In 1789 the first US federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs is established, which would later be renamed the Department of State. In 1929 one of the signature agreements of international law affecting the conduct of war the Geneva Convention of 1928, dealing with the treatment of POWs was signed by 53 major war nations. It was of mixed value and application during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and other future conflicts. In 1953 the Korean War armistice was signed by the US, China, and North Korea. South Korean strongman Singmn Rhee refused to sign it but agreed to abide by it. Thus the state of war in Korea actually continues, yet without active fighting. In 1995 the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington DC.

This was the birthday of American baseball player and manager Leo Durocher (1905) who incorrectly asserted “Nice guys finish last” – so glad he was wrong. It was also the birthday of screenwriter and producer Norman Lear (1922), English author and academic Jack Higgins (1929), singer Bobby Gentry (1942), one of the first female singers to compose and perform their own songs, and two world-famous Olympic figure skaters American gold medalist Peggy Fleming (1948) and British pairs skater Christopher Dean (1958)

The expat novelist and playwright Gertrude Stein quit her salon work in 1946. American general and Flying Tigers pilot Claire Lee Chenault flew his last in 1958. The last Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi quietly passed on in Egyptian exile in 1980, while Iran was in the midst of the Islamic revolution. And this date marked the end of the line for three actors – Bob Hope (2003), Sam Shepard (2017 – as Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff), and Tony Dow (2022 – Leave it to Beaver’s brother Wally).