Some firsts on this date: the Daily Courant became the first national daily newspaper to be published in England in 1702. Patricio Aylwin is sworn in (1990) as the first democratically elected President of Chile since the US-backed military coup in 1970. And then in 2006, Michell Bachelet is inaugurated as the first female president of Chile. In between in 2003 the International Criminal Court began its first session.
The world got shaken up on this date also. The Great Blizzard of 1888 hit the Eastern seaboard of the US, shutting down commerce and resulting in 400 deaths. Madrid in 2007 suffered multiple train bombings, resulting in 191 deaths – the worst terrorist attack in Spain. In 2011 a 9.0 earthquake hit Japan and caused the worst nuclear plant accident at Fukushima and also a tsunami that made landfall as far away as the western US coastline. And in 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the Covid-19 viral epidemic a pandemic.
With a one and a two my grandma’s favorite bandleader, Lawrence Welk waltzed onto the world stage in 1903, while Fox, etc, fake news promoter Rupert Murdoch, crawled out from a rock and started deceiving the world in 1931. And associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia originally intentionally joined the world community in 1936.
This date was the world premiere of longtime journalist Sam Donaldson (1934), British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (1916), and Bobby McFarin (1950) who urged us to “don’t worry, be happy” having his Disney “it’s a small world” stuck into our brain moment.
Senator Charles Sumner, who narrowly escaped death from a beating from a fellow Congressman on the Senate floor pre-Civil War, lived on to get his revenge on the South and then died later in 1874. Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, who discovered penicillin and saved many from an early death, met his own death in 1955. And American admiral and polar explorer Richard Byrd flew higher than ever in passing away in 1957.
In 1960 we said goodbye to Roy Chapman Andrews – an American paleontologist and explorer – who brought back from Mongolia and the Gobi Desert the first fossilized (not active) dinosaur eggs.
Earl Stanley Gardner who wrote (and I read) oodles of Perry Mason legal thrillers left his own legacy by spending his early legal career taking on the defense of impoverished people, notably Chinese and Mexican immigrants. He founded the Court of Last Resort in the 1940s, which was dedicated to helping those who were unfairly imprisoned – who couldn’t get or afford good legal counsel and was the forerunner of organizations like the Innocence Project. He died in 1970.