Today there were two patents issued, the first was the only patent ever issued to a person who served as President. In 1849 future President Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for an invention to lift boats. just over a half-century later another transportation patent was issued to the Wright brothers – for their “flying machine” (1906).
This was also a day when the earth moved violently. Lassen Peak in northern California erupted with violent force in 1915. It was the only other volcanic eruption in the contiguous US in the 20th century. Long after it settled down my sisters and I took part in a ranger hike to the top of the peak while on a camping trip growing up. We had a great view up the Cascades from the summit because it was a clear day.
Two major earthquakes happened on this date. In Xining, China there was an 8..3 magnitude in 1927 that caused 200,000 deaths in one of the most destructive earthquakes in history. And the world’s strongest earthquake ever recorded – 9.5 magnitude – happened in southern Chile in 1960.
A shakeup of another type happened when the Republic of Ireland, a majority Catholic nation, became the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.
Two inventors were born on this date: English physicist William Sturgeon (1783) who invented the electromagnet and electric motor; and Bodo von Borries (1905) who invented the electron microscope. Three creative geniuses were also born today: Titanic talent and ego German composer Richard Wagner (1813), Creative of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), and legendary British actor Laurence Olivier (1907).
The sports world was enriched by the arrival of Dodger pitcher Tommy John (who has since gotten name recognition for a specific type of corrective surgery for pitchers) in 1943. And the Seattle area got some recognition for the exploits of Olympic medalist speed skater Apollo Ohno who arrived in 1982.
On this date we remember the passing of world-religion changing Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 337 AD. We remember the passing of the first First Lady of the US Marth Washington in 1802. And the first Union soldier killed in the Civil War died today in 1861.
We also said goodbye on this date to French novelist Victor Hugo (1885), Harlem poet Langston Hughes (1967), the librarian of the Manhattan Project,s Los Alamos site, Charlotte Serber (1967), and Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Grove (1975).
Today is remembered as International Day for Biological Diversity, US Maritime Day, and World Goth Day.