ON THIS DAY: September 1, 2020

September 1st is

International Day of the Taiji Dolphins *

Emma M Nutt Day *

World Letter Writing Day *

No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day *


MORE! Emma Stebbins, Cetshwayo and Padma Lakshmi, click



Australia – Wattle Day (start of Spring, named
for the golden wattle, the nation’s floral emblem)

Eritrea – Bahti Meskerem
(Start of the Struggle – Revolution Day)

Fiji and Papua New Guinea – Fathers Day

Honduras – Flag Day

Japan – Disaster Prevention Day

New Zealand –
Random Acts of Kindness Day

Poland – Veterans Day

Slovakia – Constitution Memorial Day

Uzbekistan – Mustaqillik Kuni
(Independence Day)


On This Day in History

717 – The Byzantine navy defeats an 1,800-ship Muslim armada using Greek Fire

948 – Emperor Jingzong of the Liao dynasty born, reigned from 969 t0 982; he cracked down on government corruption, and employed Han Chinese officials in his government enabling it to be run more efficiently

1460 – (exact day unknown) – The phrase “No Rhyme or Reason” first appears in print in The Boke of Nurture by John Russell. No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day * is not really related to this event, it is a day to celebrate words that don’t rhyme, like orange. Words that are spelled similarly but pronounced differently, like orange and range, are called ‘eye rhymes.’

1449 – Tumu Fortress Crisis: Ming dynasty Emperor Zhu Qizhen captured by Oirat Mongols, and held captive

1532 – Anne Boleyn is made Marquess of Pembroke by King Henry VIII of England

1593 – Arjumand Banu born, Mughal Empress known as Mumtaz Mahal, beloved consort of Shah Jahan, who builds the Taj Mahal as her final resting place

1604 – The Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sadib, is installed at Harnabdir Sahib

1608 – Giacomo Torelli born, Italian stage designer and engineer of innovative machinery for spectacular stage effects

1653 – Johann Pachelbel born, German composer and organist, remembered for his Canon in D Major

1715 – French King Louis XIV dies after a 72-year reign, longest of any major European monarch

1772 – Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is founded by Father Junipero Serra

1773 – African-American slave Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published by act of Parliament in England

1791 – Lydia Huntley Sigourney born, American poet, known as the “Sweet Singer of Hartford,” published under the name Mrs. Sigourney

1804 – German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding discovers a large asteroid in the Main Belt, and names it Juno

1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr found innocent of treason

1810 – John H. Wood patents the first plow with interchangeable parts

1815 – Emma Stebbins born, American sculptor and painter; her best-known work  “Angel of the Waters” is at Bethesda Terrace in New York’s Central Park

1818 – José María Castro Madriz born, Costa Rican lawyer and politician, first President of Costa Rica

1836 – Narcissa Whitman, missionary, one of the first English-speaking white women to settle west of the Rockies, arrives in Walla Walla, Washington, with her husband

1849 – Elizabeth Harrison born, American educator, founder of National Louis University, created professional standards for early childhood teachers

1854 – The original Engelbert Humperdinck born, German playwright and composer; noted for his his opera Hansel and Gretel

1854 – Anna Botsford Comstock born, American artist, educator and conservationist, illustrator and co-author or author of several books including Manual for the Study of Insects and The Handbook of Nature Study

1859 – Pullman Sleeping cars go into service

1873 – Cetshwayo becomes King of the Zulus upon the death of his father Mpande

1875 – Edgar Rice Burroughs born, American author; creator of Tarzan series

1876 – Harriet Shaw Weaver born, English journalist, political activist, and suffragette; publisher, and later editor, of The Egoist; literary executor of James Joyce. In 1911, she became a subscriber to The Freewoman, a weekly radical feminist periodical edited by Dora Marsden and Mary Gawthorpe. But in 1912, the proprietors withdrew their financial support, and Weaver stepped in to save it from financial ruin. In 1913, it was renamed The New Freewoman, but Ezra Pound, who was the magazine’s literary editor, suggested changing the name to The Egoist. Weaver became involved with its organization while continuing to make financial donations, leading to her taking over as editor. The Egoist serialized James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man after he was unable to find a publisher for the book, but had to have the issues printed abroad because no English printers would take on the controversial work. She gave considerable support to Joyce and his family, but their relationship gradually soured, and then broke off. But when Joyce died in 1941, she paid for his funeral and acted as his executor

