Some things never change. Way back in AD 193 the Roman Praetorian Guards, who were supposed to protect the emperor, not only assassinated the current office holder, Pertinax, , but then auctioned off the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianius. He then ruled for only 3 months after which he was deposed.
There were two aircraft-related news items this date -one positive, one not. In 1910 Henri Fabre became the first person to fly a seaplane after taking off a water runway in France. And in 1933 the Imperial Airways biplane City of Liverpool is believed to be the first plane lost to sabotage when a passenger lit a fire onboard. On the ground, a coolant leak led to overheating and a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Harrisburg, PA in 1979.
There were also three sizable earthquakes recorded on this date in history; 1965 7.4 in Chile – dam failures buried the town of El Cobre and killed at least 500 people; in 1970 western Turkey – at almost midnight local time, killing 1,086 and injuring at least 1200 others; in 2005 northern Sumatra, magnitude 8.6, killing over 1000 people.
Thomas Clarkson was born in 1760 and went on to help support the abolishment of slavery in England. Maxim Gorky was born in 1868 and was a contemporary of Leo Tolstoy and Anton Checkov, two other well-known Russian authors. Also in far-off Australia aborigine author and activist Margaret Tucker was born in 1904 and became the first aboriginal author to publish an autobiography.
We welcomed in two talented musicians on this date – country crooner Reba McEntire in 1955 – and pop-rocker of outrageous outfits and warm voice Lady Gaga in 1986.
There were three notable Russians who passed away on this date: Ivan IV, nicknamed “the Terrible”(1584) the first tsar of all Russian; pianist, composer, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff (1943) and painter Marc Chagall (1985). former US President Dwight D Eisenhower finished his service to his country and passed into history in 1969. Jeremy Denton also passed on in 2014, having been one of the men in uniform who endured captivity as a Vietnam War POW.
We said farewell to noted clown Emmit Kelly in 1979 and to the composer of “America the Beautiful” Katherine Lee Bates (1929) which some contend is much better suited to be our national anthem.