1519 Portugese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain to find a western passage to Indonesia’s Spice Islands. (See November 28th entry.)
1884 The Equal Rights Party was formed.
1946 President Harry S Truman asked Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace to resign.
1973 Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs.
Back in 1973, this was expected to be a very exciting day. Veteran tennis star Bobby Riggs was scheduled to play the outstanding woman player, Billie Jean King. It was touted as the battle of the sexes. Naturally, what the match proved was that a great young female champion could beat a once-great, over-the-hill male champion. Gender has little to do with ability, although nothing can eliminate the ravages of time.
In 1946, Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace delivered an address on September 12th in which he strongly criticized America’s policy toward Russia. Eight days later, on this date, President Harry S Truman reacted. He asked Wallace to resign.
There is nothing we can do, it’s often been said, that has not been done before. There has been some conjecture recently that before long there might be a woman running for president. But it won’t be a first. On this day in 1884 the Equal Rights Party was formed, and nominated Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood for president. Needless to say, she didn’t win. But it was the first step.