1475 Michelangelo was born.
185 7 The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the slave Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom in a federal court.
1936 The Spitfire MK1 took to the air.
1946 France recognized Vietnam as a free state within the French Indochina Federation.
1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva announced her intention to defect from the U. S.S. R.
Some people leave their mark on the world in the shape of ideas; some leave a legacy of deeds; and others seem to leave no mark at all. But fewer people still have ever donated their genius. Today we celebrate Michelangelo’s birthday. In 1475, this visionary artist was born in Caprese, Italy. When he died he left behind the glorious ceiling and altar of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel; and the immortal statues of David and the Pieta as his heirlooms. He championed a new realism at a time when we were uncertain how to define human proportions—both physically and spiritually. He made us see the beauty of who and what we really are in relation to the universe that surrounds us.
Freedom must never be taken for granted. Many people have paid a high price for freedom on this day. In 1946, France recognized Vietnam as a free state within the French Indochina Federation. But in 1857, the slave Dred Scott was denied his freedom when the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that he could not sue for his freedom in a federal court. In 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva announced her intention to defect from the U. S.S. R. Even though she was the daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, she was willing to give up her home to gain the freedom she desired.
During the Second World War, England and Germany had unique icons that symbolized their respective might as nations—airplanes. Germany had designed the Messerschmitt
Which was considered to be the world’s fastest fighter plane. But it was on this date in 1936 that a British prototype took to the air—the Supermarine Spitfire. Designed by Reginald Mitchell, the Spitfire was the pride of England’s R. A.E fleet well into the 1950s. It was also a source of jealousy for German pilots throughout the war. You see, the Messerschmitt had been designed to hold the perfect German. Though Hitler was little more than five feet tall—shorter than the average build of the Luftwaffe airmen— no one in his ranks wished to tell him he wasn’t the perfect German. Their plane was fast, but very cramped.