1522 Adrian of Utrecht became Pope Adrian VI.
1770 William Pitt, the elder, proclaimed: “Where law ends, tyranny begins—Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”
1913 President Richard M. Nixon was born.
1945 American forces invaded the Philippine island of Luzon. (See October 20th entry.)
1951 United Nations headquarters opened. (See January 1st and October 24th entries.)
1972 Howard Hughes held a telephone news conference. (See March 13th entry.)
It is surprising how time can sometimes jump a century or two, and past words or events can gain new impact. Today is such a day. In 1951, the United Nations headquarters opened in New York City. And in 1913, President Richard M. Nixon was born. But before these two events changed the way we envision world politics and world leadership, in 1770, William Pitt, the elder, told the British House of Lords: “Where law ends, tyranny begins” and “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”
History can be fickle. Normally it singles out great achievers for notoriety over time. But sometimes it simply takes being one of a kind. This was the case with Adrian of Utrecht, who became Pope Adrian VI in 1522. This is the anniversary of the consecration of the only Dutch pontiff in history. Adrian VI was also the last non-Italian pope for over four hundred years.
Someone once said it’s just human nature that promises are made to be broken. But today marks the anniversary of a promise fulfilled. US. Army General Douglas Mac Arthur had promised the Philippine people he would return to rescue them from the oppression of Japanese occupation. In October 1944, he stepped on the shore of Leyte just as he had promised. But it was on this date, in 1945, that he fulfilled his vow as American forces invaded the main island of Luzon, rescuing the country’s capital.
The truth sometimes comes from unexpected sources. And when the truth came from the voice of eccentric billionaire recluse, Howard Hughes, the whole world listened. On this date in 1972, Hughes held a telephone news conference—the first he had granted in fourteen years. He officially denounced the fraudulent biography of his life in that interview. Its author, Clifford Irving, had made a fortune with the book, which he claimed to have written with Hughes. But Hughes branded the book and its author as fakes.