In 1775 an anonymous writer – thought by many to be Thomas Paine – published“African Slavery in America” the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolishment of slavery. In 1917 the US Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule – before that they could go on forever. And in 1910 French aviator Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license.
1782 brought us one of the deadly clashes between the colonies and Native Americans – the Gnadenhutten Massacre in Ohio, where 96 Native Americans who had converted to Christianity were murdered by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids by other tribes. In 1924 there was a mine disaster near Castle Gate, Utah, and 172 coal miners were killed. And in 1965 US Marines arrived at Da Nang, Vietnam beginning the escalation that would lead to more than 58,000 US soldiers killed – not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilian and military deaths.
Born this date in history were composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714) second son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr (1841), Beatrice Shilling (1909) British aeronautical engineer and motorcycle racer -challenging the sexist norms of her day, and Miky Dolenz (1945) the last remaining member of the Monkees – who added joy to my growing up days and whose music I will remember forever, right along with the classical music I also grew up with.
Also born on this date were two Nobel Prize-winning chemists – Otto Hahn (1879) a German credited with being the father of nuclear chemistry and nuclear fission with all their pluses and minuses, and Edward Calvin Kendall (1886) an American who did pioneering work on the hormones of the adrenal glands.
Crossing over we have John of God, a Portuguese soldier turned healthcare worker who founded the Brothers Hospitallers, which was dedicated to caring for the poor, the sick, and those who suffered from mental illnesses. He was born (1495) and died (1550) on the same date.
There were two musicians who left us on this date: Vitus “Veit” Bach, who though he was a baker and miller, was credited by his famous son – Johann Sebastian Bach – with founding the prolific Bach musical family. And the French composer Hector Berlioz went silent in 1869.
We said goodbye to one king and two US Presidents on this date. King William III (House of Orange) died in 1702. US President Millard Fillmore, who made no real mark died in 1874. And Willaim Howard Taft, who after one term in office went on to his real desire – Supreme Court Chief Justice – passed away in 1930.
And don’t forget this is International Women’s Day – in the month dedicated to Women’s Heritage.