“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.”
― Bertrand Russell
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all our readers! Are you wearing green today? Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on the seventeenth of March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. For Christians, the day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. However, it has also become a celebration of Irishness and Irish culture in general. The day generally involves public parades and festivals, céilithe, and wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day. Little is known of Patrick’s early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest. In 432, he again said that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to Christianise the Irish from their native polytheism. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish church.
Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. St. Patrick’s Day, although not a legal holiday anywhere in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognised and celebrated throughout the country. It is primarily observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture; celebrations include prominent displays of the colour green, feasting, copious consumption of alcohol, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late eighteenth century.
Traditionally the meal eaten today is Corned Beef and Cabbage.
March 17th is also Submarine Day. Today is the holiday because it was on this day when the Irish engineer, John Phillip Holland, first successfully demonstrated his submarine called the Holland VI. It was on March 17th, 1898 that he successfully had the Holland VI dive and resurface during a trial run near Staten Island. This successful test took place only a month after that mysterious explosion that sunk the USS Maine, so Holland offered to show his submarine in action to the Navy. It was a success, they even fired the dynamite gun, so the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, recommended that they buy the boat. And eventually they did; making this the Navy’s first submarine, which was later named the USS Holland (SS-1). Some people would prefer to celebrate this event on April 17th, as the U.S. Submarine Force was established on this date in 1900. Do you know what the world’s most well known submarine is? It is the Yellow Submarine, of course, written and recorded by the Beatles.
Being the third full week of March, it is Campfire USA Birthday week from now until the twenty-third.
This week is the 20th Annual Consider Christianity Week. The main goal of Consider Christianity Week is to equip Christians with the knowledge and ability to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do so with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15). This week always starts the second Sunday before Easter.
This week is also Health Information Professionals Week. This is the 24th annual HIP Week. It was formerly known as Health Information and Technology Week. HIP Week is a great opportunity for professionals to showcase the benefits of their profession, working collectively to deliver quality healthcare through quality information.
March 17-23 is National Animal Poison Prevention Week. It is also National Inhalant and Poisons Awareness Week. One in five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade. Parents don’t know that inhalants, cheap, legal and accessible products, are as popular among middle school students as marijuana. Even fewer know the deadly effects the poisons in these products have on the brain and body when they are inhaled or “huffed.” It’s like playing Russian Roulette. The user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time a product is misused as an inhalant. Prevention through education has proven to work against this popular form of substance abuse. This is why the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition has developed National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), an annual media-based, community-level program that takes place the third week in March. According to The Partnership for a Drug Free America, “Inhalants are ordinary household products that are inhaled or sniffed by children to get high.” Examples of products intentionally used to get high are computer keyboard cleaner (such as Dust Off), cleaning fluids, nail polish remover, paint thinners, and even model airplane glue. The slang for inhalant use includes glue, kick, sniff, huff, Texas Shoe Shine, etc. What are signs that parents and guardians can look for if they suspect their child is abusing household products? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, here are a few signs:
- Slurred speech
- Drunk, dizzy, or dazed appearance
- Unusual breath odor
- Chemical smell on clothing
- Paint stains on body or face
- Red eyes
- Runny nose
Passiontide this year is March seventeenth through the thirtieth. Passiontide (in the Christian liturgical year) is a name for the last two weeks of Lent, beginning on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, long celebrated as Passion Sunday, and ending on Holy Saturday. In the Roman Catholic Church, and in Anglo-Catholic churches, all crucifixes and images may be covered in veils (usually violet, the color of vestments in Lent) starting on Passion Sunday.
The American Association of Endodontists are celebrating the seventh annual Root Canal Awareness week and are inviting everyone to join them. This is part of a national effort to raise awareness of endodontists, so that patients and general dentists know to contact a specialist when a root canal is needed.
Some of the writers born on March 17th include:
Patrick Bronte (1777), Thomas Chalmers (1780), Ebenezer Elliott (1781), Jean Ingelow (1820), Kate Greenaway (1846), Horace Donisthorpe (1870), Urmuz (1883), Paul Green (1894), Siegfried Lenz (1926), Jim Weatherly (1943), John Sebastian (1944), James Morrow (11947), William Gibson (1948), Daniel Lavoie (1949), Patrick Adams (1950), Michael Been (1950), Paul Overstreet (1955), Patrick McDonnell (1956), Rory McGrath (1956), Michael Kelly (1957), Rob Sitch (1962), Sulev Oll (1964), Billy Corgan (1967), Torquil Campbell (1972), Jason M. Burns (1978), Mason Musso (1989), and Don Holmqwist (1991),
Today we remember Albert Sidney Fleischman who passed away March 17, 2010, one day after his 90th birthday. His pen name was Sid Fleischman and he was an American author of children’s books, screenplays, novels for adults, and nonfiction books about magic. His works for children are known for their humor, imagery, zesty plotting, and exploration of the byways of American history. He won the Newbery Medal in 1987 for The Whipping Boy, won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Humbug Mountain, and was the United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1994. In 2003, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators honored him with the Sid Fleischman Award, given yearly to an author of humorous fiction for children or young adults. He told his own tale in The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer’s Life in 1996.
Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr on March 17, 624.
During the American Revolution, on March 17, 1776, British forces evacuated Boston, Massachusetts, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery in positions overlooking the city. Four years later to the day George Washington granted the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.
The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was formed March 17, 1842.
The First Taranaki War began in Taranaki, New Zealand on this day in 1860. It was a major phase of the New Zealand land wars.
The Second Republic of Poland adopted the March Constitution on March 17, 1921. They did this after ousting the occupation of the German/Prussian forces in the 1918 Greater Poland Uprising, and avoided conquest by the Soviets in the 1920 Polish–Soviet War. The Constitution, based on the French one, was regarded as very democratic. Among others, it expressly ruled out discrimination on racial or religious grounds. It was partially adjusted by the 1926 August Novelization, and superseded by the Polish Constitution of 1935 (April Constitution).
The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite fifty-five years ago today. This was the fourth artificial Earth orbital satellite launched and the first satellite to be solar powered. Although communication with it was lost in 1964, it remains the oldest man made satellite still in orbit. It was designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle as a part of Project Vanguard, and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. It also was used to obtain geodetic measurements through orbit analysis.
Fifty years ago today Mount Agung erupted on Bali and killed 11,000 people.
The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, was attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet, which took place on March 17, 1988 as part of the Eritrean War of Independence.
Thirteen years ago today more than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in what is considered to be a mass murder and suicide, orchestrated by leaders of the cult.
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook,resigned ten years ago today from the British Cabinet Mason Musso in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The United Nations Security Council adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 on March 17, 2011, authorizing a military intervention by member states to protect civilians in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Today we would like to highlight the book A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe. We have used copies in Very Good condition in stock of this Oxford World’s Classic. This book was edited by Alison Milbank. Amazon gives the following description:
In A Sicilian Romance (1790) Ann Radcliffe began to forge the unique mixture of the psychology of terror and poetic description that would make her the great exemplar of the Gothic novel, and the idol of the Romantics. This early novel explores the cavernous landscapes and labyrinthine passages of Sicily’s castles and convents to reveal the shameful secrets of its all-powerful aristocracy.
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.