Monthly Archives: March 2011

March 6, 2011—Remember the Alamo! (and Goliad too!)

What more can anyone say?  “Remember the Alamo and Goliad too!” My grandparents Helen and Alphonse Meyer took me to visit the Alamo as almost the first thing to do in Texas when I arrived to live with them in Dallas, Texas after my parents split up.  This move was the first extremely strange transition in my life: my maternal grandmother Helen and her butler named Kermit went to pick me up and take me from my parents, whom my grandparents considered to be neglecting me.   This was in 1966, long before the State of Texas made its is business to interfere in every possible event in every family’s life.  And as unorthodox as this method of making child-custody transfer might sound to the modern reader, it might possibly have been the case that my parents were in fact neglecting me because my mother only showed up in Dallas quite a bit later, not having noticed my absence for sometime.  Anyhow, all of this happened the summer after I turned six.

And so it was then that “Remember the Alamo” became the first “Patriotic Slogan” I ever remember learning.  I obviously had already learned “God Save the Queen” first, but I was very young and don’t remember actually learning that particular salute.  But I do remember my grandparents teaching me to Cheer outloud “Remember the Alamo” although I’m not sure where I was supposed to use this cheer or to whom I was supposed to address it.  I recall my grandfather, “Al”, stopped the family at some particularly significant place around the Alamo and led us in a private family prayer for the fallen heroes.

Though himself the grandson of a British peer of the realm, my grandfather was born in Galveston and steeped in Texas history and patriotism. In his opinion, he insisted it was just as important, if not more so, to remember Colonel Fannin and the March 27 massacre at Goliad as it was to remember the Alamo, because more men died at Goliad, and they died more brutally, having been executed in cold blood.  So this initial tour of South Texas in 1966 also included a trip to Goliad and finally to the San Jacinto Battlefield and the Battleship Texas.

But unlike William Barret Travis’ “I am besieged…I have sustained continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man….I shall never surrender or retreat” February 24, 1836 letter from the Alamo, Colonel Fannin had left no eloquent written testimonial to pass down and post on the library wall.  Nor have dozens of movies been made about Fannin and Goliad, certainly nothing like John Wayne’s “The Alamo“.  This great mythical movie (historians say not a single scene in the picture can be directly related to any document-based “fact”) was completed and released the year I was born in Texas (1960) on October 24, which just happened to be the day my parents arrived in London on the Queen Mary.  This particular cinematic extravaganza just happened to have been made in Texas ONLY over John Wayne’s efforts and objections.

Happy Shahan was a rancher in southern Texas [Wayne’s team constructed an “Alamo Village” near Brackettville in Kinney County, on the old “Camino Real” between San Antonio and El Paso, just a few miles from the Rio Grande and Mexican Border]. ….  [Shahan’s] big break came when he secured The Alamo (1960).  John Wayne had originally decided to make the film in Mexico where he owned land. However, it quickly became apparent he would face a boycott from the Daughters of the Republic and it was politically expedient to make the film in Texas (Rothel, 1990: 13-15).  http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/mgt/research/working-papers/2006/wp36-06.pdf

It is one of those passing ironies of the interaction of history and myth that Wayne wanted and originally planned to film his Epic of Texas Independence in the State of Durango, Mexico, which to Wayne at least and the other producers looked much more like Texas “should” have looked in 1836 than Texas in recent times ever could have looked.  John Wayne also owned a ranch in Durango and made several other films there.  The point is that the reenactment of history is a matter of politically powerful myth—and apparently the Daughters of the Republic of Texas believed that to make a movie about the Alamo in Mexico would somehow be “taboo”—even though Wayne certainly would have been right in pointing out that, of course, when the Battle of the Alamo was fought, and for the three hundred years preceding the siege, Texas had been politically and legally defined (in European law and cartography at least) as part of Mexico—first as part of the the Viceroyalty of New Spain, then as part of the Empire and finally the Republic of Mexico).

