On this date in 356 AD the Christian church in Rome completed the progression from outlawed to allowed to outlawing. The Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and then made it – not emperor worship – the state religion. He tolerated Jews and pagans as well. However his son Constantius suppressed Jews and forbade worship of pagan gods in Rome, foreshadowing the worldwide persecution of non-conformist and “heretics” by the Catholic Church, that ultimately led to the Protestant Reformation and the religious wars and our own US Constitutional First Amendment protection for religious liberty.
In 1600 the Peruvian supervolcano Huaynaputina exploded in the most violent eruption in South American history, killing 1500 people and burying the surrounding areas under 7 ft of ash and rubble. In 1884 on this date the southern US was hit by over 60 tornadoes in one day. And in space news NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe began mapping the surface of Mars using a thermal emissions imaging system.
In 1807 former US Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama for treason. He was later acquitted of the charges. In 1942 in a time of war hysteria, built on long standing anti-Asian prejudice President FDR signed Executive Order 9066 allowing US troops to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps. On the same date 34 years later (1976) President Ford formally rescinded Order 9066 , issued a formal apology for the actions, and started the process of reparations to internees and their families.
Nicholas Copernicus began looking up at the stars and wondering in 1473. Karen Silkwood began to be active in 1945. And Prince Andrew joined the royal line of succession in 1960,
Dave Niehaus began practicing his “my oh my”s (Seattle Mariners) in 1935. Smokey Robinson started tuning up his marvelous voice in 1940. And just recently it seems Millie Bobbie Brown started dreaming of Stranger Things in 2004.
Four creative minds ceased to dream on this date in history. General Billy Mitchell, WWI hero and “father of the US Airforce” pushed hard – hard enough to be court-martialed – for the wartime use of air power -and was ultimately vindicated in WWII and beyond. He went into the great beyond in 1936. Charlie Finley confounded major league baseball as managers of the 3-time World Series champion Oakland A’s – a streak that only the Yankees have exceeded. His management ended in 1996. And both Umberto Eco – Italian novelist – and Harper Lee – American novelist – To Kill A Mockingbird – wrote their last in 2016.