Today In Fact, 7 August

A day for dancing and Zees.

The famous and iconic honey trap spy, Mata Hari shares a birthday with Charlize Theron. I’m not sure what to make of this coincidence except that should a movie ever be made about Mata Hari, Charlize needs to be contacted for the lead role. Mata Hari whose real name was Margaretha Geertruida “M’greet” Zelle MacLeod was born in 1876 in the Netherlands and Charlize was born 99 years later in Benoni.

These two dancers may even be related. I suppose we are all related, eventually.

Another two who share this date are a pair of American sociologists both with names starting with a “Z”.

Meyer Zald, a social work professor who died today in 2012 invented the term “social movement” and “resource mobilization” to call attention to the professionalization of advocacy and activist organizations seeking social transformation.

Gordon Zahn, the other sociologist with a “Z”, was born today in 1918. A prominent member of the Catholic Worker’s movement in the United States, Zahn was a life long pacifist and was not much liked by the Catholic hierarchy for his research into the role of priests in supporting Nazi soldiers during the Second World War. Most of Zahn’s research focused on conscience and war and he made a significant contribution to the Second Vatican Council’s support for conscientious objectors against war.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (

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