ON THIS DAY: August 27, 2020

August 27th is

Banana Lovers Day

Just Because Day

National Pots de Creme Day

The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day *

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MORE! Mary Anderson, Man Ray and Rosalie Wahl, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Moldova – Ziua Republicii
(Independence day)

Russia – Film and Movies Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

410 – The Visigoths, after sacking the city of Rome for three days, depart for Southern Italy, with the city’s portable wealth, and Galla Placidia, sister of the boy Emperor Honorius, as a valuable hostage


Sack of Rome by the Visigoths – painting by Thomas Cole (1836)

479 – The second Persian invasion of Greece is stopped by Greek victories, of the army led by Pausanias at Plataea, and in a battle between marines of the Greek city-states allied naval forces and remnants of the Persian navy at Mycale on the Ionian coast

854 – Rhazes born as Abū Mohammad-ibn Zakariyyā al-Razi, Persian polymath, alchemist, philosopher and physician; a pioneer in humoral theory, which leads to distinguishing between contagious diseases, particularly small pox and measles



1549 – The army of John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, destroys Robert Kett’s rebels at the Battle of Dussindale; Kett’s Rebellion is sparked by enclosure,  landlords fencing the common land exclusively for their own use, leaving peasant with nowhere to graze their animals, and some owners forcing tenants off their farms to convert the land into pasture for sheep as wool prices went up; both practices creating widespread unemployment and increasing hardship for the poor

1776 – American Revolution – Battle of Brooklyn Heights: The first major battle after the Declaration of Independence is a defeat for the Americans under George Washington, who were outnumbered 2 to 1 by a combined force of British Redcoats and Hesse-Kassel troops leased to King George III by Frederick II of Sweden



1796 – Sophia Smith born, benefactor of Smith College for women, which was founded in 1871, the year after her death, in Northampton, Connecticut



1805 – Sallie Gordon Law born, first recorded Confederate nurse in the Civil War; she was president of the Southern Mothers’ Association in Memphis, Tennessee, which set up the Southern Mothers’ Hospital for sick and wounded Confederate soldiers early in 1861, and later also treated Union prisoners. Originally having only 12 beds, the hospital moved several times to larger spaces, growing to over 100 beds. The hospital was closed in 1862 when General William T. Sherman became military governor of occupied Memphis. Law then collected medical supplies, food and clothing  which she carried to Confederate field hospitals, mostly in Georgia

1828 – The Treaty of Montevideo: Uruguay’s independence is recognized at peace talks between Brazil and Argentina

1833 – Margarethe Meyer Schurz born, German-American educator, after setting up several kindergartens in the German states and in England, she emigrated to America, and opened the first German-language kindergarten in the U.S., at Watertown, Wisconsin in 1854, and won Elizabeth Peabody, prominent in the Transcendentalist movement, to the kindergarten cause (Peabody opened the first English-language kindergarten in the U.S.)



1834 – Clara Erskine Clement born, American traveler and author of a number of books on history and art, including  History of EgyptThe City of the Sultans, and Women Artists in Europe and America



1859 – Petroleum discovered in Titusville Pennsylvania, site of world’s first commercial oil well

1871 – Theodore Dreiser born, American novelist and journalist; Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy



1872 – Mary Anderson born, American labor leader and activist, Women’s Trade Union League, first director of Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor


Women’s Trade Union, New York Chapter, Mary Anderson – lower left insert

1875 – Katharine McCormick born, American biologist, philanthropist, and women’s rights activist; as an undergraduate at MIT, she refused to wear the fashionable ladies hats required by the administration, arguing that the feathers in vogue at the time were a fire hazard in the laboratories – and the requirement was rescinded.  She was vice president and treasurer of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and funded its publication, The Woman’s Journal. She was a key organizer of Carrie Chapman Catt’s campaign for ratification of the 19th Amendment, which is where she first met Margaret Sanger and became involved in promoting the legalization of birth control. After ratification of the 19th Amendment, McCormack was the first vice president of the League of Women Voters, but also continued to work on birth control issues, even smuggling hundreds of diaphragms from Europe for Singer’s Clinical Research Bureau. She established the Neuroendocrine Research Foundation (1927-1947) at Harvard which studied the link between endocrinology and mental illness. Beginning in the 1950s, she funded research into oral contraception from the development and testing of the first pill through the 1960s, providing almost $2 million USD (equivalent to $23 million today) to the Worchester Foundation for Experimental Biology. She also donated the money to build a woman’s dormitory at MIT which could house 200 students. Prior to this, housing for female students was limited to 50 women. This increased the number of women students at MIT from 3% of the student body to 40%. When she died in 1967, her will provided $5 million to the Stanford University School of Medicine to support female physicians, $5 million to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which funded the Katharine Dexter McCormick Library in New York City, and $1 million to the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology



