Okay, everyone probably knows about Julius Caesar being assassinated on this date in history. But what about the other happenings on this date? Let’s switch the order up and start with the deaths/departures first. The English engineer and businessman Henry Bessemer, who came up with a new way of processing steel and named it for himself, passed away in 1898. The American short-story writer, editor, and novelist H P Lovecraft, who entertained us with weird and often horror-filled sci-fi and fantasy tales, wrote his last in 1937. And Greek-Argentinian businessman, Aristotle Onassis, mostly known to Americans as the second husband of Jackie Kennedy, sailed off into forever in 1975.
We welcomed in future general and 7th US President Andrew Jackson – hero of the Battle of New Orleans in the war of 1812 – in 1767. The fourth man to walk on the moon, Alan Bean, prepared to take his first steps on Earth in 1932. We heard the first notes from two musicians – Sly (of the family) Stone in 1943 – and one half of Twisted Sister – Dee Snider in 1955. We also welcomed in the now too-soon-gone US Supreme Court Justice RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1933.
There were beginnings and endings on this date. Maine was admitted as the 23rd US state (1820), Archbishop of New York John McCloskey was named the first US cardinal (1875), the first cricket official cricket match (1877 UK v Australia), and the first parliament in Finland (1907) was held – and some would say can you tell the difference? And the first Womens’ Boat Race was held on the Isis in Oxford in 1927. Unfortunately the Syrian civil war, in a region fraught with conflict, also began in 2011.
However, the Ethio-Somalia War ended with a truce (1978). Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated (1917) which started the march toward the Soviet Empire. And 73 years later Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as the first President (as opposed to Premier or General Secretary) of the Soviet Union, paving the way for the dissolution of the Soviet empire (1990).
And of course, Julius Caesar failed to heed the warning “beware the Ides of March” as was assassinated by Brutus, Cassius, and company on this date – which is why we remember the Ides of March in the first place.
This date is also known as World Consumer Rights Day, and starting last year the UN designated it as International Day to Combat Islamophobia. The date was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, where 51 people were gunned down, because of their faith and religious association. Never forget and never fail to oppose hatred and bigotry anywhere.!