588 B.C. – Ezekiel Prophesied Against Egypt.
515 B.C. – The Approximate Date that Haman Began His Attack on Israel Before Ahasuerus.
Approximate Date of the Beginning of the Hebrew Fast of Esther.
As you know Esther was the lady used of God to save the Jews from destruction. Though Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is not mentioned, there are few books in the Bible where the hand of God is more obvious and the workings of God are more visible. Esther was a young woman dedicated to God to do His will. Pray for young women whom you know today. Pray for your daughter or for other young women with whom you have contact and over whom you have influence. There is a great need today for womanhood to be re-established. These are days when girls want to talk like men, dress like men, hold men’s jobs, have men’s haircuts, etc. Pray for womanhood and especially for God’s blessings upon young ladies.
1803 – Ohio was Admitted to the Union.
Let us thank God for the Christian testimony in Ohio and let us pray for His blessings upon Christians and Christian workers in this great state.
1867 – Nebraska was Admitted to the Union.
Pray for Christians and for missionary workers in Nebraska.
1932 – Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. was Kidnapped.
Many of us who have lived a little longer than others remember this tragic story.
“On this day in 1932, in a crime that captured the attention of the entire nation, Charles Lindbergh III, the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, is kidnapped from the family’s new mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey. Lindbergh, who became an international celebrity when he flew the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, and his wife Anne discovered a ransom note demanding $50,000 in their son’s empty room. The kidnapper used a ladder to climb up to the open second-floor window and left muddy footprints in the room.
The Lindberghs were inundated by offers of assistance and false clues. Even Al Capone offered his help from prison. For three days, investigators found nothing and there was no further word from the kidnappers. Then, a new letter showed up, this time demanding $70,000.
The kidnappers eventually gave instructions for dropping off the money and when it was delivered, the Lindberghs were told their baby was on a boat called Nelly off the coast of Massachusetts. After an exhaustive search, however, there was no sign of either the boat or the child. Soon after, the baby’s body was discovered near the Lindbergh mansion. He had been killed the night of the kidnapping and was found less than a mile from home. The heartbroken Lindberghs ended up donating the mansion to charity and moved away.
The kidnapping looked like it would go unsolved until September 1934, when a marked bill from the ransom turned up. The gas station attendant who had accepted the bill wrote down the license plate number because he was suspicious of the driver. It was tracked back to a German immigrant and carpenter, Bruno Hauptmann. When his home was searched, detectives found a chunk of Lindbergh ransom money.
Hauptmann claimed that a friend had given him the money to hold and that he had no connection to the crime. The resulting trial was a national sensation. The prosecution’s case was not particularly strong; the main evidence, besides the money, was testimony from handwriting experts that the ransom note had been written by Hauptmann. The prosecution also tried to establish a connection between Hauptmann and the type of wood that was used to make the ladder.
Still, the evidence and intense public pressure were enough to convict Hauptmann and he was electrocuted in 1935. In the aftermath of the crime—the most notorious of the 1930s—kidnapping was made a federal offense.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lindbergh-baby-kidnapped (Mar 1, 2012)
1791 – John Wesley Died.
He said, “All glory to God in the sky and peace upon earth be restored.” He then asked for his pen. He got up, though very weak, and sang, “I’ll praise my Maker while I have breath, and when my voice is lost in death, praise shall employ my nobler power. My days of praise shall ne’er be past while life and thought and being last, or immortality endures.”
He then got into his chair, he asked for praise and prayer and then sang some more. Just above a whisper he said, “The best of all, God is with us.” His dry dying lips were wetted and then he said, “The Lord is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Farewell!”
1830 – The First School for the Blind was Opened.
Do you know of some blind person today into whose life you could bring some cheer? Why not do it? Perhaps a visit, a telephone call, or just a pat on the back would brighten his day so much. Do it now.
1836 – Texas Independence Day.
1904 – Dr. Seuss born
“On this day 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,” is 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 well over 200 million copies and been translated into multiple languages. Dr. Seuss books are known for their whimsical rhymes and quirky characters, which have names like the Lorax and the Sneetches and live in places like Hooterville.
Geisel, who was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was editor of the school’s humor magazine, and studied at Oxford University. There he met Helen Palmer, his first wife and the person who encouraged him to become a professional illustrator. Back in America, Geisel worked as a cartoonist for a variety of magazines and in advertising.
The first children’s book that Geisel wrote and illustrated, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” was rejected by over two dozen publishers before making it into print in 1937. Geisel’s first bestseller, “The Cat in the Hat,” was published in 1957. The story of a mischievous cat in a tall striped hat came about after his publisher asked him to produce a book using 220 new-reader vocabulary words that could serve as an entertaining alternative to the school reading primers children found boring.
Other Dr. Seuss classics include “Yertle the Turtle,” “If I Ran the Circus,” “Fox in Socks” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”
Some Dr. Seuss books tackled serious themes. “The Butter Battle Book” (1984) was about the arms buildup and nuclear war threat during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “Lorax” (1971) dealt with the environment.
Many Dr. Seuss books have been adapted for television and film, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “Horton Hears a Who!” In 1990, Geisel published a book for adults titled “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” that became a hugely popular graduation gift for high school and college students.
Geisel, who lived and worked in an old observatory in La Jolla, California, known as “The Tower,” died September 24, 1991, at age 87.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dr-seuss-born (Mar 2, 2012).
