There were three discoveries or revelations this date in history. In 1820 a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica. In 1880 Thomas Edison received a patent for his incandescent lamp. And in 2010 Apple announced the iPad.
In 1916 the British government passed the Military Service Act which introduced conscription to the UK. In 1967 the US, the Soviet Union, and the UK sign the Outer Space Treaty in Washington DC banning the use of nuclear weapons in space. And in 1973 the Paris Peace Accords officially ends the Vietnam War. And in 1996 Germany first observes the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Notable performance and literary births include composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1756; author and mathematician Lewis Carroll in 1832; actress Donna Reed (It’s a Wonderful Life) in 1921; and Michail Baryshnikov, dancer, choreographer and actor, in 1948.
We also welcomed in labor leader (head of the AFL) Samuel Gompers in 1850; future Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1859; and John Roberts, the 17th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1955.
In 1596 the noted English captain and explorer Sir Francis Drake, first English circumnavigation of the globe sailed off into the sunset. In 1731 Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian instrument maker, inventor of the piano, walked away from the keyboard for the last time. In 1851 John James Audobon, ornithologists joined the birds in the great beyond.
The music stopped for Guiseppi Verdi, great Italian composer in 1901, for gospel great Mahalia Jackson in 1972, and for Pete Seeger in 2014. The world lost three notable authors on this date: John Updike in 2009, J.D in 2010, and Howard Zinn in 2010.
It is also the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrating the liberation of the last inmates of the Auschwitz camp..