This is a guest post by one of my brothers, who is a historian.
I have a “This Day in History” widget on my dashboard that brings up a surprisingly miscellaneous and inconsequential array of information most days. Today’s birthdays, though, caught my eye:
Queen Anne was born in 1665. Daughter of James II, she was a sensible monarch who came to the throne at a turbulent time. Much could be said about her reign, but on balance it was reasonably successful. But her personal life–and therefore her dynastic legacy–was marred by great tragedy. Counting stillbirths, she lost eighteen children, the longest-lived of whom survived five days past his eleventh birthday. Then, in 1708, her husband George, the dashing Prince of Denmark, died as well. Two years later, when Hendrick Tejonihokarawa and the other three Indian kings visited her, she was still in mourning. She died four years later and was succeeded by her cousin, George I of Hanover, bringing the Tudor-Stuart era of English history to an end:
Aaron Burr, third vice president of the United States and most famous for killing Alexander Hamilton, and the most misunderstood and maligned member of the founding generation according to his most recent biographer, was born in 1756:
George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born on this day in 1895:
And Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in 1911:
These four have nothing to do with one another, but collectively they were too interesting to pass up.
JOHN adds: So Ronald Reagan was only 16 years younger than Babe Ruth! Wow.
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