ON THIS DAY: September 6, 2020

September 6th is

National Read a Book Day

Circumnavigation Day *

Coffee Ice Cream Day

Louisa Ann Swain Day *

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MORE! Zelia Nuttall, Peter Marsden and Rosie Perez, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Bonaire, St. Eustatius & Saba –
Flag Day

Bulgaria – Unification Day

Pakistan – Defense Day

São Tomé & Principe –
Armed Forces Day

Swaziland – Somhlolo
(Independence day)

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On This Day in HISTORY

394 – Battle of the Frigid River, which began on the previous day, between the Eastern Roman Empire army of Emperor Theodosius I and the forces of Western Roman Ruler Eugenious, at the eastern border of Regio X in Roman Italia, the last serious attempt to contest the Christianization of the empire. On this second day of battle, Theodosius wins, and the Roman Empire is reunited (briefly) under one emperor for the last time

1475 – Sebastiano Serlio born, Italian architect, part of the Italian team hired to build the Palace of Fontainbleau in the Renaissance style that had swept Italy; his extensive, influential treatise on the classical orders of architecture was published and translated under various names, including I sette libri dell’architettura (“Seven Books of Architecture”) and Tutte l’opere d’architettura et prospetiva (“All the works on architecture and perspective”)


title page of the third volume of Serlio’s treatise – Sebastiano Serlio

1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his last port before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time

1522 – Circumnavigation Day * – Victoria, the only surviving ship from Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, limps into Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, with only 18 crew members on board, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the earth


Magellan’s flagship Victoria, by an unknown artist

1620 – Isabella Leonarda born, Italian composer; at the age of 16, she entered the Collegio di Sant’Orsola, an Ursuline  convent in Novara, where she lived and worked the rest of her life, producing  almost 200 compositions which were highly regarded in Novara, but not known in the rest of Italy



1628 – Puritans settle Salem, which will become part of Massachusetts Bay Colony

1642 – The English Parliament issues an Ordinance suppressing all plays in theatres

1757 – Marquis de Lafayette born, French aristocrat who served as a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolution



1795 – Frances ‘Fanny’ Wright born in Scotland, British-American writer and activist for women’s rights, birth control, sexual freedom, public education, equality between the sexes and races, and the abolition of slavery; founder of Nashoba, a utopian community in Tennessee, which was a failed attempt at gradual manumission of slaves



1800 – Catharine Beecher born, American educator; although she was against women leaving their ‘sphere’ as homemakers and mothers, she was an outspoken advocate for women’s education and kindergarten for all children; she campaigned against Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Bill (Congress passed it in 1830); founder of the Ladies’ Society for Promoting Education in the West



1803 – Scientist John Dalton uses symbols to represent atoms of different elements

1811 – James Gilliss born, American naval officer; founder of U.S. Naval Observatory

1819 – Thomas Blanchard receives U.S. patent for a lathe to turn gun barrels

1829 – Marie Zakrzewska born in Poland, pioneering woman physician in America; founded the New England Hospital for Women and Children, which gave women medical students the clinical experience they were denied at male-run hospitals, and had the first general training program for nurses in the U.S.; it was also the first hospital in Boston to offer gynecological and obstetrical care; campaigned with other women’s activists to raise $50,000 for a women’s medical training program, which Harvard turned down, but Johns Hopkins accepted, opening its doors to female students



1837 – Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio begins admitting women as well as men

1857 – Zelia Nuttall born, American archeologist and anthropologist, specialized in Mesoamerican manuscripts and pre-Aztec culture. She discovered two forgotten manuscripts in private collections, one of which was the Codex Zouche-Nuttall. She was one of the first to identify and recognize artifacts dating back to the pre-Aztec period. She published her findings on the “Terra Cotta Heads of Teotihuacan” for the American Journal of Archaeology (1886), which led to her appointment as Special Assistant of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard



1860 – Jane Addams born, the remarkable American pioneer in social work and the settlement house movement, philosopher, public administrator, author, a leading suffragist and peace activist; co-founder with Ellen Gates of the famous Hull House in Chicago, and a founding member of the ACLU; first American woman honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1931; noted for her essays and articles, especially “Utilization of Women in City Government,” and for her book, A New Conscience and Ancient Evil, about sex trafficking, as well as her autobiographical volumes, Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930)



1860 – May Jordan McConnel born, Australia trade unionist and suffragist; the first woman to be a paid trade union organizer in Queensland. She was secretary of the Tailoresses’ Union, was heavily involved in the formation of the Brisbane Women’s Union, treasurer of the Women’s Equal Franchise Association, and served as the inaugural general secretary of the women’s section of the Australian Labour Federation. She went to work as an organizer for the Labour Federation in 1890. She also married David Rose McConnel that year, but did not give up her work for the Federation. On 1891, she was appointed to a Queensland Government committee investigating working conditions in shops, factories and workshops. She suffered several miscarriages before giving birth to two sons, the first in 1894, and the second in 1900. In 1905, as a member of the Queensland Society for Prevention of Cruelty, she lobbied to have the legislation on neglected children amended. The family left Australia in 1910 for the UK and the U.S. Their Australian home was donated to the Methodist Church for use as a children’s home, and became the Queen Alexandra Home for Children in 1910. May Jordan McConnel died in 1929 in California at the age of 68