519 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Rebuilding of the Temple.
This is the approximate date of the rebuilding of the Temple after captivity.
1845 – Florida was Admitted to the Union.
There are many wonderful Christians and churches in the state of Florida. Pray for them today. Especially pray for those whom you know personally.
1847 – The Birthday of Alexander Graham Bell.
Once again our thoughts are turned toward the telephone. Let us praise God today for this asset to our way of life.
1847 – The First United States Postage Stamp was Used.
Thank God for the miracle of the Post Office and our postal system. Through the telephone and the mail God’s work is aided tremendously. May we pause to thank God for these assets to His work.
1849 – The Founding of the Department of the Interior.
1887 – Helen Keller meets her miracle worker
“On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936.
Sullivan, born in Massachusetts in 1866, had firsthand experience with being handicapped: As a child, an infection impaired her vision. She then attended the Perkins Institution for the Blind where she learned the manual alphabet in order to communicate with a classmate who was deaf and blind. Eventually, Sullivan had several operations that improved her weakened eyesight.
Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, to Arthur Keller, a former Confederate army officer and newspaper publisher, and his wife Kate, of Tuscumbia, Alabama. As a baby, a brief illness, possibly scarlet fever, left Helen unable to see, hear or speak. She was considered a bright but spoiled and strong-willed child. Her parents eventually sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and an authority on the deaf. He suggested the Kellers contact the Perkins Institution, which in turn recommended Anne Sullivan as a teacher.
Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild, stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller’s hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller’s hands under water from a pump and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” in Keller’s palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.
Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/helen-keller-meets-her-miracle-worker (Mar 3, 2012).
1931- The Star-Spangled Banner Became the Official National Anthem.
Sing it today and ask God’s blessings on our nation.
THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
Oh, say, can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream.
Tis the star-spangled banner; Oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
And where is the band, who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ polution;
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
1789 – The First United States Congress Met.
Pray for your congressman. Pray for your senator. Thank God for our nation and the system of free enterprise we have enjoyed through many years. Ask God to give wisdom to those who lead us.
1791- Vermont was Admitted to the Union.
It has been my privilege to preach in the far eastern part of our United States, and I sincerely believe that the East is in dire need of a Jonathan Edwards or a Charles G. Finney. Let us pray for spiritual conditions in this section of our nation and for God’s people who serve here.
1861 – Abraham Lincoln was Inaugurated.
As we have done so many times during the year, we pause today to pray for the office of President of the United States. We thank God for Abraham Lincoln, his life, his testimony, his leadership. Then we must pray for God to bless our President today. Our lives, our children’s lives, the lives of our children’s children and their children will be affected by decisions he is making. He needs our prayers.
1888 – The Birthday of Knute Rockne, the Famous Football Coach.
1913 – The Founding of the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce.
Pray for these strategic departments today.
1933 – FDR inaugurated
“On March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his famous inaugural address, delivered outside the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal”–an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although it was a rainy day in Washington, and gusts of rain blew over Roosevelt as he spoke, he delivered a speech that radiated optimism and competence, and a broad majority of Americans united behind their new president and his radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression.
Born into an upper-class family in Hyde Park, New York, in 1882, Roosevelt was the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th U.S. president from 1901 to 1909. In 1905, Franklin Roosevelt, who was at the time a student at Columbia University Law School, married Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the niece of Theodore Roosevelt. After three years as a lawyer, he decided to follow his cousin Theodore’s lead and sought public office, winning election to the New York State Senate in 1910 as a Democrat. He soon won a reputation as a charismatic politician dedicated to social and economic reform.
Roosevelt supported the progressive New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, and after Wilson’s election in 1912 Roosevelt was appointed assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, a post that Theodore Roosevelt once held. In 1920, Roosevelt, who had proved himself a gifted administrator, won the Democratic nomination for vice president on a ticket with James Cox. The Democrats lost in a landslide to Republicans Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, and Roosevelt returned to his law practice and undertook several business ventures.
In 1921, he was stricken with poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. He spent several years recovering from what was at first nearly total paralysis, and his wife, Eleanor, kept his name alive in Democratic circles. He never fully covered and was forced to use braces or a wheelchair to move around for the rest of his life.
In 1924, Roosevelt returned to politics when he nominated New York Governor Alfred E. Smith for the presidency with a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention. In 1928, he again nominated Smith, and the outgoing New York governor urged Roosevelt to run for his gubernatorial seat. Roosevelt campaigned across the state by automobile and was elected even as the state voted for Republican Herbert Hoover in the presidential election.
As governor, Roosevelt worked for tax relief for farmers and in 1930 won a resounding electoral victory just as the economic recession brought on by the October 1929 stock market crash was turning into a major depression. During his second term, Governor Roosevelt mobilized the state government to play an active role in providing relief and spurring economic recovery. His aggressive approach to the economic crisis, coupled with his obvious political abilities, gave him the Democratic presidential nomination in 1932.
Roosevelt had no trouble defeating President Herbert Hoover, who many blamed for the Depression, and the governor carried all but six states. During the next four months, the economy continued to decline, and when Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, most banks were closed, farms were suffering, 13 million workers were unemployed, and industrial production stood at just over half its 1929 level.
