9th June


1934 Donald Duck debuts

Other events today:

  • King Abdullah II’s anniversary of ascension to the throne (Jordan – see 25th May)
  • Aland Islands Autonomy Day (a Swedish-speaking set of islands in Finland)
  • La Rioja Day and Murcia Day (regions in Spain; the former famous for St Millan monasteries where the first Spanish words were ever written down; the latter for its Easter parades, and the tallest bell tower in Spain)

9th May

1662 Mr Punch from Punch and Judy debuts in England

1860 J.M. Barrie born

1920 Richard Adams born, author of Watership Down (for age 9-16)

Europe Day (commemorating Schumann Declaration beginning the idea of a united Europe)

Victory and Peace Day (Soviet Union defeats Nazi Germany, celebrated by Russia; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Kyrgryzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Moldova; Ukraine)

Guernsey/Jersey Liberation Day

Romania Independence Day (from Ottoman Empire, 1877) – see 24th January

9th January

Philip Astley created the first circus in 1768 London – so we made our own circus!

We set up a tent and Baby tried snake charming (the snake being my arm in a green legging)

… riding a lion (I was the lion);

… one of her toys dared to put its head in a lion’s mouth;

…. we tried juggling and doing a clown act with an invisible car;

… we tried balancing toy elephants on a ball

… and gymnastics (Baby swinging from my hands).

For dinner we had hotdogs and toffee apple muffins.


Connecticut founded (1788): famous for Yale, ESPN, Gilmore Girls, election cake.

9th November

Day of the Skulls (Bolivia: skulls of family members watch over the house three years after burial; on this day they are given offerings and taken to Mass)

Inventors Day (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)

Cambodia Independence Day

Cambodia was a collection of little kingdoms heavily influenced by India until the Khmer Empire grew in the 9th century. Its capital was Angkor, the world’s largest pre-industrial capital.

Sri Lankan monks introduced Buddhism in the 13th century. Angkor was abandoned in 1432 after being sacked by the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom. The Khmer kings became vassals of the Siamese and Vietnamese, who continuously fought over it until the Cambodian king Norodom I asked the French for protection in 1863.

Cambodia became part of French Indochina, except for when Japan invaded in WWII.

Cambodia gained independence in 1953. When the French were handing out independence, the Mekong Delta went to the Vietnamese, even though 1 million ethnic Khmers live there.

Cambodia remained neutral in the Cold War, but King Sihanouk let Communists find sanctuary during the Vietnam War going on right next door.

In 1970 King Sihanouk was ousted and Cambodia became anti-Communist. So North Vietnam attacked Cambodia, and the king’s old supporters joined in and the country dissolved into civil war. Meanwhile the US and South Vietnam bombed Cambodia, you know, to help.

Cambodian Communism was called the Khmer Rouge, under the leader Pol Pot.


In 1975 the Khmer Republic surrendered to the Communists, and Cambodia was renamed the Democratic Kampuchea. The cities were evacuated and everyone was forced to march to work on farms. About a quarter of the population were killed, and areas of the country are now known as the Killing Fields.

In 1978 Vietnam invaded because the Khmer Rouge had been trying to take back the Mekong Delta. In 1991 the UN took over to try and sort everything out.

In 1993 Sihanouk was restored as king, and the UN set up free elections with the government in charge of power. In 1997 the co-Prime Minister Hun Sen had all the non-communist MPs assassinated, but otherwise things have worked ok.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal Day (Pakistan – birthday of national poet)

Germany’s Schicksaltag (Day of Fate because historically important things happened on this day)

9th October

Hangul Day (S. Korea celebrates invention of its alphabet, 1446) – find your name in Korean here.

Leif Erikson Day (Viking bringing first Europeans to America in the 10th century) – resources here, and the rune alphabet here.

Takayama Autumn Festival – more info here.

World Post Day (after Swiss Universal Postal Union founded, 1874)

Uganda Independence Day:

Learn Swahili!

Up until around 300 B.C., Ugandans were hunter-gatherers. Then the great lakes were ruled by the Empire of Kitara, or the Chwezi Empire, until the Luo and Ateker peoples of the Nile valley invaded.

From the 1830s Arab traders arrived, followed by British explorers, and from 1888 it was part of the British East India Company.

The Brits imported Indian workers to build the Ugandan railway. In 1900-20, two-thirds of Ugandans by the lakes died of a sleeping sickness.

From 1962 Uganda was independent from the UK and became part of the Commonwealth.

After that, as with nearly all post-colonial countries, democracy soon turned to violent dictatorship. The first voted-in government had a prime minister, Milton Obote, and a president  who was also king, Edward Muteesa II; four years later the prime minister booted out the king-president, changed the constitution, declared Uganda a republic and abolished the traditional kingdoms.

Idi Amin

In ’71 Obote was deposed, and a violent dictator Idi Amin killed 300,000 Ugandans and extradited all the Indians, ruining the country’s economy.

Eight years later Ugandan exiles joined with Tanzania, invaded and reinstated Obote. He was again deposed and replaced by Tito Okello in 1985, who six months later was deposed in a ‘bush war’ led by the current president Yoweri Musoveni.

If you’re a child, female or gay in Uganda, it’s pretty bad times. Children can be kidnapped to serve in Kony’s army, or work in dangerous factory conditions, and parliament is pushing for homosexuals to receive the death penalty. Because women are expected to do all the housework, looking after the young, ill and old, and also have to bring in an income, they work 15-hour days compared to the men’s 8-hour days.

Despite fertile lands, lots of mineral resources and untapped cruel oil reserves, Uganda owes $2 billion in foreign debts. Through open discussion, Uganda managed to reduce HIV cases from 30% in the 1980s to 6.4% in the 2000s.  In 2003 George Bush started financially supported ‘abstinence-only’ campaigns against HIV, and cases doubled. Nice one, Bush.

Make a handprint elephant.


Chung Yeung Festival (2016 Hong Kong: 9th day of 9th lunar month; ancestor-worship in cemeteries; they also hike to the highest points for good luck and eat ko cakes)