Did you know that it was on this day in 1493 explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean? Or that it was on this day in 1519 Hernan Cortes arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth?
And on this day in 1789, in New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect, in 1882 Britain‘s first electric trams run in east London, in 1918 the first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic, in 1974 People magazine is published for the first time, in 1985 the Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States and in 2009 The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.
Some birthdays to note on this day are Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer (1678-1741), Sir Henry Raeburn, Scottish painter (1756-1823), Richard B. Wright, Canadian novelist (1937), Bobby Womack, American singer (1944), Shakin’ Stevens, Welsh singer (1948), Kenny Dalglish, Scottish footballer and manager and Chris Rea, English singer (both born in 1951), Rowland Charles Gould (Boon Gould) English musician (Level 42) (1955), Patsy Kensit, English actress (1968) and Alison Wheeler, British singer (The Beautiful South) (1972).
Need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day? Unless you are like me, spending today in front of the TV watching the classic 90km cross country ski race Vasaloppet with my cup of tea, perhaps you should look into the celebration of Saint Casimir’s Day (Poland and Lithuania)?