Aided by a Democratic Congress, Roosevelt took prompt, decisive action, and most of his New Deal proposals, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, and creation of the Public Works Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority, were approved within his first 100 days in office. Although criticized by many in the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he easily won reelection.
During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and Japanese aggression and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its isolationist slumber. In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Reelected by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective commander in chief after the December 1941 U.S. entrance into the war. Under Roosevelt’s guidance, America became, in his own words, the “great arsenal of democracy” and succeeded in shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies’ favor. In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was reelected to a fourth term.
Three months after his inauguration, while resting at his retreat at Warm Springs,Georgia, Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the nation’s capital, his body was buried in a family plot in Hyde Park. Millions of Americans mourned the death of the man who led the United States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s unparalleled 13 years as president led to the passing of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limited future presidents to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms in office.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-inaugurated (Mar 4, 2012).
In a Few Days Spring will Begin.
It will not be long until in some areas the flowers will begin to bloom. We are reminded of the resurrection. Let us ask God to help us live a resurrected life that will remind others of a living resurrected Christ.
1770 – The Date of the Boston Massacre.
1806 – Elizabeth Browning was Born.
Elizabeth Browning was an invalid. It is said that she could not even lift her head. Robert Browning came to see her one day, and she fell in love with him and he with her. On his second visit, she sat up in bed. On his third visit, she eloped with him. It is amazing, is it not, what love can do and what strength can be derived from its power.
1933 – The Ordination of the Well Known Evangelist, Pastor, Radio Preacher, Dr. J. Harold Smith.
I have known this servant of God for many years. For years he has been an outstanding preacher. He has directed the Radio Bible Hour over the Mexican Station XERF for many, many years. Perhaps he is best known because of his radio ministry. Because of this, let us turn our attention today toward radio preachers. There are many nationwide radio broadcasts and many local broadcasts. At this writing, it is my joy to be on a nationwide chain of radio stations. I know that radio preachers need your help. They need your support. Pray for your favorite radio preachers today. Write them letters and send them an offering for the carrying on of the radio ministry. Also, thank God for the ministry of J. Harold Smith and other evangelists and preachers who carry the message of hope to the lost world.
1953 – The Death of Joseph Stalin.
Though Lenin is dead and Stalin is dead, the Satanic philosophy of communism is very much alive. We must pray and work to stop its spread across the world.
1963 – Hula-Hoop patented
“On this day in 1963, the Hula-Hoop, a hip-swiveling toy that became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed by Wham-O in 1958, is patented by the company’s co-founder, Arthur “Spud” Melin. An estimated 25 million Hula-Hoops were sold in its first four months of production alone.
In 1948, friends Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr founded a company in California to sell a slingshot they created to shoot meat up to falcons they used for hunting. The company’s name, Wham-O, came from the sound the slingshots supposedly made. Wham-O eventually branched out from slingshots, selling boomerangs and other sporting goods. Its first hit toy, a flying plastic disc known as the Frisbee, debuted in 1957. The Frisbee was originally marketed under a different name, the Pluto Platter, in an effort to capitalize on America’s fascination with UFOs.
Melina and Knerr were inspired to develop the Hula-Hoop after they saw a wooden hoop that Australian children twirled around their waists during gym class. Wham-O began producing a plastic version of the hoop, dubbed “Hula” after the hip-gyrating Hawaiian dance of the same name, and demonstrating it on Southern California playgrounds. Hula-Hoop mania took off from there.
The enormous popularity of the Hula-Hoop was short-lived and within a matter of months, the masses were on to the next big thing. However, the Hula-Hoop never faded away completely and still has its fans today. According to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, in April 2004, a performer at the Big Apple Circus in Boston simultaneously spun 100 hoops around her body. Earlier that same year, in January, according to the Guinness World Records, two people in Tokyo, Japan, managed to spin the world’s largest hoop–at 13 feet, 4 inches–around their waists at least three times each.
Following the Hula-Hoop, Wham-O continued to produce a steady stream of wacky and beloved novelty items, including the Superball, Water Wiggle, Silly String, Slip ‘n’ Slide and the Hacky Sack.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hula-hoop-patented (Mar 5, 2012).
1995 – Dr. Curtis Hutson Died
1521 – Magellan’s Day.
1836 – The Battle of the Alamo.
1899 – Bayer patents aspirin
“On this day in 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co.
Now the most common drug in household medicine cabinets, acetylsalicylic acid was originally made from a chemical found in the bark of willow trees. In its primitive form, the active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine, beginning in ancient Greece when Hippocrates used it to relieve pain and fever. Known to doctors since the mid-19thcentury, it was used sparingly due to its unpleasant taste and tendency to damage the stomach.
In 1897, Bayer employee Felix Hoffman found a way to create a stable form of the drug that was easier and more pleasant to take. (Some evidence shows that Hoffman’s work was really done by a Jewish chemist, Arthur Eichengrun, whose contributions were covered up during the Nazi era.) After obtaining the patent rights, Bayer began distributing aspirin in powder form to physicians to give to their patients one gram at a time. The brand name came from “a” for acetyl, “spir” from the spirea plant (a source of salicin) and the suffix “in,” commonly used for medications. It quickly became the number-one drug worldwide.
