ON THIS DAY: September 24, 2020

September 24 is

Bluebird of Happiness Day

Cherries Jubilee Day *

Punctuation Day *


MORE! Frances Harper, Jim Henson and Baleka Mbete, click



Austria – Saint Rupert Day
(Salzburg patron saint)

Bolivia – Pando: Santa Cruz Day

Bhutan – Thrue Bab (Blessed Rainy Day)

Cambodia – Constitution Day
(Norodom Sihanouk Recoronation)

Dominican Republic – Día de Nuestra
Señora la Merced (patron saint) 

Guinea Bissau – Independence Day

New Caledonia – New Caledonia Day

Peru – Armed Forces Day

South Africa – Heritage Day

Thailand – Prince Mahidol Day

Trinidad and Tobago – Republic Day

Togo – Failed Attack on Lomé Anniversary


On This Day in HISTORY

AD 15 – Vitellius born, Roman Emperor #3 of the year AD 69, from April to December, after Galba and Otho, and before Vespasian, during Roman civil unrest and violence which is dubbed the Year of the Four Emperors

622 – Muhammad and his followers complete their Hijrah from Mecca to Medina

787 – Second Council of Nicaea restores the use and veneration of icons which had been banned by Byzantine Emperor Constantine V

936 – ‘Aḍud al-Dawla born, Šāhanšāh (King of Kings, from 949 to 983) of the Abbasid dynasty. At the height of his power, his empire stretched from Makran (now Balochistan) to Yemen and the shores of the Mediterranean

1534 – Guru Ram Das born as Jetha, who became the fourth of the ten Gurus of Sikhism

1564 – William Adams born, English Navigator who was the first Englishman to reach Japan, known in Japan as Miura Anjin (pilot of Miura)

1717 – Horace Walpole born, 4th Earl of Oxford, English art historian, Whig Member of Parliament (1757-1768), and author of the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto

1734 – Schwenkfelder Thankgiving: newly arrived followers of theologian Caspar Schwenkfeld, reunited with the first group of their sect which had come in America in 1733, give thanks on this day for their deliverance from persecution. Most of the remaining members of the Schwenkfelders now live in Pennsylvania Dutch country

1755 – John Marshall born, American politician and jurist; influential fourth U.S. Supreme Court chief justice

1780 – Benedict Arnold flees to the British lines when his plot to surrender West Point is exposed

1789 – President Washington signs the Judiciary Act into law after it was passed by Congress, creating the office of U.S. Attorney General, federal trial courts in each state and setting up the Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices who would have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil actions between states, or between a state and the federal government, as well as appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of the lower federal courts and the state courts

1812 – Mary Ann Browne, British poet and writer of musical scores of the Romantic Era; noted for Mont Blanc, Ada, The Birthday Gift, and Sacred Poetry

1825 – Frances Watkins Harper born as a free woman, African-American abolitionist, lecturer, poet and author; she published her first book of poetry at age 20, and became the first American black woman to publish a short story, “Two Offers,” in the Anglo-African in 1859. Her novel Iola Leroy, published in 1892, was widely praised.  She was part of the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, and was a public speaker for the American Anti-Slavery Society, and an advocate for woman suffrage and prohibition. In 1894, she was a co-founder of the National Association of Colored Women, and served as its first vice president.

1837 – Mark Hanna born, American business man and politician; uses his wealth and influence on McKinley’s presidential campaign, and pushes for the canal to be built in Panama instead of other proposed sites in Central America

1841 – The Sultanate of Brunei cedes Sarawak (northwestern Borneo) to the United Kingdom

1852 – Henri Giffard’s airship, the first powered by a steam engine. travels 17 miles (27 km) from Paris to Trappes

