When George Washington lived at his Mount Vernon plantation estate, which gazes across the Potomac River from Virginia to Maryland, he employed 316 slaves. Most of them worked in the mansion, in the gardens or on the farm, but from 1797 onwards, the year Washington retired from the US Presidency, six of them had a new job.
Friday 4th October 2013 will be an historic day. I know this because it cannot not be. In some ways it's just simple predictive history, in others it's a stirring, a surge or the tremors that result in a tsunami. Either way, it will be an historic day. For on this day that thing will happen that pushes a wedge of change, whether it be in the corridors or power or in the thoughts of the individual.
The dangers involved are now on clear display in the escalating crisis in North Korea as the United States seeks to strike a delicate balance between deterring an unknown adversary and reassuring a nervous ally. What's more, the drama plays out in full view of an international audience, some of whom are watching for clues about the utility of nuclear weapons in the 21st Century.