This was a day of firsts. The first successful Pony Express run, from St Joseph Missouri to San Francisco began on this date in 1860. It only operated for 18 months but became an iconic image of the West. In 1933 the first airplane flew over Mt Everest, 20 years before Hillary and Norgay made it to the summit. The first handheld mobile phone call was made by Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973. In 1981 the Osborne 1, the first portable computer, was unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in SF. And Apple released its first generation iPad tablet computer in 2010.

Four notable American public figures were born on this date, three well-remembered and one virtually forgotten. The novelist and short story writer Washington Irving (Legend of Sleepy Hollow) was born in 1783. New York political machine leader William M “Boss” Tweed began his shenanigans in 1823 – ending up dying in the Ludlow Street Jail – Federal penitentiary. American publisher and founder of TIME magazine was born in 1898. And Edward Everett Hale was born in 1822. He was known as one of the greatest orators of his time but got little recognition for his 2-hour address at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery while Abraham Lincoln spoke for just 2 minutes and is remembered for all time. Sometimes less is more.

Four women burst upon the world stage on this date: English primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall (1934), Japanese admiral, and the first female star official of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (1943). Iron Chef Cat Cora (1967), and Olympic gold medal, and World Cup skier Picabo Street (1971).

We bid farewell to outlaw Jesse James (1882) shot in the back by Robert Ford, German pianist, and composer Johannes Brahms (1897), US Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown (1996 plane crash), and gun control activist Sarah Brady (2015) whose husband James was wounded in the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981.