ON THIS DAY – March 22nd

ON THIS DAY – March 22nd

1765
Stamp Act imposed on American colonies

In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British government passed the Stamp Act. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice.

Though the Stamp Act employed a strategy that was a common fundraising vehicle in England, it stirred a storm of protest in the colonies. The colonists had recently been hit with three major taxes: the Sugar Act (1764), which levied new duties on imports of textiles, wines, coffee and sugar; the Currency Act (1764), which caused a major decline in the value of the paper money used by colonists; and the Quartering Act (1765), which required colonists to provide food and lodging to British troops.

With the passing of the Stamp Act, the colonists’ grumbling finally became an articulated response to what they saw as the mother country’s attempt to undermine their economic strength and independence. They raised the issue of taxation without representation, and formed societies throughout the colonies to rally against the British government and nobles who sought to exploit the colonies as a source of revenue and raw materials. By October of that year, nine of the 13 colonies sent representatives to the Stamp Act Congress, at which the colonists drafted the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances,” a document that railed against the autocratic policies of the mercantilist British empire.

Realizing that it actually cost more to enforce the Stamp Act in the protesting colonies than it did to abolish it, the British government repealed the tax the following year. The fracas over the Stamp Act, though, helped plant seeds for a far larger movement against the British government and the eventual battle for independence. Most important of these was the formation of the Sons of Liberty–a group of tradesmen who led anti-British protests in Boston and other seaboard cities–and other groups of wealthy landowners who came together from the across the colonies. Well after the Stamp Act was repealed, these societies continued to meet in opposition to what they saw as the abusive policies of the British empire. Out of their meetings, a growing nationalism emerged that would culminate in the fighting of the American Revolution only a decade later.

source = www.history.com

ON THIS DAY

1871
Journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his famous search through Africa for the missing British explorer Dr. David Livingstone.

In the late 19th century, Europeans and Americans were deeply fascinated by the “Dark Continent” of Africa and its many mysteries. Few did more to increase Africa’s fame than Livingstone, one of England’s most intrepid explorers. In August 1865, he set out on a planned two-year expedition to find the source of the Nile River. Livingstone also wanted to help bring about the abolition of the slave trade, which was devastating Africa’s population.

Almost six years after his expedition began, little had been heard from Livingstone. James Gordon Bennett, Jr., editor of the New York Herald, decided to capitalize on the public’s craze for news of their hero. He sent Stanley to lead an expedition into the African wilderness to find Livingstone or bring back proof of his death. At age 28, Stanley had his own fascinating past. As a young orphan in Wales, he crossed the Atlantic on the crew of a merchant ship. He jumped ship in New Orleans and later served in the Civil War as both a Confederate and a Union soldier before beginning a career in journalism.

After setting out from Zanzibar in March 1871, Stanley led his caravan of nearly 2,000 men into the interior of Africa. Nearly eight months passed–during which Stanley contracted dysentery, cerebral malaria and smallpox–before the expedition approached the village of Ujiji, on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Sick and poverty-stricken, Livingstone had come to Ujiji that July after living for some time at the mercy of Arab slave traders. When Stanley’s caravan entered the village on October 27, flying the American flag, villagers crowded toward the new arrivals. Spotting a white man with a gray beard in the crowd, Stanley stepped toward him and stretched out his hand: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

These words–and Livingstone’s grateful response–soon became famous across Europe and the United States. Though Stanley urged Livingstone to return with him to London, the explorer vowed to continue his original mission. Livingstone died 18 months later in today’s Zambia; his body was embalmed and returned to Britain, where he was buried in Westminster Abbey. As for Stanley, he returned to Africa to fulfill a promise he had made to Livingstone to find the source of the Nile. He later damaged his reputation by accepting money from King Leopold II of Belgium to help create the Belgian-ruled Congo Free State and promote the slave trade. When he left Africa, Stanley resumed his British citizenship and even served in Parliament, but when he died he was refused burial in Westminster Abbey because of his actions in the Congo Free State.

source = www.history.com

 

ON THIS DAY – March 18th

ON THIS DAY – March 18th

1834
In England, six English agricultural laborers were sentenced to seven years of banishment to Australia’s New South Wales penal colony for their trade union activities.
After several years of reductions in their agricultural wages, a group of workers in Tolpuddle, a small village east of Dorchester, England, formed the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. The union rapidly grew in the area, and it was agreed that the men would not accept work for less than 10 shillings a week. With the urging of the British government, which feared a repetition of the rural unrest of 1830, local authorities arrested six men on charges of taking an unlawful oath, citing an outdated law that had been passed in the late 18th century to deal with naval mutiny. In March 1834, these six men, including one who had never taken the oath, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment at an Australian penal colony.