There is some unfortunate documentation in the record of diaries left by certain Mexican officers that Davie Crockett in particular and other nearly legendary heroes may not have died quite as heroically as portrayed in the movies, but the simple truth is that the Texas Revolution started to defend the Mexican Constitution of 1823, and the defenders of the Alamo flew a flag to prove that point.  In 1836 there was no conflict between Anglo and Hispanic (Mexican) Creoles in Texas—there was only a conflict between dictatorship and Democratic-Republican Government.  Any modern attempt to recast the Texas revolution as an Anglo-Hispanic race-oriented dispute have to deal with the fact that the Texas Declaration of Independence was written by the Tecoh, Yucatan-born Mexican Statesman Ernesto de Zavala and that Texas and Yucatan both separated from Santa Ana’s Mexico and formed an independent alliance—and although both Yucatan and Texas applied for U.S. Statehood, somewhat tragically, only Texas was admitted.  Yucatan Governor Justo Sierra O’Reilly made the mistake of trying to seek admission for Yucatan as a “free” state—despite the existence of a Plantation economy throughout the Peninsula—and the South at the point relied much too heavily on the Missouri Compromise of 1820 *(later declared unconstitutional in Scott v. Sanford, 1857) and did not wish to allow “free” states both south and north of the Dixie Heartland.  The Yucatan Peninsula would have made a fine addition to the United States, and the Yucatec Creoles and Maya an amazing enrichment of the United States population (both White and Native American).   It is easy to see how the outcome of the war of 1861-65 would have been different, if it had happened at all, had Yucatan been part of the Confederacy….instead of the most pro-Imperial province of the Hapsburg Emperor Maxmillian’s shortlived “Imperio Mexicano”.

Ernesto Zavala’s house in Merida still bears a plaque celebrating the historical contacts between Texas and Yucatan and is preserved as a historic landmark.  In Texas, there is not only a “Zavala” County but also a building on the Texas State Capitol grounds, just southeast of the South Facing domed statehouse, named after him, the Zavala building—it is the State Archive and Historical Records building.  During the Short-Lived Republic of Yucatan, which declared its independence (without bloodshed) in 1838, two years after Texas, Texas and Yucatan jointly developed a very small Naval force to patrol the Gulf of Mexico between Galveston and Progresso.

Justo Sierra O’Reilly’s travel to Washington applying for admission to the Union is the subject of quite a bit of writing in Mexico, and he is a controversial figure in that he was seeking (among other things) a U.S. alliance against the Maya uprising known as “The Caste War of Yucatan”.  Yucatan’s separatism from Mexico preceded the U.S. War with Mexico in 1846-48, but Justo Sierra O’Reilly’s interest in seeing Yucatan admitted continued even after the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo confirmed the transfer of California, Texas, New Mexico, what is now Arizona, Nevada, and Utah to the United States in 1848.  Yucatan was officially neutral in the war with the United States but many in Sierra O’Reilly’s position supported full annexation and integration, even while the stars and stripes flew over Chapultepec Castle under the immediate intendency and command of one Colonel Robert E. Lee, nephew of a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  Some Mexicans regard Sierra O’Reilly as a traitor like Benedict Arnold or Aaron Burr in the U.S., but those who fly the (suppressed) flag of the independent Republic of Yucatan regard him as a hero.  Justo Sierra O’Reilly wrote a very disappointed “Impresiones de un Viaje a los Estados Unidos e Canada” which used to be and probably still is in print in Yucatan, although I haven’t noticed it on the bookstore shelves in recent years.   Yucatan’s separatist tendencies survived a long time after O’Reilly.  Empress Carlotta, even in her madness later in life, recalled the especially warm welcome she and her ill-fated husband received in Yucatan, and there was an active separatist movement in Yucatan as late as the 1960s.

One could say that the de facto annexation of Cancun and the East Coast of Quintana Roo as an American colony (at least during Spring break, but for most of the winter tourist season) starting in 1971 was the final death blow to Yucatec separatism—in that one can now hear significantly more English spoken on the streets and beaches of Cancun than one can on the streets of Miami or Miami Beach…

March 5, 2011, Inauguration of (unelected) Rutherford B. Hayes (1877), Impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1868), the Boston Massacre (1770), First Temperance Law in America (1623), Copernicus “De Revolutionibus” Banned (1616), 3rd Lateran Council (1179)—on the whole March 5 has not been a good day for Civil Rights in History

March 5 Events in History
 

I confess to have plagiarized the skeleton for this day in history from another site called “www.brainyhistory.com”, although there’s honestly nothing so very brainy about this particular list—see the lack of historically important or even relevant events for most of the 20th century.   However, it seemed like as good a source as any and I have added my own comments where appropriate, so there is “value added” here.  However, I think the list of events in itself is notable: for most of the 20th century, the only events recorded occurred in the entertainment and sports arenas.  Real historical events are largely absent from the 20th century record, although a few start being listed in the 19th century.   In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a mindless addiction to sports, entertainment, and film entertainment (including television), together with free love (consequence and even emotion-free) sex plus constantly piped music in public places, were all integral and indispensable elements and aspects of the world- governmental plan, together with drugs, to keep a zombified and mostly uneducated population completely under control and docile.   In Edward Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the historian has a throw-away comment which has become popularized about how the empire entertained and controlled the masses with “bread and circuses”.  It is hard not to feel that there are certain parallels and genuine structural-functional kinship between the socio-political reality of 2nd-3rd century Rome and the modern worldwide “Pax Americana”. The average American can name more sports and movie stars than senators or representatives, and nobody seems happier with this situation than sports and movie stars AND senators and representatives, the latter largely operating behind the scenes occupied by the more flamboyant social and sex lives of the former.   If people think too much, they become dissatisfied, so play music constantly, blast television constantly, and make sure that there is little or no political or philosophical content to either.  That is how you keep a good, quiet, unfree but not unhappy population…..

