It’s a day known for battles and ballet. In 1876 the Battle of the Little Bighorn occurred out in Montana resulting in the death of General Custer and his men, outmatched by the forces of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse – the pursuit of gold on Native American land had a brutal price. In 1950 the Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea -a war that dragged on for 3 years and never officially ended – just a decades-long armistice. Meanwhile, in Paris Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird premiered in 1910, to a more peaceful response than was to greet the Rite of Spring three years later.

In happenings less boisterous the Diary of Anne Frank was published in 1947, Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female prime minister of Canada in 1993. And the rainbow flag representing gay pride was flown for the first time during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978.

Today we remember the birth of British author George Orwell (1903) author of the dystopian novels 1984 and Animal Farm. American movie producer Sidney Lumet was born in 1924. Carly Simon, who had us wondering who was “You’re So Vain” born 80 years ago in 1943-can you believe it? This also was the birthdate of US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (1954) and the late great chef and travel food writer Anthony Bourdain (1956).

On this date in 1995 we bid farewell to US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger. That year we also saw the passing of the deviser of one of the first particle accelerators – Ernest Walton. Two years later, in 1997, the environmentalist and underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau breathed his last. And in 2009 we lost pop stars Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Today is National Catfish Day in the US and Statehood Day for Virginia (the day the state ratified the US Constitution).