Aspirin was made available in tablet form and without a prescription in 1915. Two years later, when Bayer’s patent expired during the First World War, the company lost the trademark rights to aspirin in various countries. After the United States entered the war against Germany in April 1917, the Alien Property Custodian, a government agency that administers foreign property, seized Bayer’s U.S. assets. Two years later, the Bayer company name and trademarks for the United States and Canada were auctioned off and purchased by Sterling Products Company, later Sterling Winthrop, for $5.3 million.
Bayer became part of IG Farben, the conglomerate of German chemical industries that formed the financial heart of the Nazi regime. After World War II, the Allies split apart IG Farben, and Bayer again emerged as an individual company. Its purchase of Miles Laboratories in 1978 gave it a product line including Alka-Seltzer and Flintstones and One-A-Day Vitamins. In 1994, Bayer bought Sterling Winthrop’s over-the-counter business, gaining back rights to the Bayer name and logo and allowing the company once again to profit from American sales of its most famous product.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/bayer-patents-aspirin (Mar 6, 2012).
1933 – The President Closed the Banks Because of the Depression.
This should lead us to thank God for the prosperity and plenty we have in America today. I was a depression baby. Born on September 25, 1926, I was a little child during the depression days. I remember seeing the jobless walking the streets. I remember the soup lines where hundreds and thousands waited to be fed enough food to keep them alive. I remember my father coming in night after night with a negative report concerning his employment. I remember my mother weeping because she did not have enough food to feed me. I remember going to bed early at night to keep warm because there was no fire. I remember having one potato for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember standing in line with my father waiting to receive some food from the relief. I remember going to a shoe store and getting a pair of shoes free because we could not afford shoes. I remember dreaming of the day when I could ride in a car. I remember wearing hand-me-down clothes brought over from my Aunt and Uncle’s house. I remember dreaming of the day we could take a daily newspaper that was brought to our house at the end of the week by some friends. I remember!
Today I wear good clothes. I buy nice shoes. We own two cars (we and the finance company do). I take two daily newspapers. We have plenty of food to eat. God has been good to us. I bless the Lord today for His goodness. Won’t you join me?
1876 – The Bell Telephone Was Patented.
“On this day in 1876, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for his revolutionary new invention–the telephone.
The Scottish-born Bell worked in London with his father, Melville Bell, who developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf. In the 1870s, the Bells moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where the younger Bell found work as a teacher at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf. He later married one of his students, Mabel Hubbard.
While in Boston, Bell became very interested in the possibility of transmitting speech over wires. Samuel F.B. Morse’s invention of the telegraph in 1843 had made nearly instantaneous communication possible between two distant points. The drawback of the telegraph, however, was that it still required hand-delivery of messages between telegraph stations and recipients, and only one message could be transmitted at a time. Bell wanted to improve on this by creating a “harmonic telegraph,” a device that combined aspects of the telegraph and record player to allow individuals to speak to each other from a distance.
With the help of Thomas A. Watson, a Boston machine shop employee, Bell developed a prototype. In this first telephone, sound waves caused an electric current to vary in intensity and frequency, causing a thin, soft iron plate–called the diaphragm–to vibrate. These vibrations were transferred magnetically to another wire connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument. When that diaphragm vibrated, the original sound would be replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument. Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message–the famous “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”–from Bell to his assistant.
Bell’s patent filing beat a similar claim by Elisha Gray by only two hours. Not wanting to be shut out of the communications market, Western Union Telegraph Company employed Gray and fellow inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own telephone technology. Bell sued, and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Bell’s patent rights. In the years to come, the Bell Company withstood repeated legal challenges to emerge as the massive American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and form the foundation of the modern telecommunications industry.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/alexander-graham-bell-patents-the-telephone (Mar 7, 2012).
Many of us are far too prone to overlook the conveniences which we have grown to take for granted. I can remember how my mother used to iron with an old flat iron. She would put it on top of the wood stove until it got hot enough and she would iron for awhile. When it cooled off, she would put it on the wood stove again and wait for it to get hot. I can remember the old wood stove and the kerosene stove with which we used to warm and cook. I can remember the curling ironer that Mother used. She would put the curling ironer inside the kerosene lamp until it got warm enough to do some good. Then she would curl her hair and go through the process again. I can remember the old wash pot. I can remember bringing water from the well. I can recall the old outhouses. Compare these with the modern electric steam irons we have today, with the beauty salons, the modern plumbing, the telephone, the radio, the television, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and other things we have today. How ungrateful we would be if we did not pause regularly to thank God for such conveniences. May we spend some time today in doing so.
The Birthday of D. B. Eastep.
D. B. Eastep was for many years the pastor of the large and well known Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky. He was a leader in his area and in many respects one of the leaders of fundamentalists for many years. I find myself today thanking God for preachers who lead preachers and pastors who pastor preachers.
1876 – The Santa Fe Railroad was Built.
The first route was to Pueblo, Colorado. We have previously thanked God for this wonderful contribution to our way of life. May we do so again today.
1917 – The Russian Revolution Began.
“In Russia, the February Revolution (known as such because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar) begins when riots and strikes over the scarcity of food erupt in Petrograd. One week later, centuries of czarist rule in Russia ended with the abdication of Nicholas II, and Russia took a dramatic step closer toward communist revolution.
