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If ye should find yerself drawn towards the sea, Take the moral compass of poetry.

Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes !

March 1, 1562: The persecution against Protestants had been ongoing since the outset of the Reformation. A thirty year period of history, known as the Religious Wars of France, began on this day, however when armed men, under the command of the King's representative, Duke François II de Guise, slaughtered some 200 Protestant villagers in Vassy (in the Champagne region, his family's fiefdom centered about Reims).   This Duke de Guise, François, is an uncle of Mary, Queen of Scots. As a Stuart contender to the English throne, she tried to restore Catholicism to Scotland and England.  De Guise committed the Massacre at Vassy against a congregation of unarmed Huguenots attending a religious service. He died by an assassins hand in 1563. The next Duc de Guise (Henri I de Lorraine) proved no better a man, and would meet the same end.

When in 1594, the Prince of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon, became King of all Fance, he was crowned at Chartres (as Roi Henri IV). Contrary to long practice, he was not crowned at Reims (Rheims), because that place harbored still the de Guise family, which had spurred the slaughter of so many Protestants. Although himself a Protestant, Henri returned to Roman Catholicism in order to bring peaceful rule France, as a leader acceptable to the vast majority. As King, he began a brief period of tolerance in France that ended the religious wars. The open attitude of tolerance deteriorated after Henri's murder. By the time of the reign of Louis IV {the Sun King}, persecution of Protestants had returned in earnest -- and projected beyond the borders see; see also Edict of Nantes -- one of our Website's top dozen pages way back in 2006.

Henri IV the first Bourbon King was buried at Basilique St. Denis, just outside Paris, along with his later family in the Bourbon Chapel (part of the Church Crypt) and in the same place as dozens of other earlier French Kings and Queens. All this can be reached by Métro line 12 and a very short walk -- well worth the time and effort.

The first bishop of Paris (pronounced duh-knee) and his companions, martyred in 270AD on a large hill overlooking Gare du Nord and all Paris, were buried several miles north of the spot of the execution. The small chapel built over the spot and named for this martyr, became a very famous, pilgrimage church, during the fifth and sixth centuries. In 630 King Dagobert (a Merovingian ruler of France) founded an abbey for Benedictine monks, replacing the original chapel by a large basilica. This basilique has been much rebuilt and expanded -- only the burial crypt remains of the original structure.

March 1, 1579: On this date, Sir Francis Drake, an English Explorer, waylaid a Spanish treasure galleon, the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, nick-named Cacafuego, off the coast of Panama. On March 1st, 6 years later, the Portuguese hired Estácio de Sá in order to finally rid the area, known as Rio today, of the French. It was Carnival celebration. He fully destroyed the existing French colony, mainly consisting of Protestant refugees, fleeing the Religious Wars of France. De Sá is viewed as the official founder of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cacafuego would sink in 1638, again laden with new-world gold and silver riches.

March 1, 1781: Maryland ratified the Articles of Confederation, the last state so to sign on the undotted line. Ratification by all 13 colonies set into motion the period of formal Confederation of the United States (who were not yet really united in common goals, and who had not yet won the war against the British Empire). Because of disputes over representation, voting and disputed claims to western lands, full ratification had been delayed until Maryland was able to concur. Thereafter, the Congress of the Confederation came into being. The Confederated State articles lasted until 1789 when the 13 sovereign entities adopted a new Constitution for a more fully United States. Some would argue that it was not until after the War Between the States that a truly Federal system of government was imposed.

March 1, 1848: Irish born Augustus Saint-Gaudens entered this world in Dublin. He immigrated to New York City before the year was out. Five weeks before his birth, on January 24, 1848, a Swiss-born immigrant at Sutter's Mill, California, found a gold nugget in a fast-flowing waterway. The rush was on. Saint-Gaudens designed the last regularly issued, and many would argue most beautiful, of the U.S. $10 and $20 gold pieces (1907) -- called eagles and double-eagles. While he had already become a world-famous sculptor and designer during the 19th-20th Century, his coin designs truly culminated the art of a gilded age and secured his fame for a hundred years.

Interestingly, the Tour de France (2011) began at Saint-Gaudens (Stage 14). As far as I can tell, he has nothing to do with Saint-Gaudens, a commune in the Haute-Garonne (Midi-Pyrénées region) department in southwestern France. The town faces the Pyrenees and is a natural crossroads for routes between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and between Toulouse and the Val d'Aran in Spain. It has been inhabited since ancient times (traces of the Iron Age and of Roman occupation) and was originally called Mas-Saint-Pierre, before taking the name of the young shepherd, Gaudens, martyred by the Visigoths in about 475AD for refusing to renounce his faith.

March 1, 1917 -- Yet another angle on the Great War (to end all wars): On this first day of March, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson revealed the contents of a secret letter to the Press {it was not the media back then}. The German foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann, had sent this secret missive to the German Ambassador in Mexico City via the German Ambassador for Washington. In the intercepted communication, the Empire of Germany offered Mexico an alliance against the neutral United States. Germany, at the height of World War I, proposed to assist Mexico in its never ending goal of reconquista (the retaking Texas, New Mexico and Arizona (not to mention California, Nevada, Utah or Colorado)). The message, decoded by those crafty British, was handed to the American President. This revelation of intrigue became instrumental in forming the public's opinion against Germany. The United States entered into the Great War five weeks later.

Militärverwaltung in RumänienSo surveillance is not a new issue to the executive branch; and, results being selectively used to form public opinion is well-documented, this being just a well-known, historical example. Why so important today ?? If the USA had not entered the Great War, its outcome might have differed, significantly. For the good or the bad ??? One could have argued that the US presence turned what would have been a stalemate into an Allied win. If so, how would Europe have looked in the 1920's, bankrupt and demoralized as it was going to be, with or without American help to the Allies. How would it have looked in the 30's ?

Lacking any clearly victorious allied countries, different borders would have been redrawn after the conflict. Certainly, Germany would have kept more land and would have had no de-militarized zone imposed upon it. Perhaps, later friction caused by the victors' terms would have been lessened. Monarchies might have survived or been replaced by truly representative long-lasting forms. German financial collapse would have been less likely. The economic excesses that threw the western world into panic in the thirties, might have culminated earlier, or, just maybe, not occurred at all. AND, what of Russia and 70 years of Soviet-styled rule and expansionism ? Indeed, World War II and the holocaust reckoned in millions of civilians by Russian as well as German actions might have been avoided or lessened. AND, what of the A-bomb ? AND, what of the Middle-east, as the sickman {Ottoman Empire} passed from this world. Certainly, we or Britain would have had more political energy to supervise the China and Japanese disputes that led to World War II.

So, one could argue that Wilson did more to hurt the quest for Peace, when he joined the fray, than he could have accomplished, if he had pursued a policy ridiculed as isolation -- i.e. staying out of the European, royal-family squabble. The peace conservatives of World War I were hounded. Those who refused service were jailed and beaten as unpatriotic, seditious -- enemies, when perhaps, they were the best republican friends America has had.

Sometimes, turning around is the right course (metenoia -- metanoew) -- as the operator once said, Sir, I will not yield. With all due respect, I don't care if you are the Admiral's Flagship. Sir, I am a lighthouse. Contrast the essence of a revolutionary organization. It is willing, indeed eager, to push its own agenda to the ultimate conclusion or die trying (and so by martyrdom still advance the cause). We are not talking about the corps of fellow travelers (in it for the money or the intellectual thrill). We are talking about the cadre of true believers -- those who devise the talking points, not the ones who recite them. An arrogant stubbornness and revolutionary zeal could have us reach the same deadly destination, as the traitor who sells us out directly.

The idea of the Patriot Act in liberal hands is ... frightening. How long before the warrantless searches and wiretaps of gun owners and anti-abortion groups begin? "The thesis of the Bush administration is, Give us your freedoms and we will make you safer," Napolitano said. "That has never worked in history."


"This crowd are not conservatives," Napolitano said. "They're just big-government Republicans. They are prepared to crush the individual to exalt the state. They don't believe freedom comes from the individual. They believe freedom comes from the government."


Government cannot provide rights, but it sure can take them away in a hurry. (links now dead)

March 2, 1836: Texas declared itself an independent sovereign nation, leaving Mexico on Sam Houston's 43rd birthday. Sam hailed from Lexington in Virginia. He became a Texan by necessity and by choice. The first vice-president of the Nation of Texas was Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Sáenz. Mr. de Zavala, born in the village of Tecoh, had years of loyal service to his native land, Mexico, before Santa Anna ignored Mexico's constitution, forcing de Zavala to make his hard but inexorable choice. He became a free and independent Tejano as did Mr. Houston on this bodeful day.

In honor of the occasion, Samuel Colt manufactured his first pistol, the 34-caliber "Texas" model, on March 5th. Mexico refused to recognize Texas, but diplomatic relations soon were established with the Britain and France. US President Andrew Jackson and Congress recognized the Republic of Texas on March 3, 1837. Texas was an independent republic until 1845, when on March 1st, President Tyler signed a congressional resolution that annexed the Republic of Texas, an act which soon provoked a war with Mexico and Sam's nemesis, Santa Anna. Our page devoted to Texas is found HERE.
March 2, 1925: State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker. For instance, in the east, there is U.S. 1 that runs from New England to Florida and in the west, the corresponding Pacific Highway, U.S. 101, starts in Tacoma, WA and ends at San Diego, CA, where it intersects Harbor Drive and ends 100 yards later at Seaport Village.

The direct predecessor to US 1 was the Atlantic Highway, an auto trail established in 1911 as the Quebec-Miami International Highway. In 1915 it was renamed the Atlantic Highway, and the northern terminus was changed to Calais, Maine. Due to the overlapping of auto trail designations, portions of the route had other names that remain in common use, such as the Boston Post Road between Boston and New York, the Lincoln Highway between New York and Philadelphia, Baltimore Pike between Philadelphia and Baltimore, and the Dixie Highway in and south of eastern Georgia. North of Augusta, Georgia, the highway generally followed the fall line, rather than a more easterly route through the swamps of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. When the New England road marking system was established in 1922, the Atlantic Highway within New England was signed as Route 1.

March 2, 1939: For some reason, which must have seemed important at the time, the Massachusetts legislature in its profound wisdom ratified the Bill of Rights, only 147 years after the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect (December 15th in the year 1791). Inspired, two other States followed suit: Georgia, March 18, 1939; and Connecticut, April 19, 1939. Anyone hazard to guess why?

March 2, 1945: The American flag flies again over the Philippine Island of Corregidor. General Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, had fled his Philippine headquarters in early March 1942, as the Japanese forces closed in. MacArthur, ordered to leave, in turn ordered General Wainwright to remain. Wainwright was captured. MacArthur vowed I shall return. On February 16, 1945, elements of the U.S. Sixth Army began the assault on Corregidor. After furious fighting, MacArthur made good his promise. Meanwhile, fighting on Iwo Jima continued. General Wainwright survived his capture, whereas many did not. He was aboard the Battleship USS Missouri when representatives of Imperial Japan signed the surrender ending the long struggle, known as World War II. On March 9, 1974, the last Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in the Philippines, surrendered, 29 years after that war.

This is not the date, as some report, of the 8th Air Corps fire-bombing of Dresden (actually this action occurred in mid-February 1945).

March 2, 1955: Ms. Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Ms. Rosa Parks had the honor of arrest for a similar action.

March 3rd -- Busy Day at the Nation's Treasury: 1791 -- The United States Mint is created by the U.S. Congress. 1835 -- An Act of Congress authorized the Charlotte Mint in North Carolina. It was in operation from 1838 until 1861. 1835 -- An Act of Congress authorized the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia. It was in operation from 1838 until 1861. 1835 -- An Act of Congress authorized the New Orleans Mint in Louisiana. 1863 -- An Act of Congress authorized the Carson City Mint in Nevada. It was in operation from 1870 until 1893. 1865 -- An Act of Congress authorized the Director of the Philadelphia Mint to place the motto In God We Trust on all gold and silver coins. 1849 -- The gold one-dollar coin was approved. 1851 -- The three-cent coin was approved. 1875 -- The twenty-cent coin was approved.

Washington-March 3, 1863: The Conscription Act was signed by President Lincoln. The first draft would cause riots in New York City. Congress also authorized this day the Medal of Honor. In addition, the United States would produce the first legal fractional currency notes dated this day. The Nation had already circulated postage currency notes, because of a prevalent coin shortage, "RECEIVABLE FOR" postage stamps. These first notes illegally were issued under the Act of Congress of July 17, 1862, because that Act only authorized payments in the form of postage stamps, hence the express authorization in 1863.

March 3rd -- A busy day in Music: In 1931, Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded Minnie the Moocher on Brunswick Records. It was the first recording of the well-known bandleader's theme song. The song was featured prominently in the motion picture, The Blues Brothers (1980), which some have called the ultimate Road-trip flick.

It was first called "In Defense of Fort McHenry" and published September 20, 1814. It gained instant popularity and was renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner;” but, not until March 3, 1931, was it recognized officially as the National Anthem.

This same day in 1955, a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi (later Sergeant, 1st Battalion, 32d Armor Regiment, 3d Armored Division, Ray Barracks, Friedberg, Germany) made his first-ever TV appearance on Louisiana Hayride. You guessed right, if you said that this night Elvis Aron Presley was the man featured on the show. His first appearance (on radio), again performing at the Louisiana Hayride, was October 16, 1954 (Shreveport, Louisiana Municipal Auditorium). He had played the Grand Ole Opry, at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville just two weeks before.

A World of Stamps -- March 3: To the left is a commemorative stamp issued by Canada on March 3, 1947, for the 100th anniversary of the birth date of the inventor of the telephone, British born, Alexander Graham Bell. It was at Brantford, Ontario that he first conceived the idea the telephone. Bell became an American citizen in 1882, but spent most of his later life on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where he died in 1922.

The Canada Postal Archives web site includes the following comments about the design: The symbolic figure and the portrait of Dr. Bell surmount a representation of the Western Hemisphere, indicating the main theatre of his activities. Dr. Bell's invention of the telephone is suggested by the poles with wires in background .... Underneath the 1947 stamp is an American issue marking a solemn day when Manila regained its freedom (March 3, 1945). It had taken about a month to fully liberate the city and American bombs and shells had taken a terrible toll on the city's beauty. And then, the full horror of Japanese war atrocities in the city began to be known.

Overlooking a tranquil bay, the so-called "Pearl of the Orient" was home to a unique culture drawn from four continents. No stranger to conflict, the city had been seized by the Spanish in the 16th century, attacked by the Chinese in the 17th, occupied by the British in the 18th, and taken by the Americans at the end of the 19th. Even this tumultuous record, however, could not have prepared the Filipinos for what happened in 1945, when Manila was utterly destroyed within a single month.

The year 1947 marks a turning point in Canadian philatelic art: the Alexander Graham Bell stamp was the last classically engraved work that the country would issue. Although Canada would engrave some later ones, none would meet the same standards of superb craftsmanship seen in this 1947 commemorative. Alas, the same loss can be seen in postal craft from the USA, too.