2010 Gordon Brown, United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, gives evidence to the Iraq Inquiry
1997 Tommy Lasorda, Nellie Fox and Willie Wells for Hall of Fame
1996 Earl Weaver and Jim Bunning, elected to Hall of Fame
1995 21st People’s Choice Awards: Tim Allen wins
1995 Estonia Centrumlinkse Coalition party wins parliamentary election
1995 Graves of czar Nicholas and family found in St. Petersburg
1995 Marc Velzeboer skates world record 3 km short track (5:00.26)
1994 Dottie Mochrie wins Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of Golf Championship
1994 Largest milkshake (1,955 gallons of chocolate-Nelspruit South Africa)
1994 PBA National Championship won by David Traber
1994 Singer Grace Slick arrested for pointing a gun at a cop
1993 Boston Celtic Larry Bird undergoes backfusion surgery
1993 Fokker 100 crashes at Skopje Macedonia, 81 die
1993 Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry divorces his wife Effi
1993 Marlins beat Astros 12-8 in their 1st spring training game
1992 Ethic committee votes to reveal congressmen who bounced checks
1991 Iraq repealed its annexation of Kuwait
1991 Reggie Miller (Indiana) begins NBA free throw streak of 52 games
1989 19th Easter Seal Telethon raises $37,002,000
1989 Blains McCallister wins Honda Golf Classic shooting 266
1989 Elly Verhulst runs world record 3000 m indoor (8:33.82)
1986 “Today” tabloid launched (Britain’s 1st national color newspaper)
1985 New York Islander Mike Bossy is 1st to score 50 goals in 8 straight seasons
1984 Supreme Court (5-4): city may use public money for Nativity scene
1984 U.S. accuse Iraq of using poison gas
1983 Bob Hawke (Labour) defeats Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (Cons)
1983 NSW beat Western Australia by 54 runs to win Sheffield Shield
1982 Gaylord Perry (with 297 wins) signs with Seattle Mariners
1982 Russian spacecraft Venera 14 lands and sends back data from Venus
1981 “Bring Back Birdie” opens at Martin Beck Theater New York City for 4 performances
1981 Ice Dance Championship at Hartford won by Jayne Torvill and C Dean (GRB)
1981 Ice Pairs Champ at Hartford won by Irina Vorobieva and I Lisovski (URS)
1981 Men’s Figure Skating Champions in Hartford won by Scott Hamilton (USA)
1981 U.S. government grants Atlanta $1 million to search for black boy murderer
1980 Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49
1979 Voyager I’s closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles)
1978 “Hello, Dolly!” opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater New York City for 152 performances
1978 Landsat 3 launched from Vandenberg AFB, California
1976 British pounds falls below $2 for 1st time
1974 “Candide” opens at Broadway Theater New York City for 740 performances
1974 Ralph Stewart failed in 2nd Islander penalty shot
1973 Yankee pitchers Peterson and Kekich announce they swapped wives
1972 Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis leaves Communist Party
1970 Edison Theater opens at 240 W 47th St. New York City
1970 Nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect
1970 SDS Weathermen terrorist group bomb 18 West 11th St. in New York City
1969 Gold reaches then record high ($47 per ounce) in Paris
1969 Gustav Heinemann elected president of West-Germany
1969 Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw,” premieres in London
1968 U.S. launches Solar Explorer 2 to study the Sun
1967 WEDN TV channel 53 in Norwich, CT (PBS) begins broadcasting
1966 75 MPH air currents causes BOAC 707 crash into Mount Fuji, 124 die
1966 Bob Seagren pole vaults 5.19m indoor world record
1966 Player reps elect Marvin Miller, as executive director of Players’ Association
1966 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1965 1st performance of Walter Piston’s 8th Symphony
