In a bright spot in Scottish history during the first war of Scottish independence, the Battle of Bannockburn ends with a massive victory for the Scots under Robert the Bruce in 1314. Italian-born English explorer John Cabot landed in the New World at Newfoundland leading the first European exploration since the time of the Vikings, in 1497. And in 1717 the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world is founded in London.

In 1812 Napleon Bonaparte began his failed invasion of the Russian Empire, which Hitler would learn nothing from as he repeated the error 130 years later. In 1880 the first performance of “O Canada” was heard, later becoming the beloved anthem of Canada. And the first airmail service in the nation began in 1918 from Montreal to Toronto.

American author Ambrose Bierce was born in 1842, American heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey was born in 1895, and English standout guitarist Jeff Beck entered the world in 1944. This was also the birthday of future Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (1946), singer and musician Mick Fleetwood (1947), conservative journalist Ralph Reed (1961), and Argentinian standout soccer star Lionel Missi (1987).

The world bid farewell to two-time President Grover Cleveland – the only one to have two non-consecutive terms – in 1908. We also said goodbye to actor Eli Wallach (2014) known mostly to me with a piece of music – the Good the Bad and the Ugly – I bet you can remember it.