In 1867, Nova Scotia was one of the founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation, along with New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (which became the separate provinces of Quebec and Ontario). It is most widely believed that the Italian explorer John Cabot visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497. The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established more than a century later in 1604. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal that year at the head of the Annapolis Basin. Also, French fishermen established a settlement at Canso the same year. So began a long period of competing claims.

March 4, 1394: Prince Henry the Navigator was born (Infante Dom Henrique). He would become a man of vision  Prince Henry was chiefly responsible for Portugal's age of exploration. By systematically exploring the African coast, he inaugurated a process that built upon the knowledge of previous voyages, using the end of one voyage as the beginning point for the next.

Henrique was the third son of Portuguese King Joao I (John) and his English wife, Queen Philippa of Lancaster, a daughter of John of Gaunt, granddaughter of a King (Edward III) and sister of a King (Henry IV né Henry of Bolingbroke). John of Gaunt was Uncle to Richard II and is the Lancaster featured in the play by Shakespeare about King Richard. Just in case you were left wondering, the first recorded production of Richard II was in 1601 on February 7th, just few years before Jamestowne was founded.

Of further interest, John of Gaunt supported John Wyclif (1320 - 1384), the Morning Star of the Reformation. Wyclif lived in England at a time when the Pope's interests had become too closely identified with those of France in the eyes of the British. Wyclif did not recognize the Church as the only authority. The Crown hired him in 1366, when he took a position against tributes, to translate the Bible into English, so that the English people could read it. His hand-written translations circulated country-wide. In 1378, the people rioted to protect their leader against charges of heresy. Some copies made their way to Bohemia, where they were read by Jan Hus. Wyclif died on December 31, 1384, but the Catholic Church named him a heretic in 1415. In 1428, it had his bones dug up and burned. The ashes were thrown into a river, a twist to the drama of Shakespearean proportion. see also History of the Moravian Church

Wm. Wordsworth --
ONCE more the Church is seized with sudden fear,
And at her call is Wicliffe disinhumed:
Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed
And flung into the brook that travels near;
Forthwith, that ancient Voice which Streams can hear
Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,
Though seldom heard by busy human kind) –
“As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
Into the Avon, Avon to the tide
Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,
Into main Ocean they, this deed accurst
An emblem yields to friends and enemies
How the bold Teacher’s Doctrine, sanctified
By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dispersed.”

March 4, 1540: On this day, Protestant supporter, Landgrave (Count) Philip of Hessen married his 2nd wife. Some few have argued that, like English King Henry VIII, it was his desire for a new spouse, rather than his desire for true doctrine, which drove him to split with Rome. Never-the-less, Phillip the Magnanimous (1504-67), Landgraf von Hessen, was the German Prince (Fürst) who helped ensure survival of Protestantism, forming the League of Torgau in 1526. In addition to the Lutheran reformers who were supported by many of the secular princes against the excesses of the populace, there were theocrats or those with Calvinist leanings, first expressed by Huldreich Zwingli from Switzerland (born January 1, 1484), as well as the independent-thinking Anabaptists. After the reforms (about justification) at the Council of Trent, many southern German leaders would strongly support Catholicism.

Briefmarke - Niederlande 1940Phillip failed in his attempts to reconcile Swiss and Lutheran doctrine (1529). Because he was a principal organizer (1531) in efforts to counteract Emperor Charles V and the Emperor's wars to defeat Lutheranism, he was imprisoned (1547-52). His stance, however had assured the 1555 compromise {the Peace of Augsburg}.

Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540 - 1609), er gilt als Erfinder der wissenschaftlichen Chronologie. Seine Studien ermöglichten es, die verschiedensten Kalendersysteme ineinander umzurechnen. In the preface to Harvard University Press's 1927 edition of Joseph Scaliger's autobiography, George W. Robinson opines that "whether Joseph Scaliger should be reckoned the greatest scholar of all time, or should share that palm with Aristotle, is, perhaps, an open question.

Of Scaliger's primacy among scholars of modern times there can be no doubt. Phoenix of Europe, light of the world, sea of sciences, bottomless pit of erudition, perpetual dictator of letters, the greatest work and miracle of nature, victor over time -- to seek to limn the portrait of a man to whom such terms can be applied, without even a thought of incongruity, by the staidest of professors and the most learned of critics, is indeed a task to make even a stout heart hesitate." Of Italian heritage, teacher in Paris and later the Netherlands, it is likely that Phillip took no notice of Scaliger's birth in 1540, but this man was the first to try to make sense of history by classifying its epochs, when Europe seemed to be going crazy.

March 4, 1678: Antonio Vivaldi (d.1741), the Italian Baroque composer (The Four Seasons) and violinist, was born in Venice. Some of his contemporaries were composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Händel, Johann Pachelbel, Georg Telemann and Henry Purcell. Most of his music was lost until the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The first major discovery was in a music cabinet in Dresden. Vivaldi had composed a large quantity of music specifically for the Dresden orchestra, and once it had fallen out of fashion (in the 1760's), his works had been placed in storage where they collected dust for a century. Forgotten at the time of his death, Vivaldi was buried in a pauper's grave (just like Mozart). Ironically, the young composer Joseph Haydn was a choir boy at Master Vivaldi's funeral.

March 4, 1947: France and Great Britain signed the first defensive (and economic) alliance treaty between the two countries, called the Dunkirk Treaty. The Kremlin, however, believed that this was a Winston Churchill scheme to foster an anti-communist bloc and strengthen Europe (more specifically, unity against the Soviets). In any event, Stalin did nothing. It may be remembered that at Dunkirk, the British (and French) made an heroic stand after an unsuccessful defense against a German invasion of of France, and Belgium. Allied troops were forced into a trap and had to evacuate by any means available, under heavy German fire. This treaty acknowledged a real need for more cooperation. It was a first step, soon leading to other agreements for Europe. The first economic treaty covering European Steel and Coal markets was enacted on April 18, 1951. This treaty has often been called the first European Community agreement (France, West Germany and Benelux nations). The €uro Zone and earlier Common Market also can clearly claim the Dunkirk Treaty as an ancestor.
March 5, 1496: He was a man of vision, too. John Cabot sought to reach Asia by sailing west across the northern Atlantic Ocean. He estimated that this would be better than the longer Columbus route. In England, Cabot received the backing, which Spain and Portugal had refused him. The merchants of Bristol agreed to support his scheme. They had sponsored probes into the north Atlantic since the early 1480s, looking for possible trading opportunities. Some historians think that Bristol mariners might even have reached Newfoundland and Labrador before Cabot's proposal. English King Henry VII hired John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore the New World for England. Those facts are all we will really know.

It is a mystery what Cabot found on his first successful voyage and when the discovery may have occurred. Sometime during June-July 1497, Cabot landed somewhere along the coast of what today is a Canadian province. There is simply no first-hand account of what happened. Cabot would disappear on his last voyage for the English, in search of Japan. -- verily, a fascinating account !!!

March 5, 1512: Born this day one Gerald Kremer. His name 'Kremer' means 'merchant' in German, and he was sometimes known as 'Cremer' which is its Dutch equivalent (pronounced Kray-mer in English). While still in his teens, he chose Mercator for a new name, the Latin term for 'merchant' and gave himself the full name of Gerardus Mercator de Rupelmonde {of Flanders (now in Belgium)}.

Cleves & Mark Mercator became a well-educated Flemish philosopher and cartographer. Flat maps of the world are often shown in what is called a Mercator projection derived from a round globe. Well, in order to believe in a round globe, one had to dismiss the notion of a flat earth. So, Mercator was arrested in February 1544 and charged with heresy. This was partly due to his Protestant beliefs (in a Catholic Flanders), partly because he travelled to acquire data for his maps, so that suspicions about loyalty had arisen. He spent seven months in prison in the beautiful and modern Rupelmonde château.

Sometime after his release, he wisely moved to Duisburg, Duchy of Cleves (now in Germany). Mercator was appointed Court Cosmographer to Duke Wilhelm of Cleves, in 1564. During this period he began to perfect the new map projection technique for which he is best remembered (1569). He later put together a collection of maps -and- for the first time an Atlas was available.

March 5, 1658: Antoine Laumet, a French colonial governor of America, was born -- later known as Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (Sieur de Cadillac, Donaquec and Mount Desert). M. Cadillac and his men reached the Detroit River on July 23, 1701. The following day, July 24, 1701, the group traveled north on the Detroit River and chose a place to build a settlement. Cadillac named the settlement Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit in honor of King Louis the 14th's Minister of Marine. In 1710, Cadillac was removed from duty at Fort Ponchartrain and made governor of the French Province of Louisiana. In June of 1717, Cadillac, left the Province of Louisiana for France. But, read on, the story is not yet over.

It was on the 3rd of November 1762, that France and Spain would agree to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, by which the Louisiana Colony went from France to Spain. Why did the French let go of their holdings in America ?  France was sacrificing about seven thousand of its subjects, but to King Louis XV and his ministers, in particular Etienne François de Choiseul, the Minister of State, other factors took precedence over the people. First, France was unloading the financial disaster festering in Louisiana. Second, France would rather have a Louisiana owned by Spain rather than one in possession of Great Britain. Third, France was repaying Spain for its help during the past war and compensating it for the loss of Florida to the British. Lastly, since the most lucrative colony of New France (that is Canada) had been lost to the British Empire, France no longer had any strategic reason to keep Louisiana. The British would force many French Canadians to leave its northern (Acadian) possessions -- many of these cajuns (at least those who survived the forced exile) go to Louisiana.

March 5, 1766: The Spanish astronomer and naval officer don Antonio de Ulloa y Garcia de La Torre arrived in New Orleans to take possession of the Louisiana Territory from the French. The Spanish who arrived took no thrill with the masking, raucous parading and other Mardi Gras frolics. The good Governor banned the celebration . Needless to say, he was not well-loved. By Printemps 1768, Spain had ordered the colonists in Louisiana to use only Spanish ships and to trade only with Spanish ports. Ruling-class popularity slipped downhill fast. In October, rebellious elements had called a convention to condemn Ulloa and command him to leave Louisiana, which he did fearing for his life. Less than a year later Spanish troops executed these rebels. Irish born, General Alejandro O'Reilly, who had arrived to become the new governor of Louisiana, led the effort at restoring law and order to New Orleans.

France, under Napoléon Bonaparte, would briefly have possession of Louisiana again, quickly transferring it to the United States for cash. On November 30, 1803, 21 years to the day after the preliminary agreement ending the war for American freedom was reached, at the Cabildo building in New Orleans, the Spanish (Governor Manuel de Salcedo) officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to the French. Just 20 days later, France transferred the same land to the United States. Spain would reclaim the entire area of East and West Florida for its role in defeating the British during the Revolutionary War. Never-the-less, the Florida Territories would come into US possession by treaty in 1819.

by Paul Revere, silversmith and engraveur March 5, 1770: British troops taunted by a crowd of colonists fired on an unruly mob in Boston and killed five citizens in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre. The confrontation between a few angry Boston men and one British sentry ended with five men dead or dying in the icy street corner of King Street and Shrimton's Lane. British Captain Thomas Preston did not order the eight soldiers under his command to fire into the hostile crowd. The nervous soldiers claimed to be confused by shouts of Why do you not fire ? coming from all sides. Versions of the event rapidly circulated through the colonies, bolstering public support for the Patriot cause. At trial, the British Captain Preston and seven soldiers were defended by John Adams (later US President). The captain and five of the soldiers were acquitted, the other two soldiers (Montgomery and Killroy) were found guilty of manslaughter. They were branded on the hand with a hot iron. The first colonist killed in the American Revolution was a former slave, Crispus Attucks. Indeed, Attucks was the first to fall, stuck twice in the chest by British bullets.

More links: The Boston Massacre --   A Behind the Scenes Look --   Captain Thomas Preston's account of the Boston Massacre --   Reprint of the Boston Gazette from March 12, 1770 --

March 5, 1807: Oddly enough, today marks the first performance of Ludwig von Beethoven's 4th Symphony (in the Key of B of course). Beethoven's Fourth Symphony has suffered an unenviable fate, that of obscurity. Standing as it does immediately after his heroic Third and just before his tragic Fifth. It was, in Robert Schumann's words, a slender Greek maiden between two Norse[men]. In 1806 when Beethoven wrote the Fourth Symphony, he was enjoying a rare period of happiness. In this work, as in its contemporaries, the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Violin Concerto, we have proof that Beethoven was not always an artist with angst.

Hey Culligan Man: Emmett J. Culligan, founder of the famous water treatment firm, was born this day in 1893, in South Dakota. After a brief stint in the Army during World War I, he ended up in Porter Minnesota in the mid-1920's. The rest is history, or water under the bridge, if you will.
March 5, 1946: At Westminster College near Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill tells a crowd that an iron curtain has descended on the Continent [of Europe].

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone - Greece with its immortal glories - is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.

* * *

The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. It is from the quarrels of the strong parent races in Europe that the world wars we have witnessed, or which occurred in former times, have sprung. Twice in our own lifetime we have seen the United States, against their wishes and their traditions, against arguments, the force of which it is impossible not to comprehend, drawn by irresistible forces, into these wars in time to secure the victory of the good cause, but only after frightful slaughter and devastation had occurred. Twice the United States has had to send several millions of its young men across the Atlantic to find the war; but now war can find any nation, wherever it may dwell between dusk and dawn.

Calling it the Iron curtain was a not so gentle dig at Stalin, whose name was not originally Stalin. He chose the name, which means man of steel, for his political career, which in the Soviet Union was a deadly serious matter. Mr. Churchill was entering the last two decades of his life, his career in politics, mostly behind him.

Winston Churchill loved the great music of war. When, in his eighties, he became too old to get pleasure out of books he used to sit with his record player in the afternoons and listen to military marches. He liked especially the high-souled trumpet calls. After his death in 1965 some of these were played at his state funeral, and their notes sounded in the baroque spaces of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Reveille was played, together with The Last Post, by trumpeters high up in the Whispering Gallery of the structure's massive dome that towers over olde London; Fight the Good Fight was sung; and so, too, was The Battle Hymn of the Republic. He had become an honorary U.S. Citizen on March 12, 1964.

Churchill descended from American as well as British stock. In particular was one Sarah Jennings, who married John Churchill, first Duke of Marborough, and was a power during Anne's reign (the last Stuart Queen) -- Queen Anne became Queen March 8, 1702, at age 37.

ShillingQueen Anne's reign would be characterized by the attempts of others to manipulate her. Most significantly among these individuals was Sarah Churchill. A friend of Anne's since childhood, Anne leaned heavily on her for companionship. After Anne's marriage she named Sarah to the prestigious position of "Lady of the Bedchamber". After Anne became queen, she named Sarah to other prominent posts including Keeper of the Privy Purse, Mistress of the Robes and Groom of the Stole. Their relationship for many years was a close one with Anne showering Sarah with large allowances and gifts, such as the huge and extravagant Blenheim estate. The estate was given to the Churchill's as a reward for John Churchill's important military victory in the War of Spanish Succession. Sarah, however, would fall out of favor and would be replaced as Anne's favorite by a distant cousin, Abigail Masham.

The end of Anne's friendship with Sarah signaled a change in political influences as well. Although Anne had always been a strong Tory throughout her reign she had vigorously supported the War of Spanish Succession, a Whig war. Sarah Churchill was a Whig and her husband John, though a Tory, was the leading English general in the conflict. Because of the Churchill's influence, Anne had always been inclined to support the war which was the most important event in foreign affairs during Anne's reign.

