In 1609 in an act of foresight Galileo demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers. In 1814 in a backwards-looking act of rage and ignorance, the invading British troops during the War of 1812 burned the Library of Congress in Washington DC, as well as the US Treasury and Department of War. The Library was restocked due to the generosity and large library of former President Thomas Jefferson. In related foresight, the US National Park Service was created in 1916. In medical advancement, Japanese physician and bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburo discovered the infectious agent of bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet in 1894.

In 1944 Paris was liberated by the Allies. Linus Torvalds announced the first version of what would become Linux in 1991. And in 2012 the Voyager I spacecraft entered interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.

The world gained some creative souls on this date. Pianist, composer, and conductor Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918. American illustrator and animator Walt Kelly (1913) creator of Pogo (“We have met the enemy and they are us”) and Tim Burton (1958) , who brought us Batman and other gothic-themed visual creations were creative in their own way. We also welcomed in the musical talents of KISS lead man Gene Simmons (1949), English rocker Elvis Costello (1954), and country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus (1961).

Way back when there was a Roman commander who was also a naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder, who passed on in 79 AD, a couple of other philosophers Scottish David Hume (1776) and German Friedrich Nietzsche (1900) finished leaving their mark on the world. In the scientific fields, we lost Scottish engineer and instrument maker James Watt (1819), German-English astronomer William Herschel (1822), and English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1867). Losties please note the origin of a couple of characters.

We also said farewell to the very real Moonlight Graham (1965, featured in Field of Dreams), former US Associate Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell (1998), starman Neil Armstrong (2012), and two rational lawmakers and statesmen John McCain (2018) and the ‘Lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy (2009).