In an early demonstration of the need for the wall of separation of church and state in 1218 Pope Innocent III (ironic name) issued a papal bull ruling the King-and-barons negotiated Magna Carta as invalid. And in 1662 the Book of Common Prayer was legally enforced as the liturgy of the Church of England, forcing many dissidents out. Most likely the 1349 massacre of six thousand Jews in Mainz over ridiculous accusations of being responsible for the bubonic plague had its origins in clerical minds.

This day saw the beginnings of British influence in India, with the first “official representative” of the Crown arriving in Surat in 1608. It saw the end of Spanish influence in Mexico with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba officially ending the Mexican War of Independence in 1821. And the official arrangement of trans-Atlantic alliances came with the 1949 signing of the NATO treaty. Meanwhile during the War of 1812 British troops invaded Washington DC and burned the White House in 1814 and Ukraine declared their independence (which they are still fighting for) from the Soviet Union in 1991. Oh, and on this date in 2006 Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet by the International Astronomers Union, due to the revision of the definition of “planet”.

Notable figures born on this date include English philosopher, politician, and reformer William Wilberforce (1758)- responsible for the outlawing of slavery in the British Empire, American historian and activist Howard Zinn (1922), R2D2 – that is, Kenny Baker (1934), Classical Gas composer Mason Williams (1938), and triple amputee veteran and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland (1942), It’s also birthdate for movie stars Marlee Maitland (1965 Children of a Lesser God), and Rupert Grint (1988 Harry Potter friend Ron Weasley).

We bid farewell to actor E G Marshall (1998), psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2004) who taught us all the stages of grief, and long-time British actor, director, producer, and politician Richard Attenborough (2014).

It is Independence Day in Ukraine and Nostalgia Night in Uruguay