Sunday, March 3, 2013

“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa

Hope you are having a wonderful March so far. It’s the start of a new week. Are you ready for Monday? Have you paid the bills yet? Reward yourself with a good book for your accomplishments. We have suggestions hidden throughout our blogs.

Some of the writers born on March 3rd include:

Edmund Waller (1606), Thomas Otway (1652), William Godwin (1756), Arthur Machen (1863), Émile Chartier (1868), József Klekl (1879), Tore Ørjasæter (1886), Artur Lundkvist (1906), James Merrill (1926), Nicolas Freeling (1927), Larry Burkett (1939), Germán Castro Caycedo (1940), Owen Spencer-Thomas (1940), Clifton Snider (1947), Jennifer Warnes (1947), Stephen Budiansky (1957), Nicholas Shakespeare (1957), John Matteson (1961), Charlie Brooker (1971), Tyler Florence (1971),

American engineer and industrialist, George Mortimer Pullman, was born on this day in 1831. He designed and manufactured the Pullman sleeping car, and founded a company town, Pullman, for the workers who manufactured it. His Pullman Company also hired the African-American men to staff the Pullman cars, who became known and widely respected as Pullman porters, providing elite service. Struggling to maintain profitability during an 1894 downturn in manufacturing demand, he lowered wages and required workers to spend longer hours at the plant, but did not lower prices of rents and goods in his company town. He gained presidential support by Grover Cleveland for the use of federal military troops in the violent suppression of workers there to end the Pullman Strike of 1894. A national commission was appointed to investigate the strike, which included assessment of operations of the company town. In 1898 the Supreme Court of Illinois ordered the Pullman Company to divest itself of the town, which was annexed and absorbed by Chicago, becoming a neighborhood.

Alexander Graham Bell was born on this day in 1847. He was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. He has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.

James “Jimmy” Doohan was born on this day in 1920. He was a Canadian character and voice actor best known for his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the original Star Trek tv series. His characterization of the Scottish Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise was one of the most recognizable elements in the Star Trek franchise, for which he also made several contributions behind the scenes. Many of the characterizations, mannerisms, and expressions that he established for Scotty and other Star Trek characters have become entrenched in popular culture. Following his success with Star Trek, he supplemented his income and showed continued support for his fans by making numerous public appearances. Doohan often went to great lengths to buoy the large number of fans who have been inspired to make their own accomplishments in engineering and other fields, as a result of Doohan’s work and his encouragement. Doohan passed away in 2005.

Today we remember Eugene Bondurant Sledge who passed away a dozen years ago today at the age of 77. He was a United States Marine, university professor, and author. His 1981 memoir With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa chronicled his combat experience during World War II and was subsequently used as source material for Ken Burn’s PBS documentary, The War, as well as the HBO miniseries, The Pacific, in which he is portrayed by Joseph Mazzello.
On March 3, 1585, the Olympic Theater was inaugurated in Vicenza. This theatre was designed by Andrea Palladio.

On this day in 1776, as part of the American Revolutionary War, the first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps began the Battle of Nassau. Exactly three years later the Continental Army was routed at the Battle of Brier Creek near Savannah, Georgia.

The U.S. Congress passed the Missouri Compromise on this day in 1820. The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. To balance the number of “slave states” and “free states,” the northern region of what was then Massachusetts was admitted into the United States as a free state to become Maine. Prior to the agreement, the House of Representatives had refused to accept this compromise, and a conference committee was appointed.

On March 3, 1836, Texans celebrated the first Texas Independence Day with the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, which officially broke Texas from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.

Florida was admitted as the 27th U.S. state on this day in 1845.

France and the United Kingdom declared war on China on this day in 1857 as part of the Second Opium War.

In 1861 Alexander II of Russia signed the Emancipation Manifesto on March third, freeing serfs.

Censorship in the United States was added to on this day in 1873 when the U.S. Congress enacted the Comstock Law which made it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail.

The opera Carmen by Georges Bizet received its premiere on March 3, 1875 at the Operal Comique in Paris.

As recorded in The Montreal Gazette, the first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey was played in Montreal, Canada on March 3, 1875.

The American Telephone & Telegraph Company was incorporated March 3, 1885 in New York.

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany became the first person to make a sound recording of a political document on March 3, 1904. He used Thomas Edison’s phonograph cylinder.

J.D. Rockerfeller Jr announced his retirement from managing his business on March 3, 1910. His reason was so he could devote all his time to philanthropy, the Rockefeller Foundation.

Exactly a century ago today thousands of women marched in a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.

Ninety-eight years ago today NACA was founded. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915, to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NACA was pronounced as individual letters, rather than as an acronym.

Germany, Austria and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This ended Russia’s involvement in World War I, and led to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Lativia, Lithuania and Poland.

TIME magazine was published for the first time ninety years ago today.

The 1400-year-old Islamic caliphate was abolished March 3, 1924 when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire was deposed. The last remnant of the old regime gave way to the reformed Turkey of Kemel Atatürk.

The Free State of Fiume was annexed March 3, 1924 by Kingdom of Italy.

The United States adopted The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem March 3, 1931.

Oil was discovered in Saudia Arabia seventy-five years ago today.

In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi began to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India on this day in 1939.

On March 3, 1940, five people were killed in an arson attack on the offices of the communist newspaper Norrskensflamman in Luleå, Sweden.

Several World War II events happened on March 3. In 1942 ten Japanese warplanes raided the town of Broome, Western Australia, killing more than 100 people. The following year in London, England, 173 people were killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station. In 1945 American and Filipino troops recaptured Manila in the Phillippines. Also in 1945 a former Armia Krajowa unit massacred at least 150 Ukrainian civilians in Pawlokoma, Poland. That same day the RAF accidentally bombed the Bezuidenhout neighborhood in The Hague, Netherlands, killing 511 people.

On March 3, 1951, Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, recorded “Rocket 88”. This is often cited as “the first rock and roll record”. They recorded it at Sam Phillips’ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

On this day in 1969, as part of the Apollo program, NASA launched Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.

Mohawk Airlines Flight 405 crashed March 3, 1972 as a result of a control malfunction and insufficient training in emergency procedures.

The USS Nautilus was decommissioned March 3, 1980 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

On March 3, 1985 Arthur Scargill declared that the National Union of Mineworkers national executive voted to end the longest-running industrial dispute in Great Britain without any peace deal over pit closers. That same day a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck the Valparaiso Region of Chile, killing 177 and leaving nearly a million people homeless.

An amateur video captured the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers on March 3, 1991.

The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemispherecc, Sky Tower in downtown Aukland, New Zealand, opened March 3, 1997 after two-and-a-half years of construction.

On March 3, 2002, citizens of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.

Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agreed March 3, 2004 to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that forms InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

Steve Fossett became the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling on March 3, 2005.

The Historical Archive of the City of Cologne collapsed March 3, 2009.

refugee boy

Our highlighted title today is Refuge Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah. We have Like New hard cover copies of this book in stock. This book has a reading level of ages 9 and up and is about 288 pages long. Amazon gives the following description:

Walk in the shoes of Alem and you will learn what it’s like to be a boy without a country. Alem’s father is Ethiopian and his mother Eritrean, and as long as these two countries are at war, Alem’s family is not welcome in either place. So Alem’s father does what at first seems unthinkable – he leaves Alem in England, alone, in the hope that he will find safety as a refugee. Though the Refugee Council in London takes Alem’s case, through the legal processing, finding a foster family, and entering school, it is Alem’s courageous and caring character that wins him the friends, the respect, and ultimately, the legal permission to stay in England and start his own, new life.

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Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia and Amazon.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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