ON THIS DAY: September 26, 2020

September 26th is

Johnny Appleseed Day *

Lumberjack Pancake Day *

World Contraception Day *

U.N. International Day for Total
Elimination of Nuclear Weapons*

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MORE! Matilde Camus, Albert Einstein and Bessie Smith, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Ecuador – National Flag Day

European Union –
European Languages Day

New Zealand & Newfoundland –
Dominion Day *

Yemen – First Day of
September Revolution

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On This Day in HISTORY

46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor, the Roman goddess Venus Genetrix



932 – al-Mu’izz Li-Dinillah born, Caliph of the Fatamid dynasty (953-975). During his reign, the center of power of the Fatamid dynasty moved from Ifriqiya (Tunisia today) to Egypt. In 969 the city of al-Qāhirah (“the Victorious,” now Cairo) became the new capital of the Fatimid caliphate  

1212 – The Golden Bull of Sicily, a decree issued by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, confirms the royal title ‘King of Bohemia’ upon Ottokar I, until then Duke of Bohemia,  and to his heirs. The hereditary kingship signified the exceptional status of Bohemia within the Holy Roman Empire

1493 – Pope Alexander issues the Papal Bull Dudum siquidem, arrogantly granting their Catholic Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain ownership of roughly half of the Earth, its peoples and its riches

1580 – Sir Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind



1687 – The Parthenon is damaged by bombing from Venetian forces besieging Ottoman Turks stationed in Athens

1767 – Wenzel Müller born, Austrian composer and conductor

1774 – John Chapman better known as “Johnny Appleseed” born, American eccentric nurseryman and conservationist who planted 1000s of apple trees in the Midwest


1789 – Thomas Jefferson appointed as first U.S. Secretary of State; John Jay as first Supreme Court Chief Justice; Samuel Osgood as Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph as Attorney General

1791 – Jean-Louis Théodore Gericault born, French painter and lithographer, a pioneer of the Romantic Movement; best known for his over-life-size painting, The Raft of the Medusa, which depicted a shipwreck that became a national scandal when it was discovered that the captain and crew of the French ship Medusa had abandoned 151 passengers on an improvised raft in the open ocean off the west coast of Africa. Only 15 of the passengers were alive when the raft was found by the Argus, and 5 of them died within days    


1810 – Former Marshal of France Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte is elected as the heir presumptive to the Swedish throne



1820 – Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar born in British India, Bengali polymath who was a key figure in the Bengal Renaissance; philosopher, writer, translator, publisher, reformer and philanthropist; he significantly simplified and modernized the Bengali alphabet and prose. Vidyasagar was a champion of uplifting the status of women, and campaigned for the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act, passed in 1856, which legalized the remarriage of Hindu widows. Many of the widows were child brides who had been the third or fourth wives of elderly men. Sometimes these marriages had never been consummated, but all widows were expected to be resigned to living chastely and austerely. In practice, many of them faced near-starvation, hard labour, and effectively were under ‘house arrest.’ Often, young widows escaped and became prostitutes. The act upheld the legitimacy of any children from secondary marriages, and also provided legal safeguards against loss of some forms of inheritance when a widow remarried, but she had to renounce her claim on any inheritance from her deceased husband when she married again



1849 – Ivan Pavlov born, Russian physiologist



1862 – Arthur B. Davies born, American painter, printmaker and tapestry designer

1865 – Dame Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford born, British pilot who set a record in 1929 flying 10,000 miles round trip between the U.K and India in 8 days. She was also an ornithologist, with an interest in bird migration. Russell founded four hospitals in Woburn and Woburn Abbey, and worked as a nurse and radiographer from 1914 through the 1930s. She was a member of the Women’s Tax Resistance League, which used tax resistance to protest excluding British women from the right to vote. Her journal, A Bird-Watcher’s Diary, was privately published after her death.



1867 – Winsor McCay born, American illustrator and animator; notable for his comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland 


Panel showing one of Little Nemo’s fantastic dreams

1875 – Mary Elisabeth Dreier born, American social reformer, focusing on working women, woman suffrage, and social improvement. From a financially secure family, she contributed time, funds, and her organizing talents to many feminist causes, most notably women workers and the suffrage movement. Her social prominence and dedication led to her appointment to local and regional boards and commissions, mostly dealing with labor and with penal reform



1876 – Edith Abbott born, economist, educator, author, and a pioneer in making social work a profession. She was a leading activist in social reform with the ideals that humanitarianism needed to be embedded in education. Abbott implemented a social work studies program through the graduate level. She understood that students needed to learn more than just casework. They needed an understanding of legal concepts, the social implications of medical problems, social research, and social administration. She initiated courses on “The Child and the State,” “Social Work and the Courts,” and “Methods of Social Investigation.” Though she was met with resistance to her ideas on social reform at the University of Chicago, she ultimately was successful, and was elected as the school’s dean in 1924, making her the first woman dean in the United States. Her innovations made the Chicago curriculum years ahead of other institutions. Abbott was also an early advocate for social security legislation. She was the author of Public Assistance – American Principles and Policies, published in 1940



