This date was a day of firsts. We got the first extensive look at a relatively undisturbed Pharoah’s chamber when Howard Carter opened the burial chamber of Tutankhamun in 1923. Wallace Carothers received the first patent for nylon in 1937. The Alaskan Equal Rights Act of 1945 was the first anti-discrimination law in the US – through the efforts of Alaskan natives. The first 911 emergency telephone service went into service in Haleyville Arkansas in 1968. And in 1978 the first computer bulletin board – CBBS – was created in Chicago.

In contrast, the last MASH (Mobile Army Surgery Hospital) unit was decommissioned by the US Army in 2006. The Kyoto Protocol came into effect when Russia, not the US, ratified the treaty (US efforts were stymied in the US Senate).

Births on this date include George F Kennan (1904) American historian and diplomat, US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and American general Anna Mae Hays (1920) rising up from the Army nursing ranks to be the first woman to be promoted to brigadier general – overcoming serious sexism patterns in the military. Other entertainment births were Hugh Beaumont (1908 Ward Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver); Sonny Bono (1935 of Sonny and Cher); actor Levar Burton (1957 Star Trek and Reading Rainbow); and tennis bad-boy John McEnroe (1959).

From the world of politics and diplomacy, we said farewell to the longtime California governor and father of another California governor – Pat Brown in 1996, and the 6th UN Secretary-General Egyptian politician Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali in 2016