1859 – Julius Klengel born, German composer and cellist

1861 – Bhikaiji Cama born, Indian independence activist; she received a better-than-average education, and showed a flair for languages. At age 24, she married Rustom Cama, a pro-British lawyer who aspired to enter politics. It was not a happy marriage, and she spent her time on social and philanthropic projects. When famine and then plague hit, she volunteered as part of a team working out of the Grant Medical College to nurse the sick, then contracted the disease herself, but survived in a very weakened state. She left India in 1902 for medical treatment in London, where she met Shyamji Krishna Varma, an Indian nationalist well known for his fiery speeches in Hyde Park. Through him she became private secretary to Dadabhai Naoroji, president of the British Committee of the Indian National Congress, and supported the founding of the Indian Home Rule Society in 1905. She then went to Paris, and co-founded the Paris Indian Society. She wrote and distributed revolutionary articles for pro-nationalist weekly papers, which were smuggled into India. In 1907, she spoke about famine in India at the Socialist Congress in Stuttgart, Germany, and appealed for human rights, and autonomy for her country, unfurling a “flag of Indian Independence” she made, based in the 1906 Calcutta Flag. In 1909, Scotland Yard arrested several key activists living in Great Britain, and requested Cama’s extradition from France, but the French government refused to cooperate. The British government then seized Cama’s inheritance. Inspired by the campaign for women’s suffrage in Britain, in 1910 she spoke in Cairo, asking, “I see here the representatives of only half the population of Egypt. May I ask where is the other half? Sons of Egypt, where are the daughters of Egypt? Where are your mothers and sisters? Your wives and daughters?” However, she believed that India must first become independent, and then women could work for their rights. With the outbreak of WWI in 1914, the members of the Paris India Society were scattered, and some of them were deported. Cama, in poor health, was allowed to stay in Bordeaux, on condition that she report weekly to local police. She remained in exile in Europe until 1935, when she was paralysed by a stroke and gravely ill. She petitioned the British government to be allowed to return to India, but had to renounce seditious activities before she was allowed to leave. Cama arrived in Bombay in November 1935, and died in August 1936.

1869 – “Black Friday” panic caused by speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk, in collusion with financier Abel Corbin, trying to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange. Abel Corbin, President Ulysses S. Grant’s brother-in-law, is involved in the scandal, which, combined with improprieties and scandals connected to Grant appointees to office, undermines the stability of Grant’s administration

1873 – María de las Mercedes Adam de Aróstegui born, Cuban composer and pianist who worked mostly in Spain, and often gave concerts with Pablo Casals

1890 – A.P. Herbert born, English novelist, humorist, playwright and legal reform activist; wrote several musical librettos and for Punch; elected MP for Oxford (1935-1939) and pushed for the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1937, which expanded grounds for divorce beyond adultery and shortened the length of the process

1890 – Woodruff Manifesto: Under pressure from the U.S government, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issues an “authoritative and binding” statement renouncing plural marriage

1896 – Auguste Escoffie creates Cherries Jubilee * in honor of Queen Victoria, as she surpasses George III as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. (Her Diamond Jubilee is celebrated on the anniversary of her coronation in June 1897)

1896 – F. Scott Fitzgerald born, famed American Jazz Age novelist; The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night

1898 – Charlotte Moore Sitterly born, American astronomer and astrophyicist; organized, analyzed and published definitive books on the solar spectrum and spectral line multiplets. Worked for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards and the Naval Research Laboratory (1945-1989). She detected that technetium, an unstable element (previously known only as a result of laboratory experiments with nuclear reactions) exists in nature. She made major contributions to the compilation of tables for atomic-energy levels associated with optical spectra, which are now standard reference material. As instruments carried in space rockets provided new data in the ultraviolet, she extended these tables beyond the optical range. Awarded the Bruce Medal in 1990

1900 – Stephen Bechtel born, American construction engineer; Bechtel Corporation

1901 – Alexandra Adler born, Austrian neurologist who emigrated to the U.S in 1935; she conducted a study in 1937 with Tracy Jackson Putnam on the brain of a multiple sclerosis victim. Illustrations from the study are frequently used in medical literature. Her detailed studies on 500 survivors of the 1942 fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston is noted as some of the earliest research on posttraumatic stress disorder. Adler discovered that many of the survivors suffered from unsettled grief, particular changes in personality such as guilt and diminished vitality, and an increase in sleep disturbances and anxiety

1902 – Cheryl Crawford born, independent American theatre producer; her successes include Porgy and Bess and Brigadoon

