A blow for freedom of the press was struck in 1735 with the acquittal of John Peter Zenger. He had been accused of seditious libel by the royal governor of the colony of New York. He was acquitted because the jury determined that what he had accused the governor of had been true, so it was no libel.

There were firsts on this date – the first income tax levied by the US government (1861) to help pay for the Civil War costs, the first electric streetlight in Cleveland (1914), and the first broadcast of American Bandstand (1957). It was also the date the US Army abolished flogging (1861) not soon enough, and the date that Nelson Mandela was jailed in South Africa (1962) – from which he would not be released until 1990 -over 28 years.

The man whose name bears the waters between Russia and Alaska – Danish explorer Vitus Bering was born in 1681. It was also the birthdate for American actor and director John Huston (1906), first foot on the moon astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930), Miracle on Ice coach Herb Brooks (1937), writer David Baldacci (one of my favorites – 1960), and NBA star Patrick Ewing (1962).

Those creatives who ceased their creating and left us with just memories include Portuguese-Brazilian actress and singer Carmen Miranda (1955), Welsh-Swiss actor and producer Richard Burton (1984), last seen as Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness (2000), American Pulitzer/Nobel Prize laureate author Toni Morrison (2019), and of course like a “candle in the wind” Marilyn Monroe (1962) much too soon gone:(