1692 The Salem Witch Trials began. (See May 27th entry.)
1781 The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. (See January 30th and November 15th entries.)
1790 The first U. S. census was authorized.
1872 Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park. (See March 28th, May 11th, August 25th, and September 25th entries.)
1954 Ron Howard was born.
1961 The U. S. Peace Corps was established.
Did you ever stop to think how much we depend on numbers? Think about it today, because it is the anniversary of the day the first U. S. census was authorized. Since that first day in 1790, we have been counting heads—to determine Congressional districts, to allocate government money, to figure out unemployment rates, and so forth. Numbers are part of life, from baseball terms like three strikes you’re out; to payment terms such as net thirty days.
President John F. Kennedy’s most notable monument for many years was a noble idea. The Peace Corps was born on this date in 1961. Years later, when Jimmy Carter went to the White House, one of the things that endeared him to voters was that his mother, who was in her sixties, had been a Peace Corps volunteer in India. The Peace Corps, unlike other American aid organizations, supplies needy nations with shared knowledge, not handouts. Skilled, experienced people traveled to third-world nations and to this country’s depressed areas to impart their know-how; to work side by side with inhabitants, to help them help themselves.
Today is Ron Howard’s birthday. You may remember him as little Opie Taylor, Sheriff Andy’s son, on the Andy Griffith Show or as the happy-go-lucky teenager, Richie Cunningham, on Happy Days. We watched him grow up on television, becoming a part of the family. Since those days, Ron Howard’s gotten married and raised his own family just like the rest of us. But the images of the childhood and adolescence he created on screen linger in our minds.