1877 – Charles Rolls born, English automotive and aviation pioneer, engineer and businessman, co-founder of Rolls-Royce Limited

1883 – Krakatoa erupts in 4 enormous explosions that destroy 2/3 of the island, set off tsunamis, leave 36,000 dead and cause five years of frigid worldwide “volcanic winters”



1886 – Rebecca Clarke born, English viola player and composer; one of the first women to become a professional player in an orchestra when she was hired by Sir Henry Wood to play in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra in 1912; she faced difficulties as a composer because some critics insisted that no woman could have written such quality work. In one contest, she submitted pieces under her own name, and one under the pseudonym of Anthony Trent. The piece by “Anthony Trent” was praised, while the works submitted under her own name were largely ignored



1890 – Man Ray born in America, French photographer and painter



1896 – Anglo-Zanzibar War: The shortest war in world history (09:00 to 09:45), between the United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Zanzibar; The British Royal Navy barrage set the Palace on fire, and sank the Sultan’s yacht

1896 – Léon Theremin, Russian physicist and engineer, inventor of the Theremin



1904 – Norah Lofts born, British author, known primarily for historical fiction, recipient of the National Book Award (from the American Booksellers Association)

1918 – Mexican Revolution/WWI: Battle of Ambos Nogales: U.S. Army forces skirmish with Mexican Carrancistas (followers of Venustiano Carranza, President of Mexico 1917-1920) in the only battle of WWI fought on American soil; while Mexico officially remained neutral in WWI, there was strong-anti-American sentiment; after Germany recognized Carranza’s government after the Constitution of 1917, and the Zimmerman telegram, tension was high between the neighboring countries

1924 –Rosalie E. Wahl born, American lawyer, judge and peace activist; first woman named to the Minnesota Supreme Court (1977-1994); she was an Assistant State Public Defender (1967-1973). Her “feminist epiphany” came to her while sitting outside a closed meeting of the all-male Washington County Board in Minnesota in 1960. She was the head of a group of citizens presenting a proposal to the county board to expand from a single central library in Stillwater, the county seat, with a refurbished school bus as a bookmobile traveling the rest of the rural county once a month, to an integrated county system with branch libraries. The county had a healthy surplus, which would cover most of the start-up costs, and several county supervisors had promised her their vote. But after waiting in the hall, she was told, without explanation, that the board had rejected the proposal. “It was after that I decided to go to law school,” she would say later. “I was tired of sitting outside of doors, with the doors shut, and them deciding.” Throughout her career, Wahl was known for her commitment to equal justice for all, a leader of efforts to address gender  and racial bias in the state’s justice system. In 2014, a biography was published, Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement, by Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Lori Sturdevant



1927 – The “Famous Five” Canadian women file a petition to Supreme Court of Canada, asking, “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?”



1928 – Kellogg-Briand Pact, named for authors U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, is signed by the United States, France and Germany. Ultimately 61 nations sign the pact, which inspires similar provisions in the United Nations charter in 1945

1928 – Joan Kroc née Mansfield born, American philanthropist, married to Ray Kroc, founder of MacDonald’s. When he died in 1984, she inherited his fortune, and created the Joan B. Kroc Foundation, which in 1985 donated $18.5 million to San Diego Hospice for a multi-purpose hospice center. Also in San Diego, she funded the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, the St. Vincent de Paul Joan Kroc Center for the Homeless, and was a major contributor to the Kroc-Copley Animal Shelter. She also supported the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities and Ronald McDonald Houses. Kroc spent millions of dollars on the campaign for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s, and donated $15 million to assist cities in North Dakota and Minnesota after a devastating 1997 flood. Upon her death in 2003, among her many bequests, National Public Radio (NPR) received $225 million, $1.6 billion went to the Salvation Army, and $10 million to the Zoological Society of San Diego



1929 – Ira Levin born, American novelist-playwright; noted for Rosemary‘s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and the play Deathtrap

1932 – Antonia Fraser born, British historian and author, known for history, biographies and detective fiction; she was honored with the 1969 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Mary, Queen of Scots; the 1984 Wolfson History Prize for The Weaker  Vessel; and Crime Writers’ Association 1996 Macallan Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for The Gunpowder Plot



1939 – First Flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, world’s first jet aircraft

1939 – William Least Heat-Moon born, American travel writer and historian



1942 – Red Army Marshal Georgy Zhukov is appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief, and takes charge of the defense of Stalingrad against the German offensive

