Happy Birthday to Victor Espinoza who turns 45 today. The thoroughbred horse racing jockey won the Triple Crown in 2015—the oldest jockey and first Hispanic ever to win the award. Overcoming his fear of horses on his family’s farm in Mexico, he left home at 15 to pursue his dreams of riding. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, in 2002, 2014, and 2015—and won the Preakness Stakes three times, in those same years. He donates 10 percent of all his prize money to a cancer research and treatment center. The first jockey in history to enter the Belmont Stakes with a third opportunity to win the Triple Crown, he finally won the elusive honor in 2015 on American Pharoah, the first horse to do it in 37 years. WATCH him win the race… (1972)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Canada’s North West Mounted Police force was established (1873)
- The Who released the first rock opera, Tommy, about a “deaf, dumb and blind kid” who “played a mean pinball,” a double album that sold more than 20 million copies and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame (1969)
- The first version of the Java programming language was released, one of the most popular languages in use today (1995)
- Mohammad Khatami, a moderate candidate interested in cultural and governmental exchange with the US, and heavily favored by women and young people, was elected President of Iran (1997)
- The Good Friday Peace Agreement passed in a referendum with three-quarters of the Northern Ireland people voting ‘yes’ to end decades of bloodshed (1998)
- The Sunfull movement of positive encouragement on social media began in South Korea (2007)
- Following the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Egypt held the Arab world’s first competitive presidential election (2012)
- The Boy Scouts of America’s National Council of 1232 delegates voted overwhelmingly (61 percent) to end its ban on gay youth membership (2013)
- Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by national referendum (2015)
And on this day in 1813, South American revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”). Credited with leading the fight for independence in areas of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Bolivia, he is revered as a hero in these countries and throughout much of Latin America. A great admirer of the American Revolution (and a critic of the French Revolution), Bolívar described himself in his many letters as a classical “liberal” and defender of the free market economic system.
Among the books he traveled with when he wrote the Bolivian Constitution were Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Bolívar’s many speeches and writings reveal him to be an adherent of limited government, the separation of powers, freedom of religion, property rights, and the rule of law.
On his deathbed, Bolivar asked his aide-de-camp, General Daniel Florencio O’Leary to burn the extensive archive of his writings, letters, and speeches. O’Leary disobeyed the order and his writings survived, providing historians with a vast wealth of information about Bolivar’s classical liberal philosophy and thought.