1877 – Bertha De Vriese born, Belgian doctor. Girls in Belgium were not allowed even secondary education until 1864, and could not go on to higher education until 1876.In 1890, they were finally allowed to attend medical school, but only if they had a completion certificate for secondary schooling, or passed an equivalency test. De Vriese was home schooled, so she studied for and passed the equivalency test in 1893. She was the first woman admitted to the medical school at Ghent University, first woman to do research there, and first woman to graduate, summa cum laude, with a diploma for medicine, obstetrics and gynecology in 1900. She was awarded 95 out of 100 points and a gold medal for a paper on blood vessels which she submitted for a university competition. After further studies abroad, she returned to Ghent in 1903, and applied for a position in the university’s lab, where she underwent a two-year training program as an assistant, and applied for an extension to complete her training, but was denied, in spite of glowing recommendations, ending her hopes for a career in research. After working in the pediatric ward at Ghent’s Bijloke Hospital, De Vriese opened a private pediatric clinic; she later became the Bijloke children’s ward director, and a public school medical inspector



1887 – Sir Barnes Wallis born, British scientist, engineer and inventor; know for inventing a bouncing bomb used in the WWII “Dambusters” raid on the dams of the Ruhr Valley; he was also a pioneer in the use of geodetic construction in aircraft design, developing with John Edwin Temple a stronger but lighter airframe out of an alloy, which became the framework for Britain’s larger bombers

1888 – T.S. Eliot born in America, British poet, essayist, playwright and publisher



1889 – Martin Heidegger born, German philosopher, member of the Nazi party

1891 – Charles Munch born in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, Conductor; remains in France conducting the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire during the German WWII occupation to help maintain the morale of the French people, but refuses conducting engagements in Germany or to conduct contemporary German works. He protects members of his orchestra from the Gestapo and contributes from his income to the French Resistance; receives the Légion d’honneur with the red ribbon in 1945; Boston Symphony Orchestra (1949-1962); director of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood (1951-1962)

1891 – Hans Reichenbach born, influential proponent of logical empiricism;  in 1933, Reichenbach was dismissed from his appointment at the University of Berlin under the Nazi “Race Laws” due to his Jewish ancestry; he immigrated to Turkey



1893 – Frederika “Freda” Kirchwey born, American journalist, publisher, and editor of The Nation (1933-1955); liberal activist

1898 – George Gershwin born, American composer and songwriter who combines Broadway, jazz and orchestral music in his compositions;  Rhapsody in Blue,  An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess 



1900 – Suzanne Belperron born, influential French jewelry designer;  head of the Herz-Belperron company



1905 – Albert Einstein’s paper, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, is published

1907 – Dominion Day * – New Zealand and Newfoundland become dominions within the British Empire

1914 – The Federal Trade Commission Act establishes the FTC

1917 – Trần Đức Thảo born, Vietnamese philosopher who wrote primarily in French;  Recherches sur l’origine du langage et de la conscience (Investigations into the Origin of Language and Consciousness)

1919 – Matilde Camus born, Spanish poet and non-fiction writer; noted for her poetry collection Voces



1925 – Marty Robbins born, American country-western singer-songwriter and NASCAR driver; “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” sold over a million copies

1927 – The St. James Theatre opens in New York City

1933 – ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly surrenders to the FBI, shouting “Don’t shoot, G-Men!” which becomes a nickname for FBI agents

1934 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary is launched



1937 – Bessie Smith, American blues singer, is fatally injured in a car crash, and dies the following morning; (music starts at :54)



1942 – Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa born, American scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory; her book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, is loosely based on her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border



1942 – August Frank, administrative chief of the Order Police of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, issues a memorandum containing operational detail on how Jews should be “evacuated” which includes what to do with the underwear of those killed

1946 – Andrea Dworkin born, controversial American author and radical feminist who campaigned against pornography and prostitution, which she viewed as linked to violence against women; Woman Hating, Right-Wing Women, Pornography: Men Possessing Women and Intercourse



1946 – Louise “Weezie” Simonson born, American comic book writer and editor; honored with the Inkpot Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comic Arts in 1992

1946 – Claudette Werleigh born, lawyer, advocate for adult literacy, and worked on humanitarian relief programs; Director at the Life & Peace Institute in Uppsala, Sweden (1999-2007); first woman Prime Minister of Haiti (1995-1996); Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religions (1994-1995)

1949 – Jane Smiley born, American novelist; 1992 Pulitzer Prize for A Thousand Acres