1965 Ernie Terrel beats Eddie Machen in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1964 Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., announces a baseball team is moving there
1964 Emergency crisis proclaimed in Ceylon due to social unrest
1963 Beatles record “From Me to You” and “Thank You Girl”
1962 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1960 Elvis Presley ends 2-year hitch in U.S. Army
1960 Ice Dance Championship at Vancouver won by Denny and Jones (GRB)
1960 Ice Pairs Championship at Vancouver won by Wagner and Paul (CAN)
1960 Men’s Figure Skating Championship in Vancouver won by Alain Giletti (FRA)
1960 Worlds Ladies Figure Skating Champions in Vanc won by Carol E Heiss (USA)
1959 Iran and U.S. sign economic / military treaty
1958 Explorer 2 fails to reach Earth orbit
1958 KDUH TV channel 4 in Scottsbluff-Hay Spring, NB (ABC) 1st broadcast
1957 Eamon de Valera’s Fianna Fail-party wins election in Ireland
1957 Sergeant Bilko satirizes Elvis Presley (Elvis Pelvin)
1956 “King Kong,” 1st televised
1956 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Jacksonville Golf Open
1955 WBBJ TV channel 7 in Jackson, Tennessee (ABC) begins broadcasting
1954 “Girl in Pink Tights” opens at Mark Hellinger New York City for 115 performances
1952 Terence Rattigan’s “Deep Blue Sea,” premieres in London
1949 Bradman plays his last innings in 1st-class cricket, gets 30
1948 Actor Eli Wallach marries actress Anne Jackson
1948 U.S. rocket flies record 4800 KPH to 126k height
1946 Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri; nothing has ever happened in Fulton, Missouri, before or since he spoke there.
1945 Allies bombs The Hague, Netherlands
1945 Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Patch meet in Luneville
1945 U.S. 7th Army Corps captures Cologne
1945 U.S. Ladies Figure Skating championship won by Gretchen Merrill
1944 1st performance of Walter Piston’s 2nd Symphony
1943 Anti fascist strikes in Italy ultimately lead to collapse of Mussolini and Italy’s realignment with the Anti-Fascist Allies, spelling ultimate doom for Hitler’s Germany.
1943 RAF bombs Essen, Rhineland, Germany
1942 Tito establishes 3rd Proletariat Brigade in Bosnia
1942 Dmitri Shostakovich’ 7th Symphony, premieres in Siberia
1942 Japanese troop march into Batavia
1936 Spitfire makes it’s 1st flight (Eastleigh Aerodrome in Southampton)
1935 1st premature baby health law in U.S. (Chicago)
1934 Mother-in-law’s day 1st celebrated (Amarillo, Texas)
1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims 10-day bank holiday
1933 Germany’s Nazi Party wins majority in parliament (43.9%-17.2M votes)
1931 Gandhi and British viceroy Lord Irwin sign pact
1928 Karl Zuckmayer’s “Der Hauptmann von Kopenick,” premieres in Berlin
1927 1,000 U.S. Marines land in China to protect American property
1924 Computing-Tabulating-Recording Corp becomes IBM
1924 Frank Carauna, becomes 1st to bowl 2 successive perfect 300 games
1924 King Hussein of Hedzjaz appoints himself kalief
1923 1st old age pension plans in U.S. established by Montana and Nevada
1922 “Nosferatu” premieres in Berlin; Vampires of the World Unite!  You have nothing to lose but your Crypts—you have a World of Cinema and Television shows and popular cultural immortality (“immortality”, a Latin rooted word = “athanati” in Greek = “undead” in English).
1919 Louis Hirsch and Harold Atteridge’s musical premieres in New York City
1917 1st jazz recording for Victor Records released
1912 Spanish steamer “Principe de Asturias” sinks NE of Spain, 500 die
1910 Ramon Inclan’s “La Farsa Infantil de la Cabeza del Dragon,” premieres
1910 Stanley Cup: Montreal Wanderers beat Ottawa Senators, 3-1
1908 1st ascent of Mount Erebus, Antarctica 