1948 – Deborah A. Swallow born, English museum curator, historian and academic; director of the Courtauld Institute of Art since 2004; Keeper of the Asian Department and Director of Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (1983-2004); assistant curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Darwin College and lecturer at Girton College (1974-1983)



1949 – Leah Jamieson born, American computer scientist, engineer and academic; Dean of Engineering and Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University; member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering; 2007 President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); founder of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a multi-university engineering design teams program working with non-profit community organizations; recipient of the 2005 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology and the 2007 Anita Borg Institute of Women Vision Award for Social Impact



1953 – Joan Alison Smith born, English novelist, non-fiction author, journalist and human rights activist; on staff at The Sunday Times (1979-1984); contributor for The Guardianand The New Statesman; known for Loretta Lawson crime novels; feminist and atheist; outspoken supporter of Classics in state schools; 2015 chair of the Labour Humanists, which supports secularist policies and humanist values within the Labour Party



1957 – Malaysia’s Federal Constitution comes into force, establishing its Federation as a constitutional monarchy, led by a Prime Minister, with the Monarch filling a mostly ceremonial role.

1959 – Denice Denton born, American electrical engineer, professor and administrator; the first woman professor in engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to win tenure;  Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington (1996-2005), the first woman to lead an engineering college of a major research university; Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2005-2006); while under treatment for depression, she committed suicide in 2006



1959 – Jeannette Winterson born, English writer, journalist and organic delicatessen owner; noted for Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, which won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for First Novel; Written on the Body won the 1994 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? was awarded the 2013 Lambda for Lesbian Memoir/Biography



1962 – NASA Mariner-2 unmanned space mission to Venus is launched


1968 – Daphne Koller born, Israeli-American Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University; co-founder of Coursera, an education platform which puts college courses online for free, while studying how people learn; notable work on artificial intelligence and its applications to biomedical sciences; honored with the inaugural ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences and 2001 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award; member of National Academy of Engineering since 2011

1976 – Audrey C. Delsanti born, French astronomer and biologist; awarded a NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship in astrobiology at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in 2004; credited with discovery of two numbered minor planets, and co-discovery of the trans-Neptune object (40314) 1999 KR16



1979 – The Irish Republican Army kills Lord Louis Mountbatten, his grandson and 2 others with a bomb hidden in his fishing boat at Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland

1985 – The Nigerian government is overthrown without bloodshed by Army Chief of Staff Major General Ibrahim Babangida, who becomes the new Head of State

1985 – Alexandra Nechita born, Romanian American cubist painter and sculptor; selected by the World Federation of UN Associations to lead a 1999 Global Arts initiative


Eternal Embrace – Alexandra Nechita

1991 – European Community recognizes the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Moldova declares its independence from Russia

1993 – Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is raided by the police after a child who stayed there alleges molestation, but no charges are filed at that time

2003 – Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, just 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) away

2012 – An unknown fan starts The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day,* mistakenly believing August 27 was her date of birth (it’s actually April 27, 1855), to celebrate Irish author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who wrote under the pen name “The Duchess” and coined “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in her novel Molly Bawn



2016 – India withdrew troops from the disputed Doklam Plateau in Bhutan, on the border with China. The withdrawal defused a tense two-month stand-off, which began when Indian troops arrived to stop China’s military from building a road into the area claimed by Bhutan, an ally of India. Bhutan is China’s only neighbor which does not have a diplomatic relation with Beijing, so India stepped in to back Bhutan. China had denounced India’s move as a violation of its sovereignty. The two countries announced that diplomats had maintained communication throughout the crisis and reached an agreement. India said the talks had allowed its leaders to “express our views and convey our concerns and interests.” China stopped the road project, but in 2017 and 2018 has quietly deployed troops and built new infrastructure in the area

2018 – Almost half of the maternity units at hospitals in England were closed to expectant mothers at least once during 2017, the Labour Party found through Freedom of Information requests, due to staff shortages, especially of midwives, and other resourcing problems. A total of 287 closings at 41 hospital trusts in 2017 were found, and eight closures lasted over 24 hours. Eleven hospitals shut down their units over 10 separate times. Royal College of Midwives CEO Gill Walton said, “We know trusts are facing huge pressures to save money demanded by the government, but this cannot be at the expense of safety. We remain 3500 midwives short in England and if some maternity units regularly have to close their doors it suggests there is an underlying problem around capacity staffing levels.” She added, “A priority going forward for all UK maternity services is continuity of carer and this would ensure every woman has a named midwife during pregnancy and one-to-one care in labour, so it’s never been more crucial that we have enough midwives and MSWs in our maternity services.” 


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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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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