Anne married Prince George of Denmark. This was an arrangement Anne's father negotiated in secret with sponsorship by King Louis XIV of France, who hoped for a Anglo-Danish alliance against William of Orange and the Dutch. No such alliance would ever materialize. Prince George's influence in matters of state would remain small throughout their marriage. The relationship he had with Anne was a close one and she loved him deeply, however, their marriage was saddened by Anne's twelve miscarriages and the fact that none of their other five children reached adulthood. from A man named Peter LaRoche was the Prince of Denmark's "Gentleman of the Bedchamber" More HERE
March 5th -- The Day the Music Died: A private plane crash near Camden, Tenn., claimed the lives of country music performer Virginia Patterson Hensley {Patsy Cline} and several others this day in 1963. Four years earlier on February 3rd (1959), Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson had suffered the same fate in an airplane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. More here about these and other musicians who died in airplanes.

March 6, 1513: Niccolo Machiavelli was released from jail in Florence. He complained in verse that it was difficult to write poetry there because people kept beating him up. But men are so simple, and governed so absolutely by their present needs, that he who wishes to deceive will never fail in finding willing dupes -- The Prince (1513) -- whoever organizes a state and establishes its laws must assume that all men are wicked and will act wickedly whenever they have the chance to do so -- The Discourses (1519).

March 6, 1831: Edgar Allan Poe was asked to leave the US Military Academy at West Point, NY. His discharge was for gross neglect of duty -or- quoth the Raven Never More

March 6, 1836: The death of Colonel David Crockett and James Bowie from a French perspective can be found at: Before sunrise on March 6, 1836, the most famous siege in American history came to an end. All of the defenders, roughly 180 or more, were killed in battle or executed soon afterward. Their bodies were piled and burned near the fort and river. I have visited the spot above the Riverwalk, next to the visitors' center, near where the burning took place -- several times. I am much more hushed by the simple sign on a busy street that spells out the enormity of the decision to defend the Alamo. You'll look in vain for crosses, as Marty Robbins sang. The restored structures and fish ponds a block away are nice, but - to give or ask for no quarter is an act of great courage or evil, depending on your part in the affair.

Davy Crockett objected to roundup and removal of Native Americans, commonly referred to as the Trail of Tears, spearheaded by President Jackson and his VP. Famous frontiersman Davy Crockett, whose grandparents died at the hand of Creek and Cherokee warriors, served as a scout for Andrew Jackson during the Creek War (1813-14). Never-the-less, as a U.S. congressman from Tennessee, Crockett broke with President Jackson over the Indian Removal Act, calling it unjust. Despite warnings that his opposition to Indian removal would cost him his seat in Congress, where he’d served since 1827, Crockett said, “I would sooner be honestly and politically damned than hypocritically immortalized.” The year after the act’s 1830 passage, Crockett lost his bid for reelection. After being voted back into office in 1833, he continued to express his opposition to Jackson’s policy. Crockett wrote that he would leave the U.S. for the “wildes of Texas” if Martin Van Buren, Jackson’s vice president, succeeded Jackson, in the White House. After Crockett was again defeated for reelection, in 1835, he did go to Texas, where he died fighting at the Alamo in March 1836.

February 2008

The knife-fighter James Bowie was one of the defenders. But his renown was overshadowed by that of Colonel David Crockett, born in Greene County (East Tennessee), the Congressman from the canebrake, representing Tennessee.

In what one might call a fitting tribute, one day and 11 years later (1847), U.S. General Winfield Scott would occupy Vera Cruz, Mexico during the American War with Mexico. In a reprise of both these events, in 1911, the United States would send 20,000 troops to the Mexican border on March 7th. General Fransisco "Pancho" Villa would lead a raid on Columbus NM (17 killed) from Mexico on March 9, 1915. President Woodrow Wilson responded by ordering General John J. Black Jack Pershing (a former officer in the Buffalo Soldier Corps) to pursue and disperse the bandits. Pershing's Mexican Punitive Expedition, a combined armed force of 10,000 men, penetrated 350 miles into Mexico and routed General Villa's forces, severely wounding Villa. Today we will not defend our borders and we sue those who try.

Justice sometimes requires a swift and overwhelming response.

March 7, 1524: Italian Giovanni da Verrazano explores the New World for France.   Verrazzano was the first known European to enter New York Bay on the Hudson River. On this day he anchors near what will become Wilmington, North Carolina, in the ship Dauphine. It would be another 85 years (1609) before Henry Hudson, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, would again sail a European vessel into the greater New York area. Three years earlier (1521) Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam Island on March 6th. In 1778 on this day James Cook first sighted Yaquina Bay on the what will become the coast of Oregon. So, the first week in March turns out to be a busy time for exploration.

March 7, 1857: The National Baseball Committee (NBC) decides that 9 innings would constitutes an official game, and not 9 runs; but, the history of baseball is far more complicated.

March 7, 1900: Fritz Wolfgang London arrived for the first time in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław Poland). As a physicist, London studied at the university towns of Bonn, Frankfurt, Göttingen, München und Paris. In response to the Nazi regime, he immigrated to the United States in 1939, and later became a naturalized citizen. London became a professor of theoretical chemistry in Durham at Duke University. He introduced the quantum mechanical treatment of the hydrogen molecule into the chemical theory of bonding. He developed also the phenomenological theory of superconductivity and publishing two books on superfluids in the 1950's.

March 7, 1936 (some say March 3rd or 6th): Germany moves its army into the demilitarized Rhineland (Rheinland), breaking the Treaty of Versailles (1918). The European Allies did not-a-thing. Following the First World war in 1918, the Rhine Province and the entire Rhineland region on the west bank was occupied by the victors (Entente forces) until June 30, 1930. In 1920 the region was further cut up by adding the Westpfalz, a region of 418 square miles and over 100,000 inhabitants, including Homburg, St. Ingbert and Blieskastel, up to the Saar region. In 1937, the Birkenfeld portion of Oldenburg was transferred to the Rhine Province.

Hitler's treaty violation set a pattern that led to World War II, although one could argue that the conflict in Europe started with the Spanish Civil War, where both sides tested their weapons through surrogate combatants. After many years of fighting on the Western front (1939-1945), the U.S. 9th Armored Division crossed the Rhein River at Remagen on March 7, 1945, using a damaged but still serviceable Ludendorff Bridge. This crossing marked the first incursion of Allied forces across the Rhein into what many would call Germany proper. On the same day, the Allies secured Köln after very severe street-to-street fighting. On March 8th, elements of the U.S. First Army begin crossing the Rhein between Köln and Koblenz.

While this past week in 2014, Russia has reoccupied the Crimean Peninsula, a traditionally Russian area, which was reallocated to Ukrainian control in the 1950's when both were part of a larger Soviet Empire. The Western Allies have done not-a-thing but talk "sanctions" -- a measure which always fails with despots. This is all about money. Ukraine is Russia's largest customer for natural gas and the west was seeking to help that country develop its own resources. Russia also helps keep western Europe warm at night, so meaningful sanctions are not possible without allied pain.

click on link if no pictureMarch 8, 1437: This work constitutes what was the main panel of an altarpiece commissioned on this date, according to the wishes of Gherardo Barbadori to decorate the altar of his family in the Chiesa San Spirito (Florence). The young monk, is perhaps a self-portrait. The elements of the composition are threefold: San Frediano diverts the river Serchio; the announcement of the Virgin of his upcoming death; Saint Augustine in his cell.

March 8, 1910: Elise Deroche {de baronne Raymonde de Laroche} became the first women to obtain a pilot's license in France (un brevet de pilote d'æroplane -- Æro Club de France). (This source says 17th and 8th March). See also -- timeline of early flight achievements. In October 1909, the baroness was the first woman to pilot an æroplane, having been taught by one of France's pioneers -- Gabriel Voison.

March 8, 1917 (this is the date by the New Style calendar, which didn't become effective in Russia until January 31, 1918; the Old Style date is February 23rd): The February Revolution breaks out on the streets of St. Petersburg Russia. The first World War has destroyed the Russian economy and the Government is being vilified by many for its numerous human rights abuses. The principal demand was for bread, supported some 90,000 people on strike, who took to the streets. They refused to disperse during confrontations with police. On this same date in 1983, President Reagan would make his famous Evil Empire speech about the Soviet Union. See and

The former Soviet Union had two well-known "newspapers", Pravda and Izvestia. Pravda means "truth," and Izvestia is "news." So, the people once joked, "There is no news in the truth and no truth in the news." Soviet newspaper "Pravda" suspended publication on March 14, 1992. The other news outlet still publishes

Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world ... I urge you to beware [of] the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil. The late US President Ronald Reagan, March 8, 1983, in a Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals

March 9, 1202 in Norway -- UNDREDAL Stave Church: This is a simple, small one-nave church (kyrkje). Undredal is mentioned for the first time in 1321. The date-year 1147, however, can be found upon the ceiling, indicating that this structure is one of the oldest remaining stave churches. The house of worship was rebuilt in 1722. In 1962 restoration took place once more. Stave Churches are buildings of high quality, richly decorated. In virtually all of them, the door frames are covered from top to bottom with carvings. A tradition of rich ornamentation reflects the animal carvings during the Viking age. Stave dragons are well-executed, now transformed into creatures of fantasy, entwined at a few points with tendrils of vine. The elaborate designs show supreme artistic skill, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. Painted rather than carved Stave decorations were found at Undredal under old whitewash in 1962.

The Urnes stave church (follow link to see this stavkirke) is situated high above the fjord in the municipality of Luster, near Sogndal. The structure at Urnes is believed to be the oldest of extant stave buildings (1130). It has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list since 1979. It too has exquisite animal carvings. Portions of the church have been dated to 1050-1100, so that one, possibly two, older churches were on this site before this stave structure arose - and that parts of these churches were re-incorporated into Urnes' stave kirke.

Flåm remains a small village with less than a 500 persons (excluding tourists), nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord. It is centrally located along the new main road from Oslo to Bergen (E-16), which road has the world's longest road tunnel (Lærdal to Aurland: link to Map HERE). The Flåm railway, itself a wonder of engineering, winds its away through a narrow valley with steep mountainsides and ends at Flåm beside the Sognefjord. The Flåm valley (Flåmsdalen) typifies a west Norwegian fjord valley, cut into ancient mountains. Glaciers and rivers stunningly have carved both the Aurlandsfjord and the Flåm valley features. The so-called giants' cauldrons, located at several places in Flåm valley, were formed by melt water from the glaciers at the end of the most recent Ice Age. Scientists have found vegetable matter 9,000 years old in the lowest reaches of the largest cauldron, just behind the Flåm hotel.

The oldest human settlements in the Flåm valley, which have been identified, date from 4900 BC. Until 1834, 17 pagan hanging stones stood on the plain in front of the Flåm Church, a stark sign of the culture from at least 2500 years ago. These stones gave nearby Fretheim its name: or the way to Fretta - a place where one went to ask for advice from the pagan deities. Today the hanging stones have become benches in a small park at Lunden, Norway -- a less symbolic use.

Flåm's kirke (actually a kyrkje -- church), a wooden structure from 1667, sits 3 km up the Flåmsdalen. The altar piece, dates from 1681. The decorations in the choir are of the same period, showing a grapevine pattern. The church's nave, painted sometime in the 18th century, has pictures of deciduous trees and different kinds of animals. The current location is known to have been a Christian site since the Middle Ages. A Flåm church is mentioned in written sources going back to 1320. During the restoration in 1967 workers discovered an old alter blanket, dating from the 14th century.

In 1177, a young King Magnus fled over the mountains from Raundalen to Flåm (sometimes wrongly referred to as Voss which is on the other side of the mountain). The route King Sverre (Sverrir Sigurdsson) took (over the Voss mountains) is still called Sverresgong. Shortly after Sverre died in on March 9, 1202, Vangen kyrkje (a once private church) was built in Aurland. There are grounds for believing that it was consecrated in honor of the great king in 1202.

March 9, 1454: Amerigo Vespucci, explorer, is born into a prominent family in Florence, Italy. It is from his name that we get the name America, but controversy abounds about what he actually did. Never-the-less, Columbia is still the gem of the ocean.

Le 9 mars 1831: Une loi du gouvernement français porte création de la Légion étrangère. The French foreign legion was founded by Louis-Philippe to clear France of foreigners and since then has always taken what the French would consider cast-offs and undesirables, including those from the French army itself. Levels of desertion are relatively high, around 6 %.

1991: le Poste Italiane hanno celebrato il centenario dell'Accademia Navale con tre francoboli policromi, disegnati da Franco Gay. Un allievo si esercita con il sestante, sullo sfondo della Vespucci, nel valore da L. 200

March 9, 1841: Despite Spanish demands for extradition, the Supreme Court of the United States freed the men who two years earlier had seized the Spanish ship, Amistad, while en route to Cuba. Former US President, John Quincy Adams (then 74 years old), defended the Mendi people, a group of Africans who rebelled and killed the crew aboard this slave ship. They had faced mutiny charges upon capture of Long Island in New York, but Adams won their acquittal before the U.S. Supreme Court. In thanks, they gave him a Bible. In 1996 thieves stole it from the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy, Mass. See

March 9, 2008: A particular blog on this date has given me an opportunity to ask a question about Lörrach (Loerrach for those who have no clue about umlauts). I am trying to determine the origin of the name, and cannot find anything on the Web to help. The settlement was mentioned as "Lorracho" in the 11th Century AD. The town's name sounds like (in French) that it would refer to rocks, or a hill with a cliff, or perhaps large rocks in the river Weise. But, as I said, I cannot find any direct evidence of its etymology.

The oldest portions of the Burg Rötteln (castle) north-east of and overlooking the city of Lörrach, date from the same time period. It perches on a limestone cliff. The oldest mention of Rötteln is in 751AD to a Kirche there in connection with Kloster St. Gallen. It is said that the oldest parts of the castle were fiefs of the Abbey Murbach / Alsace. (auf deutsch).

The casual traveler to Europe is unlikely to come across Burg Rötteln unless an avid castle hunter, touring Germany's Black Forest (Rötteln im Schwarzwald) or visiting it as a suburb of Basel, Switzerland. This wonderful castle ruin is in a day's reach of Strasbourg and the Alsace Wine Road or Mulhouse. The family-namesake, Walter von Rötteln, was mentioned as participating in the tournament in Magdeburg in 938. The Evangelischen Kirchengemeinde Rötteln celebrated its 750th birthday a few years ago. Herr von Rötteln derived his name from the place, not the place from his name. Perhaps in the language of the time, Rötteln (which seems plural) meant a cliff (of rocks).

Numerous archæological findings confirm the human settlement of the Weise Valley for over 3000 years. The region was one inhabited by Celtic tribes before the Roman conquest, and then the Germanic Alemanni invaded from the North East. The Burgundian tribe inhabited the area to the SW (in today's France). has information about the town's more recent history. Does anyone have information that could shed some light on the origins of Lörrach ?

