In 1099 during the First Crusade, the siege of Jerusalem began today -with the so-called “Christians” taking the place of the earlier Romans and aiming to take it for their own -not giving back to the Jews. In 1494 Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, dividing up the New World between them, as if they could, and ignoring all the other nations that would send explorers out into the world. In 1905 Norway’s parliament dissolved its union with Sweden which was confirmed by a national plebiscite in August.

In 1929 the Lateran Treaty, between the Catholic Church and the nation of Italy, officially created Vatican City as its own state. And in 1981, in a move that most nations ignored, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Osirik nuclear reactor in Iraq – they named it Operation Opera, for some odd reason.

It was an odd mix of birthdays today – French painter and sculptor Paul Gauguin (1848), singers Dean Martin (1917) and Tom Jones (1940), followed by the flamboyant rocker Prince (1958) and a year later (1959) by the droll future Indiana governor, US Representative, and US VP Mike Pence. Two more divergent individuals could hardly be dreamed of – except I recall that I and Representative Michelle Bachmann actually were born on the same day (yikes!).

The world lost some stellar talent on this date. Scottish King Robert the Bruce in 1329. Northwest tribal leader Chief Seattle, who the city of Seattle is named after, in 1866. English mathematician, computer scientist, and code-breaker Alan Turing in 1954. English novelist, short story writer, and essayist E.M.Forster in 1970. And British actor extraordinaire Christoper Lee – who portrayed such iconic characters as Count Dracula (multiple movies), Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, and the fallen wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and the Hobbit). He passed on just a few years ago on this date in 2015.