1877 – Francis William Aston born, English chemist; 1922 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery of isotopes in non-radioactive elements, and work on whole-number rule

1878 – J.F.C. Fuller, British Major General, military historian, pioneering theorist on modern armored warfare; after retirement, became an admirer of fascism and Hitler; only senior British officer not asked to return to service during WWII

1878 – Emma M. Nutt becomes first woman telephone operator for Boston’s Telephone Dispatch Company, then worked the job for 33 years.  Emma M. Nutt Day *celebrates her achievement and honors telephone operators

1883 – Anita Bush born, American stage actress and playwright, founder of Anita Bush All-Colored Dramatic Stock Company, a repertory theatre company which brought theatre to black audiences

1884 – Hilda Rix Nicholas born, Australian post-impressionist landscape and portrait artist who traveled in North Africa before WWI; her husband was killed in the war only a month after they were married

Une Australienne (An Australian Lady), 1926 – by Hilda Rix Nicholas

1886 – Othmar Schoeck born, Swiss composer; noted for art songs and song cycles and his opera Penthesilea

1895 – Hertha Sponer born, German physicist and chemist; in 1921, she was one of the first women to earn a PhD in physics, and the right to teach science at a German university. In 1925, she received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to stay at University of California, Berkeley, where she remained for a year. During her time at Berkeley, she collaborated with R. T. Birge, developing what is now called the Birge-Sponer method for determining dissociation energies. By 1932, she had published 20 scientific papers, and was an associate professor of physics. But in 1934, with Hitler in power, she was dismissed from her position because of Nazi prejudice against women in academia. She left Germany, and became a visiting professor at the University of Oslo.  In 1936, she came to the U.S. to take up a professorship offered by Duke University. Sponer conducted research in quantum mechanics, physics, and chemistry. She authored and published numerous studies, many of which were in collaboration with well-known physicists, including Edward Teller. She made many contributions, including the application of quantum mechanics to molecular physics and work on the spectra of near ultra-violet absorption. She set up a spectroscopy lab in the physics department of Duke University. Sponer remained a professor at Duke until 1966, when she became Professor Emeritius, until her death at age 72 in 1968

1897 – Mary Cover Jones born, American developmental psychologist, a pioneer in behavior therapy. She graduated from Vassar College in 1919, spending her summers working with poor children in summer camps and settlement houses. She did her graduate work at Columbia University, completing her master’s in 1920. She married fellow graduate student Harold Jones the same year. In 1923, Cover Jones became an associate professor of Psychological Research at the Institute of Educational Research, Teachers’ College, Columbia University, where she conducted her notable ‘Little Peter’ study, a landmark in the development of desensitization therapy. Three-year-old Peter was afraid of a white rabbit, and by extension, all rabbits. She treated his fear by “direct conditioning,” connecting a pleasant association with food with the rabbit, gradually bringing the rabbit closer to Peter while he was given candy, and eventually he was able to touch the rabbit without fear. She published the study’s results in 1924, followed by her doctoral dissertation on the development of early behavior patterns in young children. She went on to work with 365 infants in New York City, studying the development of early behavior in young children. Jones did not receive attention for her work until the 1960s, when the field of behavior therapy began to be recognized under the leadership of Joseph Wolpe, who applauded Cover Jones for her early work. In 1927, she, her husband, and their two daughters, moved to California, where her husband accepted the position of Director of Research at the Institute for Child Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, while she became a research associate at the institute, working on the longitudinal Oakland Growth Study (OGS), and was also an Assistant Professor of Education. She was not hired as a full-time professor because of an anti-nepotism rule that prevented relatives of full professors or department heads from being hired for full-time positions. In 1959, Berkeley ended the rule, and she became a full professor, making the first educational television course on developmental psychology with her husband. In 1960, they both retired, and she became president of the Division of Developmental Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). In 1968, she was honored by the APA with the G. Stanley Hall Award. Mary Cover Jones died in 1987 at age 90. Her last words were: “I am still learning about what is important in life.”

