On this date in 1724, the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1958 a patent was filed for Legos. In 1965 the current design for the Canadian flag was approved by an act of Parliament. And in 1985 the Supergroup USA for Africa recorded We Are the World, to fund Ethiopian famine relief. Parliament.

In 1915 the US Coast Guard was founded by an act of Congress. And in1896 Walter Arnold became the first person known to be convicted of speeding. He was fined 1 shelling, plus court costs, for going 8mph, when the speed limit in town was 2mph. In 1754 Sir Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity in a letter to a friend. It was not a serendipitous day for Walter Arnold, I would not say.

And, everybody alive at the time remembers where they were when they heard of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding just 75 seconds into liftoff, taking the lives of 7 US astronauts:(

This date brought us Hawkeye and Frodo – MASH actor Alan Alda in 1936 and LOTR star Elijah Wood in 1981. We welcomed aboard our world a painter – Jackson Pollock in 1912 – and a lovely Canadian songstress and activist Sarah McLachlan in 1968.

And along with the 7 Challenger astronauts we said goodbye to two rulers – Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, in 814 AD, and Henry VIII – he of the six wives – in 1547. We lost the genius of Jerry Siegel – co-creator of Superman in 1996. And the actress Cicely Tyson in 2021.