Capitalism was highlighted on this date in history. In 1776 the same year the Declaration of Independence was signed the Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations – he is considered the father of capitalism. In 1841 the US Supreme Court ruled in the Amistad case that the slaves who seized control of the ship that had transported them to the New World as slaves had been taken into slavery illegally – even though slavery would remain legal for another 25 years. And in 1842 the first documented discovery of gold happened in California – fueling many a capitalist’s dream.

In matters of war, this was the date that two ironclad ships – the Merrimack and the Monitor fought to a draw in 1862. In 1945 Allied forces carried out firebombing raids on Tokyo destroying much of the capital and resulting in over 100,000 deaths.

In 1959 the Barbie doll (which my sister Barb hated) made its debut at the American International Toy Fair. The next year, 1960, Dr. Belding Hibbard Scribner implanted for the first time a stent he invented into a patient which allows the patient to receive hemodialysis on a regular basis. And the following year Sputnik 9 successfully launches carrying a dog and a human dummy.

Amerigo Vespucci – Italian cartographer and engineer, and namesake of the Americas, was born in 1451. Amasa Leland Stanford – American businessman and politician, and founder of Stanford University was born. And in 1863 there was born a suffragette and temperance advocate – who helped bring about the short-lived prohibition era – Mary Harris Armor.

A stain on the American landscape entered the world in 1919 – George Lincoln Rockwell (no relation to the artist Norman Rockwell), the founder of the American Nazi Party (yes, unfortunately, we had one of those). In 1934 was born on Earth one who would soar into space – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagaran (the first). And the chess board was first set for American grandmaster Bobby Fischer in 1943.

On this date in history we said goodbye to former terrorist (pre-independence) and later Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin (1992), C Northcote Parkinson(1993) an English historian and author, who lent his name to the “work expands to fill the time allotted” principle, comedian and long-lasting radio funny man George Burns (1996), as well as long time American journalist Roger Mudd (2021).

In Lebanon, this is Eid Al Moalim, aka Teachers Day