On this date in 1915 technology was demonstrated for good or ill. The first demonstration of a neon discharge tube was made and German zeppelins made the first aerial bombardment of civilian targets in war in the UK. In 1920 The US Senate voted against joining the League of Nations, dooming that organization to failure in the pursuit of peace.
Also in 1920 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded and started the fight for civil liberties for all. Unfortunately, that did not benefit an American citizen of Japanese descent Toguri d’Aquino (falsely named Tokyo Rose) who was convicted of broadcasting anti-American propaganda to US forces in the Pacific. The Justice Department determined that there was no evidence against her, but the FBI pushed for conviction, coercing witnesses to purger themselves. She served 6 years in prison but was later granted a full and unconditional pardon by President Gerald Ford on this date in 1977.
1736 was the day James Watt was born. He was a Scottish-English chemist and engineer – we get the term watt for electrical power from him. In 1807 Robert E Lee, the confederate general was born. And in 1982 presidential candidate and current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegieg was born.
There were a number of births in the arts and literary fields on this date. Novelist Edgar Allan Poe 1809 began dreaming up his dark tales., French painter Paul Cezanne (1839) and American painter Thomas Kinkaide (1958) picked up their brushes. Janis Joplin (1943) and Dolly Parton (1946) began using their musical voices.
We said goodbye to a pair of Hall of Fame players and managers in 2013 – Earl Weaver, 17 years with the Baltimore Orioles managing a slew of HOF players, and Stan “the man” Musial who delighted St Louis Cardinals fans for 23 years. Two actresses left the limelight on this date – Suzanne Pleshett in 2008 and Hedy Lamarr, who also was a mathematician and inventor, in 2000.
And we heard no more from standout liberal Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas in 1980. He was the longest-serving associate justice – lasting 36 years