1908 Rex Harrison, born in England, actor, My Fair Lady, Dr. Doolittle

 

1907 1st radio broadcast of a musical composition aired
1903 Definitive treaty for construction of Baghdad railway drawn
1900 American Hall of Fame found
1899 1st performance of Edward MacDowell’s 2nd Concerto in D 

1898 Zhou Enlai, Chinese Statesman
1897 Mei-ling Soong, Madame Chiang Kai-shek

 

1896 Italian premier Crispi resigns
1896 Italians governor of Eritrea, General Baldissera, reaches Massawa
1894 Seattle authorizes 1st municipal employment office in U.S. 

1893 Emmett J. Culligan, founder of water treatment organization

 

1877 Rutherford B. Hayes inaugurated as 19th U.S. president; he was the First United States President until George W. Bush in 2000 who was neither fairly elected in the popular vote nor electoral college.  The real winner of the election of 1876 was Samuel J. Tilden, previously Mayor of New York City and Governor of New York, prosecutor of “Boss Tweed” and general White Hat Good Guy Democrat who promised the restoration of civil order and White Rule in the South after the atrocities of Reconstruction and the War Between the States.  President Ulysses S. Grant was suspicious of Tilden and most Republicans were simply unwilling to accept Tilden as President under any conditions.   Constitutional collapse was averted, as it was in 2000, by a massive subversion of the constitution and thwarting of popular will expressed through the ballot.   The “Compromise of 1877” led to the Inauguration of the defeated Republican Candidate Rutherford B. Hayes and the withdrawal of United States Troops from the South, returning de facto and de jure power to White Supremacist (formerly Confederate) majorities throughout the South.  Samuel J. Tilden retired to endow, build, and develop both Central Park and the New York Public Library.  He is one of the unsung heroes of American History.  He could fairly easily have started a second Civil War (with New York this time squarely on the side of the South—there were pro-Southern and anti-Union Draft riots in New York during the four year conflict) but instead Tilden accepted the corrupt result of the Compromise of 1877 to avoid the further destruction to which war would inevitably have led.
1872 George Westinghouse, Jr. patents triple air brake for trains 

1871 Maria do Carmo Geronimo, Brazilian lives to be at least 126
1870 [B] Franc[lin] Norris, U.S., writer, McTeague, Octopus
1870 Rosa Luxemburg, Polish Activist
1869 Michael von Faulhaber, cardinal and archbishop of Munich

 

1868 Arrigo Boito’s opera “Mefistofele,” premieres in Milan
1868 Stapler patented in England by C. H. Gould; plain white paper would never be safe again from repeated stabbing and mutilation.
1868 U.S. Senate organizes to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson; this was not the only idiotic impeachment trial ever actually held in the United States.  The charges against Andrew Johnson were basically that he was being too kind and lenient to his crushed homeland—the Southern United States, after the failure of Constitutional government led to secession and “Civil War” between the States in 1861-65.  As preposterous and unjust as the charges against Johnson were, the charges against William Jefferson Clinton tried in January-February 1999 were even stupider, arising from the President’s dalliance with White House Intern named Monica Lewinsky.  The people of the world for the most part simply looked at the idiots who put Clinton on trial and shook their heads.  The only socially important result of the Clinton Impeachment/Monica Lewinsky trial was that fellatio (female-to-male oro-genital sex) has been generally defined as “not sex” in American culture.  This preposterous result rests on the heads of Bill Clinton and his lawyers, and on his wife Hillary, who is now Secretary of State.
1864 1st track meet between Oxford and Cambridge
1862 Union troops under Brigadier-General Wright occupy Fernandina (on Amelia Island), in far Northeast Florida (Nassau County, north of Jacksonville, next to the Georgia Border).  Fernandina Island has one of the most bizarre histories in the South, as the site of a “Republic of Pirates” in the early years of the Nineteenth Century and many expeditionary exploits relating to U.S.-Spanish relations and the Independence Movement (and U.S. “Manifest Destiny”) in Mexico, Central, and South America.  Amelia Island/Fernandina was a major port for the slave-trade (officially abolished by law, and pursuant to the Constitution, in 1807).
1856 Covent Garden Opera House destroyed in a fire; it was rebuilt in order to serve as the opening setting for “My Fair Lady” starring Rex Harrison, born on this day in 1908…..
1856 Georgia becomes 1st state to regulate railroads; it is not clear whether General William Tecumsah Sherman violated any of the Georgia State Railroad regulations during his March to the Sea and burning of Atlanta in the fall of 1864, or whether the trains continued to operate pursuant to those regulations at all during the Yankee occupation….. Georgia railroads are shown in the movie “Gone with the Wind” but whether or not this portrayal is accurate no evidence of regulation is used as a plot device.   It seems likely that Sherman may have slowed railroad commerce in Georgia appreciably, thus defeating the purpose of the regulations.
1849 Zachary Taylor sworn in as 12th president
1845 Congress appropriates $30,000 to ship camels to western U.S.
1836 Samuel Colt manufactures 1st pistol, 34-caliber “Texas” model—this was during the Texas Revolution, 3 days after the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos and one day before the Fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. 

1824 James Merritt Ives, lithographer, Currier and Ives

 

1821 Monroe is 1st President inaugurated on March 5th, because 4th was Sun
1820 Dutch city of Leeuwarden forbids Jews to go to synagogues on Sundays 

1817 Austen H. Layard, British archaeologist and diplomat

 

1807 1st performance of Ludwig von Beethoven’s 4th Symphony in B
1795 Amsterdam celebrates Revolution on the Dam; Square of Revolution
1795 Treaty of Basel-Prussia ends war with France
1783 King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski grants rights to Jews of Kovno
1770 Boston Massacre, British troops kill 5 in crowd was the culmination of civilian-military tensions that had been growing since royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts in October 1768. The soldiers were in Boston to keep order in face of the growing discontent with the heavy taxation imposed by the Townshend acts. But townspeople viewed them not as order keepers but as oppressors and threats to independence. Brawls became common.In 1768, the Commissioners of Customs, who acquired their jobs in Britain and drew their pay from what they collected in America, were so intimidated by the resistance they met in Boston that they demanded military protection. Boston’s fifteen thousand or so residents were clearly the worst malcontents on the North American continent. It was imperative that they be put in their place. 