By 1917, most Russians had lost faith in the leadership ability of the czarist regime. Government corruption was rampant, the Russian economy remained backward, and Nicholas repeatedly dissolved the Duma, the Russian parliament established after the Revolution of 1905, when it opposed his will. However, the immediate cause of the February Revolution–the first phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917–was Russia’s disastrous involvement in World War I. Militarily, imperial Russia was no match for industrialized Germany, and Russian casualties were greater than those sustained by any nation in any previous war. Meanwhile, the economy was hopelessly disrupted by the costly war effort, and moderates joined Russian radical elements in calling for the overthrow of the czar.
On March 8, 1917, demonstrators clamoring for bread took to the streets in the Russian capital of Petrograd (now known as St. Petersburg). Supported by 90,000 men and women on strike, the protesters clashed with police but refused to leave the streets. On March 10, the strike spread among all of Petrograd’s workers, and irate mobs of workers destroyed police stations. Several factories elected deputies to the PetrogradSoviet, or “council,” of workers’ committees, following the model devised during the Revolution of 1905.
On March 11, the troops of the Petrograd army garrison were called out to quell the uprising. In some encounters, regiments opened fire, killing demonstrators, but the protesters kept to the streets, and the troops began to waver. That day, Nicholas again dissolved the Duma. On March 12, the revolution triumphed when regiment after regiment of the Petrograd garrison defected to the cause of the demonstrators. The soldiers, some 150,000 men, subsequently formed committees that elected deputies to the Petrograd Soviet.
The imperial government was forced to resign, and the Duma formed a provisional government that peacefully vied with the Petrograd Soviet for control of the revolution. On March 14, the Petrograd Soviet issued “Order No. 1,” which instructed Russian soldiers and sailors to obey only those orders that did not conflict with the directives of the Soviet. The next day, March 15, Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Michael, whose refusal of the crown brought an end to the czarist autocracy.
The new provincial government, tolerated by the Petrograd Soviet, hoped to salvage the Russian war effort while ending the food shortage and many other domestic crises. It would prove a daunting task. Meanwhile, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik revolutionary party, left his exile in Switzerland and crossed German enemy lines to return home and take control of the Russian Revolution.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/february-revolution-begins (Mar 8, 2012).
Whenever I think of the Russian Revolution, I think of the fanaticism and dedication that has been evident in the lives of people who have spread communism. I compare this with complacency of the Christian church and bow my head in shame. If the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s redeemed people would have as much zeal and dedication in the spreading of the truth as godless communist followers do in the spreading of error, we could make a mark in this world for Jesus Christ. Let us pray God to give us the same devotion for our Lord as these people have for Lenin and the same devotion to our message of hope as they have to their message of hopelessness.
1930 – President Taft Died.
You may have noticed in this book that almost every week (if not every week) I have called your attention to the need to pray for our President. Let us do so again today. We may not agree concerning who should be the President, but we all agree concerning the importance of the job. Let us pray for him today.
1829 – The Post Office Department was Officially Organized.
1847 – The Date of the Battle of Vera Cruz.
1875 – Moody and Sankey Began the Famous London Campaign.
Of course, we should thank God for the contribution of Dwight Moody to our country and to our world. Then we should pray for London. In 1965 I was privileged to visit London and to see some of the spiritual heritage of this great city. America owes much of her spiritual heritage to England – her John Wesleys, Charles Wesleys, George Whitefields, and others. She made tremendous contributions to America. In a real sense, England is our mother. England has seen the days of Moody, the days of Spurgeon, the days of Wesley, and the days of Booth and has truly seen the days of real revival. Today she languishes in apostasy and the Gospel is certainly not the norm for English people. Pray today for England. Pray for missionaries there. Pray for pastors there. Pray for God’s people there. Pray for revival in England.
While we are thinking about revival in England, we should also think about revival in America. America was born in revival. The revivaI in the 1800’s with Peter Cartwright and Jonathan Edwards, the revival starting with the Fulton Street prayer-meeting, the revivals of Dwight Moody, the revivals of R. A. Torrey, the revivals of Billy Sunday, and others still ring in our ears while we sadly bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “We have heard with our ears, O God our fathers have told us… ” (Psalm 44:1) God help us somehow not only to hear about the revivals in the past but to see revivals today.
1890 – The Birthday of the Communist Leader Molotov.
1959 – Barbie makes her debut
On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City.
Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. After seeing her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women, Handler realized there was an important niche in the market for a toy that allowed little girls to imagine the future.
Barbie’s appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Originally marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops, the Lilli doll later became extremely popular with children. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Handler named after her daughter, Barbara. With its sponsorship of the “Mickey Mouse Club” TV program in 1955, Mattel became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children. They used this medium to promote their new toy, and by 1961, the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to release a boyfriend for Barbie. Handler named him Ken, after her son. Barbie’s best friend, Midge, came out in 1963; her little sister, Skipper, debuted the following year.
Over the years, Barbie generated huge sales–and a lot of controversy. On the positive side, many women saw Barbie as providing an alternative to traditional 1950s gender roles. She has had a series of different jobs, from airline stewardess, doctor, pilot and astronaut to Olympic athlete and even U.S. presidential candidate. Others thought Barbie’s never-ending supply of designer outfits, cars and “Dream Houses” encouraged kids to be materialistic. It was Barbie’s appearance that caused the most controversy, however. Her tiny waist–it was estimated that if she were a real woman, her measurements would be 36-18-38–led many to claim that Barbie provided little girls with an unrealistic and harmful example and fostered negative body image.