1863 – Jessie Willcox Smith born, American painter and illustrator during the Golden Age of American illustration; considered one of the greatest “pure illustrators.” She contributed to many of the best-known magazines of the day, and had an ongoing relationship with Good Housekeeping. She also illustrated editions of over 60 books, including Alcott’s  Little Women, and Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses


A Girl with a Cat, by Jessie Willcox Smith –
Good Housekeeping September 1932 magazine cover

1870 – Louisa Ann Swain * aged 69, of Laramie, Wyoming, becomes first U.S. woman to legally vote. She arose early, put on her apron, shawl and bonnet, and walked downtown with a tin pail in order to purchase yeast from a merchant. She walked by the polling place and concluded she would vote while she was there. The polling place had not yet officially opened, but election officials asked her to come in and cast her ballot. She was described by a Laramie newspaper as “a gentle white-haired housewife, Quakerish in appearance.”



1876 – The Southern Pacific rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco is completed



1876 – J. J. R. Macleod born, Scottish physiologist; co-winner of 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in the discovery of insulin



1890 – Claire Lee Chennault (“Old Leatherface”) born, American major general and aviator; leader of the First American Volunteer Group aka the “Flying Tigers”



1890 – The captain of the ship Roi des Belges dies of tropical fever, and Joseph Conrad takes his place as master of the ship, an experience he will draw on later for his famous novel, Heart of Darkness

1899 – Billy Rose born, American composer-songwriter and theatrical impresario

1901 – Leon Czolosz fatally wounds U.S. President William McKinley at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo NY

1906 – Luis Federico Leloir born, Argentine physician and biochemist, 1970  winner of the Nobel-Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the metabolic pathways in lactose, becoming only the third Argentine to receive the prestigious honor in any field.  This was in spite of his work often being hampered by lack of financial support and second-rate equipment. His research into sugar nucleotides,  carbohydrate metabolism, and renal hypertension led to significant gains in diagnosing and treating the congenital disease galactosemia



1916 – First self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opens in Memphis TN

1921 – Carmen Laforet born, influential Existentialist Spanish author; she is known for her novels, including  Nada (Nothing), La mujer nueva (The New Woman), and Un matrimonio (A Marriage). Her work had been largely forgotten until the publication in 2003 of a collection of her letters, and the reissue of La mujer nueva



1935 – Isabelle Collin Dufresne born in France – French-American artist and author; a student of Salvador Dali, but best known as Ultra Violet from Andy Warhol’s movies; author of L’Ultratique, published in 1988 to detail her ideas about art

1938 – Joan Tower born, American composer, conductor and pianist



1940 – Elizabeth Murray born, American painter, printmaker and illustrator; elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998. She died of lung cancer in 2007


Elizabeth Murray in her studio, in front of one of her large-scale paintings

1941 – Jews over age 6 in German-occupied areas ordered to wear yellow Stars of David

1941 – Dame Monica Mason born in South Africa, ballet dancer and administrator of the Royal Ballet, Britain’s premiere theatrical dance troupe; entered the Royal Ballet School in 1956; in 1958, at age 16, became the youngest member of the Royal Ballet corps du ballet, and inaugurated the solo role of the Chosen Maiden in Kenneth MacMillan’s version of The Rite of Spring; promoted from soloist to principal dancer in 1968; rehearsal director for MacMillan’s ballets in 1980, then for the whole company in 1984; assistant to the director in 1988; and the company’s artistic director in 2002; retired in 2012; elevated to Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2008



1944 – Donna Haraway born, noted American scholar in science and technology studies and ecofeminism; taught Women’s Studies and History of Science at Johns Hopkins University; among her published works are the essays, “Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the 1980s” and “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective” and her books, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, and Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science



1946 – U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes announces a policy of economic reconstruction of Germany

1946 – Shirley M. Malcom born, American zoologist and ecologist, academic and administrator; current head of Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); AAAS head of the Office of Opportunities in Science (1979); program manager for the Minority Institutions Science Improvement Program (MISIP) at the National Science Foundation (1977-1979), which provided federal funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for improved equipment, facilities and higher salaries for faculty



1952 – Canadian television begins broadcasting in Montreal

1957 –Michaëlle Jean born in Haiti, came to Canada in 1968 as a refugee; media journalist and public servant; Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie since 2015, and also serves as the Special Envoy for Haiti for the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization; Governor-General of Canada (2005-2010), sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2012; Journalist and broadcaster for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC – 1988-2005); coordinated a study on spousal abuse while assisting victims of domestic violence at a women’s shelter (1979-1987)



