On This Day
1986 – The Compact of Free Association becomes law, granting the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands independence from the United States.
The Compact of Free Association (COFA) is an international agreement establishing and governing the relationships of free association between the United States and the three Pacific Island nations of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. These nations, together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, formerly composed the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations trusteeship administered by the United States Navy from 1947 to 1951 and by the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1951 to 1986 (to 1994 for Palau).
The compact came into being as an extension of the U.S.–U.N. territorial trusteeship agreement, which obliged the federal government of the United States “to promote the development of the people of the Trust Territory toward self-government or independence as appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Trust Territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned”. Under the compact, the U.S. federal government provides guaranteed financial assistance over a 15-year period administered through its Office of Insular Affairs in exchange for full international defense authority and responsibilities.
The Compact of Free Association was initialed by negotiators in 1980 and signed by the parties in the years 1982-1983. It was approved by the citizens of the Pacific states in plebiscites held in 1983. Legislation on the Compact was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1986 and signed into law on November 13, 1986.
Born On This Day
1715 – Dorothea Erxleben, German first female medical doctor (d. 1762)
Dorothea Christiane Erxleben née Leporin (13 November 1715, Quedlinburg – 13 June 1762 in Quedlinburg) was the first female medical doctor in Germany.
Erxleben was instructed in medicine by her father from an early age. The Italian scientist Laura Bassi’s university professorship inspired Erxleben to fight for her right to practise medicine. In 1742, she published a tract arguing that women should be allowed to attend university.
After being admitted to study by a dispensation of Frederick the Great, Erxleben received her MD from the University of Halle in 1754. She was the first German woman to receive a MD.  She went on to analyse the obstacles preventing women from studying, among them housekeeping and children.
She was the mother of Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben. Erxleben and her brother, Christian Polycarp Leporin, studied basic science, Latin, and medicine with their father, Christian Polycarp Leporin. Her father was a physician at Quedlinburg in Prussia. She practiced medicine on poor people. The idea of a woman studying medicine was shocking at the time, and a point was made that since women were not allowed to hold public office by law, they also should not practice medicine or need a medical degree. Three doctors of Quedlinburg accused her of quackery and demanded that she sit for an examination. The rector of the University of Halle decided that practicing medicine was not the same as holding public office and allowed Erxleben to take her examination. She took her examinations and was given her degree on June 12, 1754.
Erxleben studied the medical theory of Georg Ernst Stahl, which was connected with Pietism. This influenced her to challenge the theological and philosophical groundwork of why women were placed in a subordinate position. Predicting criticism from both sexes, Erxleben addressed male and female readers. She used the language of modesty, a common method used by women in the Querelle des Femmes, while addressing male readers. She is more direct and critical of women’s excuses that are used to avoid educating themselves to improve their lives. She recognized that some women are occupied with physically demanding work of caring for the household and have little time to educate themselves. Despite this, she still criticized them for lacking the drive to get an education.
Erxleben, D.: Gründliche Untersuchung der Ursachen, die das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studiren abhalten. 1742.
David Gene Pearson (December 22, 1934 – November 12, 2018) was an American stock car racer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Pearson began his NASCAR career in 1960 and ended his first season by winning the 1960 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. He won three championships (1966, 1968, and 1969) and every year he was active he ran the full schedule in NASCAR’s Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series). NASCAR described his 1974 season as an indication of his “consistent greatness”; that season he finished third in the season points having competed in only 19 of 30 races.
At his finalist nomination for NASCAR Hall of Fame’s inaugural 2010 class, NASCAR described Pearson as “… the model of NASCAR efficiency during his career. With little exaggeration, when Pearson showed up at a race track, he won.” Pearson ended his career in 1986, and currently holds the second position on NASCAR’s all-time win list with 105 victories; as well as achieving 113 pole positions. Pearson was successful in different venues of racing; he won three times on road courses, 48 times on superspeedways, 54 times on Short tracks, and had 23 dirt track wins. Pearson finished with at least one Top 10 finish in each of his 27 seasons. Pearson was nicknamed the “Fox” (and later the “Silver Fox”) for his calculated approach to racing. ESPN described him as being a “plain-spoken, humble man, and that added up to very little charisma.”
Pearson’s career paralleled Richard Petty’s, the driver who has won the most races in NASCAR history. They accounted for 63 first/second-place finishes (with the edge going to Pearson). Petty said, “Pearson could beat you on a short track, he could beat you on a superspeedway, he could beat you on a road course, he could beat you on a dirt track. It didn’t hurt as bad to lose to Pearson as it did to some of the others, because I knew how good he was.” Pearson said of Petty: “I always felt that if I beat him I beat the best, and I heard he said the same thing about me.”
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