Over 500 years ago five ships under the command of Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Seville Spain in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Most of the ships and crew, including Magellan, did not make it back- though his second in command did. Magellan was killed in the Philippine Islands. The straits that mark the passage around the tip of South America still bear his name.
Much more recently, in 1990, the space probe named for Magellan reached its target, the planet Venus. In between some other events happened. In 1948 Candid Camera made its TV debut, producing loads of laughter. In 1988 President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 providing $20,000 to Japanese-Americans who were wrongly interned or relocated during WWII. It was the least we could do to atone. And in 961 the innocuously sounding – Operation Ranch Hand US military forces began spraying an estimated 20 million gallons of defoliants and herbicides on Vietnamese jungles to deny food and vegetation cover for the Viet Cong force. The outcomes were horrific and consequences long-lasting not only for the Vietnamese but also for our own soldiers who had the bad fortune to encounter Agent Orange, napalm, and other destructive chemicals.
Those who were born on this date include future President Herbert Hoover (1874), the inventor of Monopoly, Charles Darrow (1889), the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz Jack Haley (1897), the father of Princess Leia Eddie Fisher (1928), and the author of the Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (1962).
Those who left us on this date include American physicist Robert Goddard (1945), American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer nd actor Isaac Hayes (2008) the All-Star goalie on my favorite team – Chicago Blackhawk player Tony Espistito (2021), and one of the most famous movie dogs – Rin Tin Tin (1932) at the for dogs ripe old age of 14.