Friday, March 29, 2013

 

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Today is Good Friday. Good Friday is a religious holiday observed by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. Based on the details of the Canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon.

Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Today celebrates small business owners. These individuals spend countless hours nurtering and growing their small enterprises. The workload demands, and lack of a hired staff, often translates into long and late hours as well as many missed family and personal events. But all in all, they love what they do. After all, they are their own boss. This blogger would like to point out that Deborah Gould has put in more hours over the years to the Village Book Shop than anyone realizes, and has done it with her heart full of love for not only her store but her community. The countless late nights and early mornings, time spent on the computer finding the exact book a customer wants, and the events planned and exeuted by the amazing owner of the now online-only Village Book Shop. Even with the brick-and-mortar store gone, Deborah still spends much of her time taking care of business related tasks. Be sure and thank not only Deborah Gould for her services to the community but also pay tribute to other indepent store owners today and every day by making the choice to shop at these businesses.

March 29th is also Smoke and Mirrors Day, a day of illusions. The term “smoke and mirrors” means something is not really as it appears to be. People often put up smoke and mirrors to hide something. This day is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Smoke and Mirrors.

The first Knights of Columbus charter was granted on this day in 1882 by the state of Connecticut. The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic and family fraternal service organization which has grown into a volunteer force totally nearly six million who annually donate tens of millions of dollars and volunteer hours to countless charitable projects. They are named after Christopher Columbus. An Irish-Catholic American priest named Father Michael J. McGivney founded the organization. It was his dream to provide insurance to assist widows and orphans. While collectively logging over 60 million volunteer hours for the organization, a knight’s highest duty still remains as caretaker of a widow or orphan of a fallen brother knight.

March twenty-ninth is Niagara FallsRunsDry Day. On this day in 1848 ice blockages caused rivers to run dry and reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ 3,160 tons of water per second flow came to a halt. Locals celebrate with Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day, and with deals on hotels to attract extra tourists. According to a resident at the time, a farmer named Jed Porter, he left home for a stroll along the river near the American Falls during the late evening of March 29th, 1848 and realized the thundering roar of the Falls was absent. A closer examination revealed the amount of the water flowing over the Falls had been greatly diminished. Locals awoke on the morning the March 30th to an eerie silence. They were drawn to the Falls and found that the water flow of the Niagara River had been reduced to a mere trickle. By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river. All the mills and factors who were dependent upon water power had become stilled. The river bed was quickly drying. Sea life such as fish and turtles were left on now dry land, floundering. Articles that had been hidden laying on the rivers bottom for hundreds of years were picked up as souvenirs including such items as bayonets, gun barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812. This became a tourist and media event. People walked, rode horseback or crossed by horse and buggy the width of the Niagara River which just hours earlier had been a torrent of rapids that attemping to cross would have resulted in nearly certain death. This historical event had never occurred before and never been duplicated. Below the Falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blastawayrocks which had normally been a navigation hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since its inception in 1846. On March 31st the wind shifted and the ice dam broke which had blocked the flow. The water returned.

Some of the writers born March 29th include:

Vitsentzos Kornaros (1553), Johann Karl August Musäus (1735), Costache Caragiale (1815), Ludwig Büchner (1824), Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826), Albert Von Tilzer (1878), Dezső Kosztolányi (1885), Yvan Goll (1891), Ernst Jünger (1895), Marcel Aymé (1902), R. S. Thomas (1913), Chapman Pincher (1914), Peter Geach (1916), Sam Walton (1918), Pierre Moinot (1920), Bob Haymes (1923), Lennart Meri (1929), Jacques Brault (1933), Judith Guest (1936), Eric Idle (1943), Terry Jacks (1944), John “Speedy” Keene (1945), Richard Holmes (1946), Stephen Cole (1956), Elizabeth Hand (1957), Pedro Bial (1958), Amy Sedaris (1961), Dominic Littlewood (1965), Michel Hazanavicius (1967), John Popper (1967), Lara Logan (1971), Sarah Walker (1974), and Jamie Woon (1983).

The tenth President of the United States, John Tyler, was born on this day in 1790. Tyler, a native of Virginia, served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President in 1840. He was the first to succeed to the office of President on the death of the incumbent, succeeding William Henry Harrison. Tyler’s opposition to federalism and emphatic support of states’ rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allied that brought him to power in Washington. His presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties, and near the end of his life he would side with the South in its secession from the United States. Although some have praised Tyler’s political resolve, his presidency is generally held in low esteem by historians; today he is considered an obscure president, with little presence in the American cultural memory.

The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, was founded March 29, 1549.

Swedish colonists established the first European settlement in Delaware on this day in 1838. They named it New Sweden.

A fifteen year old Japanese girl named Yaoya Oshichi was burnt at the stake on March 29, 1683 for an act of arson committed due to unrequited love.

On March 29, 1806 construction was authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as Cumberland Road. This was the first United States federal highway.

During the Mexican-American War, on this day in 1847 United States forces led by General Winfield Scott took Veracruz after a siege.

On this day in 1865, as part of the American Civil War, Federal forces under Major General Philip Sheridan moved to flank Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee as the Appomattox Campaign began.

The Royal Albert Hall was opened on March 29, 1871 by Queen Victoria.

Dr. John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia on March 29, 1886 which makes today the 127th anniversary of the invention of Coca-Cola.

The M1911, a .45 ACP pistol, became the official U.S. Army side arm on March 29, 1911.

In Germany, on March 29, 1936, Adolf Hitler received 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany’s illegal reoccupation of the Rhineland, receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.

The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement went into effect at 0:300 local time on this day in 1941.

The New York, Ontario and Western Railway made its final run on March 29, 1957. This was the first major U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety.

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on this day in 1961, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.

On March 29, 1971, a Los Angeles, California jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers.

The last United States combat soldiers left South Vietnam on this day in 1973. Operation Barrel Roll ended that same day. It was a covert US bombing campaign in Laos to stop communist infiltration of South Vietnam.

NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury on March 29, 1974. On that same day local farmers in Lintong Districk, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China, discovered the Terracotta Army that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, in the 3rd century BCE.

On March 29, 1999 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time, during the height of the internet boom.

Nine years ago today the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.

miracle worker

Today’s highlighted title is The Miracle Worker: A Play by William Gibson. We have New copies in stock of this mass market paperback book. This is the unforgettable, inspiring story of Helen Keller-and the woman who set her free.

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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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