Public reaction throughout the country made the six into popular heroes, and in 1836, after continual agitation, the sentence against the so-called “Tolpuddle Martyrs” was finally remitted. Only one of the six returned to Tolpuddle; the rest emigrated to Canada, where one Tolpuddle Martyr–John Standfield–became mayor of his district. The popular movement surrounding the Tolpuddle controversy is generally regarded as the beginning of trade unionism in Great Britain.

1852
Henry Wells and William G. Fargo joined with several other investors to launch their namesake business.

The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank–buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California’s growing economy.

In 1857, Wells, Fargo and Co. formed the Overland Mail Company, known as the “Butterfield Line,” which provided regular mail and passenger service along an ever-growing number of routes. In the boom-and-bust economy of the 1850s, the company earned a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable business, and its logo–the classic stagecoach–became famous. For a premium price, Wells, Fargo and Co. would send an employee on horseback to deliver or pick up a message or package.

Wells, Fargo and Co. merged with several other “Pony Express” and stagecoach lines in 1866 to become the unrivaled leader in transportation in the West. When the transcontinental railroad was completed three years later, the company began using railroad to transport its freight. By 1910, its shipping network connected 6,000 locations, from the urban centers of the East and the farming towns of the Midwest to the ranching and mining centers of Texas and California and the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest.

After splitting from the freight business in 1905, the banking branch of the company merged with the Nevada National Bank and established new headquarters in San Francisco. During World War I, the U.S. government nationalized the company’s shipping routes and combined them with the railroads into the American Railway Express, effectively putting an end to Wells, Fargo and Co. as a transportation and delivery business. The following April, the banking headquarters was destroyed in a major earthquake, but the vaults remained intact and the bank’s business continued to grow. After two later mergers, the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company–shortened to the Wells Fargo Bank in 1962–became, and has remained, one of the biggest banking institutions in the United States.

source = www.history.com

ON THIS DAY – March 17th

March 17 is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, who died in the fifth century. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. The Irish have celebrated the holiday for more than 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, so many Irish families attend church in the morning and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the afternoon. Irish bacon and cabbage is the traditional meal that Irish people consume on St. Patrick’s Day.
ON THIS DAY – March 17th

March 17th is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, who died in the fifth century. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. The Irish have celebrated the holiday for more than 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, so many Irish families attend church in the morning and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the afternoon. Irish bacon and cabbage is the traditional meal that Irish people consume on St. Patrick’s Day.

source = www.ask.com

ON THIS DAY – March 17th

March 17th is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, who died in the fifth century. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. The Irish have celebrated the holiday for more than 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, so many Irish families attend church in the morning and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the afternoon. Irish bacon and cabbage is the traditional meal that Irish people consume on St. Patrick’s Day.

source = www.ask.com

ON THIS DAY – The Ides of March

ON THIS DAY – March 15th

THE IDES OF MARCH.

44 BC

One of the most famous men in history was murdered on this day in 44 BC.
Julius Caesar, a man of great intelligence, cunning and courage, had proved to be a brilliant army general. Among his achievements he conquered Gaul (modern France), took the Romans to England for the first time and brought Egypt under Roman control.
This was a time when Rome itself was bogged down in civil wars. The democratic republic was crumbling and individuals from both the rich and poor were struggling for power.
By marching an army on Rome (the famous crossing of the Rubicon river), Caesar became all-powerful. He declared himself Dictator for Life, a position that did not legally exist.
His opponents thought he was aiming to be king. Royalty had been thrown out centuries earlier and the idea of being ruled by a king was not acceptable.
So on March 15th, 44 BC (in Latin, the Ides of Mars) a gang of his enemies ambushed Caesar at the Senate House and stabbed him repeatedly.
As he died, Caesar may have said: “You too, Brutus?” to the man who could have been his illegitimate son.
The ironic thing is that Rome did move to one-man rule – the emperors – and the first of those was Augustus, adopted son of Julius Caesar.

I hope you enjoyed this report which is from my own studies of Roman history.

ON THIS DAY – March 14th

ON THIS DAY – March 14th
 
1879
Albert Einstein was born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered our view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.
 
1958
The Recording Industry Association of America awarded its first Gold Record to Perry Como for “Catch A Falling Star” – a song that was totally our of kilter with the rock ‘n’ roll era.
 
source = www.history.com

ON THIS DAY – March 13th

ON THIS DAY.

