Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is here!

March 20th is celebrated as "World Frog Day" - internationally! Really! I googled it - 142 references to World Frog Day, but not a single one of them says anything at all about WHY it's World Frog Day, or outlines any rituals necessary to properly celebrate such a revered day!

So - instead, let's honor Petroleum Day in Iran - according to Reuters, on March 20th, Iran celebrates the Martyrdom of Imam Reza and Petroleum Day, a Market Holiday (both, however, are subject to lunar sightings, whatever the hell that means!)

Another important day is Abolition Day in Puerto Rico, and this one is actually rather interesting. This celebrates the banning of slavery in Puerto Rico, and wikipedia has a good article explaining it all. I had no idea Puerto Rico's history included this exploitation of slaves - nice to know America doesn't have the only claim on this behavior - This holiday appears to be similar to a number of our 'holidays' in that the actual day is no longer important - it's the 3-day weekend that you get for it. March 22nd is the official Abolition Day, but this year it's celebrated today.

other exciting past events on March 20th -

1345 Saturn/Jupiter/Mars-conjunction; thought "cause of plague epidemic"

1616 Walter Raleigh released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana
1727 Sir Issac Newton English physicist/astronomer, dies in London at 84
1760 Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings
1811 Napoleon Bonaparte II was born - Napoleon's son/King of Rome
1816 US Supreme Court affirms its right to review state court decisions
1848 King Louis I of Bayern abdicates to marry dancer Lola Montez
1852 American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, 41, published her classic antislavery novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," in Boston. Some believe the controversy it kindled helped lead to the American Civil War, nine years later
1868 Jesse James Gang robs bank in Russelville KY of $14,000
1885 John Matzeliger of Suriname patents shoe lacing machine
1906 Ozzie Nelson was born in Jersey City NJ, actor (Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet)
1920 1st flight from London to South Africa lands (1½ months) - Loving the history of aviation, as I do, I had to find out more about this flight, and it's great reading, at
1928 Mr [Fred McFeely] Rogers born in Latrobe PA, children's television host (Mr Roger's Neighborhood)
1934 Female Babe Didrickson pitches hitless inning for Philadelphia A's in exhibition game against Brooklyn Dodgers
1942 General MacArthur vows, "I shall return"
1944 Mount Vesuvius, Italy explodes
1954 1st newspaper vending machine used (Columbia Pennsylvania) 1954? that's not very long ago! wow!
1957 Spike Lee born in Atlanta GA, director (Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X)
1962 Dr Andrew E Douglass Dendrochronologer (Study of tree rings) dies
1968 President Lyndon Johnson signs a bill removing gold backing from US paper money -the beginning of the end
1969 Beatle John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in Gibraltar
1969 US President Nixon proclaims he will end Vietnam war in 1970
1974 Chet Huntley newscaster (NBC Huntley-Brinkley Report), dies at 62
1984 Senate rejects amendment to permit spoken prayer in public schools
1991 Supreme Court rules unanimously, employers can't exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage fetus - say what? some woman demanded a job that would kill her baby?
1997 Liggett Group (formerly known as Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, is the fourth largest tobacco company in the United States) admits cigarettes are addictive
1997 ? Hefner mother of Hugh Hefner (playboy), dies at 101 (amazing, some of the stuff that makes it into history books, isn't it?)

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