General Thomas Gage (Commander In Chief of the British Army in America) agreed and ordered the regiments (under the command of British Lt. Colonel William Dalrymple), the “14th West Yorkshire Fuseliers,” and the “29th Worcestershire,” to Boston, which would arrive from Halifax in September. Six weeks later the “64th” and “65th” Regiments, with an addition of a detachment of the “59th” Regiment and a train of artillery with two cannon — in all about 700 men — arrived from Ireland to protect the men who collected customs duties for the King of England. To the people of Boston the coming of the troops was outrageous. They had been fighting for years against infringement by Britain of their right to tax themselves.

In one of the most famous and elaborate of Paul Revere’s engravings, Landing of British Troops at Boston, it shows the arrival of the red-coated British troops. Revere wrote that the troops “formed and marched with insolent parade, drums beating, fifes playing, and colours flying, up King Street. Each soldier having received 16 rounds of powder and ball.” Troops of the 29th, unable to secure lodgings in town, pitched tents on the common. The stench from their latrines wafted through the little city on every breeze.

When Colonel Dalrymple requested that all of his men be assigned to the homes of citizens, the Boston council took a firm stand. It declared that citizens were not required to furnish quarters until all the barracks space was filled, and Castle William, in the harbor, had plenty of empty berths. Besides, British Redcoats had already made a deep impression upon Americans during the French and Indian War. These career soldiers were widely regarded as being surly, brutal, and greedy; and no man of any sense was ready to see even one of them put into the house with his wife and daughters.

Governor Bernard, however, had counted upon dispersing the troops into the homes of malcontents as a way of putting pressure upon them. He declared that concentrating soldiers at Castle William would thwart the decisions made in London. The Boston councilmen held firm and refused to budge. Desperate, the governor designated empty factory buildings and small, empty buildings throughout the city to the troops.

Even under normal circumstances the presence of General Thomas Gage’s troops (nearly one for every four inhabitants) would have led to trouble. Now, the imposition of an occupation force on a city already torn with strife, made bloodshed a foregone conclusion.

By 1770 Boston was an occupied town. It had been compelled to accept the presence of four regiments of British regulars. For eighteen months they had treated the inhabitants with insolence, posted sentries in front of public offices, engaged in street fights with the town boys, and used the Boston Common for flogging unruly soldiers and exercising troops (then acting governor, Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts, refuted these allegations).

It began when a young barber’s apprentice by the name of Edward Garrick shouted an insult at Hugh White, a soldier of the 29th Regiment on sentry duty in front of the Customs House (a symbol of royal authority). White gave the apprentice a knock on the ear with the butt of his rifle. The boy howled for help, and returned with a sizable and unruly crowd, cheifly boys and youths, and, pointing at White, said, “There’s the son of a bitch that knocked me down!” Someone rang the bells in a nearby church. This action drew more people into the street. The sentry found himself confronting an angry mob. He stood his ground and called for the main guard. Six men, led by a corporal, responded. They were soon joined by the officer on duty, Captain John Preston of the “29th,” with guns unloaded but with fixed bayonets, to White’s relief.

The crowd soon swelled to almost 400 men. They began pelting the soldiers with snowballs and chunks of ice. Led by a huge mulatto, Crispus Attucks, they surged to within inches of the fixed bayonets and dared the soldiers to fire. The soldiers loaded their guns, but the crowd, far from drawing back, came close, calling out, “Come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare, God damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not,” and striking at the soldiers with clubs and a cutlass.

Whereupon the soldiers fired, killing three men outright and mortally wounding two others. The mob fled. As the gunsmoke cleared, Crispus Attucks (left) and four others lay dead or dying. Six more men were wounded but survived.

Captain Preston, the soldiers, and four men in the Customs House alleged to have fired shots from it were promptly arrested, indicted for murder, and held in prison pending trial for murder in the Massachusetts Superior Court, which prudently postponed the trial until the fall, thus giving the people of Boston and vicinity from whom the jury would be drawn, time to cool off.

All troops were immediately withdrawn from town. John Adams defended the soldiers at their trials (Oct. 24-30 and Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 1770); Preston and four men were acquitted, while two soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and released after being branded on the hand.

