What’s in a Date?

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!”  — William Wordsworth

I’ve always believed that dates are important.

I was born on October 19. I celebrated my 40th birthday on the day of the stock market crash, October 19, 1987, six weeks after I forewarned my Forecasts & Strategies subscribers to “sell all stocks and mutual funds.” It wasn’t just a lucky call; it was based on my study of the economic history of America.

October 19 is also the anniversary of the end of the War for Independence, when the Americans and French won the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

April 19, 1973,  is also a memorable date in my life. My wife Jo Ann and I were married on that day, and we’ve been partners ever since. April 19 turns out to be the date that the American Revolution began with the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

Even though we didn’t know it at the time, my birth date and our marriage symbolize our lives together.

A memorable date in my writing career is March 9, 2001. For years, I struggled to complete my story of the great economic thinkers, entitled The Making of Modern Economics. The hero of my history is Adam Smith with his “system of natural liberty.” When I was finished and held the book in my hands, I looked on Amazon and noticed that the official publication date for the book was March 9, 2001. March 9 had a familiar sound to it. What could it be? Then it dawned on me that March 9 was the anniversary of the publication date of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith in 1776. It was an amazing coincidence! (If you are interested in obtaining an autographed copy of The Making of Modern Economics at a discounted price of only $34.95, plus $5 for shipping and handling, call Harold at Ensign Publishing, 1-866-254-2057.)

Years That Made a Difference

I’ve been fascinated with the growing number of “year books” that keep coming out, such as:

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles C. Mann.

1776 by David McCullough, a history of that annus miraculus that focuses on George Washington and the American Revolution. In a broader sense, it is the culmination of the Enlightenment.

1968, The Year That Rocked the World, by Mark Kurlansky, which tells the story of the Vietnam protests and the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Important Events in 1947

So, I was happy to see that a book has been published highlighting the events that took place the year of my birth, 1947. And the subtitle is pretty clever: 1947: Where Now Begins, by the Swedish writer Elisabeth Asbrink. Of course, the suggestion that the modern world began in 1947 is an overreach. One could say the same for 1946. In fact, a book is so identified: 1946, The Making of the Modern World.

Some of the highlights of 1947 include:

— The Voice of America started transmitting radio broadcasts to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

— The first Tony Awards were announced.

— Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball.

— UFO sightings became all the rage, especially in Roswell, New Mexico.

— The Taft-Hartley Act became law.

— Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.

— The House Un-American Activities Committee investigated the Hollywood Ten as communist sympathizers, who were subsequently blacklisted in Hollywood.

— “Meet the Press” debuted on television.

— First Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Judean Desert.

And several events occurred that year that are special for me:

–The CIA was created (I worked for the Company in 1972-75).

— The Mont Pelerin Society was founded in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, by Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek. I’ve been a member since 2002 and a lifelong student of Austrian economics.

— On July 24, the Mormons celebrated their 100th anniversary of Pioneer Day (arriving in the Great Salt Lake).

— 1947 is the 100th anniversary of stamp collecting. The first two stamps honored George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. They were issued in July 1847. (I’m a direct descendant of Franklin.)

And, of course, on Sunday, October 19, 1947, I was born.

Both Steve Forbes and Larry Kudlow were born in 1947 as well. Other famous people born that year include Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stephen King, Elton John, O.J. Simpson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

To quote Frank Sinatra: “It was a very good year.”


Mark Skousen is the editor-in-chief of “Forecasts & Strategies,” a financial publication now in its 38th year. He is the founder and producer of FreedomFest, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds,” which meets in Las Vegas every July. For information go to https://www.freedomfest.com/ or call 1-855-850-3733 ext 202.