Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19th is a foodie day. Why do we say that? Today is Pultry day, Agricultural day, and Chocolate Caramel day.

Poultry Day celebrates chicken, turkey and other birds we commonly consume. Chicken and turkey are lower in fats, and cholesterol than other meats, making them better for your health. They also give us eggs which are great for breakfast. Perhaps you can celebrate Poultry Day with eggs for breakfast, a chicken sandwich for lunch, and barbecue chicken for dinner. Don’t forget to cook up some chicken fingers for the kids. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

National Agricultural Day is a day to celebrate and recognize the abundance provided by agriculture. National Ag Day is organized by the Agricultural Council of America (ACA). ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.

National Chocolate Caramel Day is observed on March 19. It’s a day to celebrate everything great about chocolate and caramel. This is a good excuse to enjoy your favorite treats.

Some of the writers born on March 19th include:

Tobias Smollett (1721), Richard Francis Burton (1821), William Allingham (1824), Irving Wallace (1916), Kjell Aukrust (1920), Miquel Martí i Pol (1929), Philip Roth (1933), Richard Dobson (1942), Wolfgang Ambros (1952), Jill Abramson (1954), Gary Jules (1969), Tom McRae (1969), Mason Jennings (1975), Jorma Taccone (1977),

Today we remember Edgar Rice Burroughs. He was born September 1, 1875 and passed away on March 19, 1950. This American author was best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

We also remember Sir Arthur C. Clarke. The British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist passed away five years ago today. He is famous for his short stories and novels including 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as being a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction. In 1945, Clarke proposed a satellite communication system—an idea that, in 1963, won him the Franklin Institute’s Stuart Ballantine Medal. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947-1950 and again in 1953. In 1956, Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka, largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving. That year, he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death. In 1998 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and was awarded SriLanka‘s highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.

On March 19, 1649, the House of Commons of England passed an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring it “useless and dangerous to the people of England”.

Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, search for the mouth of the Mississippi River, was murdered by his own men on March 19, 1687.

The First Taranaki War ended in New Zealand on this day in 1861.

The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000. The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after its destruction.

The Battle of Bentonville began on this day in 1865, as part of the American Civil War. By the end of the battle two days later, Confederate forces had retreated from Four Oaks, North Carolina.

Louis Riel declared a Provisional Government in Saskatchewan, beginning the North-West Rebellion.

Auguste and Louis Lumière recorded their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph on March 19, 1895.

The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight savings time ninety-five years ago today.

The United States Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles for the second time on March 19, 1920. The first time was on November 19, 1919.

One of the biggest engagements of the Irish War of Independence took place on this day in 1921 at Crossbarry, County Cork. About 100 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped an attempt by over 1,300 British forces to encircle them.

Gambling was legalized in Nevada on March 19, 1931.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened on this day in 1932.

During World War II, the 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, was activated on March 19, 1941. Exactly three years later Nazi forces occupied Hungary. One year after that, off the coast of Japan, a dive bomber hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin. 724 of her crew were killed. The ship was so badly damaged that it was unable to return to the U.S. under its own power. Also on that day in 1945, Adolf Hitler issued his “Necro Decree” ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion became overseas départements of France on March 19, 1946.

Joey Giardello knocked out Willie Tory in round seven at Madison Square Garden in the first televised prize boxing fight showin in color on March 19, 1954. That same day Willie Mosconi set a world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio. The record still stands today.

The Monarch Underwear Company fire on March 19, 1958 left 24 dead and 15 injured.

The highly influential artist, Bob Dylan, released his first album on this day in 1962. It was on Columbia Records label and titled Bob Dylan.

Texas Western became the first college basketball team to win the Final Four with an all-black starting lineup on March 19, 1966.

Today is the anniversary of when the 385 metres (1,263 ft) tall TV-mast at Emley Moor, United Kingdom, collapsed on this day in 1969 due to ice build-up.

The United States House of Representatives began broadcasting its day-to-day business via the cable television network C-SPAN on March 19, 1979.

The televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as head of the PTL Club on March 19, 1987 due to a brewing sex scandal. He handed over control to Jerry Fallwell. The PTL Club (PTL stands for “Praise The Lord” or “People That Love”), later called The Jim and Tammy Show, and in its last days PTL Today and Heritage Today, was a Christian television program first hosted by evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, which ran from 1974 to 1989. The PTL Club, which adopted a talk-show format, was the flagship television program of the Bakkers’ PTL Satellite Network. It was one of the first Christian broadcasts in the U.S. to deal with the subject of homosexuality.

On March 19, 1989 the Egyptian Flag was raised on Taba, Egypt announcing the end of the Israeli occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the peace negotiations in 1979.

The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureş began on this day in 1990, four days after the anniversary of the Revolutions of 1848 in Habsburg areas.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on charges of human rights abuses and of electoral fraud on March 19, 2002, following a turbulent presidential election.

Ten years ago today United States President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq.

The Konginkangas bus disaster occurred March 19, 2004. A semi-trailer truck and a bus crashed head on in Äänekoski, Finland. Twenty-four people were killed and thirteen were injured. On that same day a Swedish DC-3 was shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in 1952 over the Baltic Sea was finally recovered after years of work. The remains of the three crewmen were left in place, pending further investigations. Also on March 19, 2004 was the 3-19 Shooting Incident in which the Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian was shot just before the country’s presidential election on March 20.

A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed on this day in 2009.

After the failure of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to take Benghazi, French Air Force launched Operation Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya during the Libyan civil war on March 19, 2011.

prayer for owen meany

Today’s highlighted title is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.  We have New copies of this mass market paperback in stock. Amazon gives the following review:

Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend’s mom with a baseball and believes–accurately–that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom. John Irving’s novel, which inspired the 1998 Jim Carrey movie Simon Birch, is his most popular book in Britain, and perhaps the oddest Christian mystic novel since Flannery O’Connor’s work. Irving fans will find much that is familiar: the New England prep-school-town setting, symbolic amputations of man and beast, the Garp-like unknown father of the narrator (Owen’s orphaned best friend), the rough comedy. The scene of doltish the doltish headmaster driving a trashed VW down the school’s marble staircase is a marvelous set piece. So are the Christmas pageants Owen stars in. But it’s all, as Highlights magazine used to put it, “fun with a purpose.” When Owen plays baby Jesus in the pageants, and glimpses a tombstone with his death date while enacting A Christmas Carol, the slapstick doesn’t cancel the fact that he was born to be martyred. The book’s countless subplots add up to a moral argument, specifically an indictment of American foreign policy–from Vietnam to the Contras.

The book’s mystic religiosity is steeped in Robertson Davies’s Deptford trilogy, and the fatal baseball relates to the fatefully misdirected snowball in the first Deptford novel, Fifth Business. Tiny, symbolic Owen echoes the hero of Irving’s teacher Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum–the two characters share the same initials. A rollicking entertainment, Owen Meany is also a meditation on literature, history, and God. –Tim Appelo

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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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