In 1885 on this date one of the iconic symbols of America, the Statue of Liberty, arrived in New York Harbor – a gift from the nation of France, who had aided us in our struggle for independence over 100 years before. In 1944 the nation of Iceland declared its independence from Denmark. And in a blow for academic freedom and religious freedom the US Supreme Court declared by an 8-1 count that compulsory bible reading and prayer in school was unconstitutional in Abington School District v Schempp in 1963.

Speaking of education, the College Board introduced their first standardized test, which would ultimately become the SAT, in 1901. The dangerous trade practice known as protectionism was bolstered by President Hoover with the signing of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930. The world nuclear club got bigger with the successful Chinese test of a thermonuclear device in 1967. And, of course this was the fateful day that Watergate began with the arrest five White House operatives for the break in at DNC headquarters in 1972.

The creator of the Toll House chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Graves Wakefield, was born in 1903 as was the mellow voice of Barry Manilow in 1943. Two classical composers were born on this date: French Charles Gounod (1818) and Russian Igor Stravinsky (1882) who brought us The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, which caused a riot in Paris at its premier.

This was the passing date for American singer Kate Smith (1988, God Bless America), American actress and dancer Cyd Charisse (2008), American heiress Gloria Vanderbilt (2019) , and former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi (2019).

This is the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Forest Fires – in Portugal. And World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.