In 1792 “La Marseillaise” , composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, is adopted as the national anthem of France. In 1901 New York becomes the first state to require automobile license plates. And in 1954 the first practical solar cell was publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

In 1959 the Saint Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, was officially opened to shipping. A year later, in 1960, the US Navy submarine USS Triton, completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. And in 1974 the Carnation Revolution, a leftist military coup, toppled the authoritarian regime in Portugal, ushering in a democracy and resulting in the independence of the several African Portuguese colonies.

Those appearing for the first time on the world’s stage on this date include : English general and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell (1599); Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874), credit with the invention of radio; Associate Supreme Court Justice William J Brennan (1906); and American journalist Edward R Murrow (1908) who was famous for his many WWII broadcasts and his stand up critic of smear-flinging Senator Joe McCarthy.

It was also the birthdate for African American soul, blues, and R&B singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917) , entertaining basketball star Meadowlark Lemon (1932) of the Harlem Globetrotters, tough man actor Al Pacino (1940), and the late great mourned yesterday DWTS judge Len Goodman (1944).

Those who left us on this date include English poet William Cowper(1800), American businessman and philanthropist August D Julliard (1919) a music lover who directed his estate to set up the Julliard School of Music, Emmeline B Wells (1921) who was a Mormon journalist and suffragette, and Clifford Simak (1988) a journalist and author, whose sci fi writings I enjoyed as a kid.

The great Celtic basketball star John Havlicek bounced his last ball in 2019. The great dancer Ginger Rogers took her last “good as Fred, backwards and in high heels’ steps in 1995. And the original host of Jeopardy, Art Fleming, delivered his last “question” also in 1995.

This was recognized as Malaria Day in 2007 to highlight the fighters against that disease. And in Portugal the day is celebrated as Freedom Day, for reasons cited above.