ON THIS DAY: September 28, 2020

September 28th is

Freedom from Hunger Day *

Drink a Beer Day

National Good Neighbor Day *

Strawberry Cream Pie Day

World Rabies Awareness Day *

International Right to Know Day *

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MORE! Isis Pogson, Victor Jara and Sheikh Hasina, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Czech Republic –
Czech Statehood Day

India – Punjab:
S. Bhagat Singh Ji Birthday

Taiwan – Teacher’s Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

48 BC – After landing in Egypt, Pompey the Great is assassinated on the orders of Egyptian King Ptolemy



551 BC – Confucius born, famous Chinese philosopher and teacher of China’s Spring and Autumn period (named for the Spring and Autumn Annals, a state chronicle written between 722 and 479 BC)



235 – Pope Pontain and the Antipope Hippolytus of Rome are arrested during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Maximinus, and sent to the salt mines in Sardinia. They reconcile their differences, and both resign their offices – Pontain’s resignation on this day is the first recorded resignation by a Pope – in order to assure an orderly transition in the Church of Rome while it was under siege. Anterus becomes the new Pope in 235, ending the schism, but dies in 236. His successor, Pope Fabian, was able to begin a more amicable relationship with the imperial Roman government after the murder of Maximinus, and brought the bodies of Pontain and Hippolytus back to Rome for Christian burial. But he died a martyr in 250 AD, at the beginning of the renewed persecution of Christians under Emperor Decius

935 – Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, is murdered by nobles led by his brother, Boleslaus ‘the Cruel,’ who succeeded Wenceslaus as Boleslaus I. Holy Roman Emperor Otto I posthumously conferred the title of ‘king’ on Wenceslas, and he is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as St. Wenceslaus, originally patron saint of Bohemia, and now of the city of Prague and the Czech Republic

1066 – William the Conqueror and his forces land at Bulverhythe, on Pevensey Bay, Sussex, England


Duke William’s fleet sailing for England – Bayeux Tapestry

1542 – Portuguese Navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo arrives at the California  coastal site of the future city of San Diego

1687 – The Venetian siege of Athens ends when the occupying Turks surrender

1698 – Pierre-Louis Maupertuis born, French mathematician, biologist and astronomer

1746 – Giovanni Punto, born Jan Václav Stich, Czech horn virtuoso and composer; pioneer of the hand-stopping technique which allows natural horns to sound more notes

1779 – Samuel Huntington is elected President of the American Continental Congress, succeeding John Jay

1781 – American forces begin the siege against British forces at Yorktown VA


Storming a Redoubt at Yorktown, by Eugene Louis Lami

1787 – U.S. Congress votes to send the new Constitution to the states for ratification

1789 – George Washington recommends November 26, 1789, to Congress for a ‘Day of Publick Thanksgiving’

1791 – France becomes the first country to give its Jewish population full citizenship

1803 – Prosper Merimee born, French dramatist, historian, archaeologist and writer; his novella Carmen is the basis for Bizet’s opera

1810 – Mexican War of Independence: Insurgent troops led by José Mariano Abasolo and Ignacio Camargo enter the city Guanajuato unopposed, and attack the  Alhóndiga de Granaditas, a granary with few windows and thick walls where the royalist troops made their stand. ‘The Siege of Alhondiga’ ends when a miner dubbed El Pípila (Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro) straps a large flat stone to his back to shield him from the royalist fire, crawls to the wooden doors of the main entrance, smears them with tar and sets them on fire


Statue of El Pípila in Guanajuato

1839 – Frances Willard born, first U.S. woman college president, of her alma mater Evanston College for Ladies – when it merges with Northwestern University in 1871, she becomes Dean of Women, but resigns in 1874 to go on a lecture tour for the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, covering 30,000 miles in ten years, while heading the WCTU publications committee; elected WCTU president in 1879; supporter of the Suffrage cause, believing the WCTU could best reach its goals if women had the vote; during her tenure as president, WCTU membership grows to 150,000, making it the largest women’s organization of the time in the world



