1792 George Washington wrote about religious differences.
1867 Benjamin Disraeli wrote about change.
1944 General Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte, in the Philippines. (See January 9th entry.)
1973 The “Saturday night massacre” occurred in Washington, D. C.
While writing a letter about this time of year in 1792, President George Washington made some observations about the causes of the world’s troubles, and came to a decisive conclusion. “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind,” he wrote, “those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated.”
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli lived in a time of whirlwind changes. And a lot of people were afraid of them. Back in 1867, as the late October landscape showed its seasonal alterations, Disraeli commented that “Change is inevitable in a progressive country. Change is constant.” That is the eternal contradiction: Change is constant.
In 1973, the “Saturday night massacre” took place at the White House. This may seem a rather lurid description, but it’s not far from wrong. On that Saturday night, President
Richard Nixon fired the special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus. To many people it signaled the beginning of President Nixon’s end. Everything went downhill from then until he resigned.