People are amazed at the anger that Iran has towards the US, but this is because of their ignorance of history. The Middle East has been the crossroads of many conflicts, opposing armies, and conquering empires. The latest to be there was the British Empire and the contours of the countries were drawn up largely post WWI. The US followed in with Cold War alliances and played mind games and strategic standoffs with the Soviets for influence. One of the places involved was Iran. The Shah was seen as a loyal ally and when Iran developed a constitutional framework and elected Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister the allies were not happy. He acted to nationalize the oil industry so that the profits of Iranian oil benefitted the Iranian people.

The US and Britain did not like his socialism, likening it to Soviet communism, so in 1953 the CIA and MI6 (British intelligence) worked with the Shah to overthrow Mossadegh and reinstate the Shah. Then in 1979 the Shah went abroad for medical treatment and was himself overthrown by the Islamic Revolution and the “hate” was on. It was on this date – August 19th, 1953 – when the CIA/MI6 coup happened, and you cannot understand Iran/US relations without it

The liberation of Paris during WWII also began on this date in 1944 and the world was never the same.

This was the birthdate of English poet Jon Dryden (1631), Orville Wright (1871), American poet Ogden Nash (1902), visionary Gene Roddenberry(1921) Star Trek creator, as well as former President Bill Clinton (1946), and former First Lady Tipper Gore (1948), and Jonathan Frakes (1952) – Will Riker of STNG.

Those who left us on this date include Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar (AD 14), French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1662), comedian Groucho Marx (1977) – no more “Horsefeathers”, and Nobel Prize-winning chemist and biologist Linus Pauling (1994).

It is National Aviation Day (US) and World Humanitarian Day