Because the blogger lives only a few miles west of Lörrach in Weil am Rhein, I am using his blog as a reference punkt. Weil and Lörrach are just north of Basel in Germany. The entire blog is at, but since January 2009 he has put it on hold. His wine blog is no longer HERE.

According to general consensus, the best wine with Spargel tends to be light and white. In Gutedel, we therefore have a local grape here that's tailor-made for asparagus. This particular specimen, an Isteiner Kirchberg, Gutedel "Exklusiv" (trocken Qualitäteswein), goes down as a treat. from Basler Staatswein (link gone)

March 10, 1681: A Quaker, William Penn, Esquire (age 37), received a Corporate Charter from English King Charles II, which made him the sole proprietor of the colonial American territory of Pennsylvania (PENSILVANIA). The territory, 48,000 square miles, satisfied the King's debt to the Penn family. Penn, more than any other individual, proved to be the chosen vessel through which the stream of demand for respect for individual rights was to flow. Once William Penn received his charter from the Crown, he began to publish promotional tracts emphasizing the advantages of moving to Pennsylvania. Penn was trying to appeal to Quakers and non-Quakers alike. Since Penn had not yet been to Pennsylvania himself, he tended to emphasize mostly the advantages of colonization (and not the hardships) that awaited prospective colonists.

March 10, 1734: The Salzburgers were German Protestants forced to flee their home in Salzburg, an independent church-state governed by a Catholic archbishop, located in what today is Austria. See and ~gagus/salzburgers.htm The Georgia Colony Trustees agreed to send a group of the Salzburgers to Georgia, and Baron Philipp Georg Friedrich von Reck personally escorted the first transport of Lutheran emigrants. On March 7, they had arrived in Charles Towne, in the southern Carolina Colony. There, they were met by James Oglethorpe. They sailed south on March 9 and reached the mouth of the Savannah River on March 10. Von Reck (then only 25 years of age) wrote and drew, during his time in Georgia, some fifty watercolor and pencil sketches of what he saw. These drawings, accompanied by von Reck's writings, are important as history, science and art. Copies of this work were republished last in Savannah (Beehive Press 1980).

While still at sea, the Salzburgers had planned on erecting a stone marker at the site of their new Georgia home, which they hoped to call Eben Ezer, which meant stone of help or monument to God's protection. On March 26, James Oglethorpe would agree to their request and formally name the new settlement Ebenezer. After some time, however problems with the first settlement location became apparent and the group was permitted to move.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)

The word "Ebenezer" comes from Hebrew and is actually two words pronounced together: Even Haazer. So that when written in Hebrew, it looks like this:  

It is usually transliterated as a proper name by dropping the definite article (Ha) from the Hebrew word for "place" (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for "stone" (Even) to create: "Ebenezer." The etymological roots of the word, thus defined, should demonstrate that an "Ebenezer" is, literally, a "Stone of Help." In 1 Samuel 4:1-11 and 5:1, the Ebenezer is strangely identified with a particular site, about four miles south of Gilgal, where the Israelites were twice defeated by the Philistines and the Ark of the Covenant was stolen.

March 10, 1848: The Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico. It was signed on February 2nd. Its provisions called for Mexico to cede over half of its territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, and portions of Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Texas) in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property. By the Louisiana Purchase, portions of Texas became a part of the United States; but in 1819, this land had been ceded to Spain in the negotiations as a trade for Florida. Two years later Mexico, including Texas territory, had become independent from Spain. The United States made two unsuccessful attempts to purchase Texas from Mexico. The settlement of Texas by immigrants from the United States led to the secession of Texas from Mexico. Mexico recognized Texas as an independent nation, but later Texas was annexed by the United States.

First Greenback, 1862

March 10, 1862: In order to help finance the War between the States, the US government issued the first US Demand Notes or Greenbacks on this day. They were direct obligations of the US Treasury, in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 & $1000, were not backed by gold or silver. Up until that time the United States had only issued coinage.

March 10, 1880: A year after the English group took on the name Salvation Army, it gained a foothold in the United States, when Lieutenant Eliza Shirley left England to join her parents, who had migrated to America earlier. In 1879, she held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in America, in Philadelphia. Meeting success in the city of brotherly love, Lt. Shirley wrote to General Booth, to request reinforcements.

1880 Shield Nickel

On March 10, 1880, Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven women officers knelt on the dockside at Battery Park in New York City to give thanks for their safe arrival. At their first official street meeting, these pioneers experienced unfriendly reactions, as had happened in Great Britain. They were ridiculed, arrested and attacked. Several officers and soldiers even gave their lives.  A far more detailed account is HERE.

Buried Today -- March 10, 2006: R.A. (Reuben Aaron) Miller, one of Georgia's most well-known folk artists: Miller stayed close the home near Gainesville GA, where he had lived all his life. The world came to know him, never-the-less. Even the legendary band R.E.M., displayed some of his work in one of its early videos. Miller became an itinerant Free Will Baptist preacher, serving for some 50 years. He turned to art when he retired because of health reasons.

He mounted 300 pieces of his artwork near his home and was discovered by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. in 1984. The Athens Georgia band used his forest of wood and metal as a setting for a Left of Reckoning. Although famous he stuck to the simple life, while receiving visitors from around the world. He died at a nursing home earlier in the week (March 7th). Funeral services were at Ward's Funeral Home in Gainesville.

March 11, 1302: Shakespeare records the marriage of Romeo and Juliet this day at the end of Act II. Friar: So smile the heavens upon this holy act. That after-hours with sorrow chide us not!    The ceremony takes place after the curtain draws to a close.

March 11, 1822: Lawyer, politician, and military officer Allison Nelson was born in Fayette (later part of DeKalb, and still later part of Fulton) County. Nelson read law and became an attorney. In 1846, he raised a volunteer company -- the Kennesaw Rangers -- and served as a captain in the Mexican War. After that conflict, Nelson returned to Georgia. He married and settled in Cobb County. Becoming a successful planter, he represented Cobb in the Georgia House of Representatives (1848-49). In January 1855, Nelson won election as the 9th mayor of Atlanta (though he resigned later that July), giving him the distinction of being the first Atlanta mayor born in the limits of what now is Fulton County. After a brief term as Atlanta mayor, Nelson moved to Texas. In 1860, he was elected to the Texas legislature, also serving in that state's secession convention. After Texas' secession, Nelson helped organized the 10th Texas regiment, in which he served as a colonel. In September 1862, he was promoted to brigadier general; but, in the same month, he became sick during an outbreak of typhoid fever, dying October 7, 1862, in camp ( near Old Austin (Lonoke County, Arkansas). He is buried at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Le 11 mars 1985: Mikhail Gorbatchev devient à 55 ans secrétaire général du parti communiste de l'Union Soviétique. Il ne sait pas encore qu'il sera le dernier à porter ce titre mais il porte déjà en lui la volonté de réformer un régime paralysé. This action confirmed the end of, or opened the door to the end of (depending on your point of view) Soviet control. For example, on March 11, 1990, the Lithuanian parliament voted to break away from the Soviet Union and restore its independence. It did so on the anniversary of the Second Lithuanian Statutes of 1566, which upheld a rights of landowners in a bicameral system of representative government. Also on 11 mars 2006, reputed war criminal, Slobodan Milosevic, died at the Hague detention center, still on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal. This too was fallout from the end of the cold war.

March, 12, 1912: Juliette Gordon Low organized the Girl Guides, one year later called Girl Scouts, the first such troop in America (Daisy Gordon Lawrence was the first member -- Daisy was also Low's nickname), at the Andrew Low House (1848) in Savannah, Georgia. The US Congress later chartered the Girl Scouts, as it had done for the Boys Scouts of America.
Henry of Navarre addresses the TroopsMarch 13, 1569: The Count of Anjou (de Guise) defeated the Huguenots (Protestants) at the Battle of Jarnac. Thirty-nine year old Prince Louis de Bourbon-Condé, Prince de Condé (1536-1569), Comte puis Duc d'Enghien (1546-1569), Comte de Soissons (1557-1569), co-leader of the Huguenots forces, died in that battle. Prince Louis, as a Bourbon, descended from the French Kings Hugues Capet and his son Robert II (les rois Capétiennes), as well as, German Emperor Henry III and the Mérovingien line of French rulers (Salic Frank). On 25 June, the two armies met again at the Battle of La Roche-l'Abeille, resulting in a Protestant victory. The Battle of Moncontour in October of the same year would provide the Catholics with a more definitive victory. Minor participants on the Huguenot side were the English volunteer Walter Raleigh and Louis of Nassau.

March 13, 1622: On this date, Ignatius of Loyola was canonized (recognized as a Saint). He was the founder of the Jesuit order. Some years later, on the 13th day of March 2013, the first member of that order became the Bishop of Rome. The name he chose, Francis, the first time that name was selected by a Pope. Why ? Possibly because of Saint Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan friar (the founder). Francis' preaching to ordinary people was unusual since he had no license, indeed he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood. Yet, Francis remains a highly venerated person in religious history. Francis of Assisi was born to Pietro di Bernardone, a well-to-do merchant; but Francis' life as an adult (after about 1205AD) was one of poverty by choice. In a vision the Lord said to him, "Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins." Francis took the directive literally. He repaired the structure in which he had had his vision. He soon embraced the life of a penitent, during which he restored several ruined chapels in the countryside near Assisi. His founding of the order informally was approved by the Pope on a pilgrimage to Rome. Later, in stages, it grew to be an official structure. The new Francis has a tough job ahead to repair a damaged church. Perhaps, however, he chose the name in deference to Saint Francis' work to end the Crusades and forge a lasting peace. Look up the history of the creche or stigmata to discover more.

Le 14 mars 1590: Le protestant Henri de Bourbon, roi de Navarre et prétendant au trône de France, bat l'armée catholique conduite par le duc de Mayenne (Mainz), de la famille des Guise, à Ivry, au nord de la France. C'est au cours de cette dernière bataille que le truculent Béarnais aurait lancé son apostrophe célèbre  -- Ralliez-vous à mon panache blanc, vous le trouverez toujours au chemin de l'honneur et de la victoire ! -- Rally around my white standard {men}, for today you will discover the path of honor and of victory. A panache directly translates into the word "plume;" but, just as the War of the Roses was not a disagreement about flower types, the English word "standard" fits better in the translation here. Never-the-less, the English word misses the potential play on words that Henri may have intended. An alternative meaning to the word coronate has to do with large bird feathers, so perhaps the King-to-be was reminding everyone about his new job.

The battle took place on the Eure River at Ivry, about 30 miles west of Paris (today called Ivry-la-Bataille to distinguish it from Ivry-sur-Seine). See  Henry's army had swept through Normandy, taking town after town that winter of '89-90. By mid-March it was getting close to Paris, deployed on the plain of Saint André. The decisive event took place on the battlefield when the King led the charge against a group of enemy lancers, who had strayed too close to his position to use its weapons, a tactical mistake leading to a strategic victory. After Ivry Henri, Roi de Navarre, became the only credible claimant to the throne of France.

Gate of the old Abbey Ivry-la-Bataille

Ides of March, 44BC: Julius Cæsar, conquerer of Gaul and Egypt, dictator, tyrant and emperor of the Roman empire dies in the Senate at age 55. It had only been the month before at the festival of Lupercales (15th February), that Marc Antony had placed upon his head the crown and symbol of Greek rule (Alexander the Great) in the Temple of Jupiter. He lay dying, the recipient of 23 knife wounds from his enemies and friends. He says to Brutus -- Tu quoque, mi fili {You also, my son} or the more stylized et tu Brutu, but the words would have been said in Greek - "Kai su, teknon" (You too, my son?").

In the ancient Roman calendar the 15th day of March, May, July and October or the 13th day of the other months is called the Ides. In the middle of Act 3, scene 1 of Shakespeare's play, we have Cæsar's last line, which some suggest was a call for his friend Brutus to make his death a noble cause, rather than just a plaintive recognition of betrayal (Brutus, a friend of Cæsar and yet a man who loves Rome (and freedom) more, has joined the conspirators in the assassination).

The reverse side of a coin shown below was minted by Marcus Junius Brutus. It shows two daggers and a freedman's cap. It symbolizes the freeing of the Romans from the slavery of Cæsar. The legend EID.MAR == the Ides of March. The obverse face is of Brutus, as Imperator, the "commander in chief," of Rome.

It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay'd, brave hart;
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand,
Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy death.

O world, thou wast the forest to this hart;
And this, indeed, O world, the heart of thee.

How like a deer strucken by many princes,
Dost thou here lie!    {Antony: Act III, Scene 1}

Le soir du 15 mars 1917, le tsar Nicolas II abdique au profit de son frère, le grand-duc Michel. Mais celui-ci décline l'honneur. C'en est fini de la dynastie des Romanov. La Russie devient pour quelques mois une République démocratique. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (in Russian: Николай Александрович Романов), Autocrat of All the Russias, signed the instrument of abdication on the 15th, leaving office the next day. His forced departure left a power vacuum, soon filled, by those who would murder him and his family.

15 martie 1944 -- Distrugerea manastirii Monte Cassino: Desi stravechiul edificiu religios, ridicat in anul 524 de Sfantul Benedict, nu adapostea trupe germane, care se fortificasera in jurul manastirii, avioanele americane au aruncat, incepand cu 15 februarie 1944, o ploaie de bombe asupra zidurilor sale. Pe 15 martie, in cadrul operatiunii „Diadem”, sa dato asaltul finale: o mie de tone de bombe au fost lansate asupra manastirii, care a fost transformata intr-un morman de ruine. „o greseala colosala... o mostra de stupiditate”
March 16, 1789: Today marks the birth of Georg Ohm in Erlangen, Germany. Ohm, a physicist at the Jesuits' College in Cologne and the Polytechnic School of Nürnberg, discovered Ohm's Law. That is the flow of a direct electric current (amps) through a conductor (such as a copper wire) is directly proportional to the voltage potential and inversely proportional to the resistance. In electricity parlance, the unit of resistance is named for him.   E=I*R   Erlangen is a middle Franconian city north of Nuremberg.

Fifth Council of the Lateran - March 16, 1517: The French victory of Ravenna (April 11, 1512) hindered the opening of this reform Council called by Pope Julius. It finally met on May 3rd at the St-John the Lateran Basilica in Rome. Participants included fifteen cardinals, the Latin patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, ten archbishops, fifty-six bishops, some abbots and generals of religious orders, the ambassadors of King Ferdinand, and those of Venice and of Florence. After Julius' death, his successor Pope Leo X continued the Council. The last session ended March 16, 1517. Little was done to put the reform work of the Council into practice. Whether or not the Protestant Reformation could have been avoided, if the reforms had been implemented, is a matter of debate. Martin Luther's promulgation of his 95 theses occurred just seven months after the close of the Council. In England on this date in 1534, the Church in England broke all ties with Rome, setting up a civil war and time of unrest lasting a century and one-half.