1850 – U.S. Navy abolishes flogging as a form of punishment

1852 – Isis Pogson born, British astronomer and meteorologist; in 1860, her father became director of the Madras Observatory in India, and his wife and the three youngest of their 11 children went with him. Isis was eight. When her mother died in 1869, she took over running the household, but also became her father’s assistant, then in 1873 she was raised to the post of computer  (originally, ‘computers’ were human mathematical calculators) with a salary of 150 rupees, about what a cook or coach-man would make. She worked there for 25 years, also serving as the meteorological superintendent and reporter for the Madras government from 1881 until the observatory was closed in 1898, and she was given a pension of 250 rupees. In 1902, she married a captain in the Merchant Navy, and thet moved back to England. Pogson was the first woman to be nominated for election in 1886 by her father as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (a few women had been made honorary fellows before this). He had to withdraw her nomination when two attorneys declared that female fellows were illegal under the provisions of the society’s royal charter dating from 1831, which always referred to fellows as he. She finally did become a fellow when Oxford professor H.H. Turner nominated her in 1920, five years after the society received a Supplemental Charter in 1915 which opened up fellowships to women


Madras Observatory in 1880

1856 – Kate Douglas Wiggin born, American children’s author, head of the first free kindergarten in California, in the San Francisco slums; uses the enormous success of her books to raise money for children’s charities by giving frequent public readings; best remembered for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Mother Carey’s Chickens



1871 – Brazilian Parliament passes the Law of the Free Womb, granting freedom to all children born to slaves, the first step to eradicating slavery in Brazil

1878 – Lilian Bland born, Anglo-Irish sports journalist, press photographer, and aviation pioneer; one of the first women in the world to design, build and fly her own aircraft, the Bland Mayfly. She was very unconventional. She smoked, wore trousers, and went hunting, shooting and fishing. She spent days on remote Scottish islands photographing seabirds, which helped spark her interest in flying. After her uncle sent her a postcard of the Blériot monoplane from Paris, she attended the first aviation meeting held in Blackpool in 1909. Bland decided to not only to learn how to fly, but to design and build her own plane. Another uncle, astronomer General William Smythe, lent her a house with a workshop.  After some background reading on the Wright brothers, she built a flyable model biplane with a six foot wingspan, then built a full-scale glider with a wingspan of over 20 feet, with some help. For the load test, she recruited four Irish constables, and the glider successfully lifted them. A bicycle handle bar became the controls. She added a light 20 horsepower two-stroke engine, but the petrol tank wasn’t ready, so she improvised with an empty whisky bottle, and her deaf aunt’s ear trumpet. In August, 1910, Bland and the Mayfly made a first successful flight at Randalstown in Northern Ireland – a short hop off the ground, and flight for about a quarter mile. The plane’s very light construction would not allow for a larger engine, which limited it to short flights at very low altitude. She gave the air-frame to a boy’s gliding club, and sold the engine. Bland’s flying had been a source of some concern to her father, who saw it as unsafe as well as unseemly for a young woman. Around the end of the year, he persuaded her to give up the Mayfly in exchange for buying her a Model T Ford motor car. By April 1911 she was running a car dealership in Belfast, Ireland, but in October 1912 gave up the business to marry her cousin Charles Loftus Bland a lumberjack in British Columbia. He had returned to Ireland to propose to Lilian.The couple married on 3 October 1911,and soon emigrated to Canada where they built their own farm. They had their first and only child, in April 1913, but she died of tetanus in September 1929. The couple separated soon after, with Lilian moving back to England and Charles going on to marry his second wife, Mary (who was a cousin of both Lilian and Charles). In 1935, Bland settled in Kent, and became a gardener. She  gambled her wages on the stock market in the hopes of getting more money. She also wrote a memoir about her life during this time, which is yet to be published. By the 1950s, Bland had retired to Cornwall. In 1971, at the age of 92, Bland was quoted by the Belfast Telegraph, saying that the only excitement left to her was gambling. She died soon after on May 11, 1971, at the age of 92