1914 – Esther Eng born, Cantonese-American film director; first woman director of Chinese-language films in the U.S., recognized as a pioneer who crossed boundaries of race, gender, language, and culture; at 19, she became a film producer when her father and his business partners formed a film production company; she began in 1936 as co-producer on the film Heartache, directed by Frank Tang. In 1937, she started directing  with National Heroine, about a woman pilot fighting for her country, then Ten Thousand Lovers,  Storm of Envy and It’s A Women’s World which had an all female cast showcasing 36 women in different professions, and Golden Gate Girl. After making several other films, she went into the restaurant business in New York in 1950. Most of her films have been lost, except for Golden Gate Girl and one other she co-directed, only shooting the exterior scenes

1915 – Douglas Fairbanks appears in his first starring role when the silent film The Lamb premieres in New York City

1916 – Ruth Leach Amonette born, American business executive and educator. In 1943, she became the first woman executive and first woman vice president at IBM, at the age of 27, one of the very few high-ranking women in corporate America. She had graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in political science in 1937. In 1939, she was hired to work at San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition, demonstrating IBM typewriters. IBM then sent her for training in service system work, and she was assigned to their Atlanta Georgia office. In 1940, she became a teacher for IBM’s Department of Education in Endicott New York, training women from all over the country in selling IBM products. Amonette was promoted to IBM Secretary of Education three months later. She became an IBM Vice President in 1943. In 1947, she contracted tuberculosis, and had to take a medical leave, but returned to work the same year. In addition to her work at IBM, she served on several boards, including the Camp Fire Girls, the New York Public Library, and the American Association of University Women.  She retired in 1953 at the age of 37, and got married in 1954. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1996. Her memoir, Among Equals, was published in 1999, the year that she died

1923 – ‘Fats’ Navarro born, American jazz trumpeter; pioneer in bebop

1931 – Elizabeth Blackadder born, Scottish painter and printmaker; first woman to be elected to both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy, noted for still lifes and landscapes, and her very detailed later work, often featuring flowers and cats. Her artwork was selected for a Royal Mail stamp, and she appointed in 2001 as Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland

Summer Flowers with Cat – Elizabeth Blackadder

1932 – The Poona Pact: B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi sign an agreement that there shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of the general electorate in the provincial legislatures, which ends Gandhi’s fast in protest of separate electorates for Dalits (untouchables)

1936 – Jim Henson born, American puppeteer; creator of the Muppets

1938 – Valentina Grizodubova, Marina Raskova and Paulina Ossipenko begin their flight to set an international women’s record for straight-line distance, flying nonstop from Moscow to Siberia

L to R: Grizodubova, Ossipenko and Raskova

1946 – Cathay Pacific Airways is founded in Hong Kong

1946 – Maria Teresa Ruiz born, Chilean astronomer; the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics at Princeton University, and the first Chilean woman to be awarded Chile’s National Prize for Exact Sciences, in 1997. Fellow of the Academy of Sciences since 1998

1949 – Baleka Mbete born, South African politician; current Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa since 2014; Deputy President of South Africa (2008-2009); Chair of the African National Congress (ANC – 2007-2017); she was in exile from South Africa from 1976 to 1990, working for the ANC in other African countries. When she returned to South Africa, she was elected the secretary-general of the ANC Women’s League (1991-1993), then as an MP for the ANC in 1994, and appointed chair of the ANC parliamentary caucus (1995-1996), and was Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (1996-2004). Mbete was also on the Presidential Panel on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the ANC National Executive Committee, and the Pan-African Parliament

1957 – U.S. President Eisenhower sends federal troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce school integration

1960 – The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is launched in Newport News VA

1961 – The Bullwinkle Show premieres in prime time on NBC-TV, after being on ABC in the afternoon as Rocky and His Friends

1962 – Nia Vardalos born in Canada, Canadian-American screenwriter, actress and producer of Greek descent; her biggest hit film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, was based on a one-woman play she wrote and starred in. She made her directorial debut with the independent feature film I Hate Valentine’s Day, and co-produced and starred in My Life in Ruins, the first U.S. production allowed to film at the Acropolis in Athens