1949 – Minette Walters born, English crime and historical fiction author; noted for The Ice House, which won the 1992 John Creasey Award for best first novel from the Crime Writers’ Association, The Sculptress, which won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and The Scold’s Bride, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger



1950 – United Nations troops recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans

1957 – West Side Story, music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim,  opens on Broadway

1960 – The first televised presidential debate, between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy

1961 – Marianne Mikko born, Estonian Social Democratic politician; Member of the Estonian Parliament since 2011, serving on the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy;  Member of the European Parliament (2004-2009), serving on the Committee on Culture and Education, and the Committee on Fisheries 



1973 – The Concorde makes its first non-stop transatlantic flight in record time



1983 – Australia II wins the America’s Cup Yacht Race, the first time a U.S. team has ever lost the cup in 132 years



1988 – Lily Singh born, Canadian comedian; host/producer of A Little Late with Lily Singh, only the second woman to host an American TV network late night talk show, after Cynthia Garrett’s short-lived Later. She is also reported to be one of the highest-earning You Tube stars, and starred in the autobio-documentary film, A Trip to Unicorn Island.  Author of the best-selling book, How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life



1990 – The Motion Picture Association of America announces the NC-17 rating

1992 – A bilateral summit between delegations of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Government, led respectively by Nelson Mandela and President De Klerk, agrees on a record of understanding

1997 – Part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi collapses during an earthquake

2000 – Anti-globalization protests by crowds of up to 20,000 protesters in Prague for the IMF/World Bank summits turn violent

2005 – Lumberjack Pancake Day * begins during the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin

2005 – Army Pfc. Lynndie England is convicted by a military jury on six counts stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal

2007 – Myanmar begins a violent crackdown on protests, beating and dragging away dozens of monks



2007 – First World Contraception Day * is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and numerous women’s health organizations, including Planned Parenthood

2008 – Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel

2013 – The UN General Assembly designates September 26th as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons – it was the subject of the General Assembly’s  first resolution in 1946, and continues to be a priority goal



2017 – Saudi Arabia announced that it will lift a longstanding ban against women driving, in response to the ongoing criticism of the treatment of Saudi women by the conservative Muslim monarchy, but the ban wasn’t lifted until June, 2018. Women’s rights and human rights groups pushed for lifting the ban, and some women activists were jailed for defying it, or for campaigning against restrictive guardianship laws under which women’s legal status is similar to minor children’s. Prohibition supporters claimed that letting women drive would lead to promiscuity and the destruction of the family. Saudi leaders expressed hope that the new policy would help more women enter the workplace, since they won’t need to spend a substantial amount of their salaries paying a male driver. However, Saudi Arabia has arrested at least a dozen leading women’s rights activists, charging them with undermining national security and “having contacts with foreign parties.” Among those detained, 28-year-old Loujain al-Hathloul was previously arrested for driving in 2014, and held for over 70 days. She and Aziza al-Yousef, a retired computer science professor and well-known activist, were both arrested in 2018



2018 – Padma Lakshmi, American author, actress, activist, and host of Top Chef, was sexually assaulted when she was seven years old, and raped when she was a teenager by a man in his 20s that she had dated. “I understand why women keep silent,” she wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times. “These experiences have affected me and my ability to trust. It took me decades to talk about this with intimate partners and a therapist. I think if I had at the time named what happened to me as rape – and told others – I might have suffered less. Looking back, I now think I let my rapist off the hook and I let my 16-year-old self down.” She wrote the piece in response Donald Trump, who questioned why Christine Blasey Ford did not immediately report what had happened if her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh were true. “I understand why both women [Ford and another Kavanaugh accuser] would keep this information to themselves for so many years, without involving the police. For years I did the same thing . . . Now, 32 years after my rape, I am stating publicly what happened. I have nothing to gain by talking about this. But we all have a lot to lose if we put a time limit on telling the truth about sexual assault and if we hold on to the codes of silence that for generations have allowed men to hurt women with impunity.”



2019 – In southern Rwanda, Sylidio Dusabumuremyi, national coordinator of the FDU-Inkingi party, was stabbed to death at his workplace by two unidentified attackers who escaped on a motorbike. FDU-Inkingi leader Victoire Ingabire said the attack was aimed at preventing her party from gaining official recognition: “They want to prevent me from creating an opposition party . . . This killing has no other implications than intimidating Rwandans from participating in politics . . .” President Paul Kagame had won 99% of the vote in the 2017 elections, for a third term in office. While he has been praised internationally for stabilizing Rwanda and developing the economy since the nation’s 1994 genocide killed 800,000 people, he has also been accused of running an authoritarian, one-party state. Dusabumuremyi’s murder was the latest in a series of suspicious attacks targeting opposition figures, which Amnesty International called “extremely alarming.”

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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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