In 325 AD the first Council of Nicea began, an ecumenical meeting of the existing churches called by Roman Emperor Constantine I. In 1862 US President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, opening up 84 million acres of public land to settlers. And in 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were given a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

In 1927 Charles Lindbergh took off for Paris on his historic flight from Roosevelt Field in New York. And on an equally historic flight, Amelia Earhart took off five years later, in 1932, from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop transatlantic flight by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the following day. And in a note that reminds us flight can be used for good or ill, in 1956 as part of Operation Birdwing, the first airborne hydrogen bomb was dropped over the Bikini Atoll.

Simon Fraser, the Canadian- American fur trapper and explorer – started discovering his little world in 1776. The English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had his first thoughts about life in 1806. And English rocker Joe Cocker utter his first sounds in 1944. And Jimmy Stewart discovered it was a beautiful life in 1908.

This was the birthday for Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman to be ordained as a mainstream Protestant minister in the US (Methodist, 1825); singer and actress Cher (1943); presidential son and activist Ron Reagan (1958); and figure skater Caroline Zhang (1993).

The voyages of discovery for Christopher Columbus ended in 1506. The music ceased for German pianist and composer Clara Schumann (1896) and flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal (2000), and Robin Gibb (2012, Bee Gees).

Today should be a busy day because it is World Bee Day