1962 – Archaeologist Peter Marsden discovers “Blackfriars” ship, first of four wrecks in the Blackfriars area of the Thames in London This first wreck is earliest known indigenous seagoing sailing ship found in northern Europe, dating back to the 2nd century AD.  A bronze votive coin of the Emperor Domitian was found in its mast



1962 – Elizabeth Vargas born, American television journalist; lead investigative reporter/documentary anchor for the A&E network since May, 2018; anchor on ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20 (2006-2018), the first national evening news anchor of mixed Puerto Rican/Irish-American descent; third woman anchor on network evening news after Connie Chung and Barbara Walters; won a 1999 Emmy award for her coverage of the Elián González story



1962 – Marina Kaljurand born, Estonian politician and diplomat; Member of the European Parliament for Estonia since 2019; Minister of Foreign Affairs (2015-2016); Estonian Ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico (2007-2011); Estonian Ambassador to Russia (2007-2011); Estonian Ambassador to Israel (2004-2006)



1963 – Alice Sebold born, American author best known for her novel The Lovely Bones

1964 – Rosie Perez born, American stage, film and television performer, activist for Puerto Rican rights, talk show host, and author of Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling… 



1966 – South African Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, the progenitor of  Apartheid, is assassinated during a parliamentary meeting

1967 – Kalli Kalde born, Estonian painter, graphic artist and illustrator; member of the Tartu Artists’ Association since 1995; known for her ceiling paintings and book illustrations

1968 – Eric Clapton records a guitar solo on The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

1968 – Swaziland becomes independent from the U.K.

1970 – Emily Maitlis born, British journalist, documentary-maker, and newsreader for the BBC on several programs since 2001; business reporter and documentary-maker for NBC Asia (1994-2001); she was stalked for over a decade by someone she knew at university, who was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting he was harassing her in 2002, but released because of time he already spent on remand, and a restraining order was imposed. In 2016, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for breach of the no-contact restraining order by sending letters to her and to her mother



1975 – Czechoslovakian tennis player Martina Navratilova, in New York for the U.S. Open, requests political asylum

1990 – Iraq issues warning anyone caught trying to flee the country will get life in prison

1991 – Leningrad since 1924, Russia’s second largest city becomes St. Petersburg again

2002 – The Smithsonian “George Catlin and His Indian Gallery” exhibit opens, containing over 400 objects



2003 – Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, the Queen Mother of Lesotho, died while at a Catholic retreat; she served as Regent Head of the State of Lesotho from June to December in 1970, from March to November in 1990, and January to February in 1996, and worked to improve education for Lesotho’s children, founding Hlolomela Bana (“Take Care of Children”) in the 1980s for children who lost their parents or were living with disabilities



2005 – The California Legislature becomes the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriages, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes it

2008 – U.S. Congress designates September 6 as Louisa Ann Swain Day * (House Concurrent Resolution 378)

2010 – The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, premiers at the Telluride Film Festival; in 2011, it would win the Oscar for Best Picture 



2016 – The Syrian Civil Defense rescue organization accused Syrian government forces of dropping barrel bombs containing chlorine gas on a rebel-held neighborhood in the divided city of Aleppo. The SCD said 80 people experienced severe wheezing and other breathing difficulties. The group also blamed the government for two chlorine gas attacks in August, and a joint report by the United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded that Syrian government forces were responsible for two toxic gas attacks in 2014 and 2015 involving chlorine. The Syrian government denies using chemical weapons during the country’s civil war

2019 – Leaked papers from an internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement reveal that developers were advised to program responses in one of three ways: “don’t engage,” “deflect,” or finally “inform.”  Siri’s responses would ensure that the voice assistant would say it supports “equality,” but never use the word “feminism,” even when asked directly about the topic, because Apple’s guidelines state that “Siri should be guarded when dealing with potentially controversial content” and when questions are directed at Siri on these topics, “they can be deflected … however, care must be taken here to be neutral.” Women’s rights activists are outraged, saying that Apple has capitulated on fundamental gender equality to placate right-wing “culture warriors,” who try to paint even the smallest gains for women as part of a left-wing radical plot. Nicole Karlis of Salon wrote, ‘To suggest that feminism is “controversial” is to suggest that human equality is, too. Believing that women are equal to men is not a controversial idea, but it is telling that Apple seems to think so — or perhaps have been convinced so by the current discourse around gender equality, which has been thoroughly poisoned by the right.’ Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of Gender Equality at UNESCO, said there is harm in the mere fact that digital assistants are often female. UNESCO recommends a “machine gender” for voice assistants instead


Saniye Gülser Corat and Nicole Karlis

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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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