1889 – The first General Conference on Weights and Measures establishes a standard length for a meter

1890 – Florence Violet McKenzie born, ‘Mrs. Mac’ – Australia’s first woman engineer and lifelong advocate for technical education for women. McKensie set up her own electrical contracting business in 1918, then apprenticed herself to it, in order to meet the requirements for a Diploma in Electrical Engineering at Sydney Technical College. She was the first Australian woman to take out an amateur radio operator’s license in 1922 and started The Wireless Weekly the same year. Her Wireless Shop became renowned among Sydney’s radio hobbyists and experimenters. In 1934, she founded the Electrical Association for Women, and wrote the first “all-electric” cookbook in 1936. McKenzie was the founder of the Women’s Emergency Signaling Corps (WESC),. She campaigned successfully for some of her trainees to be accepted into the Navy. In 1941, fourteen members of her civilian WESC became the first recruits for wireless telegraphy in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) at the Canberra Transmitting Station. Over the course of the war, over 3,000 women served in the WRANS. McKenzie trained countless men and women in wireless transmission and Morse Code during the war, and continued training men from the merchant navy, commercial airline pilots and anybody else who needed a “signaller’s ticket.” She ran the only school for wireless training in Sydney, and never charged tuition. She was appointed in 1950 as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work with WESC, and elected as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Navigation in 1957



1892 – Elmer Rice born, American playwright, director and novelist



1893 – Hilda Geiringer born, Austrian Jewish mathematician; she studied mathematics at the University of Vienna, earning a Ph.D. in 1917, then spent the next two years as an assistant editor on the Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik, a mathematics review journal. In 1933, Geiringer lost the right to teach at the university once the Civil Service Law which banished Jews from teaching and government positions came into effect two months after Adolf Hitler attained power. Geiringer left Germany after she was dismissed from the University of Berlin, and went to Brussels, where she was appointed to the Institute of Mechanics and began to apply mathematics to the theory of vibrations. She then moved to Istabul, where she became interested in Gregor Mendel’s studies of genetics. She did some of the pioneering theoretical work in molecular genetics, biotechnology and genetic engineering, but it was known to very few because she was publishing in Turkish journals. In 1938, Geiringer accepted a part-time lecturer position at Bryn Mawr College in the U.S. In addition to her lecturing duties at Bryn Mawr College, Geiringer undertook, as part of the war effort, classified work for the U.S. National Research Council. During 1942, she gave an advanced summer course in mechanics at Brown University. She wrote up her outstanding series of lectures on the geometrical foundations of mechanics and, although they were never properly published, these were widely disseminated and used in the U.S. for many years. In 1943,  she left Bryn Mawr to take a permanent position as Professor and Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Wheaton College, but the department was tiny, and she was cut off from her customary exchanges with colleagues. She applied for positions at other New England Universities, but was discriminated against as a woman and a Jew. In 1939, Harvard University’s astronomy professor Harlow Shapley wrote on her behalf to Radcliffe College which operated as Harvard’s sister school. Though it drew instructors and other resources from Harvard, Radcliffe graduates were not granted Harvard degrees until 1963. Even though Geiringer was a better mathematician and a better teacher than Harvard could provide to the women at Radcliffe, Geiringer was never offered a position there, but later worked at Harvard as a temporary Research Fellow to edit and complete the work of Professor Richard von Mises after his death in 1953. In 1959, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



1900 – Isabel Pell born, American who was awarded the French Légion d’honneur for her four years with the Maquis (rural resistance fighters, often in the mountains), using the name “Fredericka.”  She was captured by Italian soldiers and interned at Puget-Theniers, but smuggled out information until she was released. She disguised herself as a peasant, and continued working with the Maquis. In 1944, she led a group of American soldiers trapped by the enemy in the town of Tanaron to safety