The calm with which the outcome of the trials was accepted doubtless was attributable in large measure to the evidence at the trials that the soldiers had not fired until they were attacked. But another important factor was the withdrawl of the troops from Boston immediately after the “Massacre.” The sending of British warships and troops to Boston for the protection of the American Customs Board and the “Massacre” resulting from the prescence of troops there were, however, ultimately of great significance in the movement toward the revolution.

The “Massacre” served as anti-British propaganda for Boston radicals and elsewhere heightened American fears of standing armies.

1766 Don Antonio de Ulloa takes possession of Louisiana Terr from French, three years after formal transfer of Louisiana West of the Mississippi from French to Spanish ownership in 1763.  His governorship was so ineffective and unpopular that there was a rebellion against Spanish Rule in 1768 which exiled Uloa and briefly restored French “Independence” from New Orleans to St. Louis, but this state of affairs lasted less than nine months (October 27, 1768-July 19, 1769) and ended when Irish-Spanish “Wild Goose” Count Alejandro O’Reilly, born in Dublin in 1722, arrived from Cuba with 2000 Spanish troops, arrested, tried, and executed five of the French Leaders of the short-lived rebellion.  It was a little known and rare occurrence for the White Creoles of the New World to rise up against their Colonial Masters, and this little episode in Louisiana history has gone largely ignored and forgotten for its lack of socio-historical progeny—and for the economic success Spanish “Luisiana” after O’Reilly’s repression of the French Creole uprising.  O’Reilly himself spent less than a year in New Orleans.
1760 Princess Carolina marries General Charles Christian van Nassau-Weilburg
1750 1st American Shakespearean production-“altered” Richard III, New York City
1746 Jacobite troops evacuate Aberdeen, Scotland, so hurriedly that they left a large stock of muskets and gunpowder which fall into the hands of the British and are no longer part of the arsenal in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie which met its final defeat one month and 11 days later on Culloden Muir just outside of Inverness to the east on April 16, 1746.  It was not the sort of withdrawal that makes its way into heroic ballads—one of the Jacobite officers is said to have left his pet cat sleeping in front of the fireplace.  (But history does not appear to record what disposition King George’s Government might have made of the feline aligned with the maligned malcontents who maladroitly miscarried their miniature move towards reverse (anti-Hanoverian) regime change.
1743 1st U.S. religious journal, The Christian History, published by Thomas Prince, Pastor of Boston’s Old South Church throughout , Boston to report on the revivals sweeping America and Europe. One who notably and memorably wrote to Prince in relation to “The Christian History” was Connecticut’s (and Yale University’s) “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”/”The Ends for Which God Created Earth” preacher (and Vice-President/Killer of Alexander Hamilton—Aaron Burr’s Grandfather) Jonathan Edwards, who described the “Great Awakening” and changes taking place in Northampton (Massachusetts): “There has been vastly more religion kept up in the town, among all sorts of persons, in religious exercises, and in common conversation, than used to be before: there has remain’d a more general seriousness and decency in attending the publick worship; there has been a very great alteration among the youth of the town, with respect to revelling, frolicking, profane and unclean conversation, and lewd songs: instances of fornication have been very rare: there has also been a great alteration amongst both old and young with respect to tavern-haunting. I suppose the town has been in no measure so free of vice in these respects, for any long time together, for this sixty years, as it has been this nine years past. There has also been an evident alteration with respect to a charitable spirit to the poor.” The Christian History ran only two years. However, it’s founder, Thomas Prince was so influential that Prince Street and Princeton, Massachusetts were named after him. Francis Asbury, famed Methodist bishop, described reading the work with profit.  Jonathan Edwards died while President of the College of New Jersey, which also later became known as “Princeton”.
1684 Emperor Leopold I, Hapsburg Holy Roman Kaiser, the Kingdom of Poland, and the Republic Venice signed the “Holy Alliance of Linz”, whereby these three countries would form an alliance against the Turks, who were storing way too much gunpowder in the Parthenon, leading to that beautiful temple’s tragic destruction, but the truth is that the Ottoman Empire by this time was already stagnate and posed little real threat to Europe, especially compared to the events of the 15th-16th century, the time of the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the life of St. John Capistran (San Juan Capistrano), and finally the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 which the “Holy League” of Austria, Spain, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Savoy, the Republics of Genoa and Venice, and the Papal States turned back the Muslim tide, preventing Europe from becoming an Islamic Continent.   Since 1948, ironically enough, England and other European Countries have been inviting/allowing so many Muslim immigrants into Western Europe that the results of the Battle of Lepanto could well be nullified completely before the 500th anniversary of that event which will happen 60 years, seven months, and two days from the date of this blog on October 7, 2071.  Increasingly it seems that Pakistanis are the most vibrant ethnic group in England, Turks dominate German labor, and Algerians and Moroccans now control their former colonial masters in France.  Where, if anywhere, will it all end?  Today in the wake of the rebellion against Mohamar Ghaddaffi, Italy is being flooded with immigrants from its own former (albeit short lived) colony of Libya. 