1897 – Boston’s Tremont Street Subway opens, the first underground rapid transit in North America

1902 – The pioneering science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon, premieres in France

1905 – Alberta and Saskatchewan join the Canadian federation

1906 – International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys established, based in Basel, Switzerland

1906 – Eleanor Burford Hibbet born, prolific and popular English author under several pen names, but mainly Jean Plaidy for fiction about European royalty, such as her Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots series; Victoria Holt for gothic romances, like Bride of Pendorricand The Secret Woman; and Ellen Burford for romance novels, Castles in Spain and Heart’s Afire

1907 – Walter Reuther born, United Automobile Workers Union president (1946-1970)

1910 – Peggy van Praagh born in England, ballet dancer; Australian Ballet founder

1914 – St. Petersburg, Russia, renamed Petrograd by the Imperial government

1919 – Hilda Hänchen born, German physicist, discoverer of the Goos-Hänchen effect

1920 – The Fountain of Time opens in Chicago IL to commemorate 100 years of peace between the U.S. and Great Britain following the Treaty of Ghent

1920 – Liz Carpenter born, American journalist, activist, feminist, author, media advisor and speech writer; as a reporter, she covered the White House from President Franklin D. Roosevelt up to President John F Kennedy, and became the first woman executive assistant to the Vice President, for fellow Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson (1960-1963). When LBJ took over as president after Kennedy’s assassination, she became press secretary and staff director for Lady Bird Johnson (1963-1969), while continuing to contribute to LBJ’s speeches.  She started the White House Humor Group to add some leavening humor to presidential speeches. After leaving the White House in 1969, she wrote Ruffles and Flourishes about her experiences. In 1971, she was a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and co-chair of ERAmerica, traveling the country pushing for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Gerald Ford appointed her to the International Women’s Year Commission, then she served in Jimmy Carter’s administration as Assistant Secretary of Education for Public Affairs, and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Conference on Aging. She died suddenly of a heart attack in 1974, at age 52.

1923 – Kantō Earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama, leaving 105,000 dead

1925 – Arvonne Fraser born, American women’s rights advocate and political campaigner; U.S. Ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (1993-1994); fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs (1982-1994); Director of the Office of Women in Development at the U.S. Agency for International  Development (1977-1981); member of U.S. delegations to the first two UN World Conferences on Women in Mexico City (1975) and Copenhagen (1980); Fraser ran her husband’s successful political campaigns for the Minnesota state Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives between 1954 and 1976; leaded the Carter-Mondale presidential campaign in the upper Midwest in 1976

1927 – Soshana Afroyim born as Susanne Schüller, Austrian modernist painter strongly influenced by Asian calligraphy in her later work. Her Jewish family fled from Vienna after the Nazi annexation of Austria. Her father managed to reach New York, where he was able to get an affidavit for his family and booked three tickets for the S.S. Madura, one of the last civilian ships to leave Europe for the U.S. At 17, she fell in love with Beys Afroyim, another artist. Her parents disapproved, but they traveled the U.S., earning their way by painting portraits, including delegates at the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945 at San Francisco. They were married afterwards, and their son Amos was born in 1946. They went to Cuba, where she had her first exhibition, under her new name, Soshana Afroyim. But she and her husband clashed because she rejected being a traditional housewife, and divorced in 1950. She returned with her son to Vienna in 1951, but later gave her ex-husband full custody of Amos. She studied art in Vienna, then moved to Paris in the 1950s, struggling financially until her work was promoted by Zurich gallery owner Max Bollag, and she began to exhibit at galleries in Paris. Between 1956 and 1974 she traveled extensively in Asia, Africa, Mexico, and the Middle East, then around the world, ending in New York. She returned to Vienna, where she died in 2015

Wüstenblüten (Desert Blooms) – painted in Mexico by Soshana Afroyim  

1933 – Ann Richards born, American Democratic politician and feminist; Governor of Texas (1991-1995), known for her quick-witted one-liners; while Texas state treasurer (1983-1991), she gained national recognition when she delivered a nominating speech for Walter Mondale at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, and the keynote address at the Democrat’s 1988 convention

1939 – General George C. Marshall becomes Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

1939 – The Nazis invade Poland; in Germany, Adolf Hitler signs an order to systematically euthanize mentally ill and disabled people

1939 – Lily Tomlin born, American comedian, writer, producer and feminist/LGBT advocate; noted for her keen observational comedy, winner of the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play for her 1985 one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe; she also has a Grammy, and a total of six Emmys for writing, producing, and voiceover

1939 – The Swiss Parliament elects Henri Guisan head of the Swiss Armed Forces, and mobilizes them

