There were rising and fallings on this date. Two states joined the Union. One, Rhode Island joined the other 12 of the original 13 in ratifying the Constitution in 1790. The other, Wisconsin, was admitted as the 30th state in 1848. In 1660 Charles II became King of England, restoring the monarchy after the Cromwllian Lord Protector years. And in 2004 the National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington DC – a great place to visit and recollect if you get the chance.
On the other hand, the Byzantine Empire (or what was left of the eastern half of the Roman Empire) ended with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turk Empire in 1453 after a 53-day siege. And in 1913 the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s modernist ballet – The Rite of Spring- caused a riot in Paris.
The highest high? Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first two people to summit Mt Everest in 1953.
Two of the individuals mentioned above had their significant events happen on their birthdays – Charles II, who was born in 1630, and Tenzing Norgay who was born in 1914. This is also the birthdate for American patriot and first Virginia governor Patrick Henry (1736), entertainer Bob Hope (1903), British author T.H.White (1906) author of the series The Once and Future King (King Arthur), and Indy racer Al Unser (1939).
It is also the birthdate of President John F Kennedy (1917) who tragically only got the celebrate forty-seven of them.
The stage was darkened by the loss of four creatives – W.S.Gilbert (1911) who collaborated with Arthur Sullivan to bring us comic operas such as HMS Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance, John Barrymore(1942), Dennis Hopper (2010, Easy Rider), and Mary Pickford (1979) who founded United Artists.
We lost three political figures – Sam Dash (2004) who was chief legal council for the Senate Watergate committee, Archibald Cox (2004) who was the special counsel in the investigation who ultimately got fired in the notorious Saturday Night Massacre, and Senator Barry Goldwater, who did the country a favor by urging President Nixon to resign.
This is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers and the day this year that we remember those who have given their lives in the military service of their country. On this day I remember my Uncle Phil, who died in a plane crash in 1942 while training pilots to fly.