1901 – William S. Paley born, American television broadcasting pioneer; built the Columbia Broadcasting System from a small radio network to a radio and TV giant, and led CBS for over 50 years



1901 – Ed Sullivan born, American TV variety show host

1909 – Al Capp born, American cartoonist; creator of Li’l Abner



1910 – Wenceslao Q. Vinzons born, Filipino politician, member of the Philippine House of Representatives (1941-1942); Governor of Camarines North (1940-1941). He became a leader of the armed resistance against the Japanese occupying the Philippines during WWII. Vinzons was executed by the Japanese Army at age 31 on July 15, 1942

1913 – Vivian Fine born, American piano prodigy and composer of over 140 works during her 68 year career; member of Aaron Copeland’s Young Composers Group; The Women in the Garden; Alcestis



1916 – Olga Lepeshinskaya, Soviet Prima Ballerina with the Bolshoi and the Kirov; member of the Communist Party, married to Soviet General Aleksei Antonov

1917 – Michael Soames born, English premier danseur and assistant director of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, later renamed the Royal Ballet; Margot  Fonteyn’s official partner 1950-1961



1924 – A team of U.S Army Air Service aviators using two planes complete the first aerial circumnavigation of the world after 175 days

1925 – Seymour Cray born, American computer scientist, founder of the CRAY Computer Company

1932 – Victor Jara born, Chilean teacher, theatre director, singer-songwriter, poet and political activist who was arrested in 1973, tortured and killed during the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet



1937 – Alice Mahon born, British Labour Party MP for Halifax (1987-2005); trade unionist and member of the Socialist Campaign Group; activist for peace, women’s rights (especially abortion) and gay rights; resigned in 2009 from the Labour Party in protest of major changes in party policies, including shutting out dissenting voices within the party, Britain’s involvement in the disastrous “War on Terror” and the party breaking a campaign promise not to privatize the Royal Mail 



1944 – Marcia Muller born, American mystery and thriller novelist; notable for her Sharon McCone private detective series. She was honored with the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master award in 2005

1947 – Sheikh Hasina Wazed born, Bangladeshi politician, Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1996-2001 and 2009 to the present), leader of the Bangladesh Awami League



1947 – Rhonda Hughes born, American mathematician and academic; Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College since 2011; Chair of the Bryn Mawr Mathematics Department (1980-2011); co-founder of the EDGE Program (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) in 1998, a mentoring program to assist women in transitioning into graduate studies in mathematical sciences



1950 – Christina Hoff Sommers born, controversial American author and philosopher, noted for her critique of contemporary feminism in such books as Who Stole Feminism?,  in which she claims many feminists today are part of “victim feminism” with an “irrational” hostility to men, and an “inability to take seriously the possibility that the sexes are equal but different.”

1951 – The first color televisions are offered for sale in the U.S, but are discontinued less than a month later

1954 – Margot Wallström born, Swedish Social Democratic politician; Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2014; UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict (2010-2012); Vice President of the European Commission (2004-2010)

1955 – Mercy Manci born, South African Xhosa sangoma (traditional healers who are diviners – the herbalists are called inyanga) who was taught by her grandmother, and HIV activist. As a teenager, she was the victim of a bride kidnapping by a family who wanted to avoid the lengthy negotiations over the lobola (bride price). No longer a virgin, she could not go home, and the marriage became official when the kidnappers paid four cows. She has one daughter form this marriage. While her husband went to work in the mines, she studied nursing through a correspondence course. When he came home, her husband burned her books and destroyed the typewriter she bought. After he discovered she was taking contraceptives behind his back, he disowned her, to be sent back to her family, but she went to Johannesburg instead, and got a job as a Doctor’s assistant. She founded Nyangazeziswe (Healers of the Nation), an organisation dealing with African traditional healing and HIV.  She gives workshops for other traditional healers in the Eastern Cape, but also internationally, focusing on preventing HIV by teaching how to use condoms and how HIV is transmitted 



