on corruption in the government of President Jorge Serrano, was surrounded by the national police during the 1993 constitutional crisis and press censorship in Guatemala. Zamora began printing the paper with the name Siglo Catorce (‘14th Century’) with many stories covered in solid blocks of ink, while he faxed uncensored versions to newspapers in neighboring countries, which the International Press Institute credits with contributing to condemnation of Serrano by the international community and his subsequent flight from Guatemala. The offices of his next venture, El Periódico, were attacked in 2001 by protesters in an arson attempt, and Zamora was burned in effigy. The police took over 40 minutes to arrive, and made no arrests. After the paper published results of a lengthy investigation into links between President Alfonso Portillo’s administration and organized crime, government auditors spent 40 days at the Periódico offices, until the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) lodged a formal complaint.  Zamora has been driven off the road, had grenades thrown at his parked car, and in June 2003, he and his family were held hostage in their home for hours, beating his children, and forcing Zamora to strip and kneel at gunpoint, while one of the gunmen warned him to stop “annoying” people high up the ladder, and not to report the incident.  The attack was condemned by the U.S. government, calling on President Portillo to bring the attackers to justice and protest his nation’s journalists. Portillo gave Zamora access to photographic databases of government and armed forces personnel, and he identified several of his attackers. One of them was sentenced to prison, and another was acquitted. In 2008, Zamora was kidnapped and beaten, and left unconscious over 16 miles (25 km) away. He and his newspaper staffs have been honored with many awards, including the 1995 International Press Freedom Award, the John s. and James L. Knight Foundation 2003 International Journalism Award, and the 2015 Myrna Mack Prize for defense of human rights by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission

1957 – Gerda Verburg born, Dutch politician and trade union member; Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations organizations for Food and Agriculture since 2011; Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (2010-2011); Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (2007-2010); youth worker then member of the board of the construction trade union for the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (1982-1997)

1960 – American U-2 pilot Gary Powers is convicted of espionage in Moscow, and the USSR launches Korabl-Sputnik 2 with dogs Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, two rats and a variety of plants aboard, the first spaceflight to safely return animals to Earth

1964 – NASA launches Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite

1969 – First day of a three-day recording session for Bitches Brew, the double album by Jazz legend Miles Davis, his first gold record

1975 – Chynna Clugston Flores born, freelance American comic book creator; known for her manga-influenced teen comedy series Blue Monday

1988 – Veronica Roth born, American writer and dystopian novelist, known for her Divergent trilogy

1989 – Polish president Wojciech Jaruzelski nominates  Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be Poland’s first non-communist prime minister in 42 years

1989 – Hundreds of East Germans cross the Hungarian-Austrian border for the Pan-European Picnic; the border gates remain symbolically open for three hours; the events helps bring about the lifting of the Iron Curtain and the fall of the Berlin Wall

1991 – The “August Coup,” Dissolution of the USSR: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest while on holiday in the Ukraine

1994 – President Clinton ends a three-decade U.S. open door policy for Cuban refugees

1997 – The Fleetwood Mac reunion album The Dance is released

1999 – In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, tens of thousands of Serbians rally to demand the resignation of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević

2004 – Google, the internet search engine, goes public

2005 – Peace Mission 2005 begins, the first-ever joint military exercise between Russia and China

2008 – First U.N. World Humanitarian Day * is established on the anniversary of the 2003 Baghdad Canal Hotel bombing where U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Sérgio Vieira del Mello was killed

2010 – Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, as the last of U.S. brigade combat teams cross the border to Kuwait

2017 – The Cyprus Island Atlantic Salmon Pen Break: well over 200,000 farmed Atlantic salmon, not native to the Pacific region, were accidentally released into the wild in the waters of Washington state. Only about 57,000 of the escaped salmon were recaptured. The license of the company which ran the salmon farm was terminated by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources

2019 – Google’s new policy has a loophole that allows “crisis” pregnancy centers to continue to post their deceptive ads . These  pregnancy centers are anti-abortion clinics which discourage women from getting abortions. The Google loophole means only users who are specifically searching under the term ‘abortion’ will be provided information. In May 2019, it was reported that Google had allowed one US-based center that has a network of clinics across the country, funded by Catholic organisations, to post US $150,000 worth of free advertisements in 2011 and 2015. Following widespread complaints, Google developed a new policy that they said was meant to rein in this deceptive advertising, but the loophole allows the centers to continue to post their misleading ads. Senator Elizabeth Warren condemned the Trump administration for working “to gag doctors, spread misinformation, and support so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that go out of their way to present misleading and incomplete reproductive health care information to women.” A site called Abortion Pill Rescue was marketing  “an effective process called abortion pill reversal that can reverse the effects of the abortion pill.” The site, run by Heartbeat International, a Christian anti-abortion organization, directs visitors to a hotline that can guide them through the procedure. “If you have taken the first dose of the abortion pill and regret it, you are not alone,” the website reads. “We can help you!” Consumer watchdogs asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to shut down these websites, as this”reversal” treatment is potentially dangerous and has not been approved by the FDA


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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