1740 Marquis de Sade was born.
1896 Great Britain granted Guglielmo Marconi the first wireless radio patent. (See March 27th and April 25th entries.)
1924 The U. S. Congress granted Native Americans citizenship.
1953 Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. (See April 21st entry.)
Today is the Marquis de Sade’s birthday. Cynicism is not required to observe that de Sade was born before his time. It’s difficult to say whether this French nobleman, born in 1740, would have been a contemporary cult leader, a porno film producer, an adult magazine publisher, or a romance novelist. Maybe he would have done all of the above. In real life, he spent his last decade in a lunatic asylum.
Today marks the anniversary of the second Elizabethan age. In 1953, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Surrounded by heads of state, princes and dukes, lords and ladies, Elizabeth’s coronation followed a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. But Elizabeth II also broke new ground: She allowed the ceremony to be televised. Tens of thousands of her loyal subjects became the first British commoners to attend a royal coronation.
An unusual footnote was written into the annals of American history on this day. The aboriginal peoples of North America had inhabited the continent from coast to coast for
Thousands of years. But in 1924, the U. S. Congress granted Native Americans their right to national citizenship for the first time. Treaties had been made since the establishment of the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies—and many of them were broken at one time or another with little regard for the original tenants of the land. This was the first step toward recognition.