ON THIS DAY: August 28, 2020

August 28th is

Radio Commercials Day *

Cherry Turnover Day

National Bow Tie Day

Red Wine Day

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day


MORE! Evadne Price, James Wong Howe and Rita Dove, click



India – Ayyankali Jayanti **
(birthday of untouchables champion)

Mexico – Día del Abuelo
(Grandparents Day)


On This Day in HISTORY

489 – The army of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, defeats the forces of Odoacer, the first King of Italy (476-493), at the Battle of Isonzo on the banks of the Isontius River, (there were TWELVE ‘Battles of Isonzo’ during WWI, but that’s another story entirely) THIS Battle of Isonzo is often considered a marker for the beginning of the end of the Western Roman Empire

632 – In Medina, the death of Fatima az-Zahra, aka Fatimah bint Muhammad, daughter of Muhammad, the Islamic Prophet, and Khadija (While Fatimah is a revered figure for all Muslims, the exact date and cause of her death are disputed by various factions)

1023 – Go-Reizei born, Emperor of Japan (1045-1068). In 1051, Abe samurai clan leaders Abe no Sadatō and Munetō instigated the Zenkunen War (Early Nine Years War, 1051–1062), and Minamoto no Yoriyoshi was appointed governor of Mutsu and named chinjufu shōgun (Commander-in-Chief of the Defense of the North). Go-Reizei died at age 44 leaving no direct heirs, and was succeeded by his father’s second son, who became the Emperor Go-Sanjō

Emperor Go-Reizei

1524 – The Kaqchikel Maya begin a rebellion against their former Spanish allies in defeating their enemies, the neighboring K’iche’ Kingdom, during the Spanish conquest of Guatemala, proving the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend

1609 – Henry Hudson reaches what is now Delaware Bay

1691 – Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel born, Holy Roman Empress by marriage to Emperor Charles VI. She was raised as a Lutheran, but was forced to convert to Catholicism when she married, and prior to the wedding had to undergo a medical examination to prove her fertility, and was tested by the Emperor’s Jesuit confessor on the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1708, after they were wed in Barcelona while Charles was fighting for his claim to the Spanish throne, she was continuously pressured to produce a son. When Charles left Spain in 1711 to succeed his brother as Holy Roman Emperor, he left Elisabeth Christine behind as General Governor of Catalonia in his absence. She ruled alone from 1711 to 1713, when Charles’ French rival for the Spanish throne became Philip V of Spain. Elisabeth Christine left for Vienna, where Charles tried to keep completely away from any political influence, but she forged alliances with some of the ministers, and had some influence on a treaty with the Russian Tsar because of her family connections in Northern Germany. She also allied herself with the court faction opposing marrying her daughters into the Spanish royal house. She gave birth to the demanded male child in 1716, but the baby died just a few months later. Three years after her marriage, court doctors prescribed large doses of liquor to make her more fertile. During her 1725 pregnancy, Charles unsuccessfully had her bedchamber decorated with erotic images of male beauty so as to make her expected baby male by stimulating her fantasy. After this, the court doctors prescribed a rich diet to increase her fertility, which made her so fat that she became unable to walk, experienced breathing problems, insomnia and dropsy and had to be lowered into her chairs by a specially constructed machine. Her health was devastated.  She gave birth to three daughters, but one died in infancy. In 1740 Charles died, but she never received the large income he had left her in his will. Her daughter Maria Theresa, who became Holy Roman Empress, assured that her mother was able to live comfortably, but maintained a formal relationship with her, strictly adhering to Spanish court etiquette. Elizabeth Christine died in Vienna at age 59 in 1740

Elisabeth Christine as a young woman

1749 – Johann Wolfgang Goethe born, German author, poet and philosopher

1774 – Elizabeth Ann Seton born, first person born in the U.S. to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, in 1975.  She founded the first American Catholic girls’ school, in Maryland, and also founded the Sisters of Charity, first American congregation of religious sisters

1789 – William Herschel discovers another moon of Saturn, named after a giant in Greek mythology, Enceladus

1828 – Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy born, Russian author; best known for the epic novel War and Peace

1830 – The passenger-carrying train “Tom Thumb” is demonstrated in Baltimore MD

1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act receives Royal Assent, abolishing slavery in almost all of the British Empire

