Mad as a March hare: if you’re feeling like that after the long cold February we’ve endured, find out what extraordinary days this month has engendered. It’s mostly famous as the home of the “Ides” which did for Julius Caesar. What are the Ides of March? Do other months have Ides? (They do.)
On March the …
1st, 1932: Charles Lindbergh III, the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the family’s new mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey.This was one of the most sensational stories of the era in the US. The unfortunate baby was found some days later, murdered, near the family house. Eventually, a culprit, German immigrant Bruno Hauptmann, was found and executed in 1935.
4th, 1933: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office and delivered his first inaugural address, trying to boost Americans in the throes of the Great Depression, with a phrase that would become famous: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”
5th, 1946: The “Iron Curtain” speech was delivered by Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill used the term to describe the boundary in Europe between free countries of the West and nations of Eastern Europe under Soviet Russia’s control.
15th, 44BC: Gaius Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Not a good day for JC, who had been told “Beware the Ides of March” by a soothsayer.
15th, 2001: John Gilligan was found not guilty of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996; however, he was sentenced to 28 years in prison on drug-related crimes. The sentence is twice what most people expected and six years more than the previous longest sentence for a drugs offence.
19th, 1988: Two British soldiers, Corporal Derek Wood and Corporal David Howes, who drove into a Republican area of Belfast during a funeral procession, were seized and killed, with the world’s cameras recording the horror.
29th, 2007: U2 lead singer Bono accepted an honorary knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II with one condition — “don’t call me Sir”. The award was in recognition of his contributions to music and humanitarian work.
30th, 1981: President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest while walking toward his limousine in Washington, DC, following a speech inside a hotel. The president was then rushed into surgery to remove a 22-calibre bullet from his left lung. “I should have ducked,” Reagan joked. Three others were also hit including Reagan’s Press Secretary, James Brady, who was shot in the forehead but survived.
Birthday of the Month:
On March 2nd in 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator of such beloved children’s books as The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel, who used his middle name (which was also his mother’s maiden name) as his pen name, wrote 48 books – including some for adults – that have sold more than 200 million copies.