In 1842 surgery became just a little easier for patients, when ether anesthesia was first used in a procedure by Dr. Crawford Long, something that President Ronald Reagan must have been grateful for when he was shot outside a DC hotel on this date in 1981. The Crimean War ended on this date with the Treaty of Paris in 1856. And two large states made history on this date: decades before it became a state we purchased the territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million – which amounted to 2 cents per acre. And the state of Texas (which we virtually had stolen from Mexico) was readmitted to the Union after the Reconstruction era was over in 1870.
The Spanish rabbi, physician, and philosopher Maimonides was born in 1135. Painters Francisco Goya (1746) and Vincent van Gogh (1853) started flexing their artistic fingers on this date. Actors John Astin (Addams Family 1930) and Warren Beatty (Reds, Bonny and Clyde 1937) started to explore their abilities. This was the musical start for Eric Clapton (1946), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), and Celine Dion (1968).
We bid farewell to the other Queen Elizabeth – the Queen Mum (2002), actor James Cagney (1988), English journalist and author Alistair Cooke (2004), and unsuccessful activist Fred Korematsu (2005) – who in 1942 had his case against incarceration/internment go to the Supreme Court, but ended up in a case as bad as Dred Scott – the justification for discriminatory detention of thousands of American citizen based on race.
This day is recognized in the US as National Doctor’s Day – so let’s give thanks for all those who work to bring physical healing to us all.