Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today is Girl Scouts Day. On March 12, 1912 Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scout group in Savannah, Georgia with 18 girls. The Girls Scouts became a national organization, and was was chartered by the U.S. Congress on March 16, 1950. Today, there are millions of girls involved with Girl Scouts.

Today is also Plant a Flower Day. Celebrate today by planting or transplanting any kind of plant. It can be done indoors, or weather permitting, outdoors.

March twelfth is the second Tuesday of March which makes it Organize Your Home Office Day.

World Day Against Cyber Censorship was first observed on March 12, 2008 at the request of Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. A letter written by Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, was sent to the Chief Executive Officers of Google, Yahoo!, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation to request observation of the day.

Some of the writer’s born March 12th include:

John Aubrey (1626), Richard Steele (1672), William Lyon Mackenzie (1795), Mahendranath Gupta (1854), József Konkolics (1861), Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863), Þórbergur Þórðarson (1889), Evert Taube (1890), Irving Layton (1912), Millard Kaufman (1917), Jack Kerouac (1922), Harry Harrison (1925), Edward Albee (1928), Win Tin (1929), Lew DeWitt (1938), M. A. Numminen (1940), James Taylor (1948), Rob Cohen (1949), Wheeler Winston Dixon (1950), Naomi Shihab Nye (1952), Randy Stonehill (1952), Carl Hiaasen (1953), Steve Levy (1965), Massimiliano Frezzato (1967), Jake Tapper (1969), Dave Eggers (1970), Stromae (1985), and Christina Grimmie (1994).

George Walter Mason was born on March 12, 1891. He was an American industrialist. During his career he served as Chairman and CEO of the Kelvinator Corporation, Chairman and CEO of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, and Chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation. He passed away in 1954.

Robert Ludlum was an American author of 27 thriller novels who passed away on twelve years ago today. The number of his books in print is estimated between 290 million and 500 million copies. They have been published in 33 languages and 40 countries. Ludlum also published books under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd. Prior to becoming an author, he had been a United States Marine, theatrical actor and producer. Many of Ludlum’s novels have been made into films and mini-series, including The Osterman Weekend, The Holcroft Covenant, The Apocalypse Watch, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Covert One: The Hades Factor, a book co-written with Gayle Lynds, was originally conceived as a mini-series; the book evolved from a short treatment Ludlum wrote for NBC. The Bourne movies, starring Matt Damon in the title role, have been commercially and critically successful (The Bourne Ultimatum won three Academy Awards in 2008), although the story lines depart significantly from the source material. Ludlum died on March 12, 2001, at his home in Naples, Florida, whilst recovering from severe burns caused by a mysterious fire which occurred on February 10.

Today is also the anniversary of the passing of Howard Fast. Howard Melvin Fast (November 11, 1914 – March 12, 2003) was an American novelist and television writer. Fast also wrote under the pen names E. V. Cunningham and Walter Ericson. Howard began writing at an early age. While hitchhiking and riding railroads around the country to find odd jobs, he wrote his first novel, Two Valleys, published in 1933 when he was 18. His first popular work was Citizen Tom Paine, a fictional account of the life of Thomas Paine. Always interested in American history, he also wrote The Last Frontier, about an attempt by Cheyennes to return to their native land; and Freedom Road, about the lives of former slaves during Reconstruction. Fast’s son Jonathan Fast, himself a novelist, was married to novelist Erica Jong; their daughter is the novelist Molly Jong-Fast. Fast’s brother was writer Julius Fast.

Coca-Cola was bottled and sold for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi, by local soda fountain operator Joseph Biedenharn on March 12, 1894.

The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA) were founded in the United States on March 12, 1912.

Today is Canberra Day. A hundred years ago today the future capital of Australia was officially named Canberra. Melbourne remained temporary capital until 1927 while the new capital was still under construction.

Moscow became the capital of Russia again on this day in 1918 after Saint Petersburg held this status for 215 years.

Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan formed The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic on March 12, 1922.

In California on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam failed. The St. Francis Dam was a curved concrete gravity ram, built to create a large regulating and storage reservoir as part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. It was located in San Francisquito Canyon, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California, approximately 10 miles north of the city of Santa Clarita. The name “St. Francis” is an anglicized version of the name of the canyon.The dam was designed and built between 1924 and 1926 by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, then named the Bureau of Water Works and Supply. At two and a half minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928 the dam failed catastrophically and the resulting flood killed up to 600 people. The collapse of the St. Francis Dam is considered to be one of the worst American civil engineering failures of the 20th century and remains the second-greatest loss of life in California’s history, after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and fire.

On this day in 1930 Mahatma Gandhi led a 200-mile march, known as the Salt March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt.

During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation for the first time as President of the United States on March 12, 1933. This was also the first of his “fireside chats”.

On March 12, 1935, Konstantin Päts and General Johan Laidoner staged a coup in Estonia, and bannned all political parties.

As part of Winter War, Finland signed the Moscow Peace Treaty on March 12, 1940 with the Soviet Union, ceding almost all of Finnish Karelia. Finish troops and the remaining population were immediately evacuated.

The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed March 12, 1047 to help stem the spread of Communism.

The Llandow air disaster occurred March 12, 1950 near Sigingstone, Wales, in which 80 people died when their aircraft crashed. This was the world’s deadliest air disaster at the time.

Suharto took over from Sukarno on March 12, 1967 to become Acting President of Indonesia.

On this day in 1971 the March 12 Memorandum was sent to the Demirel government of Turkey and the government resigned.

Mauritius became a republic March 12, 1992 while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Twenty years ago today several bombs exploded in Bombay (Mumbai), India, killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

Also on this day in 1993, North Korea said that it planned to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refused to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites.

In the eastern portion of the U.S. on March 12, 1993 the Blizzard of 1993 occurred. Snow began to fall with tornadoes, thunder snow storms, high winds and record low temperatures. The storm lasted for thirty hours.

The Church of England ordained its first female priests on March 12, 1994.

On this day in 1999, former Warsaw Pact members the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO. The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (1955–1991), more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty between eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO‘s “Partnership for Peace”, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defense spending.

The President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, was impeached March 12, 2004 by its National Assembly. This was the first such impeachment in the nation’s history.

Four years ago today the financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in New York to scamming $18 billion, the largest in Wall Street history.

On March 12, 2011, a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melted and exploded. Radioactivity was released into the atmosphere a day after Japan‘s earthquake.

invention of hugo cabret

Today we would like to highlight the hardcover book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick which we have new copies of in stock. This story is told in a unique combination of images and words.  A film adaptation was made in 2011. This book and another book, Wonderstruck, by the same author and done in a similar style were received as gifts by nine year old twins (boy and girl) as a birthday gift last summer who are the young siblings of this blogger. These books have been read three or four times each by these children.  They have asked for more books like them.  This is the highest praise a book can receive from these particular children.  The book is enjoyable by both children and adults.  Amazon describes The Invention of Hugo Cabret as follows:

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

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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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