I might be having an affair with tidbits from history, which is why, every now and then, I like to do a “what happened on this day way back when” post. I picked today to do one because 07-17-07 looks pretty when I write it out. This July is chock full of lucky number seven, and I love it!
Things that happened on this day:
- In 180 CE, 12 people in North Africa were executed for practicing Christianity. This incident is the first record of Christianity in North Africa. Let’s all make a deal and stop killing each other because of differing religious beliefs, and instead agree to disagree peacefully. Personally, I believe that all faith, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, is a good thing, and while I know a lot of people don’t agree with me, let’s not kill each other over it anymore, okay?
- In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States, in accordance with the terms of the Adams-Onis Treaty. While not yet a state, this marks the time when Florida became a US territory. It didn’t become a state until July 4, 1845, and was the reason a 27th star was added to the United States Flag.
- Also on this day in religious history, the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, received a vision of sorts concerning plural marriage. It was this vision that prompted him to introduce polygamy into his faith. As another fun fact for you, Joseph Smith actually introduced the idea of polygyny, the practice of one husband having multiple wives, but not polyandry, the practice of one woman having multiple husbands. I remember it by thinking of the “GYN” for multiple wives, and of “andy” for multiple husbands, because, in my mind, “andry” looks like “andy.”
- In 1861, the first Hawaiian railroad opened up.
- Dorothea Dix died on this date in 1887. If you’ve never heard of her before, I recommend doing a google search and learning more. To be brief, she was an American activist who worked on behalf of the insane and mentally challenged. It was because of her that the first American mental hospitals were opened. During the Civil War she was appointed as the Superintendent of Nurses, and was very adamant about treating both Union and Confederate Soldiers.
- During World War 1, in 1917, the British Royal Family adopted the name of the House of Windsor to replace their German family name, Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
- The grand opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California was televised on this date in 1955.
- In 1975 a historic handshake (I heart alliteration) took place in space between Russian and American astronauts when the American Apollo successfully docked into the Soviet Soyuz.
- Forbes magazine declared Bill Gates the richest man in the world in 1995.
- And, lastly, to end with a touch of tragedy, in 1996 a Boeing 747 on it’s way to Paris exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York. All 230 passengers where killed.