Interesting how popular terms come about. The Germanic tribal group the Vandals, sacked the city of Rome in 455 AD for two weeks, and thus the popular term for wanton destruction became known as vandalism. In 1780 there was a series of riots called the Gordon riots that occurred in London which were anti-Catholic in nature, a continuation of the religious conflicts that ravaged Europe and inspired the US Constitutional First Amendment to separate church and state to protect both. In a black mark on American colonial history on this date, Bridget Bishop was the first person tried for witchcraft in Massachusetts in 1692.

In signs of progress, Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his wireless telegraph in 1896. President Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law in 1924 granting citizenship to all Native Americans born in the US – people who should have had it all along, because they and their ancestors were here long before any white man set foot on what is now American soil. And in 1953 the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II occurred in Westminster Abbey and was one of the first major international events to be televised.

This date was the birthdate of the first First Lady, Martha Washington (1731), French philosopher the Marquis de Sade (1710). English composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857), and Olympic Medalist swimmer and Tarzan portrayer Johnny Weismuller (1904).

The third man to walk on the moon, Pete Conrad, began his exploration of the Earth in 1930. American composer Marvin Hamlisch also entered the world in 1944 and grew up to become one of only two individuals to earn a PEGOT – gaining awards for Pultizer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. The rebooted Star Trek Spock- Zachary Quinto was born in 1977. And an icon from my childhood, the Beaver, Jerry Mathews was born this day in 1948 and is thus 75 years old – can you believe it?

We bid farewell to the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig in 1941. The world also lost Spanish classical guitarist Andre Segovia (1987), Ben Hur’s nemesis Masalla – Stephen Boyd (1977), My Fair Lady’s Henry Higgins – Rex Harrison (1990), and Hogan’s Heroes Peter Newkirk – Richard Dawson (2012).