Despite the criticism, sales of Barbie-related merchandise continued to soar, topping 1 billion dollars annually by 1993. Since 1959, more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family have been sold around the world and Barbie is now a bona fide global icon. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/barbie-makes-her-debut (Mar 9, 2012).
1778 – Daniel Boone was Captured by the Indians.
1862 – The Date of the First United States Paper Money.
1864 – General Grant was Made Commander of the Union Army.
1876 – The First Telephone Call was Made.
Call a friend today and tell him of your love. Use the telephone for God today.
1898 – George Mueller Died.
George Mueller was founder of a famous orphanage. It is said that he fed 1,677 children strictly by faith. There was no denominational support – strictly prayer to God and faith in God. It has been estimated that George Mueller prayed down over seven million dollars to feed these nearly 1,700 children. The epitaph on his grave simply says, “George Mueller fell asleep.”
George Mueller was filled with the Holy Spirit, so the story goes, when he saw Christians on their knees in prayer for the first time. He was so impressed with this position of prayer that he himself went to his knees and became the powerful man of prayer that he was.
1944 – Irvin S. Cobb Died.
1959 – Rebellion in Tibet
“On this day in 1959, Tibetans band together in revolt, surrounding the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces.
China’s occupation of Tibet began nearly a decade before, in October 1950, when troops from its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded the country, barely one year after the Communists gained full control of mainland China. The Tibetan government gave into Chinese pressure the following year, signing a treaty that ensured the power of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the country’s spiritual leader, over Tibet’s domestic affairs. Resistance to the Chinese occupation built steadily over the next several years, including a revolt in several areas of eastern Tibet in 1956. By December 1958, rebellion was simmering in Lhasa, the capital, and the PLA command threatened to bomb the city if order was not maintained.
The March 1959 uprising in Lhasa was triggered by fears of a plot to kidnap the Dalai Lama and take him to Beijing. When Chinese military officers invited His Holiness to visit the PLA headquarters for a theatrical performance and official tea, he was told he must come alone, and that no Tibetan military bodyguards or personnel would be allowed past the edges of the military camp. On March 10, 300,000 loyal Tibetans surrounded Norbulinka Palace, preventing the Dalai Lama from accepting the PLA’s invitation. By March 17, Chinese artillery was aimed at the palace, and the Dalai Lama was evacuated to neighboring India. Fighting broke out in Lhasa two days later, with Tibetan rebels hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. Early on March 21, the Chinese began shelling Norbulinka, slaughtering tens of thousands of men, women and children still camped outside. In the aftermath, the PLA cracked down on Tibetan resistance, executing the Dalai Lama’s guards and destroying Lhasa’s major monasteries along with thousands of their inhabitants.
China’s stranglehold on Tibet and its brutal suppression of separatist activity has continued in the decades following the unsuccessful uprising. Tens of thousands of Tibetans followed their leader to India, where the Dalai Lama has long maintained a government-in-exile in the foothills of the Himalayas.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rebellion-in-tibet (Mar 10, 2012).
1796 – The Birthdate of Francis Wayland.
Wayland was converted early in life. He became a Baptist preacher and an educator. He was president of Brown University from 1827 until 1855. Pray today for your pastor and preachers everywhere. Why not pause to thank God for your pastor, and ask God to give him strength.
1896 – The Birthdate of Charles W. Koller.
Koller was born in Waco, Texas, and was president of Northern Baptist Seminary in Chicago from 1938 to 1961. It was my privilege to speak at the Seminary and to have lunch with Dr. Koller not long before his death. This gives us the opportunity today to pray for seminaries. Oh, how we need seminaries that are true to the Word of God. Let us thank God for those who stand. Let us support them financially and send them our young people. Pray for God to raise up more seminaries which are loyal to the Bible and have a burden for souls.
1897 – Henry Drummond Died.
Henry Drummond was a Scottish biologist, lecturer, and religious writer who was a great help to the Moody-Sankey team’s ministry in the British Isles. Though some would feel that he was not as fundamental as he should be, others considered him to be an outstanding Christian layman. He died at the age of 46. Perhaps his big mistake was trying to reconcile Christianity and evolution.
Drummond was a great writer on love. For some reason or another today the word “love” is running through my mind. Let us pray for God to help us love each other, to love Him, and to love sinners.
One night while flying on an airplane I told a lady about Jesus Christ. Suddenly she looked at me weeping and crying, “Mister, does your God love me too?” I wonder how many people wonder if our God loves them.
1959 – Gustaf Johnson Died in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Johnson was reputed to be a great soul winner, pastor, and defender of the faith. Some consider him to have been the outstanding personality of the Mission Covenant group (known later as the Evangelical Covenant Church of America). He was widely used, having spoken at Moody’s Founder’s Week and other conferences around America.
1997 – Paul McCartney knighted
“On this day in 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.” The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London. Fans waited outside in a scene reminiscent of Beatlemania of the 1960s. Crowds screamed as McCartney swept through the gates in his chauffeur-driven limousine and he answered with a thumbs-up.
McCartney’s wife, Linda, who was fighting breast cancer, did not accompany him, but three of their four children were at the palace. “I would have loved the whole family to be here, but when we heard there were only three tickets, we had to draw straws,” McCartney said. Linda McCartney would succumb to cancer 13 months later on April 17, 1998.
