It was a day that the Earth really moved. There were four earthquakes on this date in history, three of them in Turkey. In 1668 a magnitude 8.0 quake caused 8,000 deaths in north Anatolia, Ottoman Empire – part of modern-day Turkey. In 1949 the 6.7 magnitude Karlova earthquake caused 320-450 dead in eastern Turkey. In 1999 a 7.6 magnitude quake in northwest Turkey left over 17,000 dead and 45,000 to 50,000 injured. And in 1976 a 7.9 magnitude quake off the coast of Mindinao Philippines caused a destructive tsunami killing between 5,000 and 8,000 and leaving over 90,000 homeless.

This date gave birth to such diverse characters as frontiersman Davy Crockett (1786), New Dealer and US Sec of Commerce Harry Hopkins (1890), femme fatale movie star Mae West (1893), US general and Manhattan Project head Leslie Groves (1896). and “Deep Throat” himself deputy director of the FBI Mark Felt (1913).

It was also the birthdate for Margaret Heafield Hamilton (1936) computer scientist and engineer largely responsible for the onboard systems of the Apollo program, U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (1929) center of Soviet-US international crises, actors Robert DeNiro (1943) and Sean Penn (1960), and two Olympic figure skaters -British Robin Cousins (1957) and American Gracie Gold (1995).

Those who passed on this date include the Prussian monarch Frederick the Great (1786), South American liberator and first president of Peru Jose de San Martin (1850), songwriter Ira Gershwin (1983), and two politicians with unique histories – Alcee Louis la Branche (1861)who was the first US Ambassador to Texas – while Texas was an independent Republic – and FDR Jr, who was born (1914) and died (1988) on the same day.

This is Independence Day for Indonesia (from Japan in 1945) and Gabon (from France in 1960). And here is the US it is recognized as Black Cat Appreciation Day