March 13th 1996

A Very sad day

At Dunblane, a 13th-century village on the edge of the Scottish Highlands, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton burst into the gymnasium of the Dunblane Primary School with four guns and opened fire on a kindergarten class. Sixteen children and their teacher, Gwenne Mayor, were fatally shot before Hamilton turned the gun on himself. Twelve other children in the class, along with one other adult, were injured.

Hamilton was a single man who lived in public housing in the nearby town of Stirling. A former Boy Scout leader, he had resigned in 1974 following allegations of improper behavior but during the 1980s formed his own youth athletic clubs. The shooting deeply shocked the Scottish village of 9,000 people and led to the passage of more stringent gun bans by the British government. The Dunblane incident was Britain’s worst shooting since Michael Ryan, an unemployed loner and gun enthusiast, shot 16 people and then killed himself in the quiet English town of Hungerford in 1987.

source = www.history.com

ON THIS DAY – March 11th

ON THIS DAY.  March 11th

1818
Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, was published. The book, by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is frequently called the world’s first science fiction novel.

1861
In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopted the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
The constitution contained substantial differences from the U.S. Constitution in its protection of slavery, which was “recognized and protected” in slave states and territories. However, in congruence with U.S. policy since the beginning of the 19th century, the foreign slave trade was prohibited.

1888
One of the worst blizzards in American history struck the Northeast, killing more than 400 people and dumping as much as 55 inches of snow in some areas. New York City ground to a near halt in the face of massive snow drifts.

1985
Mikhail Gorbachev was selected as the new leader of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev oversaw a radical transformation of Soviet society and foreign policy during the next six years.

2004
In Spain, 191 people were killed, and nearly 2,000 injured, when 10 bombs exploded on four trains in three Madrid-area stations during morning rush hour. The bombs were later found to have been detonated by mobile phones.The attacks were the deadliest against civilians on European soil since the 1988 Lockerbie, Scotland, airplane bombing. Evidence mounted against an extreme Islamist militant group loosely tied to, but thought to be working in the name of, al-Qaida.2009

2009
The Toyota Motor Company announced that it has sold over 1 million gas-electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S. The sales were led by the Prius, the world’s first mass-market hybrid car,

source = www.history.com

ON THIS DAY – March 10th

ON THIS DAY.

1969

James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the assassination of African American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

On April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, King was fatally wounded by a sniper’s bullet while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Motel Lorraine. That evening, a Remington .30-06 hunting rifle was found on the sidewalk beside a rooming house one block from the Lorraine Motel. Over the next several weeks, the rifle, eyewitness reports, and fingerprints on the weapon all implicated a single suspect: escaped convict James Earl Ray. A two-bit criminal, Ray escaped a Missouri prison in April 1967 while serving a sentence for a holdup. In May 1968, a massive manhunt for Ray began. The FBI eventually determined that he had obtained a Canadian passport under a false identity, which at the time was relatively easy.

On June 8, Scotland Yard investigators arrested Ray at a London airport. Ray was trying to fly to Belgium, with the eventual goal, he later admitted, of reaching Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe, which was at the time ruled by an oppressive and internationally condemned white minority government. Extradited to the United States, Ray stood before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder in order to avoid the electric chair. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Three days later, he attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming that he was innocent of King’s assassination and had been set up as a patsy in a larger conspiracy. He claimed that in 1967 a mysterious man named “Raoul” had approached him and recruited him into a gunrunning enterprise. On April 4, 1968, however, he realized that he was to be the fall guy for the King assassination and fled for Canada. Ray’s motion was denied, as were his dozens of other requests for a trial over the next 29 years.

During the 1990s, the widow and children of Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke publicly in support of Ray and his claims, calling him innocent and speculating about an assassination conspiracy involving the U.S. government and military. U.S. authorities were, in conspiracists’ minds, implicated circumstantially. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover obsessed over King, who he thought was under communist influence. For the last six years of his life, King underwent constant wiretapping and harassment by the FBI. Before his death Dr. King was also monitored by U.S. military intelligence, who may have been called to watch over King after he publicly denounced the Vietnam War in 1967. Furthermore, by calling for radical economic reforms in 1968, including guaranteed annual incomes for all, King was making few new friends in the Cold War-era U.S. government.

In addition to the mountain of evidence against him, such as his fingerprints on the murder weapon and admitted presence at the rooming house on April 4, Ray had a definite motive in assassinating King: hatred. According to his family and friends, he was an outspoken racist who told them of his intent to kill Martin Luther King. He died in 1998.

source = www.history.com