ON THIS DAY: September 13, 2020

September 13th is

International Chocolate Day

National Peanut Day

Day of the Programmer *

Roald Dahl Day *

Uncle Sam Day *

Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day


MORE! Lucy Brooks, Roald Dahl and Beverley Ditsie, click



Argentina – Librarians Day

Mauritius – Engineers Day

Mexico – Día de los Niños Héroes *
(Day of the boy soldiers)


On This Day in HISTORY

509 BC – Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Rome’s Capitoline Hill is dedicated

533 – Battle of Ad Decimum: Byzantine General Belisarius leads his troops to victory over the Vandals commanded by King Gelimer near Carthage in North Africa

678 – K’inich Ahkal Mo’ Nahb III born, an ajaw of the Maya City Palenque, who ascended the throne in December 721 and reigned until circa 736; he was a grandson of K’inich Janaab Pakal I, known as Pakal the Great

1475 – Cesare Borgia born, condottiero (military leader), nobleman, politician, and the  first cardinal to resign his office, after his older brother Giovanni was assassinated in 1497; Borgia’s ruthless rise to power was the major inspiration for Machiavelli’s The Prince; Borgia was the bastard son of Pope Alexander VI, the first pope to openly recognize his children born out of wedlock

Cesare Borgia, painted by Sebastiano del Piombo

1583 – Girolamo Frescobaldi born, Italian composer; a child prodigy, he was an important contributor of late Renaissance and early Baroque keyboard music

1584 – San Lorenzo del Escorial Palacio is completed near Madrid

El Escorial Biblioteca (library)

1739 – Grigory Potemkin born, Russian army officer and statesman; one of Catherine the Great’s lovers. He died in 1791 of a fever (possibly bronchial pneumonia) while representing Russia in negotiations over the Treaty of Jassy, which ended the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792, started by the Ottoman Empire. Prince Bezborodko took his place to complete the negotiations

1775 – Laura Secord born, Canadian heroine of the War of 1812, who walked 20-miles out of American-occupied territory to warn British troops of an impending attack

1788 – The Congress of the Confederation authorizes the first national election and declares New York City the temporary national capital

1789 – The U.S. Government takes out its first loan

1813 – Daniel Macmillan born, Scottish bookseller; co-founder of Macmillan Publishing

1814 – Frances Scott Key is inspired to write his poem “Defense of Fort McHenry” which will become the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner”

1818 – Lucy Goode Brooks born as a slave in Virginia, American charity organizer. The daughter of the slave Judith Goode and an unnamed white man, she could read and write. When she met Albert Royal Brooks, the slave of a different owner, she taught him to write so they could write passes that would enable them to see each other. When her master died in 1838, she became the property of another man, who allowed her to marry Albert, and live with him. Albert ran a livery stable for is owner, and was permitted to keep his additional earnings so he could buy his freedom. When Lucy’s second owner died in 1858, his heirs wanted to sell her and her children to different masters, but the merchant who bought most of her children allowed them to live with her as long as they showed up every day for work. Lucy’s daughter was sold away to Tennessee. The Brookes worked hard to earn their freedom, and the freedom of their three youngest boys, but the oldest three boys were not freed until the end of the Civil War. The loss of her daughter and an infant son sold away earlier made Lucy Brooks decide to help children separated from their parents. With the support of her Ladies Sewing Circle for Charitable Work and a Quaker congregation, she founded the Friends’ Asylum for Colored Orphans, which opened its doors in 1867. It has become the Friends Association for Children, which currently provides childcare and family support services for low-income families. Lucy Brooks died in 1900, at age 82

1819 – Clara Schumann born, German pianist and composer; she gave the first public performances of several works by Johannes Brahms

1830 – Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, notable Austrian late 19th century author, admired for her psychological insight; Božena, Das Gemeindekind

1844 – Ann Webb Young born, one of LDS President Brigham Young’s 55 ‘wives,’ who filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty, neglect and abandonment; excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1874; her divorce became final in 1875. She went on the lecture circuit, advocating against polygamy and Mormonism, and in favor of women’s rights; Webb testified before Congress during the debates before passage of the anti-polygamy enforcement Poland Act. She wrote a memoir, Wife No. 19, or The Story of a Life in Bondage (She was more likely one of his last wives, but the marital status of a number of the women involved with Young is uncertain) 

1844 – Anna Lea Merritt born, American painter; known for portraits, landscapes and religious scenes; she lived and worked primarily in England as a professional artist

