On this day in history ...
Oct. 24, 1648: The Treaty of Westphalia is signed, ending the Thirty Years' War, radically shifting the balance of power in Europe and laying the foundation for the modern system of secular nation-states. Oops!
Oct. 24, 1868: Birth of fearless French explorer, anarchist and writer Alexandra David-Neel, who would go on to inspire the beat poets and to sneak into Lhasa, Tibet, which was closed to foreigners, dressed as a pilgrim.
Oct. 24, 1901: Sixty-three-year-old schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to successfully go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, leaving a rich legacy of, well, metaphor.
Oct. 24, 1969: The Great Burton Diamond Purchase. Movie star Richard Burton buys wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring costing $1.5 million. ($8,521,389.65 in 2007 dollars. No wonder Paris dumped Paris.)
Oct. 24, 1997: Marv Albert faces sentencing and unseemly media frenzy in sexual harassment case.
Oct. 24, 2005: Birth of Broadsheet, and of a rich legacy-to-be of covering news such as the above. Also, Brad Pitt.
So yeah: Happy birthday, Broadsheet! I, for one, am honored to have been a part of the falls-barreling, nylons-burning team from the beginning. And we are all grateful to you, our spirited readers, for your tips, your thoughts and your time. So it is to you we turn to get this party started. No gifts, please. Instead, we'd like to hear from you: What news or issue affecting women has had the most impact on your life over the past year (or, at least, has gotten your stockings in the biggest twist)? Let us know. And have some cake.