This date in history was a busy one for earthquakes, all over the world. In 1169 a strong one struck the Ionian coast of Sicily causing hundreds of deaths and injuries. In 1797 the Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador, causing up to 40,000 casualties. In 1,975 the Haicheng 7.3 earthquake strikes China. In 1976 an earthquake strikes Honduras and Guatemala killing more than 20,000. in 1997 the Bojinard earthquake struck Iran resulting in 88 deaths from 173 villages destroyed. And in 1998 a 5.9 earthquake struck Takhar Province in Afghanistan with 2,323 killed and 818 injured. Quite a batch of earthquakes on the same date in history.

In political news George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the US in 1789 by the vote of the Electoral College, In 1794 the French legislature abolished slavery throughout all the territories of the First French Republic. In 1801 John Marshall was sworn in as Supreme Court Chief Justice. And in 1555 John Rogers became the first martyr executed by Queen Mary I of England – “Bloody Mary”.

One war began and the end of another was planned. In 1899 the Philippine-American War began with the Battle of Manila. And in 1945 the Yalta Conference with Churchill, FDR, and Stalin opened in Crimea. And in 1941 the USO -United Service Organization was created to entertain American soldiers – which still operates today to lift troop morale overseas.

A variety of notables were born on this date: Bill Heywood (1869) who founded the International Workers of the World (the Wobblies); Charles Lindberg (1902) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906) with two very different takes on the Nazis. Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks (1913) and Argentine President Isabel Peron (1931). The odd pair of VP Dan Quayle (1949) and singer/entertainer Alice Cooper (1948). And the date was rounded out by Russian skater Sergie Grinkov (1967) and presidential son Hunter Biden (1970)

Deaths include one political leader and two musical icons: Carl Albert, 54th Speaker of the House (2000), Liberace (1987), and the “superstar” singer and drummer Karen Carpenter (1983). What a day.