It’s Antarctic Treaty day, the day in 1959 when 16 countries agreed to do scientific stuff in Antarctica and only scientific stuff – nothing military.
The first countries to sign the treaty were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Russia and the U.S. All of them had already established stations there as part of the International Geophysical Year, 1957-78. Currently, there are 48 signatories to the treaty.
Antarctica is the only region on earth with no national sovereignty. Some countries lay claim to parts of it, but nobody else recognizes them.
However, if you’re thinking there’s no law west of the Pecos and you’d like to drop in to pick up a penguin or two, forget it – there are numerous conservation treaties in force and U.S. Marshals on hand to make sure no rules are broken.
And that, given a slight, lingering case of blog-fatigue, is that for today, except to note that not only was Mary Martin born on this date, but so was her Peter Pan co-star Cyril Ritchard, born in Sydney, Australia, in 1897 and never to be forgotten as Captain Hook: