The confluence of religion and politics was displayed again on this date. In 1633 Galileo arrived in Rome for his trial for heresy before the Inquisition. In 1642 the Clergy Act became law excluding the Church of England bishops from serving in the House of Lords. And a hundred years before that the supreme head of the Church of England, Henry VIII, had his wife number Catherine Howard executed in 1542 for adultery. Whether or not the charges were valid the reason was the same as his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon (which caused the church split) – failure to give him a male heir. His sixth wife, Catherine Paar, outlived him.
In 1913 the 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed independence for Tibet from the Manchu dynasty in China, which lasted for almost 4 decades. In 1914 the ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers – was formed to provide copyright protection. And in 2011 after 100 years the Umatilla tribe was again allowed to hunt bison outside of Yellowstone – a traditional right that had been ‘guaranteed’ by an 1855 treaty.
In 1914 the Negro National League was formed to have a system where African Americans could play baseball. In 1960 Black college students staged the first sit-ins at lunch counters in Nashville. And in 2008 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a historic apology to indigenous Australians and the members of the Stolen Generation – kids who were taken from their homes and their culture by the descendants of the European settlers of the country.
In 1960 France had a successful nuclear test and became the 4th member of the nuclear world club. In 1979 in Washington State an intense windstorm sank a 1/2 mile stretch of the Hood Canal Bridge -which connects the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. And in 2004 the largest diamond white dwarf star was discovered, which astronomers named “Lucy” after the Beatles song.
On this date in history, we welcomed in an economist, a painter, and a test pilot. Grant Wood (1891) painted American Gothic and iconic images. Thomas Robert Malthus(1766), an English economist painted a bleak picture of the effects of population stress on natural resources – and added a word to our lexicon – Malthusian. And Chuck Yeager (1923) took us beyond the speed of sound and led us into the Space Age.
And we welcomed three singes to provide the soundtrack of our lives – Tennesse Ernie Ford (1919), Peter Tork (Monkees 1942), and Peter Gabriel (Genesis 1950).
We bid farewell to colonial minister and witch hunter Cotton Mather (1728), German composer Richard Wagner (1883) who composed great music and had an even bigger ego, and Lloyd Douglas (1951 the Robe) who was a very popular author in his day, even though he didn’t write his first novel until age 50>
We also lost an actor – David Janssen (1980 the Fugitive), a singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings (2002, who avoided fate the day the music died – in 1959), and a jurist – Antonin Scalia (2016) conservative firebrand on the US Supreme Court.
And with fond memories of my time in the studio behind the mike playing the music, I can tell you it is World Radio Day.