1845 – First issue of Scientific American magazine is published

1850 – Wagner’s opera Lohengrin premieres

1859 – Lida (Matilda) Scott Howell born, American archer who won three gold medals at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, the first time women competed in archery in the modern Olympics. She also won 17 U.S. national championship titles. She retired from national competition in 1907. Archery was discontinued from the Olympics after 1920, due to lack of standardized international rules, and wasn’t reinstated until 1972

1863 – Ayyankali * born, advocate for advancement of India’s “untouchable” Dalits caste; founded the first school for Dalit children, but it was destroyed in an arson fire; campaigned for admission of Dalit children to public schools; the order to admit them was finally put effect in 1910 after several years of struggle; founder of group Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham, dedicated to advancing the rights of Dalits in education, employment and civil rights

1879 – Cetshwayo, the last Zulu king, is captured by the British

1888 – Evadne Price born in Australia, Australian-British astrologer and prolific writer under the pen name Helen Zenna Smith. She wrote many romance novels, but is best known for her WWI novel Not So Quiet, (a play on Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front) depicting the experiences of British women ambulance drivers, and her Jane Turpin short stories in 1930s magazines, which were published in a series of books in the 1940s, including Jane at War. During WWII, she was a war correspondent for The People, covering the Allied invasion of Europe and many major war stories, including the Nuremberg Trials. She was the first woman journalist to enter the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. For 25 years, she wrote a monthly astrology column in SHE magazine, and was the presenter on an afternoon programme during the early years of BBC television called Fun With the Stars. She co-wrote scripts in the 1960s with her husband Ken Attiwill for the British TV soap-opera Crossroads. She died in 1985 at the age of 96, leaving an unfinished autobiography she had titled Mother Painted Nude

1898 – Caleb Bradham’s beverage “Brad’s Drink” is renamed “Pepsi-Cola”

1899 – James Wong Howe born in China, innovative American cinematographer

1903 – Bruno Bettelheim born in Austria, American psychologist, academic and author; a 1977 National Book Award for The Uses of Enchantment

1907 – Teenagers Jim Casey and Claude Ryan start the American Messenger Company, which becomes United Parcel Service

1908 – Roger Tory Peterson born, American naturalist, ornithologist and author; a pioneer in the environmental movement; Wild America, Peterson Field Guides

1913 – Richard Tucker born, major post-WWII American operatic tenor at the Met; also served as a cantor, especially at the Jewish High Holy Days services

1913 – Queen Wilhelmina opens the Peace Palace in The Hague, now home of the International Court of Justice

1913 – Robertson Davies born, Canadian novelist, playwright and academic; The Deptford Trilogy; Leaven of Malice won 1955 Stephen Leacock Award for Humour

1915 – Tasha Tudor born, notable illustrator and author of children’s books; won Caldecott Honors for Mother Goose; author of a series starting with Corgiville Fair

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.

1917 – During WWI, Woman Suffrage protesters outside the White House carry banners addressed to “Kaiser Wilson.” Ten of them, including Alice Paul, are arrested, sentenced to work camps, and then their hunger strike ended by forced feeding. Between June and November of 1971, 218 demonstrators were arrested, charged with “obstructing sidewalk traffic” outside the White House gates. The jailing and forced feedings were well-covered in the newspapers and pressure grew, until President Wilson announced in January, 1918, that the suffrage amendment was urgently needed as a “war measure.” The House voted to pass it, and the women stopped the picketing. But when the amendment failed to pass in the Senate – by one vote – on September 30, 1918, they returned to picketing throughout the winter, becoming more confrontational, chaining themselves to fences, and burning “watch fires” in front of the White House

1921 – Lidia Gueler Tejeda born, Bolivian politician; Acting President of Boliva (1979-1980), Bolivia’s first woman Head of State; President of the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies (1979); Member of the Congress of Bolivia (1956-1964)

1922 – First radio commercial * aired on NYC’s WEAF when the Queensboro Realty Company buys 10 minutes of airtime for $100

