During the 1700s, the first worldwide currency appeared. And, no, it wasn’t the US dollar, but a Spanish silver coin with a value of eight Spanish reales, known to anyone who has ever watched a pirate movie as “pieces of eight”, and to its users simply as the dollar.
Then, confusingly, on this day in 1787, the upstart United States of America introduced its very own currency, the US dollar, an invention about as American as apple pie. Mix up a Million Dollar Margarita in its honour. With "rested" (reposado) tequila and rich Grand Marnier, it's really quite luxurious.
On this day in 1974, the American president Richard "Tricky Dicky" Nixon, bowed to media pressure and resigned.
His crime? Covering up a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Watergate. The five men who burgled the place seemed to have been paid by a committee to re-elect Nixon. And Nixon himself was implicated by tape-recorded phone calls and meetings - in one he planned to block the investigation into the burglary by getting the CIA to tell the FBI that it was a matter of national security.
Watergate remains a benchmark for media action against corruption, and it's still worth remembering today. We are enjoying an aptly named creation of our own, the Brass Rail, although the cocktail is named after a very special bar, which in turn is named for the brass foot rail found below most bar counters.