19th Century March 16, 1649 at Huronia Ontario: A war party of 1000 Iroquois attack the settlement at Huronia, capturing Saint Ignace before sunrise This force will destroy all the villages and Jesuit missions in the area. Also on the same day... in Midland Ontario, two Jesuit priests Jean de Brébeuf and Jérôme Lalement (both 52 years old) are tortured by the Iroquois at Saint Louis. Father Brébeuf dies at 4 pm, his flesh stripped to the bone and his body burned with pitch and boiling water. Father Lalement, nephew of Jesuit superior Jérôme Lalement, dies the following day of burns. Today, Saint Brébeuf's skull is preserved in a golden reliquary in the Hotel Dieu at Quebec. He was canonized in 1930. On this date in 1800 at Quebec, Jean-Joseph Casot (72 years old), the last Jesuit survivor from the French regime, dies at Quebec. All property of that order in Canada goes to the Crown.

How soon we forget: The Lebanon hostage crisis refers to the systematic kidnapping in Lebanon of 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins—mostly American and western European — between 1982 and 1992. At least eight hostages died in captivity; some were murdered, while others died from lack of adequate medical attention to illnesses. On March 16,1985, Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut, Lebanon. His release came over 6 years later on December 4, 1991. William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists (Hezbollah) on the same date in 1984, but he died in captivity. As an envoy for the Church of England, Terry Waite travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages. He was himself kidnapped (1987) after he was promised safe conduct to visit the hostages, who, he was told, were ill. He was held captive for 1763 days, most of which was spent in solitary confinement (ending November 18,1991).

The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies. -Terence Hardy "Terry" Waite

The Islamic Republic of Iran—and, to a lesser extent, Syria—played a major roles in these situations along with the local kidnappers, although all deny any involvement.

In the United States, the Reagan Administration negotiated a secret and arms for hostage swap with Iran, known popularly as the Iran-Contra Affair or Iran-gate, perhaps because it wanted to avoid the public sense of powerlessness against Iran that brought down the Carter Administration. Interestingly, On March 16, 1988 Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North (Marine Corps) and Vice Admiral John Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy in the Iran-Contra Affair in contravention of Boland Amendment.

The Democrat-controlled United States Congress issued its own report on November 18, 1987, stating that "If the president did not know what his national security advisers were doing, he should have." The congressional report stated that the president bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides, and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception and disdain for the law." It also read that "the central remaining question is the role of the President in the Iran–Contra affair. Sound familiar today ? The President took full responsibility for the acts committed, though denying actual knowledge: First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I'm still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior.

March 16, 597 BC:Interestingly, history records that March 16, 597 BC (2 Adar) is the day on which the Babylonian empire completes the capture of Jerusalem. It replaces Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king. Jeconiah, his entire household and three thousand other citizens, were exiled to Babylon. 2 Chronicles 36:9 (KJV) Jeremiah (22:28-30) cursed Jeconiah that none of his descendants would ever sit on the throne of Israel: "Thus says the LORD: 'Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.'" In listing the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Matthew 1:11 records Jeconiah as an ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Because of the curse upon Jeconiah, recorded in Jeremiah, some Biblical scholars have concluded that Joseph could not be the biological father of Jesus, furnishing further proof for the proposition for the Virgin birth of Jesus. In any event Jeconiah's rule was reckoned as evil before the eyes of the Lord. Zedekiah's rebellion some years later caused the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Esther's ancestors were among those, exiled and later removed to Persia upon the conquest of Babylon. Hear the prophetic word of God - tough words:

And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem,
And burnt all the palaces thereof with fire,
and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
And those that had escaped the sword,
they were carried away to Babylon;
Where they were enslaved by the Babylonian King and his sons [Iraq],
until the reign of the kingdom of Persia [Iran]:
To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of [His prophet] Jeremiah,
until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths:
For as long as she lay desolate, she kept sabbath,
in order to fulfill threescore and ten years
[2 Chron 36:19-21].

March 17, 389 -- La Fheile Phadraig: March 17th is the traditional day to celebrate the life of Saint Patrick (d. 461AD), the patron saint of Éire (Ireland). Calpurnius, his father, was a deacon and local official in late-Roman England. Calpurnius lost his son to raiders from Ireland when Patrick was 16. Patrick served time as a slave, but there is more to the story.

The Fifth Century A.D. saw the cultivation of the Celtic Christian rite, memorialized in the life of Saint Patrick, born into a Christian patrician's family at the nadir of the Western Roman Empire's control over Britain. Kidnapped and enslaved by raiding Irish, Patrick toiled as a herdsman for six years before having a vision and escaping.

Thereafter educated in France, Patrick returned as the Bishop of Ireland, a shepherd again, this time on a mission of life. He had success, by incorporating pagan motifs (bonfires, the shamrock, the image of the sun imposed on a cross) into the Roman {Catholic} style of worship. On the outpost of civilization he would help establish an Ireland that preserved western culture during its most bleak years on the continent. The Celtic Church would accompany other Irish (Scotti or Scots) on their eastern conquests of areas never converted by Rome (Alba). So indeed, many would argue, the Celtic Church kept Christianity alive in England during the dark ages, after Rome collapsed.

So what makes Patrick a mystic? First, as recounted in the Confession, most of the major events in Patrick's life are preceded by a dream or vision. The visions were usually simple, almost self-explanatory, but they were also so vivid that they caused an enormous emotional impact on Patrick. The first vision, which he received after six years of servitude in Ireland, came by way of a mysterious voice, heard in his sleep. Your hungers are rewarded: You are going home, the voice said. Look, your ship is ready. Indeed, some 200 miles away, it lay in wait.

The second vision, the one that came to him after Patrick had returned home (and that called him back to Ireland), was equally straightforward. Victoricus, a man Patrick had known in Ireland, appeared to him in this dream, holding countless letters, one of which he handed to Patrick. The letter was entitled The Voice of the Irish. Upon reading just the title, he heard a multitude of voices crying out to him: Holy boy, we beg you to come and walk among us once more. He was so moved Patrick awoke. The dream occurred again and again. Eventually, Patrick tells his dismayed family of his plans to return to evangelize Ireland, and soon begins his preparations for the priesthood.

What some find interesting about this dream calling Patrick to his lifelong mission is that it comes not as a directive from God, but as a plea from the Irish. It is also significant, O'Donoughue says, that the voices in the dream do not ask for preaching or baptism, but only that Patrick, as one specially endowed, should come back and share their lives, come and walk once more with them. In other words, Patrick was not commanded to bring civilization or salvation to the heathens. He was invited to live among them as a witness for Christ.

You may find St. Patrick's Breastplate, the traditional hymn of confirmation and dedication in the Anglican Tradition at

I bind unto myself today,
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun's life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

(hymn sung on picture link) -- said as a prayer at --

Lorica (prayer): In the Christian monastic tradition, a lorica is a prayer recited for protection. It is essentially a 'protection prayer' in which the petitioner invokes all the power of God as a safeguard against evil in its many forms. The Latin word lōrīca originally meant "armor" or "breastplate." The Lorica of Saint Patrick is deemed a morning prayer, because in its full form it contains all the elements under the Catholic tradition.

March 17, 1902: Born today, golfing great Robert Tyre Jones (Junior), better known as Bobby Jones, in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up across the street from the famous East Lake Country Club, Jones soon learned the game of golf, winning his first tournament (a junior championship) at age nine. In 1916, he won the inaugural Georgia State Amateur Championship, and in 1917 and 1922, the Southern Amateur Championship. During this time, he was attending school. He graduated from the Georgia School of Technology (Georgia Tech) with a B.S. in 1922 He received a B.S. from Harvard in 1924. After two years at Emory Law School (1926-27), Jones became a member of the Georgia Bar. He practiced law in Atlanta.

Amazingly, while in college and Law School, Jones amassed an unsurpassed string of victories as an amateur on the professional golf tour. He won nine major tournaments in the 1920s; but, at the height of his career in 1930, Jones won the four major championships of his day -- the British Amateur, U.S. Amateur, British Open and the U.S. Open. A sportswriter coined the term grand slam to forever memorialize golf's greatest and most remarkable achievement. Jones retired from competitive golf soon afterwards. Jones served as an intelligence officer with the US Army Air Corps during World War II. After the War he had a successful business and writing career as a spinal condition limited his ability to actively play and teach golf,

At first he, remained very active in promoting the sport, primarily by producing short films demonstrating golf fundamentals, which still are mainstays of the Golfing Channel in the US. Jones was one of the primary designers of the Augusta National golf course, where the first Masters tournament was held in 1934. He authored or co-authored four books -- Down the Fairway, Golf is My Game, Bobby Jones on Golf and Bobby Jones on the Basic Golf Swing. Bobby Jones died in Atlanta on December 18, 1971. He should not be confused with Robert Trent Jones, who was a famous designer of golf courses from the same era.

Twenty years after -- March 17, 1922: The Atlanta Constitution launched its new WGST radio station (now 640 kHz) using the radio facilities of Georgia Railway and Power Company. This was just after the Atlanta Journal's WSB radio station (now 750kHz) went on the air. In the following months, the Constitution built its own facilities and was given the new call letters to WGM. For whatever reason, Constitution publisher Clark Howell, Sr. -- who also happened to be a trustee of Georgia Tech -- decided to donate the radio station to the school, at which point the call letters reverted to WGST (Georgia School of Technology). On March 15, 1922, the "Light Cavalry Overture" was played to listeners on about 1,000 radio receivers in the Atlanta area. This was the first broadcast of the city's first radio station, WSB. The call letters, which had been assigned that afternoon by the U.S. secretary of commerce, had formerly been used by a ship's wireless. The station was owned by the Atlanta Journal. To beat rival station WGST in becoming the city's first commercial operation, WSB used the 100-watt transmitter of amateur radio operator Gordon Hight in Rome, with the call letters standing for "Welcome South, Brother."

March 18, 978AD: When King Edgar the Peacemaker died in 975, he left two sons by different mothers. As was usual in this time, this situation led to competing claims and a civil war between supporters of each son. King Edward the Martyr (Eadweard II -- born about 962) followed his father as King of England in 975, but was killed at Corfe on March 18, 978. He was almost immediately celebrated as a saint and martyr, and his half-brother, who may have had a hand in his demise, declared that Edward's (feast day) festival should be celebrated all over England. The younger son, Æthelred, became king then in 978. For nearly forty years he tried to save the country from invaders. This long fight ended in failure and led to an infamous nickname for Æthelred, the Unready. In contrast, because the murder of Edward was attributed to irreligious opponents (and because Edward himself was considered a good Christian) Eadweard was canonized as Saint Edward the Martyr in 1001. More information: Wikipedia entry.

Eadmund the Martyr dates from an earlier time period of Viking Invasion (also known as St Edmund or Edmund of East Anglia, died on the 20th of November 869AD) was king of East Anglia from about 855 until his death. Almost nothing is known of Edmund. He is thought to be of East Anglian origin and was first mentioned in an annal of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written some years after his death. The kingdom of East Anglia was devastated by the Vikings, who destroyed any contemporary evidence of Edmund's reign. Later writers produced fictitious accounts of his life, asserting that he was born in 841, the son of Æthelweard, an obscure East Anglian king, whom it was said Edmund took the throne when he was fourteen (or alternatively that he was the youngest son of a Germanic king named 'Alcmund'). Later versions of Edmund's life relate that he was crowned on the 25th December 855 at Burna, (probably Bures St. Mary in Suffolk), which at that time functioned as the royal capital, and that he became a model king. In 869, the "Great Heathen Army" advanced on East Anglia and killed Edmund on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubbe (Hubba) Ragnarsson (Ubbe would killed by the Saxons under the leadership of Odda of Devon at the Battle of Cynuit in Somerset-878AD). During the Middle Ages, when Edmund was regarded as the patron saint of England, Bury and its magnificent abbey grew wealthy, but during the "Dissolution of the Monasteries" his shrine was destroyed. He was also the centerpiece of a french cult based in Toulouse.

On Christmas Day 855, Bishop Humbert of Elmham anointed a 14-year-old as King of the East Angles. The lad, Edmund, the chosen heir of King Offa, and his coronation was documented at Burva. A chronicler named Galfridus de Fontibus described the coronation as having taken place at Bures, which is an ancient royal hill. In the Domesday records, the village is referred to as "Bura" or "Bure", it is said to have a church with 18 acres of free land. The name "Bures" could be derived from either an Old English word "bur", meaning a cottage or bower, or from a Celtic word meaning a boundary. If the village was not named until after the Norman Conquest, (circa 1066), it could have been called after a French village of the same name, of which there are at least eight. One of the oldest structures remaining is Saint Stephen's Chapel dating to 1218 when it was dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Stephen Langton. It predates, by some 150 years, Sainte Mary's Church found in today's village centre.

Cardinal Stephen Langton was recognized as the foremost English churchman of his era. Stephen was placed at the See of Canterbury by Pope Innocent against the King's will and had to flee in latter half of 1212, spending some short time in exile. He became a leader in the struggle against King John upon his return in mid-1213. Stephen's energetic leadership and the Barons' military strength forced John to sign the Magna Carta (June 15, 1215). King John now held his kingdom as a fief of the Holy See, thus the Pope espoused John's cause and excommunicated the Barons. Stephen refused to publish the excommunication. Papal commissioners suspended him from all ecclesiastical functions. In early November 1215 this sentence was confirmed by the Pope, although Stephen appealed to him in person. He was released from suspension the following spring on condition that he keep out of England until peace was restored. Stephen, Archbishop and Cardinal remained abroad till May 1218. Meanwhile, both Pope Innocent and King John died and all warring parties in England rallied to the support of Henry III.

Stephen Langton preached in 1220, on occasion of the translation of the relics of Saint Thomas Becket; the ceremony was the most splendid that had ever been seen in England. He also wrote a life of Richard I, and other historical works and poems are attributed to him. Stephen was a voluminous writer of glosses, commentaries, expositions and treatises by him on almost all the books of the Old Testament. Many sermons, are preserved in manuscript at Lambeth Palace, at Oxford and Cambridge, and in France. It is Langton's arrangement of the chapters of the Bible that remains in use today.

March 19, 1776: Today is Saint Joseph’s Day (the father of Jesus), the day that little birds, known as swallows, traditionally return to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. Every March 19th since 1776 (with just a very few exceptions), the birds have come back to foreshadow spring in this Southern California seaside town, located between LA and San Diego. The European countries of Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Italy celebrate St Joseph's and Fathers' day on March 19th. Saint Joseph’s Day remains a day for Thanksgiving and praise in Italy.

In the 18th Century, Sicily was ravaged by drought and famine. The people prayed to Saint Joseph for deliverance, and abundant rains reportedly ended the suffering. In gratitude, and in honor of Saint Joseph, the population of Sicily place a table (Saint Joseph’s Table) in the house heavily laden with a variety of foods to be shared with those in need. Charitable donations are also deposited on the table for various charities. Immigrants from Sicily brought this tradition to America where it continues to be observed. This day in 2013 was the date on which Francis was installed as the Bishop of Rome. The Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew attended, the first Orthodox patriarch to attend an inaugural papal Mass since the schism split the denominations nearly 1,000 years ago.
March 19, 1953: In 1953 the Academy Awards celebrated its silver anniversary and came to TV for the first time. NBC paid $100,000 for the rights to broadcast the event on radio and television. Hollywood’s best dressed turned out seeking the Oscar statuettes for the best movies of 1952. Half of the event was held at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, with Bob Hope as host. Conrad Nagel, star of the silent films, hosted the dual celebration from his perch in New York City. Conrad, a co-founder and past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy), was one of the creators of the Oscars. The Best Picture award went to Cecil B. DeMille for The Greatest Show on Earth. Best Director was the legendary John Ford for The Quiet Man.

