Gold was discovered in a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada in 1896 – so almost 50 years after the California Gold Rush the Klondike Gold Rush began, giving rise to Jack London’s White Fang and the Call of the Wild, and some rich miners. Twenty years later the US and Canada signed the Migratory Bird Act in 1916, which helped to preserve the safe migrations of Canadian geese and other wildfowl. In 1906 there was an 8.2 earthquake in central Chile and in 2020 there was the August Complex fire that burned over 1 million acres of forest – both events leading to the destruction of wildlife.
Meanwhile, Joseph Kittinger decided it would be a grand idea to parachute from a hot air balloon at 31,300 miles up over New Mexico in 1960, while Cyprus gained its independence from the UK. And for sports fans, the first issue of Sports Illustrated came out in 1954.
In 1888 the British colonel, diplomat, writer, and archeologist T E Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia) was born. Nobel Prize-winning Israeli Prime Minister – and former Irgun insurgent – Menachem Begin was born in 1913. This was the birthdate for several actors – Fess Parker, of Gunsmoke (1924), Robert Culp, of I Spy (1930), Julia Newman, seen early as one of the actresses who played Catwoman (1933), and Madonna, seen on screen in A League of Their Own, and Desperately Seeking Susan (1958). It is also the birthday of rising American figure skater Karen Chen (1999).
Those who departed the world on this date include the inventor of Coca Cola – chemist and pharmacist John Pemberton (1888), the Bambino, Babe Ruth (1948), Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell (1949), legendary Hungarian-American horror master actor Bela Lugosi (Dracula 1956), and two legendary singers Elvis (1977) and Aretha Franklin (2018) – as well as the Easy Rider Peter Fonda (2019).