Edited by Gerald Boerner
Wow! This is a day filled with significant events. The most public of these takes place at sunrise time in a small Pennsylvania town, Punxsutawney, on Gobbler’s Knob. This is the time each year when the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerges from its burrow and predicts the time of the coming spring. Does it accomplish its task? Who cares — the town is covered by national TV and newspapers and brings crowds to the small town. It is big business and a tradition that was started in 1887! In addition, on this day in 1904, the beloved author of so many books that have entertained children for the last century was born. Theodor Geisel, the beloved Dr. Seuss, started life in Massachusetts and became a cartoonist. Our lives have been enriched by his many stories.
On a more historical note, on this day in 1836, Sam Houston and a group of Texians declared their independence from Mexico. After the Texians defeated General Santa Ana and the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, an independent country, the Republic of Texas, was created. A dozen years later, after Tyler signed the legislation to annex The Republic of Texas to the United States, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to end the Mexican American War in 1848. This treaty ceded much of the Mexican territory in the southwest to the United States to give us ownership of most of the land from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Our nation now spanned the continent.
This day in history also witnessed one of the strange oddities of the electoral process. In the 1877 presidential election, the Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden, won the majority of the popular vote but lost the presidency! How could this happen? Some political back-room negotiations provided enough electoral votes for the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, to elect him the new president by one electoral vote. This was dirty politics of the worse sort, not all that different than the “hanging chad” controversy of the 2000 election.
A couple of major human rights events have occurred on this day. In 1807, Congress passed a law that banned the importation of slaves into our country. The U.S. Constitution provided protection of the slave trade for twenty years as part of one of the compromising made to gain ratification of this new constitution. The new law took effect on January 1, 1808; this law did NOT prohibit slavery, only the importation of new slaves. On this day in 1990, President H.W. de Klerk of South Africa announced the removal of the ban against the anti-apartheid groups, like the African National Congress, and led to the release of Nelson Mandela nine days later. Mandela would become the first president of a non-segregated South Africa.
Finally, this day witnessed the flight, in 1949, of the Lucky Lady II on the completion of a record-setting non-stop flight around-the-world on a Boeing B-50 bomber. This flight took 94 hours with a crew of fourteen and four in-flight refuelings. This was a demonstration of strength to the Soviet Union and occurred one year before the start of the Korean War.
We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 1461 Words ]
Quotations Related to Sam Houston:
“A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.”
— Sam Houston
“I am aware that in presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone.”
— Sam Houston
“I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.”
— Sam Houston
“All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.”
— Sam Houston
“In the name of the constitution of Texas, which has been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her.”
— Sam Houston
“Remember that whatever may be said by a lady or her friends, it is not part of conduct of a gallant or generous man to take up arms against a woman.”
— Sam Houston
Notable Events of the Day: March 2nd…
Noteworthy Events on this Day:
Sam Houston is born near Lexington, Virginia.
The U.S. Congress passes a bill outlawing the importation of slaves into the country; it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 1808. The United States Constitution, Article 1 Section 9 protected the slave trade for twenty years. Only starting January 1, 1808 could laws become effective to end the slave trade.
The Republic of Texas declares its independence from Mexico. Texas is unique among the states by being the one of only a couple of states which, prior to statehood, had been an independent country due to the efforts and leadership of Sam Houston.
American diplomat Nicholas Trist and Mexican peace commissioners Luis Cuevas, Bernardo Couto and Miguel Atristain sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican-American War. The treaty grants the United States more than 525,000 square miles of former Mexican territory that includes present-day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona,most of New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Wyoming, in exchange for $15 million.
Despite Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden winning the popular vote in the U.S. presidential election of 1876, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes is declared the winner, surpassing Tilden by a single electoral vote. Hayes is inaugurated three days later.
Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, declare that a groundhog named Phil has the ability to predict the weather, deciding whether there will be an early spring or six more weeks of winter. Every Groundhog Day followed. Phil and his successors will forecast on February 2nd at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney.
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss. Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
Puerto Rico becomes a U.S. territory and its inhabitants U.S. citizens.
The film King Kong, depicting the tragic affection of a gigantic gorilla-like creature for movie actress Ann Darrow (played by Fay Wray), debuts at Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy in New York. The character has become one of the world’s most famous movie icons and, as such, has transcended the medium.
Two days after German Field Marshall (Generalfeldmarshal) Friedrich von Paulus surrended to the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, the remaining German forces of the Sixth Army ceased fighting around the Soviet city of Stalingrad; 91,000 Germans are taken prisoner. This battle was one of the major turning points in World War II. This battle cost both sides a combined 2 million casualties.
Capt. James Gallagher lands the Lucky Lady II at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first ever nonstop around-the-world flight. A crew of 14 flew aboard the B-50 Superfortress bomber on its 94-hour flight, refueling the aircraft four times while in the skies along the way.
Jay Leno makes his debut as a guest comedian on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Leno will take over full-time hosting duties from Carson in 1992.
During an address to his nation’s parliament, South African President F.W. de Klerk announces the end of the ban on anti-apartheid politician parties such as the African National Congress. He also pledges the release of ANC leader Nelson Mandela, who had been jailed for 27 years; Mandela was freed nine days later.
King Kong Trailer (1933)… (3:24)
Previously Posted Topics:
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Sam Houston: Republic of Texas…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: End of Mexican-American War…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: 1876 Presidential Election: Hayes Wins in Backroom Negotiations…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Groundhog Day: Watching Punxsutawney Phil Foretell the Weather…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: F.W. de Klerk & Nelson Mandela: End of Apartheid Announced…
Wikipedia: Lucky Lady II: B-50 Superfortress Circles the World Nonstop First…
Wikipedia: Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves…
Wikipedia: King Kong: Fictional Movie Character Debuts in NYC in 1933…