The best of the rest: for Best Actor: Gary Cooper for High Noon; Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn for Viva Zapata !; Actress: Shirley Booth for her unforgettable role in Come Back, Little Sheba; Supporting Actress: Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful; Art Direction-Set Decoration / Color: Paul Sheriff, Marcel Vertès for Moulin Rouge; Music/Song: Dimitri Tiomkin (music), Ned Washington (lyrics) for the song, High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’), from the movie of the same title. Simply no comparison with the trash presented as the best in movie arts some 5 decades later years later, say in 2006.

St. Cuthbert 
Denton in CumbriaMarch 20, 687: Saint Cuthbert is easily the most well-known of the Anglo-Saxon saints, as much for events after his death in 687 as before. He became a monk at Melrose in 651, and was part of the first monastic community at Ripon. In the later 660s he became prior of Lindisfarne, but in 676 he retired to the less accessible island of Farne. In 685, he was made bishop of Lindisfarne, somewhat reluctantly. After Christmas 686 he retired once again to Farne Island, where he died a few months later. He was not murdered by Viking raiders (and his body left to rot) as suggested on TV in 2013, although Lindisfarne was the site of the first pirate raids.

Within fifty years of his death there were three biographies of Cuthbert, an anonymous life commissioned by the Bishop of Lindisfarne in about 700, and two written by the Venerable Bede, one of the foremost scholars of that day. These works picture him as a simple monk, a pastor and teacher, a man who sees visions and experiences miracles. Cuthbert's connections with the Northumbrian royal family have affected the way in which he was viewed by history -- as when Ælfflæd, abbess and daughter of a king, asks him to prophesy about the reign of King Ecgfrith, and he foretells Ecgfrith's death. Eleven years later after his own death, Cuthbert's tomb was opened and the body was found to be uncorrupted (that is, undecayed), which was taken as a great sign of sanctity, and miracles have been claimed in his name ever since that moment. from

March 21, 630 (some report the date as the 20th): Roman Emperor Heraclius restored the True Cross, which he had recaptured from the Persians, 13 years after its theft. The legend of the True Cross begins in the year 326, when it was discovered by the mother of Constantine I, the Empress Helena.

The True Cross was kept in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem until the year 614. Then Chrosroes II of Persia moved it to his own land after he captured Jerusalem. Leaving Persia, it goes to Constantinople, then returns to Jerusalem. See and
March 21, 1556: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, died as a heretic to the Catholic denomination at Oxford. Upon the accession (1553) of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I, he had been tried for treason, convicted of heresy and condemned to death by burning. He had recanted his Anglican leanings in writing, however on his day of death, he refused to repeat the confession of error. He then proceeded to place the hand that had written the forced mea culpa into the flame.

Cranmer was strongly influenced by the German Reformation. He was influential in procuring a royal proclamation (1538) for placing an English copy of the Bible in every parish church. As long as Henry VIII lived, the archbishop would promote no meaningful doctrinal changes, except for his support of Henry's marriage claims. The situation changed with the accession (1547) of the young Edward VI. During his reign Cranmer was able to transform the liturgy of the English Church. He was responsible for much of the first Book of Common Prayer (1549) and compiled its revision of 1552, which contains his well-written prose and beautiful translation of the Psalms. His Forty-two Articles (1553), though never formally adopted, formed the basis of the Church of England's Thirty-nine Articles.

The Thirty-nine Articles, which remain the official synopsis of doctrine (belief) for the Church of England, date from Elizabeth I's reign. They are Calvinistic in theological emphasis and enounce the royal supremacy in the Church of England (an etymology: French énoncer, from Latin enuntiare to report). They are included, with the occasional modification, in the prayer books of other churches of the Anglican Communion, including that of the Episcopal Church USA, despite its departure from the doctrine of its heritage in the late 20th Century.
March 21, 1939: A song, written by Irving Berlin in 1918 as a tribute by a successful immigrant to his adopted country, was recorded by Kate Smith for Victor Records on this day. Ms. Smith had introduced the song on her Thursday, November 10, 1938 radio show (aired live the day before Armistice Day). It was a fitting tribute to its composer, who gave all royalties from the very popular and emotional, God Bless America, to the Boy Scouts of America. At the time, the tune became Kate Smith's second signature song. Her first was When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain, which she recorded in 1931 and was her TV theme song in a later day. Today, we probably do not really remember that she had a TV show, let alone the theme song for it. Never-the-less, every beam {still} brings a dream, dear, of you ....
March 22nd: According to the decision of the Council of Nicea in AD 325, Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox (March 21). This reckoning places Easter between March 22 and April 25 on any given year. Easter was last celebrated on March 22nd in 1818. Easter was not celebrated a single time on March 22nd during the 20th century, nor will it occur during the 21st century.

March 22nd -- Saint Zechariah (circa 750AD): Pope Zechariah, of Greek heritage, was born in Calabria (Latin: Brutium), in the toe of the southern Italian peninsula. A translator of Greek, educated through the Dialogues de saint Grégoire le Grand he became an eloquent prédicateur (preacher), and was admitted to the clergy at Rome under Pope Gregory III. When Luitprand (712-744) ruled over the Lombards, this King threatened to annex Rome and the Holy See (741). At this time Zechariah successfully perfected his power of persuasion. It is said that his contemporaries admired his gentleness and compassion, and at the same time, had great confidence in his political skills.

That year also saw the death of Charles Martel (October 22, 741) and Gregory III. Relief against the Lombards vanished overnight. Zechariah became Pope (December 3rd elected), being sanctified in the position on December 10, 741. Pope Zechariah abandoned the Holy See's ineffective ally, the Duke of Spoleto, to deal directly with Luitprand (Treaty of Terni, in August 742). A semblance of peace then reigned in Italy, especially when the Lombards (Longobards) agreed not to attack the Orthodox holdings at Ravenna (June 29, 743). Luitprand died the following January (which was still year 743 back then). His nephew (and successor), Hildebrand, was a we bit more more belligerent; but, he was so wicked that his subjects soon drove him away. The successor, Rachis, was no fool. He confirmed the peace treaty for another twenty years; however, Rachis broke the treaty by besieging Perugia (749). Pope Zechariah lifted that siege. The Lombard King repented to the point where, a few months later, he went to Rome, abdicated his throne, and entered the Abbey of Monte Cassino. His wife and daughter became nuns (June 749). Astolphe (Astolphus), the brother and successor, confirmed the treaty for twenty years; yet still, he seized Ravenna (751) thus ending the Byzantine exarchate. More about the Lombards HERE -- Merovingian Rulers & Map (7th Century) -- Map of Charlemagne's Empire, just 50 years later

Although Constantinople was iconoclastic in Christian practice, Pope Zechariah developed good relations with Konstantin V. Thanks to the work of Saint Boniface, Zechariah maintained excellent relations with the Franks, now ruled by the sons of Charles Martel. Zechariah was able to mediate the question of royal succession. Pepin (the Short) was elected king and sanctified to that office by Saint Boniface, thus beginning the reign of the Carolingian dynasty (751) and a much-needed alley against the Lombards, which had threatened once again. It has long been believed that Zachariah died on March 14, 752, and his festival for a long time was celebrated on March 15th. The martyrology reform of 1922 was of the view that his death had occurred on March 22nd. So the fête has changed. And without Pepin there would have been no Charles the Great King of the Franks, Charlemagne, crowned emperor of a new Holy Roman Empire in 800AD by Pope Leo III.

Pippin III Brevis, rex francorum, deposed the Merovingian ruler, King Childeric III, and he was crowned King in November 751. Childericus III, rex francorum, so deposed, became the last Merovingian ruler of France. He was replaced by the Mayors of the Palace and the Pepin line. Childericus died in 755 at St-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France. Pepin died during a campaign and was brought to Saint Denis in Paris to be buried near the patron saint in 768. Pepin had not only maintained his father's policy of containing the Moors, he drove them back across the Pyrenees with the capture of Narbonne. He continued his father's expansion of the Frankish church (missionary work in Germany and Scandinavia) and the infrastructure (feudalism) that would prove the backbone of medieval Europe. Picture here of coronation

March 22nd (continued): For you Vikings TV fans and of Ragnar and his dynasty, the Battle of Marton or Meretum took place on March 22, 871, at a place recorded as Marton, perhaps in Wiltshire or Dorset, after ÆTHELRED of WESSEX was forced (along with his brother Alfred) into flight following their costly victory against an army of Danish invaders at the Battle of Ashdown. They had retreated to Basing (in Hampshire), where he suffered defeat at the hands of Ivar the Boneless, a son of Ragnar. The TV Vikings program (first aired 19 March 2015) has suggested that the Egbert's grandchildren (Æthelred and ALFRED) had different fathers and that that he double-crossed Ragnar's clan. This battle (and death) would have been payback of a sorts.

Meretum became the last of eight battles known to be fought by Æthelred against the Danes in that year. The oft defeated King is reported to have died on April 15, 871. Whether he died in another battle, or from wounds suffered at Meretum is unclear. The site of that battle is unknown. Suggestions have included a place at the borders of the London Borough of Merton, Merton in Oxfordshire, Marden in Wiltshire or Martin in Dorset. The more westerly locations tend to be favored because King Æthelred was buried in the Wimborne Minster in Dorset soon thereafter. Merriton, on the banks of the River Stour, a few miles downstream of Wimborne, also provides a place for a short, simple journey by burial barge. ALFRED the GREAT followed King Æthelred, who was Alfred's brother. Alfred ruled to his death in 900AD (some sources say 901).

March 22nd might also be called US History day. On this day in 1508, Ferdinand II of Aragon confirmed Amerigo Vespucci to the post of chief navigator of the expanding Spanish Empire. The "Americas" are named after him according to most history books. He was, however, an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. He died a few years later. On March 22, 1621, The Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony sign a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags, just a few months after arriving, surviving the first terrible winter. Exactly a year later at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia a massacre occurred. A group of native Algonquian warriors killed 347 English settlers, a third of the colony's population, a battle that took place during the second Anglo-Powhatan War. As if survival was not enough of a worry for the founders, on this date in 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony (the Puritans not the Pilgrims) outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and tables for gaming (games of chance). The American eastern seaboard was never the same after that.

The Puritans still remained unsatisfied, so on March 22, 1638, the colony expelled Anne Hutchinson for her religious dissent. This was one of the events that stands in background of the Bill of Rights. While Anne remained a Puritan, her strong religious convictions conflicted with the Boston crowd (clergy); yet, her popularity and charisma created a theological schism, threatening peace and prosperity according to some reports. As a follower of Rev. John Cotton, she espoused a covenant of grace while accusing all of the local ministers (except for Cotton and her husband's brother-in-law, John Wheelwright) of preaching the covenant of works. Her excommunication and banishment led to the founding of Rhode Island (Providence). Sometime after continued tensions with Massachusetts she moved to a foreign land- New Netherland. In August 1643, Hutchinson and all but one of the 15 other members of her household were massacred during an attack of natives in the Bronx (then a Dutch Colony). One 9 year-old daughter survived and was taken captive by the tribe, eventually traded to the English, after which she married John Cole, and with him had 11 children. The man who claimed to have murdered Anne, took possession of her land until he transferred it in 1664. One descendant bearing the Hutchinson name was her ill-fated great-great-grandson, Thomas Hutchinson, who was a loyalist Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay at the time of the Boston Tea Party, an event leading to the American Revolutionary War.

On this date in 1713, the conflict with the Tuscaroran tribe ended with the fall of tribal fort Neoheroka (Greene County), effectively opening up the interior of North Carolina to European colonization. The fortification was besieged and ultimately attacked by a colonial militia from the neighboring Province of South Carolina, under the command of Colonel James Moore. It consisted mainly of native tribal members, including warriors from the Yamasee, Apalachee, Catawba, Cherokee and others. The siege lasted for more than three weeks. Hundreds of men, women and children died in the fire that destroyed Neoheroka.

One Hundred and Twenty-seven (127) years after expelling Anne, in 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act. It introduced a levy directly on its American colonies. The Bostonians once again in acrimony protested, even though the British had spent great sums to protect them during the French-Indian War. The act was repealed in response to the protests, but taxes on tea would cause the party in Boston of the same name, and eventually a Revolution began in Massachusetts.

March 22, 1775 -- Edmund Burke -- From his speech on conciliation with America:

* * * The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord, fomented from principle, in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the juridical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple peace, sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. * * *

Interestingly, on this date in 1820, Stephen Decatur (b. 1779), an heroic American naval officer during the War of 1812 (and the conflict with muslims in Tripoli), died from wounds received in a duel with a man on whose court martial he once served.

March 23, 1743: Georg Frideric Händel's oratorio Messiah had its London premiere. King George II attended. In the middle of the "Hallelujah Chorus" (the last portion of the epic composition), the sovereign rose to his feet in appreciation ! The entire audience followed suit out of respect for the King. So from the beginning came the custom of standing during the Hallelujah finale. Franz Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major, also known as the Surprise Symphony, premiered in London, on this date in 1792.

The first audience to hear the Messiah largely lived in Dublin in late-1742. They gave to it what is reported to be the greatest ovation in that city's history. Some weeks later, when the Londoners heard the presentation, it again was a triumph.

Behold, I tell you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we {all} shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

An interesting aside: On April 6, 1759, Georg Friedrich Händel accompanied the orchestra and choir on the organ during a performance of the Messiah for the final concert of the Easter season. He passed away just eight days later, on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. His remains lie in Abbey church at Westminster.

Voici, je vous dis un mystère:
nous ne mourrons pas tous, mais tous nous serons changés, en un instant,
en un clin d'œil, à la dernière trompette.

La trompette sonnera, et les morts ressusciteront incorruptibles,
et nous, nous serons changés.
Car il faut que ce corps corruptible revête l'incorruptibilité,
et que ce corps mortel revête l'immortalité. trans. par Louis Segond (1910)

March 23, 1775: In a speech before the Virginia Provincial Convention, American revolutionary Patrick Henry made his famous plea for independence from Britain. Give me liberty, or give me death ! In 1776, Henry was elected Governor of Virginia. He was re-elected for three terms and then succeeded by Thomas Jefferson. He was again elected to the office in 1784. Patrick Henry was a strong critic of the constitution proposed in 1787. He was in favor of the strongest possible government for the individual states, and a weak federal government.

March 23, 1806: This is the day that the Lewis and Clark expedition set out from the West Coast on its return to the East. Read the journal entries HERE or HERE.

Altho' we have not fared Sumptuously this winter & Spring at Fort Clatsop, we have lived quite as comfortably as we had any reason to expect we Should; and have accomplished every object which induced our remaining at this place except that of meeting with the traders who visit the entrance of this river. Our Salt will be very sufficient to last us to the Missouri where we have a Stock in Store. Clark: March 20th

Salt was vital to the survival of the Corps of Discovery. The crew began the journey with 12 casks of salt, but soon consumed them. Curing meat became impossible. The expedition nearly starved on several occasions when fresh meet proved unavailable. Upon reaching the mouth of the Columbia River in late 1805, Fort Clatsop was erected. Three men ventured to the beach at what is now Seaside, Oregon to boil down the sea water to make salt. In 50 days they obtained 4 bushels of salt and were thus able to preserve food and survive the return trek. This salt was genuine, pure Pacific Sea Salt and contained no added iodine or man-made impurities, except perhaps something from some rusty black-iron pots !

