1737 Hancock was born in Braintree, MA.
1773 First U. S. museum was established.
1876 Jack London was born in San Francisco, California.
1932 Mrs. Hattie Caraway became the first elected female U. S. senator. (Also see the January 11th Amelia Earhart entry.)
1990 Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia retrieved an 11-ton floating science lab.
1994 President Bill Clinton signed an agreement to disarm the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal.
There are some landmark anniversaries for American women worth mentioning today. In 1935, Amelia Earhart single-handedly conquered the Pacific Ocean by flying from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. And in 1932, Mrs. Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the U. S. Senate.
The nation’s first public museum dedicated to the preservation of knowledge was founded in Charleston, South Carolina, on this day in 1773. The Charleston Museum was a pioneer effort in the great tradition of public service and education.
Signing one’s “John Hancock” on an important document wouldn’t mean much if, in 1737, John Hancock hadn’t been bora. He grew to become the first signer of the nation’s Declaration of Independence. Unwavering dedication to his beliefs spurred him to make a big statement: he signed his name legibly so everyone could see that he stood by his convictions no matter what the cost.
It’s John Griffith Chaney’s birthday. He was born in San Francisco in 1876 to a roving astrologer and his spiritualist wife. John’s life reads like the plot of a novel. He quit school at the age of fourteen and explored the San Francisco Bay area in a sloop. He rode the rails as a hobo and was even jailed for vagrancy. At the age of nineteen, he crammed a four-year high school course into one year and entered the University of California at Berkeley. After one year, he went on the road to seek his fortune in the 1897 Klondike gold rush. However, he didn’t find his fortune until he began writing. But when he did, we all became richer for his efforts. We know him by his pen name—Jack London and his romantic adventure tales—like Call of the Wild, White Fang, and To Build a Fire—revolve around the elemental struggle for survival.
The world as we know it was saved not once, but twice, on this date in history. In 1990, American astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia retrieved an 11-ton floating science lab. It was a rescue mission that kept the faltering satellite from plunging to earth. Four years later, in 1994, President Bill Clinton settled an agreement to disarm the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal in the Ukraine, saving the world from potential manmade decimation. The most imminent threats to mankind seem to be those produced by man. To quote a classic Pogo cartoon, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”