History is not just what happened in the past, but a complex intersection of truths, bias, and hopes. A glance at two very different historians, the Roman Tacitus, and the Byzantine Procopius, shows the range, and difficulty inherent in the study of history. History encompasses at least three different ways of accessing the history: it can be remembered or recovered or even invented. All are imperfect in some way. For instance, no historian or historical source reveals the full and unvarnished truth about history, so memory is a fallible guide. Also, no evidence brought to light through archaeology or historical investigation is complete without context, and sometimes the significance of recovered historical data is hard to determine. Furthermore, many purported “histories” can be shown to have been invented; at the same time, yet, these fabrications still tell us much about a society’s beliefs and dreams. All in all, the best histories are the best stories.
Let’s discuss a few major Historical events in Today’s History.
1894: President Cleveland pardons bigamists, adulterers, polygamists and unlawful cohabitants
On 25th September 1894, President Grover Cleveland issues a presidential proclamation pardoning Mormons who had previously engaged in polygamous marriages or habitation arrangements considered unlawful by the U.S. government. At the time, and to this day, plural marriages between one man and multiple women; one woman and multiple men; or multiple men and women are illegal and Punishable in the United States.
In October 1890, under increasing social and political pressure, the president of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) had issued his manifesto claiming that Mormons would no longer sanction the practice of polygamous marriage. In 1893, then-President Benjamin Harrison pardoned those Mormons who had been in Plural or polygamous marriages on the condition that they and their fellow church members stick to monogamy from then on.
In September 1894, President Cleveland decided that convicted polygamists from the Church of LDS had since mended their ways. His proclamation ensured that their property and civil rights, which had been taken away during the federal government’s campaign to weed out polygamy in the Utah territory, were restored. Still, the United States government continued to monitor the Mormon community closely for possible violations of polygamy laws.
1965: Fifty-nine-year-old Satchel Paige pitches three innings
On September 25, 1965, Satchel Paige’s three innings for the Kansas City Athletics made him, at 59 years, Two months and Eighteen days, the oldest pitcher ever to play a game in the major leagues. Before the game, Paige sat in the bullpen in a rocking chair while a nurse rubbed liniment into his pitching arm for the entire crowd to see. Any doubts about Paige’s ability were put to rest when he set down each of the Red Sox batters he faced except for Carl Yastremski, who hit a double.