March 23, 1990: The U.S. Postal Service issued a 25-cent stamp commemorating an airy feature film: Gone With the Wind. The movie had won eight Oscars (Academy Awards of 1940), including Best Picture.  Among the other winners, Hattie McDaniel received the Best Supporting Actress award.  Ms. McDaniel was the first African-American (actress or actor) to receive an Oscar in any category.

March 24, 1882: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, US poet (Song of Hiawatha), died. He is the sole American honored with a bust in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine (February 27, 1807). He was also famous for, inter alia, The Children's Hour   and   Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie.

Like unto shipwrecked Paul on Melita's desolate sea-shore,
Thus he approached the place where Evangeline sat . . . .

March 24, 1896: Russia independently invents it first: Alexander Stepanovich Popov [Алекса́ндр Степа́нович Попо́в] was a Russian physicist who communicated messages by radio waves. On March 24, 1896, he demonstrated transmission of of a message by radio waves between different campus buildings in St Petersburg, where some accounts say the Morse code message ГЕНРИХ ГЕРЦ (meaning HEINRICH HERTZ) was received from a transmitter 250 meters away and transcribed on the blackboard by the president of the Physical and Chemical Society. Popov and Marconi's early work seems to have been done without knowledge of each others system, although reading Marconi’s June 1896 patent disclosures led Popov to develop a long range wireless telegraphy system. He exhibited what was billed as the first radio at the All-Russia Exhibition of 1896.

In the Kosovo War (March 24, 1999): NATO commences aerial bombardment against Yugoslavia (Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo), one of the traditional Russian allies. This event marked the first time NATO had attacked a sovereign nation. The Clinton Administration (through the US military presence within NATO) deployed and used depleted uranium ordinance (such as bunker-busting bombs, anti-tank shells and rockets). AS the only NATO member to cross that boundary, the USA denied usage at first. Such weapons also were widely used in Iraq. This week (in 2015) saw a test of wills when Russia threatened use of tactical nuclear weapons against Denmark, a NATO member. We have yet to learn, whether (or not) Vladimir (Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин) was named after Vlad the Impaler or Vladimir Lenin, although his cunning ways have seen much play in the US media as of late.

Elsewhere in the arena of fine arts this day -- March 24, 1958, Rock-n-Roll radio idol Elvis Presley won the draft and would enter the U.S. Army. He served in Germany under Sgt. Bilko's command. Just a few years later on this date in 1965 at Mount Kennedy, in the Yukon, US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reached the top of a peak that had been named by Canadian government in honor of the Senator's late brother, President John F. Kennedy; and thereby became the first person to scale this highest (and at the time) unclimbed mountain in North America. On March 24, 1934, James A. Farley, the Postmaster General, announced that FDR himself had selected the subject for the 1934 Mother's Day stamp:

you may find her in a french museum

March 25, 1584: Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer, courtier and writer, thieving murderer, bane of the Irish renewed Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America. He established the Virginia colony on Roanoke Island (1587), first English Colony in the Americas. Among the colonists was Virginia Dare, born at Roanoke, for whom a stamp was issued in 1937, 350 years after her birth. The stamp was first offered for sale on August 18, 1937, at Manteo, N.C., near the site of the original colony. It was a five-cent denomination, unusual because first-class postage was normally much less, just three (3) cents. The colony was unusual, too -- it vanished without a trace. The Mint of the United States also issue a commemorative half-dollar (25,000) that year.

Twenty-five years later, Henry Hudson would embark on his third voyage, for the Dutch East India Company, claiming the New York area (new Holland) for the Dutch. Exactly another twenty-five years later, the Catholic colony of Maryland was founded by English colonists sent by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. Although he had a Charter from the English King, he lost the Colony twice (during the English Civil Wars). On March 25, 1655, supporters of Parliament (Cromwell) imprisoned his ex-governor and executed four others. Cecil Calvert sent his 24-year-old son Charles to Maryland in 1661, to be governor after he regained control of the Colony for the second time.

After the dry spell of 1929-33, in which no new commemorative coin types were issued by the United States Mint, the Maryland half dollar was at the vanguard of new issues, beginning in 1934. Although it was not the first new issue authorized (that honor going to the Texas half dollar), it was the first one coined and distributed. As such, it ushered in a golden age of commemorative coinage that lasted another five years.

March 25, 1765: Following Great Britain's victory in the French and Indian War, King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763. One of its provisions was to extend Georgia's southern boundary from the Altamaha River to the St. Mary's river. Two years later, on March 25, 1765, Governor James Wright approved an act of the General Assembly creating four new parishes -- St. David, St. Patrick, St. Thomas, and St. Mary -- in the newly acquired land, and further assigning Jekyll Island to St. James Parish. Here is a map showing the Georgia's colonial parishes. Twelve years later, the Constitution of 1777 combined St. David and St. Patrick parishes into the new county of Glynn, and St. Thomas and St. Mary into a new county called Camden. Never-the-less, the presiding bishop claims these Parishes as her own, regardless of the legislative intent to the contrary. see our page on the Golden Isles if you want more information -- HERE.

March 25, 1968: It's a little bit spooky, but on this day over 50 years ago, a new Radio voice appeared in Atlanta -- WREK - Ramblin WREK Radio. The original “board” (a radio term for the mixer that allows the announcer to control signal levels on all the inputs to the radio transmitter) was originally used by the Grand Ole Opry. WSM was also willing to donate a transmission tower. The station started at 17 watts and grew overtime. So the big news is that WREK received its new transmitter this month (in 2008). Actually, it was delivered, installed and tested in time for the 40th anniversary of the station.

Also on this date in 1968, the Monkees TV show (with Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork) last aired on the Network Hey, hey ... ; Secretary Clark Clifford convened his dinner meeting of Wise Men, a dozen distinguished elder statesmen and soldiers, including former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and World War II General Omar Bradley at the State Department (Given a blunt assessment of the situation in Vietnam, all but 4 would advocate withdrawal in a lunch meeting with President Johnson the next day); an airplane crashes in the Irish Sea; flight crews already are preparing an aircraft (an F-111a) for its first combat mission in in SE Asia; At Olympic Sound Studios, with Mick Jagger on lead vocals and Keith Richards performing acoustic rhythm as well as electric guitar work ... ; the Reverend Martin Luther King, PhD speaks at national rabbinical convention at the Concord Resort Hotel in New York’s Catskills Mountains (, while RFK wrote a memo to his headquarters, outlining his presidential campaign strategy; a Paris-based reporter, Jeffrey Paley (William Paley, president of CBS was his father) was trying to interview Jim Garrison (!topic/alt.conspiracy.jfk/FfabJ887BmM); Today's guest stars -- Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Pam Austin (Dodge Spokesman and movie interest of Elvis) appear on Laugh-In, where a “Mod, Mod World” looks at the 1968 Olympics -- this episode wins an Emmy, with appearances by Regis Philbin and John Wayne, too; John Joseph Cardinal Carberry was installed as Archbishop of St. Louis (made a Cardinal a year later by Pope Paul VI); Stevie Wonder releases I'm Wondering on Motown Records; Kiss Me Kate a musical appears on ABC TV (in its third release) casting Robert Goulet, Carol Lawrence, Michael Callan, Jessica Walter, and Marty Ingels in the lead roles.

This Webmaster wandered through the doors of the offices and studio of WREK in the fall of 1969 and witnessed some early progressive improvements -- the move away from the Top Forty format, the "new" used-Gates transmitter, stereo, live concerts, automation, WAVES, classics intermingled with the regular and oldies playlist, new audio compressors, modern logo (a concept (image) remaining in use). The item to the right shows a former General Manager as well as a station op with glasses (circa 1969-70). Guess who ? Bonne Chance !! More Pictures HERE.

March 26, 809: Today commemorates the death date of Saint Liudger (742-809) St. Liudger, born near Utrecht (Modern Holland) in about 742, was a missionary to the Friesians and Saxons. He followed after the Martyrdom of Saint Boniface (Apostle to the Hessorum) whose work he wished to continue further to the north (lower Rhine). He studied under Alquin (who invented lower-case letters and punctuation) and enjoyed a lifelong association with him. Ordained a priest in 777 in Cologne, he undertook missionary effort among the pagans near the mouth of the Ems (787 -- Near modern Emden, Germany). Liudger was effective because he knew the language of the germanic tribes inhabiting the area.

In 793 Charlemagne (Karl der Große) offered Liudger the Bishopric of Trier, but Liudger declined, expressing a preference to continue his missionary work among the Saxons. In this effort he built a monastery in the more eastern Saxon territories. The city that grew around the monastery came to be known as Münster. He founded a convent for women in about 803 and placed his sister, Sainte Gerburgis at its head. This was the first convent in Westphalia. In 805 he became the first Bishop of Münster. Four years later he died (809), entombed in Werden, where he had built a monastery and a church. His designation as a saint precedes the practice of canonization by a pope. Werden is now part of Essen (Essen-Werden).

Werden commuters on the way to the train station (S-Bahnhof), pass by its ancient church, perhaps without knowing its history or significance, as this Webmaster would have done some 50 years ago. An 830, der Heliand, die sächsische Bibel in Stabreimen, entsteht im Kloster Werden; An 1550, die Reformation in Werden beginnt mit Peter Ullner, Pfarrer an der Luciuskirche; au 9ème siècle à la bibliothèque de cloître Werdener. La Bible de Wulfilas en argent trouvée des Goths, le Codex Argenteus, à l'empereur Rudolf II à Prague en 1573- aujourd'hui dans Uppsala. An 1877, die Eisenbahnstrecke von Werden nach Essen wird eröffnet. An 1929, Werden verliert nach 612 Jahren die Selbständigkeit - heute Stadtteil von Essen. Our Essen page is HERE.

March 26, 1812: A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term "gerrymander." It describes oddly shaped electoral districts (named after Governor Gerry) designed by the state legislature (Jeffersonian party) to help incumbents win reelection against the Federalists. The gazette began a weekly publication December 21, 1719. Contributors included such men as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Some have argued that it became the most influential newspaper this country has ever known, the motivating force for the onset Revolutionary War in 1775. After the Revolution the paper lost its more famous contributors; its tone and policy changed. Now, it opposed the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. It argued against the administration of President Washington. As a consequence, it declined in power and "popular favor." After a long economic struggle it ceased publication in 1798. A new paper with a similar name, covering Commercial and Political items, began operation in the 19th Century (the Library of Congress has an issue from as early as October 9th 1800 (1800 - 1802 is the official timeline of the publication that continued J. Russell's Gazette under the Boston name)). The name reappeared almost immediately in 1803; the last publishing date for that newspaper is May 25, 1840, but it never had the power and force of the original.
March 27, 1513 (Easter Sunday): The term Pascua Florida, which in Spain originally meant just Palm Sunday, was later also applied to the whole festival of Easter Week. Thus, the State of Florida received its name when, on this day, Juan Ponce de Léon first sighted the shore and named the discovery in honor of the great feast.

March 27, 1814 -- War of 1812: President, but then only General, Andrew Jackson's Division, wins the Battle of Horseshoe {Bend}, Mississippi Territory (in what would become the State of Alabama). In the Battle of Horseshoe Bend along the Tallapoosa River, one thousand Red Stick Creeks became the enemy (Jackson permitted women and children to leave prior to the conflict). This event, along with the Battle of New Orleans (Chalmette Plantation), propelled Jackson into National prominence. He comanded 2700 regulars and other Native Americans (600), representatives of tribes who he later forced out of the South during the Trail of Tears. Only 200 of his enemy in 1814 escaped (into the Florida swamps). The Battle took place on March 27th, and by April 9th a Treaty had transferred 23 million acres to the Uncle Sam. A future governor of Tennessee and Texas) (whose Birthday was March 2nd) served as a 3rd Lieutenant, receiving a wound that troubled him for the rest of his life. The campaign was the direct result of the Massacre at Fort Mims (north of Mobile). Private Robert McMurry was in a Company commanded by Captain George Chapman (2nd Regiment-TN Militia- Col. Archer Cheatham). It was called the War with the Creek Indians. Robert was drafted at Springfield 1814 for a term of 3 months and served 3 mo. 15 days (116 days). His Honorable Discharge was dated May 10, 1814, and he left the Militia at Fayettsville (Fayetteville). see;

Also at the battle was John Ross. A Native American, he was adjutant to Revolutionary War hero Colonel Gideon Morgan (also known as A’gansta’ta (Oconostota) out of respect). Morgan led a regiment of the Cherokee in the War of 1812 against the hostile Creeks in such battles as Tallasehatche, Talladega, Auttose and Horseshoe Bend. Ross, after that war ended, became a wealthy planter. In 1827 he moved to Georgia. Oh, the afore mentioned 3rd Lieutenant's name was Sam Houston. He had just turned 21.

March 27, 1836 - Palm Sunday: After two days of battle (March 19th and 20th), some 300 Georgia volunteers and others fighting in the War for Texas Independence under Colonel James Walker Fannin and Lt. Colonel William Ward (who also were Georgians) surrendered to a much larger Mexican Army. Many thought that Fannin had negotiated a surrender which would allow the troops in his command to be paroled. The prisoners were marched to Presidio La Bahia (Goliad). Many, including Fannin, were injured. Thereafter, upon Santa Anna's order, the prisoners were executed on Palm Sunday as pirates under a decree of December 30, 1835, that applied to captured armed rebels. Of course the Georgians technically were not rebels, just armed combatants fighting a foreign power on behalf of another country, Texas. This tragedy so inflamed Georgians that many would volunteer to fight during the Mexican War a decade later. Remember Goliad - Remember the Alamo !!! -- these became the battle cries in that later war, as well as at San Jacinto just a few weeks later.

As for Colonel Fannin, Georgia named a county for him, the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. This Fannin County was created in 1854 from portions of Union County and Gilmer County, with Morganton as the first county seat. Fannin County Texas was created on December 14, 1837, along with 39 North Texas counties all carved out of the premier Red River County. Fannin's entire command, together with William Ward and the Georgia Battalion, were shot in the Goliad Massacre on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The murder of these men culminated a long series of defeats by the Texas Patriots and gave the Dictator a sense of invincibility.

Of note, Fanin's men first unfurled the Texas flag as we know it today. This flag was made by Johanna Troutman of Knoxville, Georgia. In 1835, Colonel Fannin had made the appeal for a Georgia battalion to aid the Texas cause. Miss Troutman presented this flag to Colonel Fannin before he returned back to Texas with the volunteers. The flag was first flown at Velasco on January 8, 1836 and was carried into battle at Goliad in March 1836. White Flag-Blue Star -- -- (many pictures)

Dr. Lauro Cavazos, former president of Texas Tech University and Secretary of Education 1988-1990 under Presidents Reagan and Bush, the first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Cabinet, descends from Señora Francita Alavez, the Angel of Goliad. The museum at Presidio La Bahia contains several items related to her; but except for her lifesaving actions, she is largely unknown in the Texas Pantheon . She was directly responsible for enabling a few men to survive the execution that took some 322 lives.

