1757 The U. S. Constitution was completed and signed. (See March 4th entry.)
1796 George Washington gave his farewell speech.
1920 The American Professional Football Association—a precursor of the NFL—was formed in Canton, Ohio. (See February 2nd entry.)
1939 Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter was born. (See October 2nd entry.)
1967 The television program Mission Impossible premiered.
1994 Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss America. (See September 8th entry)
Having lived through a number of presidential farewell addresses, it’s difficult to understand one thing about George Washington’s parting speech. The content is no problem. The puzzle is that he dated it September 17th, but never delivered it. Instead he published it on September 19th, 1796. So maybe today is its anniversary—and maybe not. We can assume it was on this day that he said, “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.” He also asked Americans to “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”
It seems awfully appropriate that on this day in 1967, the program Mission Impossible premiered on television, Although no one has any intention of self-destructing in five seconds, many of us have had the opportunity to say: “This is your mission if you choose to accept it.”
Today is Heather Whitestone’s birthday. The name doesn’t ring a bell? It was also on this day, in 1994, that Heather became the first deaf Miss America in the pageant’s sev - enty-five-year history when she was crowned at age twenty-one, in Atlantic City. As a child, it took Heather six years just to learn how to pronounce her last name. How did she get so far in life? As she said in a finalist interview to pageant host Regis Philbin, “My good attitude helped me get through hard times and believe in myself.”