1942 – A federal judge in Sacramento CA upholds the wartime detention of Japanese-American citizens as well as Japanese nationals

Japanese Internment Camp at Manzanar

1942 – Carolyn Cherry born, notable American speculative fiction writer, using the pen name C.J. Cherryh because at the beginning of her career the field was so dominated by men. Her editor added the “h” because he thought Cherry sounded too much like a romance writer. She won Hugo Awards Best Novel for Downbelow Station and Cyteen, Best Short Story for “Cassandra,” and the 2016 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

1951 – The U.S., Australia and New Zealand sign the ANZUS treaty for mutual defense

1952 – Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is published, which will win the Pulitzer Prize

1957 – Alexandra Aikhenvald born in the USSR; she is Australian linguist specialising in Linguistic typology and the Arawak language family (including Tariana) of the Brazilian Amazon basin. She is a professor at James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia

1957 – Gloria Estefan born, Cuban-American singer-songwriter, began her career as lead singer for the Miami Sound Machine; winner of three Grammy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Founder of the Gloria Estevan Foundation, which promotes education, heathcare, and cultural development

1958 – Iceland expands its fishing zone, and overlaps the U.K. zone, starting the Cod Wars

1961 – The first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is held in Belgium; NAM has 120 member countries, not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc; founding nations are Yugoslavia, India, Indonesia, Egypt and Ghana; their declaration is known as “The Initiative of Five”

1970 – Padma Lakshmi born in India, American author, actress, TV host-producer, and advocate for women’s healthcare; noted for her cookbook Easy Exotic and her memoir  Love, Loss and What We Ate; she suffered from endometriosis from early adolescence, but it went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed until she was in her mid-thirties, so she became a co-founder of The Endometriosis Foundation of America to educate, raise awareness, fund research and advocate for legislation. The foundation was instrumental in the opening in 2009 of The MIT Center for Gynepathology Research

1972 – American Bobby Fischer defeats Russian Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland, to become world chess champion

1975 – Nomy Lamm born, American singer-songwriter, LGBTQ and body image activist. Her left foot was amputated at three, and she was fitted with a leg prosthesis

1977 – Generation X released their debut single “Your Generation”

1979 – Space probe Pioneer 11 passes Saturn at distance of 13,000 miles (21,000 km)

1985 – A joint U.S.-French expedition locates the wreckage of RMS Titanic

1986 – Stella Nyambura Mwangi born, Kenyan-Norwegian singer-songwriter and rapper, known by the stage name STL, who has written songs about Kenya, and about the discrimination her family faced after moving to Norway. She won the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix in 2011

1991 – Uzbekistan declares independence from the Soviet Union

2003 – International Day of the Taiji Dolphins * is launched by the Dolphin Project to raise awareness of Japanese dolphin hunting season, which opens on September 1 each year. Hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered, but some are captured for sale to marine parks. Hunting permits are issued by the Japanese government

2005 – Richard Simpkin wanted to photograph and interview people he considered Australian Legends, so he wrote dozens of letters asking to meet them. He was always elated when he got a reply. By 2005, he had interviewed and photographed 80 people. This project inspired him to found World Letter Writing Day * on September 1 (not to be confused with U.S. National Letter Writing Day on December 7)

2009 – In Vermont, a law allowing same-sex marriage goes into effect

2011 – Former Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven takes office as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organization established in 1974, after the oil crisis of 1973, as part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

2015 – The UN confirms that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant destroyed the main building of the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria

Temple of Bel at Palmyra in 2002

2016 – In Washington DC, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia offered a formal apology for the university’s profiting from the sale of 272 slaves in 1838 to shore up its finances and stay open. DeGioia said the school will offer preferential treatment in the admissions process to descendants of the enslaved, erect a monument, and create an institute for the study of slavery

2018 – Greta Thunberg, age 15, begins her campaign to shame the world’s politicians into acting with much greater urgency to solve the climate change crisis. She decided it was pointless to learn anything in school if politicians won’t pay attention to the facts, so she started a “School Strike for Climate” campaign, and began picketing outside the Swedish Parliament. This sparked a global youth movement involving hundreds of thousands of teenagers in more than 100 countries. Thunberg has told corporate executives and political leaders that their greed was robbing her generation of its future. “Around the year 2030” she says, “we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control.” If adult leaders don’t act now, she added, their “irresponsible behavior will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”


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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