Ophelia, by Anna Lea Merritt

1847 – Día de los Niños Héroes * – during the Mexican-American War, six teenage military cadets died defending Mexico City’s  Chapultepec Castle, the Mexican Army’s military academy, from invading U.S. forces

1851 – Walter Reed born, American pathologist and bacteriologist; U.S. Army doctor who led the team in 1901 that confirmed Yellow Fever is transmitted by mosquitoes, first theorized by Cuban doctor Carlos Finlay 

1857 – Milton Hershey born, American chocolate manufacturer

1858 – Catharinus Elling born, Norwegian composer, organist and folk music collector

1860 – John (“Black Jack”) Pershing born, American General in command of the American Expeditionary Force in WWI

1865 – Maud Charlesworth born in England, known as Maud Ballington Booth, Salvation Army leader and co-founder of the Volunteers of America

1874 – Arnold Schoenberg born in Austria, influential Austrian-American composer and music theorist

1876 – Sherwood Anderson born, American author; noted for Winesburg, Ohio

1886 – Amelie ‘Melli’ Beese born, early German aviator and sculptor; she had to leave Germany to study sculpting at the Royal Academy in Stockholm because German art schools did not admit female students; returning home, she studied mathematics, ship building and aeronautical engineering, and with difficulty found some aviators who would instruct a woman in flying. She became the first woman pilot in Germany to participate in a flight display on her birthday, September 13, 1911. She opened a flying school the following year, designed and patented a collapsible aircraft, and worked with her future husband, Charles Boutard, on a flying boat design. But when they married in 1913, she became a French citizen, and they were arrested during WWI as “undesirable aliens, Charles was interned, and their goods were confiscated. After the war, they filed suit to recover their property, but the case dragged on, and German hyper-inflation greatly decreased its value. The marriage deteriorated, and they separated. In 1925, she crashed the aeroplane she was flying when she reapplied for her pilot’s license. Three days before Christmas that year, she shot herself

1894 – J.B. Priestly born, English novelist and playwright; An Inspector Calls

1898 – Hannibal W. Goodwin patents celluloid film, used to make movies

1899 – Henry Bliss is the first person in the U.S. killed in an automobile accident

1914 – Leonard Feather born, British jazz pianist, composer and music journalist

1916 – Bill Monroe born, American singer, songwriter and mandolin player

1916 – Roald Dahl born in Wales, author;  James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

1917 – Carol Kendall, American historian, and author of folk tale stories for children; her book The Gammage Cup was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book

1919 –  Mary Midgley, British philosopher, advocate for science, ethics and animal rights, author of many books including her autobiography, The Owl of Minerva

1920 – Else Holmelund Minarik born in Denmark, American children’s author noted for her Little Bear series

1922 – Highest shade temperature 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius) recorded at El Azizia, Libya

1924 – Maurice Jarre born, French composer and conductor; nominated for nine Academy Awards, and winner of four Oscars, for Best Original Film Score

1931 – Marjorie Jackson-Nelson born, Australian sprinter and politician; she won two Olympic Gold Medals, and held six world records. In 2001, she became the Governor of South Australia, serving until 2007; among her many honors, she is a Member of  the Order of the British Empire (1953), and Companion of the Order of Australia (2001)

1933 – Elizabeth McCombs becomes the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament; a member of the Labour Party, she represented Lyttelton (1933-1935)

1935 – Howard Hughes sets new airspeed record, 352 mph, in his H-1 plane

1938 – Judith Martin is born, aka etiquette author ‘Miss Manners’

1943 – Mildred DeLois Taylor born, African-American author known for books on the struggles of Black families in the Deep South, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and The Road to Memphis

1944 – Carol Barnes born, British television newsreader and broadcaster; she began her media career as a sub-editor at Time Out Magazine, then moved to Independent Radio News, and as a reporter for BBC Radio 4.  She then worked for ITN (1975-2004), as a reporter, then as a presenter on Channel 4 Daily, and News at Ten. In 2008, she suffered a massive stroke that left her in a coma, and died four days later  

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith is elected as a U.S. Senator, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress. She was a moderate Republican with a streak of independence, the first woman elected to either House from the state of Maine. She served in the House of Representatives (1940-1949) and as U.S. Senator (1949-1973). Chase Smith was the first member of Congress to go on record criticizing McCarthy’s witch-hunting tactics in her 1950 speech, “Declaration of Conscience.” In 1964, she became the first woman placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party’s convention, placing fifth in the first balloting.  She is still the current record-holder as the longest-serving Republican woman in the U.S. Senate

1948 – The School of the Performing Arts, the first specialized public school for the arts, opens in New York