As for the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, Sir Paul said that since they learned that he would be knighted, “They call me ‘Your Holiness.'” McCartney dedicated his knighthood to fellow Beatles George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon and the people of the northwestern port of Liverpool. In October 1965, McCartney, along with fellow band members John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, collected MBE (Member of the British Empire) medals, much to the shock of the British establishment. Lennon, who returned his MBE in 1969 as a war protest, was assassinated in New York in 1980. Harrison would also succumb to cancer, passing away on November 29, 2001.
McCartney admitted he was very nervous before the ceremony but said it had been a great experience. “Proud to be British, wonderful day and it’s a long way from a little terrace (street) in Liverpool,” he told reporters. Aides said he won’t be calling himself “Sir Paul,” the title conferred when the queen tapped him on each shoulder with a naked sword as he knelt on the investiture stool. McCartney’s knighthood was considered long overdue even by the conservative standards used in Britain, which sees most such honors going to judges, scientists and politicians.
McCartney formed the group Wings after the Beatles split up in 1970, and made records with stars like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder before trying his hand at composing classical music. “The first time I really ever felt a tingle up my spine was when I saw Bill Haley and The Comets on the telly,” McCartney once said. “Then I went to see them live. The ticket was 24 shillings, and I was the only one of my mates who could go as no one else had been able to save up that amount. But I was single-minded about it. I knew there was something going on here.”” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/paul-mccartney-knighted (Mar 11, 2012).
1789 – The First United States Post Office was Completed.
1912 – The Girl Scouts Organization Was Formed.
Of course, the Girl Scouts has been a tremendous contribution to the lives of girls in our nation. We should seize upon this opportunity today to pray for our young girls. Perhaps you have in your home some little girls. Pray for God to make them all that He would have them be, for God to keep them pure. At this writing I have three precious girls: Becky is now seventeen, Linda is now twelve, and Cindy is now ten. Just last night in our family devotions, we were memorizing the Scripture and had come to memorizing the 120th Psalm which starts, “In my distress… ” Each of us had quoted the 120th Psalm aloud and then we bowed our heads to have our prayer time. Cindy was the first to pray, and in her prayer she started off unconsciously saying, “In my distress… ” and then realized that she had quoted the Scripture rather than praying. What a joy girls are! What a joy they have brought to me in my home! I am praying for my daughters today. Will you join me?
1933 – FDR gives first fireside chat
“On this day in 1933, eight days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Rooseveltgives his first national radio address or “fireside chat,” broadcast directly from the White House.
Roosevelt began that first address simply: “I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.” He went on to explain his recent decision to close the nation’s banks in order to stop a surge in mass withdrawals by panicked investors worried about possible bank failures. The banks would be reopening the next day, Roosevelt said, and he thanked the public for their “fortitude and good temper” during the “banking holiday.”
At the time, the U.S. was at the lowest point of the Great Depression, with between 25 and 33 percent of the work force unemployed. The nation was worried, and Roosevelt’s address was designed to ease fears and to inspire confidence in his leadership. Roosevelt went on to deliver 30 more of these broadcasts between March 1933 and June 1944. They reached an astonishing number of American households, 90 percent of which owned a radio at the time.
Journalist Robert Trout coined the phrase “fireside chat” to describe Roosevelt’s radio addresses, invoking an image of the president sitting by a fire in a living room, speaking earnestly to the American people about his hopes and dreams for the nation. In fact, Roosevelt took great care to make sure each address was accessible and understandable to ordinary Americans, regardless of their level of education. He used simple vocabulary and relied on folksy anecdotes or analogies to explain the often complex issues facing the country.
Over the course of his historic 12-year presidency, Roosevelt used the chats to build popular support for his groundbreaking New Deal policies, in the face of stiff opposition from big business and other groups. After World War II began, he used them to explain his administration’s wartime policies to the American people. The success of Roosevelt’s chats was evident not only in his three re-elections, but also in the millions of letters that flooded the White House. Farmers, business owners, men, women, rich, poor–most of them expressed the feeling that the president had entered their home and spoken directly to them. In an era when presidents had previously communicated with their citizens almost exclusively through spokespeople and journalists, it was an unprecedented step.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-gives-first-fireside-chat (Mar 12, 2012).
1959 – Congress Voted Hawaii as the Fiftieth State.
This calls to my mind a missionary whom we support in Hawaii. No doubt, you can think of some also. Pray for the work in HawaIi today. Pray for the missionaries there who labor faithfully in the Gospel work.
515 B.C. – The Approximate Date that Letters were Sent Out to Provinces to Destroy the Jews. (Esther 3:13)
509 B.C. – The Approximate Date When the Jews were Commanded to Kill Those Planning to Kill Them. (Esther 8:12)
1462 – The First Bible was Printed by Type.
Praise God for this day. May we join together in thanking God for the Bible.
One time a young lady read a book. She put the book down disgustedly after the first reading and said, “This is the worst book that I have ever read.” Shortly after, a young man came by selling this same book. He was the author. After he left, she read the book the second time. Because she had been impressed by the young man, she said after the second reading, “This is not a very good book but not as bad as I thought.” The young man came by again. They fell in love. She read the book again and said, “This is a good book.” The day came when they were engaged to be married. After they came home that evening she read the book for the fifth time and said, “This is the best book I have ever read.” The book had not changed; the young lady had simply fallen in love with the author. The same is true with the Word of God. Our degree of love for the Bible depends on how much we are in love with its Author.