1924 – Janet Frame born, pseudonym of Nene Janet Paterson Clutha, New Zealand author, also known for her personal history; her book The Lagoon and Other Stories, published in 1951, won the prestigious Hubert Church Memorial Award just days before she was scheduled to have a lobotomy, which was cancelled when the award was announced. She had some difficulty in school during two years of theoretical studies in psychology, and during a year of practical placement, she became despondent and attempted suicide, and was briefly admitted to a psychiatric ward for observation. She was unwilling to return home, where there were frequent outbursts of anger and violence between her father and her brother, so she was transferred to Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, and then spent the next eight years in and out of psychiatric hospitals. Her initial diagnosis of schizophrenia, was treated with electroconvulsive therapy and insulin. In spite of this, she wrote her short story collection during this time, and it saved her from being lobotomized.  Four years later, she was discharged from Seacliff, and wrote her first full-length novel, Owls Do Cry, published in 1957, then went to Europe, and later traveled in the U.S., but still struggled with anxiety and depression. Her three volumes of autobiography, To the Island, An Angel at My Table and The Envoy from Mirror City, were her best-selling books. She died in 2004, at age 79, from acute myeloid leukaemia

1924 – The rebellion of Georgians seeking independence from Soviet rule is launched; it will last just over a year before it is crushed by the Red Army

1931 – France and the USSR sign a non-aggression treaty

1931 – ‘Red’ Allen records “You Rascal You” with the Luis Russell Band

1942 – Wendy E. Davies born, Welsh historian and academic; Emeritus Professor of History at University College, London; noted for her studies of Welsh and Briton history, and her analysis of the Llandaff Charters; founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales; and co-director of the interdisciplinary Celtic Inscribed Stones Project

1943 – In Denmark, a general strike against the Nazi occupation begins

1948 – Vonda McIntyre born, American science fiction author and founder of the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, Washington, with support from Robin Scott Wilson, founder of the original Clarion Writers Workshop in Pennsylvania. Her first novel, The Exile Waiting, was published in 1975. She was co-editor with Susan Janice Anderson of Aurora: Beyond Equality, a feminist-humanist science fiction anthology, in 1976. She wrote a number of Star Trek and Star Wars novels. In 1979, her novel Dreamsnake won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. The Moon and the Sun, set in the court of Louis XIV, was published in 1997. Her last book, Curve of the World, was completed just before her death in 2019

1948 – Heather Reisman born, Canadian founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music, and the founder of Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, which donates millions of books to libraries in under-resourced public elementary schools. She has donated to many charities and scholarship programs. In 2010, she started an online petition during the international campaign to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iraniam Aseri woman convicted of adultery and complicity in the murder of her husband, who was sentenced to death by stoning. Ashtiani remained on death row for nine years before her sentence was commuted, and she was freed in 2014

1948 – Elizabeth Wilmshurst born, British jurist, legal adviser and academic; Distinguished Fellow of the International Law Programme at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), and Professor of International Law at University College London. She was the leading British negotiator of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, both within the framework of the UN Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an ICC (1996-1998) and the Rome Diplomatic Conference (1998). Wilmshurst was Deputy Legal Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom in 2003, but resigned three days after Lord Goldsmith’s final advice to the British government reversed her legal opinion that the invasion of Iraq would be illegal without a second UN Security Council Resolution to SCR 678, adopted in November, 1990, noting that Iraq continued to defy the Security Council’s demand that Iraq withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, and empowering states to use “all necessary means” to force Iraq out if it was still in Kuwait after the deadline. In 2010, Willshurst gave evidence to the British Iraq Inquiry about the legality of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the advice given to former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the same day as her former boss, Sir Michael Wood. Noted for the widely used An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure, which she co-edited with Robert Cryer, Hakan Friman and Darryl Robinson

1952 – Rita Dove born, African American poet, essayist and academic; she was the youngest appointee as U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-1995) and was a Special Consultant in Poetry (1999-2000) for the celebrations of the Bicentennial Year of the Library of Congress. Dove is also the second African American to receive the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for Thomas and Beulah, and served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia (2004-2006). Noted for On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Mother Love and Collected Poems: 1974-2004, which was a finalist for a 2016 National Book Award

1954 – Katherine Abraham born. American feminist economist; Director of the Maryland Center for Economics and Policy, and a professor of Survey Methodology  and Economics at the University of Maryland. Commissioner of Labor Statistics at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (1993-2001) and a member of the Council of Economic Advisers (2011-2013); honored with the 2002 Julius Shiskin Award for Economic Statistics  and the 2010 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics

1955 – Black teenager Emmett Till, accused of whistling at a white woman, is brutally murdered in Mississippi, galvanizing the Civil Rights Movement

1957 – U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (SC) filibusters to prevent a Senate vote on the Civil Rights Act. He holds the floor for 24 hours, 18 minutes, the longest filibuster conducted by a single Senator

1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington before a crowd of more than 200,000 people