1967 – President Lyndon B. Johnson issues Executive Order 11246 prohibiting sex discrimination in employment by the federal government and by federal contractors

1967 – Noreena Hertz born, English economist, academic, author and host of the British radio programme MegaHertz: London calling; since 2009, Professor and chair of Globalisation, Sustainability and Finance at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; author of The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy, IOU: The Debt Threat and Generation K

1968 – 60 Minutes debuts on CBS-TV

1969 – Shamim Sarif born in London to Indian parents who emigrated to the UK from South Africa; British novelist and filmmaker; author of novels The World Unseen, I Can’t Think Straight, and Despite the Falling Snow, also writing and directing their feature film adaptations; she is openly lesbian and describes I Can’t Think Straight as semi-auto biographical; in 2015 she and her long-time partner, producer Hanan Kattan, were married at the Chelsea Registry Office

1976 – Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery

1977 – Styx releases “Come Sail Away”

1982 – U.S., UK, Italian and French peacekeeping troops arrive in Lebanon

1985 – Eleanor Catton born in Canada, New Zealand novelist and short story writer; noted for The Rehearsal, which won a 2009 Orange Prize, and Luminaries, which won the high-profile Man Booker Prize (for best original English-language novel) in 2013, making her the youngest author, at age 28, to win the Booker Prize

1994 – The National League for Democracy is formed by Aung San Suu Kyi and supporters to resist the dictatorship in Myanmar

1996 – U.S. President Clinton and other world leaders sign a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to end testing and development of nuclear weapons

2004 – ‘Newsletter Guy’ Jeff Rubin starts Punctuation Day *

2007 – The Big Bang Theory premieres on CBS television

2007 – United Auto Workers walk out of GM plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976; a tentative pact ends the walkout 2 days later

2012 – Disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, claimed by Japan, Taiwan and China, escalate as rumors circulate that the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication instructed publishers not to release books relating to Japan or by Japanese authors, and Beijing bookstores pull Japanese books from their shelves; several Japanese firms had already closed their offices in the Chinese capitol and some diplomatic events were cancelled

2012 – National Voter Registration Day * is launched, now held annually on the 4th Tuesday in September

2014 – After 32 years in service, the last operational HU-25 Falcon, the only jet to be part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s air fleet, is retired. It played a significant role in the Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue and counter-drug missions

2014 – Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), successfully reaches orbit around Mars after over a year’s journey. It is India’s first interplanetary mission, and makes the ISRO the fourth space agency to reach Mars

2016 – Syrian Civil War: An onslaught considered to be the heaviest bombing campaign of the war continues in Aleppo after the aerial attack by government forces began buffeting rebel-held parts of the city with airstrikes. Over 200 strikes pounded Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods, killing more than 100 civilians, including children. Rescue workers attempt to free people from the rubble of their flattened homes. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the assault as the “most sustained and intense bombardment since the start of the Syrian conflict,” calling it “appalling” in advance of a U.N. meeting on Syrian cease-fire efforts

Aleppo – photo: Abdalrhman Ismail-Reuters

2019 – An impeachment inquiry is initiated by the U.S. House of Representatives against Donald Trump

2020 – A report commissioned by UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) shows COVID-19 is dramatically increasing the poverty rate for women. Last year, the poverty rate for women was projected to decrease by 2.7 per cent between 2019 and 2021, but projections now point to an increase of 9.1 per cent due to the pandemic and its fallout. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, women and girls are disproportionately affected. According to the latest data, as a result of the pandemic, 47 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line (living on USD $1.90 or less), bringing the total of poor women to 435 million by 2021. The report called for world leaders to support the critical role of women in building resilience and recovery efforts in both the rapid response and the long term effort of building back better. “The increases in women’s extreme poverty are a stark indictment of deep flaws in the ways we have constructed our societies and economies,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “We know that women take most of the responsibility for caring for the family; they earn less, save less and hold much less secure jobs – in fact, overall, women’s employment is 19 per cent more at risk than men’s. The evidence we have here of multiple inequalities is critical to drive swift, restorative policy action that puts women at the heart of pandemic recovery.”


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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