1494 Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, agreeing to divide the new World between them. (See May 4th entry.)
1841 Henry D. Thoreau wrote: “Man stands to revere, he kneels to pray.”
Freedom of the press—whether as a special day or as an institution—has not often been observed throughout the Americas. Nevertheless, today is Freedom of the Press Day which was originated by the Inter-American Press Association.
Prayer is a noble institution, but we must not confuse reverence and prayer. Reverence is a sign of respect; prayer is a plea for divine intervention. On this day in 1841, the author Henry D. Thoreau noted that: “Man stands to revere, he kneels to pray.”
When Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, agreeing to divide the New World between them on this day in 1494, it never occurred to them that eventually, the settlers and residents of the New World would have their own opinions of who should govern them. But no one at the time could have possibly imagined populations growing to the size they are today, much as we can hardly imagine a planet with double the current number of people.