March 27, 1964: On Good Friday, Valdez, Alaska (Prince William Sound), was rocked by a very great earthquake. Indeed, it was thought to be the largest seismic event ever recorded in North America with the force of billions of tons of TNT. In 1977 seismologists pegged the quake at 9.2 on the Richter scale, although there have been later reevaluations of the intensity. It lasted 4 minutes, followed by tsunamis and fires. Over 100 persons died at Valdez. Survivors moved 4 miles west to solid bedrock and rebuilt the town. Tremendous destruction also occurred in Anchorage. Much of Crescent City, California was demolished by an unexpected tsunami, also created by this quake.

March 27, 1970: The late Georgia Governor, Lester Maddox, approved the state's first legislation designed to protect the Georgia's coastal marshlands. The law (Coastal Marshlands Protection Act, as amended (O.C.G.A. §§12-5-280, et seq.)) prohibited any person from removing, filling, dredging, draining or otherwise altering any marsh without first obtaining a permit from the newly created Coastal Marshlands Protection Agency. That agency has since been folded into the Georgia's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It now functions as a Committee under the Coastal Resources Division of DNR.

March 27, 2005: This day is Easter in the Western Church. Within the Orthodox Church, feast days and fast days are reckoned according to two distinct calendars, the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar. The first is attributed to the Roman Emperor Julius Cæsar, whose name it bears. It was later corrected in the sixteenth century by Pope Gregory XIII due to the increasing discrepancy between calendar time and calculated astronomical time. The Gregorian Calendar corrected the error, but was not accepted fully by all Orthodox Churches for all events. So for some, Easter is the 27th of March and others May 1st in 2005.

March 28, 845 and within 5 days on TV in 2015: Marauding Viking pirates sack Paris (la Ville Lumière), a capital of the former Merovingian dynasty of the Franks. The group collects a huge ransom for leaving the city intact, and this gang goes on to plunder elsewhere in France. The crews find the French microclimate and land satisfying. In another 100 years, voila, the northmen become upstanding citizens of France, no longer estranged. In about another 100 years, some turn into the Norman rulers of England, with a claim on the French throne. A Viking Timeline for France is here. In particular, Rollo (c. 846 – c. 932), baptized Robert and so sometimes numbered Robert I to distinguish him from his descendants, was a Viking established and became the first ruler of the French Viking principality, which became known as Normandy. His descendants were the Dukes of Normandy; and, following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Kings of England.

The Viking fleet may have consisted of as many as 120 vessels. It sailed up the Seine River, commanded by Ragnar, past Rouen, taking captives, pillaging monasteries and towns on either of the river banks. On Easter Day, 845 the fleet sacked Paris. The protection-money came from the King, a tribute given the hoard to basically go away. This Danish Viking, Ragnar, was probably the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok (Ragnar died in Northumbria 862-866 after being tossed into a pit of snakes). Lodbrok's line can be traced back only to his great-grandfather, as is the case with his second wife Aslaug Sigurdsdottir. Lodbrok by her, fathered Ivar the Boneless, King of Dublin, and Sigurd Snake-in-Eye (d. 873). see generally

Other Highlights: In about 4500 BC a canoe (pirogue) sank along the Seine between the Bercy and Cour Saint-Emilion Métro stop (ligne 14). This will become the first evidence of a settled presence in the Paris region. It was placed on display in September 2000 at the Carnavalet Museum. About 250 years before the birth of Christ, a native tribe of Celtic people settled on the banks of the Seine River. They called the setting Loukteih, meaning a marshy place. Two hundred years later (52 B.C.), Roman soldiers arrive in Paris, beginning a long tradition of strangers marching into the town. There, after the usual rousing parade, Julius Cæsar holds an assembly at the local hôtel de ville. The new owners embark on a building spree for economic stimulus on a nearby hill. The Romans called the tribe that occupies the area the Parisii. Cæsar identifies the city as Lutetia Parisorum, a Latinized version of the Celtic names, in his famous work that extols the virtues and victories of his campaign in Gaul. see generally Our map of that Romanized city is HERE.

Place where St Denis lost his headIn 250 AD, the Romans beheaded Denis, Bishop of the Parisii (he also known as Dionysius), in the area of Paris that is now named for the hill of the martyred saint, Montmartre. The Church of Saint Pierre today sits on the spot (pictured right. Legend recites that the good bishop carries his head, after it is severed from his body, north (down the hill) to the place now known as the site of the abbey of St. Denis. Saint Denis is most often depicted headless, head in hand. Denis, the first bishop of Paris (pronounced dawn-ee) and his companions, martyred in 270AD on a large hill overlooking Gare du Nord and all Paris, were buried several miles north of the spot of the execution. The small chapel built over the spot and named for this martyr, became a very famous, pilgrimage church, during the fifth and sixth centuries. In 630 King Dagobert (a Merovingian ruler of France) founded an abbey for Benedictine monks, replacing the original chapel by a large basilica. This basilique has been much rebuilt and expanded -- only the burial crypt remains of the original structure; however, it was desecrated during the Revolution.

In about 300AD, barbarians destroy the city. By 360AD the city name of "Paris" had become official and Emperor Julian of the late Roman Empire (in the West) is crowned there. Moving along about 90 years, we find Attila, a Hun of some renown, heading toward Paris. A young nun named Geneviève encourages the Parisians to pray and stand firm against the impending onslaught and certain death. Attila's legions avoid Paris and are defeated at Châlons. Geneviève, hailed as the city's savioress' is named later the patron Sainte of Paris. What is now the Panthéon in Paris was originally built as a church to be named and dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève. The original church of that name sat on the highest point of a hill -- over 70 meters above the river -- looking west towards what was the Roman forum and city centre.

The Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, where now rest Saintes Geneviève and Clotilda (Clotilde-former Princess of ancient Burgundy) and Clovis, Roi of all Franks (in 1996 the country celebrated the 1500th anniversary of his baptism on December 25th), stands next to the Panthéon (to the north and the east) on the hill that dominates the left bank. These are the founding patrons of Paris and the French Nation (along with St. Denis). The first parish church of St. Étienne (the area of the old Roman forum) arose in the 6th century out of the Abbey of Ste. Geneviève. It used the burial crypt of the structure for its worship space. Not until the 13th century was a separate church built, on the north side of the abbey on the crest of the hill overlooking the Seine. An ever-growing parish resulted in a new structure begun in the year before Columbus left for the New World (1491). Successive stages of construction help explain the mixture of architectural styles, making it one of the most uncommon Église in 16th Century Paris. The vaults of the apse and the bell tower appeared in 1491, the chancel in 1537, the gallery in 1545; finally, the vaults of the nave and the transept were completed in 1580. The bell tower is raised in 1624 and the portal is built in 1610. After the Revolution the demolition of the Abbey church, in 1807, disturbs the balance of its façade. This church contains Pascal’s tomb, who died while he was in the parish territory and Racine’s ashes -- transferred to this church from Port-Royal in 1711. Furthermore, it contains the shrine of St. Geneviève’s remains (left), the patron sainte of Paris. The reliquary contains only a few fingers, bones and ashes, because during the Revolution, the remains were burned.

The three ancient schools of Notre-Dame, Ste-Geneviève, and St-Victor may be regarded as the triple cradle of the universitas scholarium, which included masters and students; hence the name University. Read about the first student strike in Paris, 1226AD -- it caused the changes that led to the founding of the historic University of Paris. The Université de Paris is often referred to as the Sorbonne or La Sorbonne after the collegiate institution (Collège de Sorbonne) founded about 1257. The University of Paris VIII: Vincennes - Saint-Denis was organized in response to the student strikes of 1968. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose !!! Perhaps Sainte Geneviève will yet appear once more, and save her people from the barbarians.

March 28, 1889: Atlanta lumber dealer George V. Gress and railroad contractor Thomas J. James attended an auction of a bankrupt traveling circus at the Fulton County courthouse. The two joined together for the winning bid of $4,485.00. James wanted the circus wagons and railroad cars for his business, while Gress was interested in the collection of circus animals. A few days later, Gress offered the animals and their cages to the city of Atlanta. Several days after that, the Atlanta City Council decided to locate the animals in Grant Park. Gress then built a large brick building to house the animals, giving Atlanta its first zoo. In 1893, Gress and Charles Northern would purchase a cycloramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta. They placed it in Grant Park for public viewing. Over the next six years, Gress donated the $12,000 in admissions to the Cyclorama for use in helping Atlanta's poor children. Finally, in 1898, Gress donated the painting to the City of Atlanta.
How soon they forget -- March 28, 1930: The Greek peoples of Byzantium originally founded it on the European side of what today is the Bosphorus strait. Emperor Constantine (the First) renamed it Nova Roma, but the grand City became known as Constantinople, a more compelling name, reflecting its great ruler and its Greek heritage. Nova Roma became the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire for 1050 years (395 to 1453); moreover, after about 100 years, it was the only portion of the once vast empire to remain a single political entity. As the seat of the Ottoman Empire for another 465 years, the city stantinople began sounding like stamboul to the locals, and officially as Qusţanţanīya, which means "The City of Constantine" in Arabic. It officially became Istanbul at about the same time that the village of Angora became Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Mostafa Kamal Ata Turk had created the Turkish Republic out of the ruins of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. These two changes in name only were but the last official touches. see

March 29, 1638: Immigrants establish New Sweden, the first settlement in Delaware by Swedish Lutherans and Finnish émigrés. They were the first to build log cabins in America. English colonists did not know how to build houses from logs, but those immigrants who had lived in the forests of Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland did. German pioneers (called Dutch), who settled in Pennsylvania, built the log cabins there in the early 1700s. The Scotch-Irish immigrants who settled in the Appalachian highlands after 1720 made the widest use of log cabins. By the time of the American Revolution, cabins from logs were the principal dwelling type along the western frontier (Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio), and this architectural motif migrated westward from there. see

The Colony was established under Swedish jurisdiction (1637), however the Dutch sent in occupying troops in 1655 and technical Swedish sovereignty over New Sweden was at an end. Never-the-less, a Swedish and Finnish presence remained very much in evidence. In fact, Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant permitted the colonists to continue to be a Swedish Nation, governed by a court of their choosing, free to practice their religion. They organized their own militia, retained their land holdings and traded with the native people. This independent colony continued until 1681, when an Englishman, William Penn, received his charter for Pennsylvania, which included the three lower counties that comprise present-day Delaware.

30 Mars 1349: The Dauphiné is an alpine region which extends around Vienne and Grenoble. On March 30, 1349, the King of France presents the Dauphiné to his son Charles to assure him a steady income. In addition, Charles (the future Charles V) will gain the title of Dauphin of Vienne, who was one of the counts of Dauphiné region since 1192. Until the nineteenth century, all heirs of the Kingdom of France will get this title and will be titled "Dauphin." Also on this date Sébastien de Vauban (1633 - 1707) died in Paris. He was born on May first in Saint-Léger-de-Foucherets (Bourgogne, France). He acquired the reputation as the best engineer of his time. He would be elevated to "la dignité de Maréchal de France." He would be instrumental in convincing Louis XIV to create the Order of Saint Louis, which recognizes the important contributions of French people. His tomb was profaned during the Revolution. Napoleon transferred his heart to the Dome of the Invalids in 1808.

March 30, 1867: The U.S. Secretary of State, William H. Seward, reached agreement with Russia's Baron Stoeckl to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, or about two and one-half cents an acre for all that gold, oil, timber, ice and beauty. This purchase, soundly ridiculed as Seward's Folly, Seward's Icebox or President Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Garden, was signed the next day and later approved by the US Senate by only one vote. Tennessee born President Johnson took office after Lincoln's death, was impeached but not convicted, yet had this remarkable vision of America's future, despite the petty politics of the time.

Few persons remember that William H. Seward, former governor, U.S. Senator from New York and Secretary of State under Lincoln and Johnson was the leading Republican contender in a three-way contest for the post of President in the 1860 election; however on the third ballot Lincoln won. In fact, Seward first lost the nomination for the presidential election against John C. Frémont in 1856. Secretary Seward was brutally stabbed in his Washington home on April 14, 1865, the same night President Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theater. The attacker, Lewis Powell, a co-conspirator with Booth, injured five people in the nighttime action. Seward recovered from his injuries and continued to serve as Secretary of State, visiting Alaska during the Grant Administration.

March 30, 2006: We cry tears of joy for her release and we pray for the swift and safe release of all others still in captivity. -- An American journalist Jill Carroll was freed in Iraq on Thursday, nearly three months after being kidnapped in Baghdad.

March 31, 1831: Born this day in Scotland: Archibald Scott Couper in Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire. This chemist discovered the tetra-valency of carbon and the ability of carbon atoms to bond with one another to form long chains, which concepts are fundamental to modern organic chemistry. He also created the symbolic use of a line between element symbols to indicate chemical bonding. This Scotsman sought to publish his ideas with the French Academy of Sciences, in a paper delivered through his superior, Adolphe Würtz. Couper's efforts were not forwarded in a timely fashion, and August Kekulé published the same, although independently derived, idea of tetra-valence first, thereby depriving Couper of his due fame.

Archibald Scott Couper's father was in the business of textiles. Key to the manufacture of these types of materials are their dyestuffs. A number of chemical companies grew out of the research into textile substitutes, such as nylon, rayon and other plastic-like fibers -- and dyes, too -- none of which could have risen without Couper's discovery. For example, the Hoechst facility, just downriver from Frankfurt, has been a chemical manufacturing site for over 150 years. The aniline dye factory "Theerfarbenfabrik Meister, Lucius & Co." at Höchst am Main was founded in 1863, forming the basis for Hoechst AG. Just as the story, of how Progil {also a dyestuffs firm} and other companies became Rhône-Poulenc Chimie S.A., the Hoechst story has taken many twists and turns. Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst AG combined into a drug manufacturing firm, Aventis in the not too distant past..

March 31, 1889: Today marks a completion date. Born, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, in Dijon France -- A man who could cut the mustard, he designed many important bridges and viaducts. Of course, you know him well for his notable work, the Statue of Liberty. He became the structural engineer on that project, completed in Paris in 1884. He also did the Tour Eiffel, begun in 1887 on the Champs-de-Mars, at a cost of about $1 million for the Parisian World Exhibition of 1889. On March 31st in the year 1889, this famous Paris landmark would open to the dismay of some at the time. At 985 feet high, it was the highest structure in the world until 1930, when a building in NYC was built with a pretty fair view of Lady Liberty. In spite of all of this, in 1893 France condemned him to two years' imprisonment plus fines for a criminal breach of trust in connection with the failed French attempt at building a canal in Panama.

March 31, 1943: Its pre-Broadway try-out was at New Haven's Shubert in 1943, under a forgettable title. The show, "Away We Go," was renamed. It had a honeymoon run when it opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City, this day in history. That is, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances -- until 1948. The musical has grossed millions of dollars as an onstage production, on and off Broadway. As a blockbuster movie it broke records. Still running in an occasional revival today, it has become legendary among musicals -- it was retitled -- OK -- wait for it -- Oklahoma?

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

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