To start off with on this date there were four separate actions taken by the US government. In 1775 the Continental Army is established by the Continental Congress, marking the beginning of the US Armed Forces. Two years later the Second Continental Congress passes the Flag Act of 1777, adopting the Stars and Stripes as the Flag of the United States. Later on in 1937 the US Congress passes the Marihuana Tax Act, just taxing pot, later it would criminalize it. And in 1954 Congress passed and Pres Eisenhower signed into law an act adding “under God” to the pledge of allegiance, in response to the second Red Scare.

Closely following the Texas revolution against Mexico, and subsequent annexation of it by the US, the Anglo settlers in Sonoma California started the Bear Flag revolt against Mexico and proclaimed the California Republic in 1846, which would ultimately like the Texas Republic be absorbed by the US. In 1900 Hawaii officially became a US territory, after Anglo settlers overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. Yet some more progressive things happened – like trade unions being legalized in Canada in 1872, and Norwegian women being granted the right to vote in parliamentary elections in 1907. Both way before the US actions on each.

Three writers were born this date: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811, Uncle Tom’s Cabin), John Bartlett (1820, Bartlett’s Famous Quotations), and Harry Turtledove (1949, numerous alternative history novels). The diverse singing voices of Burl Ives (1909) and Boy George (1961) began to be heard on this date.

The designer of Washington DC, Pierre Charles L’Enfant passed away on this date in 1825. The second vice president of the US under Pres Grover Cleveland, Adlai Stevenson I died this date in 1914. His legacy lived on because his son, named after him, ran twice for president against Eisenhower, though losing both times. The world lost the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Alan Reed (1977) and the musical inventions of Henry Mancini (1984).

Fittingly this is Flag Day in the US. And a friendly reminder – this is also World Blood Donor Day, which was first organized in 2004.