I always remember this date. It was the date I began my wilderness journey. My dad had taken early retirement and partly because of my mom’s respiratory issues and partly due to family friends nearby, they decided to move to Arizona, especially the Phoenix area. I had just completed my freshman year of high school so it was quite disruptive – and not just because I am a rain lover. There were good things that came out of it, but I don’t recall loads of fond memories:( Let me clarify that. I met new friends, including my very best friend, my soul mate, my sweet dear Debbie. And I met some good friends. It would be more accurate to say I don’t miss Arizona. We got married and hightailed it up to the Northwest.
Around the world, there were other grand events on this date. In 1521 the invading Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztec capital Techochtilnn. Harry Brearley produced the first stainless steel in 1913. East and West Berlin were separated by the beginning of the Berlin Wall in 1961, which lasted until its destruction almost 3 decades later. And, on a bright note, Opha May Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the US Marine Corp in 1918.
Notable birthdays include American abolitionist and suffragette Lucy Stone (1818), Bert Lahr (1895) the Cowardly Lion of Wizard of Oz, thriller director Alfred Hitchcock (1899), biochemist Frederick Sanger, who identified and isolated the amino acid structure of insulin (1918), and “Leader of the Band” singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg (1951).
Those who left us on this date include the “Lady with the Lamp” Florence Nightingale (1910) hero of Britain’s Crimean War; English sci-fi writer H G Wells (1946); Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle (1995); American French chef Julia Child (2004), and Star Wars own R2D2 Kenny Baker (2016).
Today is World Organ Donation Day, as well as International Lefthanders Day.