It was the beginning of some things and the end of others. In 1870 Hiram Rhodes Revels was sworn in as a Republican Senator from Mississippi and became the first African American to serve in the US Congress. In 1933 the USS Ranger was commissioned as the first purposeful aircraft carrier (meaning not a ship altered to handle aircraft)by the US Navy. And in 1951 the first Pan-American Games were officially opened in Buenos Ares by Argentine President Juan Peron.

On the other hand, in 1986 President Ferdinand was ousted from power in the Philippines by the Peoples Power Revolution after 20 years as a presidential dictator and Corazon Aquino became the nation’s first female president. In 1956 Nikita Kruschev closed the book on the era of Joseph Stalin by denouncing his “cult of personality”. And in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union the Warsaw Pact (their equivalent of the West’s NATO ) was disbanded at a meeting in Budapest.

In 1778 one of the great liberators of South America was born – Jose de San Martin, considered by Chile, Argentina, and Peru as having liberated them from Spain. It is also the birthday of standout Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873), French impressionist painter Pierre Augusta Renoir (1841), and youngest Marx brother Zeppo (1901).

The world welcomed in three voices and faces on this date in history. Jim Backus (1913) was seen on Gilligan’s Island and heard as the voice of Mr. Magoo – among many others. George Harrison (1943) was of course a legend with the Beatles. And Sean Astin (1971) was the ever-faithful Sam to Elijah Woods’ Frodo in LOTR – as well as one of the cute kids in Goonies – a local Northwest story favorite.

We bid farewell to the great English designer and architect Christopher Wren(1723), who is remembered for St Paul’s Cathedral in London, among others. We saw the finish to a couple of founders -Paul Reuter (1899) a German-English journalist and businessman who founded the Reuters News Service in 1851. And Peter Berenson (2005) left behind the legacy of Amnesty International which he founded in 1961.