On this date in 1776 one of the most famous pamphlets, Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, was published. Thomas Paine causes problems for those who tout the notion of a Christian founding of America since he was an avowed atheist and not a deist like the rest.

In 49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, leading to the overthrow of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire. And in 1920 the Treaty of Versailles took effect, officially ending WWI. The League of Nations came into effect but was largely ineffective at preserving peace, so less than 20 years later we had WWII.

For birthdays on this date, we have Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow of the Wizard of Oz (1904), Stephen Ambrose, American historian and author (1936), Willie McCovey, great SF outfielder (1938), and both Jim Croce (1943) and Frank Sinatra (1944). In fact, it was a good day for musicians, with Rod Stewart (1945) and Pat Benatar (1953) also born on this date.

Three popes died on this date in history, as well as American writers Sinclair Lewis (1951) and Dashiell Hammett (1961), and iconic British singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie (2016).

Also, oddly the date is celebrated in the Falkland Islands (off the coast of Argentina) as Margaret Thatcher Day—at least by the British residents of the disputed territory.