1956 – Martha Fandiño Pinilla born in Columbia with Columbian and Italian dual citizenship, mathematician and author, noted for her work analyzing mathematical learning problems and the effectiveness of teaching methods

1958 – France ratifies a new Constitution, and the Fifth Republic is formed

1961 – Dr. Kildare and Hazel debut on NBC-TV

1963 – The Beatles “She Loves You” debuts on U.S radio, first played by influential American DJ Murray the K

1971 – British Parliament passes Misuse of Drugs Act, bans medicinal use of cannabis

1984 – South Africa is told by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to open all nuclear plants to international inspection or face IAEA sanctions

1991 – The Garth Brooks album, Ropin’ the Wind, becomes the first country to debut at #1 on pop chart

1995 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chair Yasser Arafat sign the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip


Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat

1997 – The DVD format makes its debut at the Audio Engineering Society convention

2000 – U.S. FDA approves RU-486 for use as a ‘medical abortion’ drug

2001 – The UN Security Council ends sanctions against Sudan, which had been imposed in 1996 after Sudan refused to extradite Muslim extremists who were suspects in a 1995 attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak while he was in Ethiopia for a summit meeting

2002 – Freedom of information organizations from around the world meet in Sofia, Bulgaria to create the Freedom of Information  Advocates Network (FOI), and declare September 28 will be International Right to Know Day *

2003 – Good Neighbor Day was set on September 28, after being set on the 4th Sunday in September from early 1970s when it was started by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana.  In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4061 officially proclaiming  National Good Neighbor Day *



2006 – Freedom from Hunger Day * is inaugurated by Freedom from Hunger, a charitable non-profit organization, to raise awareness of global hunger and promote the empowerment of women around the world. By the end of 2009, their Credit with Education program was operating in 15 countries, providing microloans and educational services to over 13 million women, enabling them to run home-based businesses while learning, to break the chronic hunger-poverty cycle for themselves and their children

2007 – The U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Alliance for Rabies Control co-sponsor the first World Rabies Awareness Day *



2014 – Occupy Central begins a peaceful demonstration at Hong Kong’s government headquarters, which is quickly spread to other areas by student  protesters in actions dubbed ‘the Umbrella Movement’ – thousands of protesters are tear-gassed by police, but many refuse to leave

2018 – A network attack exposed about 50 million Facebook users’ data, the social network revealed, claiming the vulnerability has since been patched. Facebook is investigating the extent of the damage, and notified law enforcement about the breach, then logged 90 million users out of their accounts as a security measure. The company has repeatedly faced scrutiny for its handling of private user data, especially in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the data firm hired by the Trump presidential campaign harvested data from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, using the data to build voter profiles, a violation of U.S. election law

2019 – ‘Go back to where you come from.” It’s a typical racist taunt, one that Donald Trump used against four Democratic congresswomen in July, 2019. BBC presenter Naga Munchetty discussed the issue with co-host Dan Walker on BBC Breakfast, and condemned the tweets as racist, expressing her anger at the racism she has faced. Now the BBC complaints unit has generated a storm of controversy because it ruled that while it was “legitimate” for Munchetty to have “reflected her own experience of racism,” it was wrong “to comment critically” on the president’s “motive” or the “consequences” of his words.  On this day, Kenan Malik defended Muchetty in an op-ed piece for the Observer, saying that she did not call Trump racist. Munchetty said she was “furious” that he “thinks it’s OK to skirt the lines by using language like that.” In addition, he pointed out that other BBC journalists have called the president racist, including the BBC’s New York correspondent, Nick Bryant, who tweeted about Trump’s “racial demagoguery.” Malik also questioned why it was legitimate to offer an opinion on the racist nature of the tweet, yet not appropriate to comment on the person tweeting. Munchetty was not reporting on the topic but expressing her opinion, and he concluded, “Ruling her comments inappropriate not only reins in the calling out of racism but makes it more difficult to draw the line between news and opinion.”


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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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