1951 – Anna Devlin born, Irish author, playwright and screenwriter; noted for Ourselves Alone, After Easter, and The Forgotten

1956 – IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, first computer to use disk storage

1956 –Anna Geddes, born in Australia, Photographer noted for baby photography shooting infants in fruits and flowers; founder of the Geddes Philanthropic Trust, which raises awareness of child abuse and neglect

1957 – Dame Eleanor Warwick King, British judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales since 2008; she has been pilloried in the British press for being dyslexic

1957 – Tatyana Mitkova born, Russian broadcast journalist who refused to read the official Soviet Union version of the military response to the 1991 uprising in Lithuania;  won 1991 International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists

1960 – The FCC bans payola (bribes for more airplay of a record company’s product)

1965 – The Beatles release “Yesterday”

1965 – Annie Duke born, American professional poker player and author, dubbed the “Duchess of Poker.” She holds a World Series of Poker gold bracelet from 2004, and was the leading women’s money winner until Vanessa Selbst took that title in 2013. Duke has written instructional books on poker, and an autobiography, How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker. She is the co-founder with actor Don Cheadle of the non-profit Ante Up for Africa which benefits charities working in African nations, and frequently hosts and plays in poker tournaments for charity

1970 – The first New York City Marathon is run

1971 – The four-day riot that claimed 43 lives at New York’s Attica Correctional Facility ends as police and guards storm the prison

1983 – Molly Crabapple born as Jennifer Caban, American artist and writer; author of Drawing Blood, and co-author with Marwan Hisham of Brothers of the Gun. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker. Some of her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art. Her animated short A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was nominated for an Emmy award in the category of Outstanding News Analysis: Editorial and Opinion

Molly Crabapple – Self-Portrait

1989 – Desmond Tutu leads the Cape Town Peace March, one of the largest anti-Apartheid demonstrations in South Africa, with an estimated crowd of 30,000

1989 – George W. Bush proclaims Uncle Sam Day * in honor of the birth of Samuel Wilson, a N.Y. meatpacker whose “U.S.” stamp on shipments to the American army during the War of 1812 led to the nickname Uncle Sam

1990 – The TV series Law and Order premieres on NBC

1993 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chair Yasser Arafat sign first major agreement, granting Palestine limited self-government in Gaza Strip and Jericho

1995 – Beverley Palesa Ditsie addressed the UN at the Beijing Women’s Conference about the importance of including lesbian rights in discussions about the empowerment and uplifting of women. Ditsie was the first person and first openly lesbian woman to address the issue of protecting the rights of LGBT people at a UN conference. She was born in Soweto in 1971 during the height of Apartheid, and was an anti-Apartheid and LGBT rights activist, one of the founding members of GLOW, South Africa’s first multiracial political lesbian and gay rights group. During drafting of South Africa’s constitution, she was at the forefront arguing for protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. South Africa became the first nation in the world to include such a protection in its constitution

2001 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell names Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 – limited U.S. commercial flights resume after being grounded for two days

2009 – Russia President Dmitry Medvedev signs the decree for the Day of the Programmer * held annually on the 265th day of the year. First proposed in 2002 by Valentin Balt and Michael Cherviakov, to be on the 256th day of the year because of the number 256, which has values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte

2015 – California Governor Jerry Brown declares a State of Emergency after wildfires devastate Lake and Napa counties

2017 – UN Secretary-General António Guterres declares the Rohingya refugee crisis is now “catastrophic” after370,000 people are confirmed to have fled Myanmar

2019 – In Kenya, a 14-year-old schoolgirl committed suicide after a teacher allegedly shamed her, calling her “dirty” because her clothes were stained after her period started during class, and she was then expelled from class. Her mother said it was her first period, and she did not have a sanitary pad. Access to menstrual products is a huge problem across sub-Saharan Africa, where an inability to afford sanitary products prompts many girls to avoid school during their periods. A 2014 UNESCO report estimated that one in 10 girls miss school during menstruation, which means they miss out on 20% of their schooling each year. A 2017 law requires Kenya’s government to distribute free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls, but poor implementation of the law and lack of funding have hampered distribution, and is now the subject of a parliamentary investigation. Kenya’s women MPs “laid siege” to the education ministry to protest about the girl’s death and discuss the programme. MP Esther Passaris wrote on Twitter: “We had a candid discussion about sanitary towels, the little girl who died, and the investigation that is ensuing,” she added. “We need to make it so that girls aren’t ashamed of their periods, and I don’t think we’ve won that battle yet.”


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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