1658 Antoine Cadillac, french colonial governor of America—he probably never owned an expensive automobile by a publicly owned General Motors might look like nor imagined what “Body by Fisher” would have meant three hundred-to-three hundred fifty years later.  My Louisiana-Frecnh born grandmother Helen loved Cadillacs (the GM cars) and knew something about the history of Antoine, Sieur de Cadillac, but how few others remember him?

 

1651 South Sea dike in Amsterdam breaks after storm 

1637 John van der Heyden, Dutch painter and inventor, fire extinguisher

 

1623 1st American temperance law enacted, Virginia
1616 Copernicus’ “de Revolutionibus” placed on Catholic Forbidden index; it was in EXCELLENT company of course and the words “Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat” written down by books approved by the Catholic Censors have become synonymous with the prior restraint which is expressly forbidden by the First Amendment.
1579 Betuwe joins Union of Utrecht
1558 Smoking tobacco introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes (pardon my French but WHAT AN F-ING DISASTER!)   March 5 should be a day of mourning for the millions of lung-cancer victims killed in Europe and the Americas as a result of this introduction.  I have little or no sympathy for smokers of tobacco in modern times, no more than I do for people who shoot themselves in the head or slit their wrists.  Smoking tobacco is basically an abomination without EVEN as much arguable benefit as smoking Cannabis Sativa L.
1528 Utrecht governor Maarten van Rossum plunders The Hague
1496 English king Henry VII hires John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore.  Cabot sailed across the North Atlantic to Newfoundland, Labrador, and what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, explored the St. Lawrence River and opened up the great Western North Atlantic/Newfoundland fisheries to English fisherman—one of the greatest food resources ever exploited, paving the way for eventual English Colonization of these areas.
1461 Henry VI was deposed by Edward IV, coincidentally also the Fourth Duke of York, during War of the Roses; Edward IV was also was the 7th Earl of March, the 5th Earl of Cambridge, the 9th Earl of Ulster, and the 65th Knight of the Golden Fleece.  He reigned for Nine Years until he died in 1470 and was then succeeded by Henry VI who returned from but reigned only briefly before being dying under somewhat historically obscure circumstances.  Edward IV’s younger brother Richard became Richard III, the last King before Henry VII instituted the “Tudor” dynasty from Wales and ended the war of the Roses.   Second only two Henry V, “Richard III” is probably the best known of Shakespeare’s history plays and schoolboys, such as the author of this blog, were required to memorize “Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this Sun of York, and all that glowered upon our house, in the deep bosom of the ocean buried” Soliloquy for approximately 400 years.  Should I recite it all in print here from memory?  You’ll pass?  Oh well, another time.  “Henry VI, Parts I , II, and III” together form Shakespeare’s longest and least memorable of the history plays, with no Jack Falstaff, no Harry Hotspur, no John of Gaunt, in short none of the wonderful characters that made Shakespeare’s other trilogy, Henry IV, Parts I, II, and III, not only tolerable but memorable. 

1326 Louis I, the Great, King of Hungary, 1342-82, Poland, 1370-82
1324 David II Bruce, king of Scotland, 1331 – 1371

 

1179 3rd Lateran Council (11th ecumenical council) opens in Rome.  March 5 was the first day of the Third Lateran, Eleventh Ecumenical Council.  But this day does not a great event in Christian history but arguably one of key events providing the reasons why the Universal Church failed to stay “universal”, and why the Pope in Rome was for many years seen to be the enemy of good religion and rational social policy.  Just for example, for the first time in Christian history (but in a tradition continuing to the present), priests were forbidden to marry or have friendship with women—even the sometimes apparently misogynistic St. Paul wrote  in one of his foulest moods: “It is better to Marry than to burn”.   The logic and morality behind a Celibate Clergy is simply incomprehensible in light of Christ’s teachings in the Gospels and Paul’s letters, not to mention the reality of human life—but it happened, at least “de jure” (never of course, “de facto”).  Sodomy was also forbidden and punishments provided, although how this prohibition was consistent with or supported the prohibition on priests having normal heterosexual relations to procreate is quite mysterious to the rational human mind.  Other “highlights” of the Third Lateran Council were increasingly oppressive laws against Jews and Muslims and “heretics” living in Christian Countries and provided automatic excommunication for anyone who lent money at interest (then known as “usury” without regard to any legal rate).   The Vatican City in Rome could do well to expunge and reverse all of these ordinances of the 3rd Lateran Council, although some charitable and educational and rational financial measures were also included (most notably positive was the prohibition on charing money for administration of any sacrament).