1966 – Priya Dutt Roncon born, Indian social worker and Indian National Congress party politician; Member of the Indian Parliament for Mumbai North Central (2009-2014) and for Mumbai North West (2005-2009). During and after the Bombay riots in Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993, she worked with Muslim refugees; during which she reported getting threatening phone calls and being harassed in public

1968 – During the Democratic National Convention, 10,000 anti-war protesters take to the streets of Chicago. Denied legal permits by Chicago Mayor Daley, several leaders are arrested by Chicago police on August 23. On August 28, in Grant Park, the police riot, beating protesters, journalists and bystanders, and using massive amounts of tear gas and mace. As the riot spills over in front of the Hilton Hotel, the crowd begins chanting “the whole world is watching” before the television cameras

1970 – The Jackson Five release their single “I’ll Be There”

1975 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces a ban on the use of polyvinyl chloride plastic for packaging of certain foods, because of its potential for causing cancer. At the time, PVC was the second most-used plastic in American food packaging. Although PVC film wrapping of meat and fruits still permitted, use of hard PVC plastic on lunch meat packages, and for bottles of liquids, is prohibited

1981 – Kezia Dugdale born, Scottish Labour Party politician; Leader of the Scottish Labour Party (2015-2017); Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Finance and the Constitution (2016-2017); Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party (2014-2015); Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Education and Lifelong Learning (2013-2014);  Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian (2011-2019)

1988 – Metallica single “Harvester of Sorrows” is released

1995 – Chase Manhattan and Chemical Bank merge to become the largest U.S. bank

1998 – Pakistan’s National Assembly passes a constitutional amendment to make the “Qur’an and Sunnah” the “supreme law” of the land but the bill is defeated in the Senate.

2005 – New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders the evacuation of the city ahead of Hurricane Katrina

2008 – Barack Obama accepts his party’s presidential nomination at the Democratic Convention in Denver CO

2013 – China and Russia walk out of a UN Security Council meeting after the U.S. pushes for immediate action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons

2015 – After Egypt’s highest appeals court ordered a retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists originally given sentences of 7 to 10 years, Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste received revised sentences of three years each. They were prosecuted for “operating without a press license” and “broadcasting ‘fake’ news.” The retrial was ordered after an international outcry over the original sentences. Amnesty International called the new verdict “farcical”

Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed

2017 – Helen Steel, an environmental campaigner who was deceived into forming a long-term intimate relationship with a police spy, is refusing to pay Scotland Yard a £7,000 legal bill incurred during her four-year legal battle against police chiefs who were eventually compelled to apologise unreservedly for the abuse and emotional trauma she suffered from the deception, and the legal challenge she launched to compel the  Metropolitan police to disclose that her former boyfriend, John Dines, had been an undercover officer. Dines was part of an undercover unit that infiltrated hundreds of political groups for over 40 years. In the 1980s he adopted a fake identity and spent five years pretending to be a leftwing campaigner. During his covert mission he started a two-year relationship with Steel, an environmental and social justice campaigner, but concealed from her his true identity. In 1992, Dines disappeared, claiming to be having a mental breakdown. Steel was worried he could kill himself. In reality he had returned to the police to resume his duties. Steel spent years trying to discover who he really was, and in 2011, she joined seven other women deceived by undercover officers in suing the police. In 2014, a high court judge ruled that police had to disclose the identities of two spies, but not those of Dines and another former undercover officer. Steel started an appeal, but in 2015, she was warmed that if she lost she would likely have to pay the huge legal costs of the police, and withdrew her appeal. This made her liable for the Met’s costs up that point. Steele says she was forced to withdraw to avoid the possibility of being landed with an even larger bill. She said, “If the Met had been prepared to tell the truth in the first place, this appeal would never have been necessary. I don’t see why I should have to pay their costs for the cover-up. Despite their public apology to myself and other women who were abused by undercover policemen, the Met has done their utmost to protect the abusers rather than protecting the public. It is outrageous that in order to get the police to admit the truth, women who have been abused by police officers are forced to go through lengthy legal battles where they risk bankruptcy or losing their home.” The Green party peer Jenny Jones has written to Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, urging her to drop the attempt to recover the legal costs from Steel and “accept that it is part of the financial cost of poor and sometimes illegal policing tactics.” Lady Jones added, “While I understand the legal imperative to recover such costs, I also see that there are times when common sense should rule.”

Helen Steele


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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