1938 – Clarence Darrow Died.
1942 – U.S. Army launches K-9 Corps
“On this day in 1942, the Quartermaster Corps (QMC) of the United States Army begins training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or “K-9 Corps.”
Well over a million dogs served on both sides during World War I, carrying messages along the complex network of trenches and providing some measure of psychological comfort to the soldiers. The most famous dog to emerge from the war was Rin Tin Tin, an abandoned puppy of German war dogs found in France in 1918 and taken to the United States, where he made his film debut in the 1922 silent film The Man from Hell’s River. As the first bona fide animal movie star, Rin Tin Tin made the little-known German Shepherd breed famous across the country.
In the United States, the practice of training dogs for military purposes was largely abandoned after World War I. When the country entered World War II in December 1941, the American Kennel Association and a group called Dogs for Defense began a movement to mobilize dog owners to donate healthy and capable animals to the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army. Training began in March 1942, and that fall the QMC was given the task of training dogs for the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as well.
The K-9 Corps initially accepted over 30 breeds of dogs, but the list was soon narrowed to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malumutes and Eskimo dogs. Members of the K-9 Corps were trained for a total of 8 to 12 weeks. After basic obedience training, they were sent through one of four specialized programs to prepare them for work as sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs. In active combat duty, scout dogs proved especially essential by alerting patrols to the approach of the enemy and preventing surprise attacks.
The top canine hero of World War II was Chips, a German Shepherd who served with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. Trained as a sentry dog, Chips broke away from his handlers and attacked an enemy machine gun nest in Italy, forcing the entire crew to surrender. The wounded Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart–all of which were later revoked due to an Army policy preventing official commendation of animals.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-army-launches-k-9-corps (Mar 13, 2012).
509 B.C. -The Approximate Date When the Jews Killed Three Hundred at Shushan. (Esther 9:15)
It is wonderful how God has preserved the Jews through the years. There is no story in all the Bible that pictures this more beautifully than this story on Esther. It is not enough, however, to believe that God protects and cares for the Jews. This means that God protects and cares for His own people. I am one of His, too. If you are saved, you are also one of His. Consequently, just as God cared for His people in the days of old, God cares for His people today. We are reminded in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In this great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us how well He clothed the lilies of the field. Solomon could never clothe himself so beautifully and magnificently. God reminds us that He is conscious of every sparrow that falls to the ground. He reminds us that even the hairs on our head are numbered. He is simply trying to tell us He knows of our problems and our burdens and that He is able and willing
to care for us even as He cared for His people of old. The tragic thing is that we have not grown to live the life of trust.
When my little children come down to the table each morning for breakfast, they do not fret or worry. They believe that Daddy can provide their needs. Don’t you think your Heavenly Papa can provide your needs? Let us live the life of trust and faith in Him that He will protect us and care for us as He did for the Jews of Old. God still has some heavenly manna. God still has some food that ravens can bring. God still has rods that can part the Red Sea and rocks that can bring forth water as the one in Horeb. Let us believe in Him and trust Him.
509 B.C. – Approximate Date the Jews Rested After Slaying Their Enemies. (Esther 9:17)
It was a day of feasting and gladness.
1794 – The First Cotton Gin was Invented by Eli Whitney.
This will give us a good opportunity to thank God for our clothing. How good God has been to our nation and to our generation. I cannot get my mind off the children in Egypt, who wear in the daytime the same clothes in which they sleep at night. They are dirty and oftentimes unloved. They hold out their hands begging for something to eat. Go to your closet and the closets of your children and look at all you have! Thank God for clothing today.
1879 – Birthday of Albert Einstein.
“On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.
After a childhood in Germany and Italy, Einstein studied physics and mathematics at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a Swiss citizen and in 1905 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich while working at the Swiss patent office in Bern. That year, which historians of Einstein’s career call the annus mirabilis–the “miracle year”–he published five theoretical papers that were to have a profound effect on the development of modern physics.
In the first of these, titled “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light,” Einstein theorized that light is made up of individual quanta (photons) that demonstrate particle-like properties while collectively behaving like a wave. The hypothesis, an important step in the development of quantum theory, was arrived at through Einstein’s examination of the photoelectric effect, a phenomenon in which some solids emit electrically charged particles when struck by light. This work would later earn him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
In the second paper, he devised a new method of counting and determining the size of the atoms and molecules in a given space, and in the third he offered a mathematical explanation for the constant erratic movement of particles suspended in a fluid, known as Brownian motion. These two papers provided indisputable evidence of the existence of atoms, which at the time was still disputed by a few scientists.
Einstein’s fourth groundbreaking scientific work of 1905 addressed what he termed his special theory of relativity. In special relativity, time and space are not absolute, but relative to the motion of the observer. Thus, two observers traveling at great speeds in regard to each other would not necessarily observe simultaneous events in time at the same moment, nor necessarily agree in their measurements of space. In Einstein’s theory, the speed of light, which is the limiting speed of any body having mass, is constant in all frames of reference. In the fifth paper that year, an exploration of the mathematics of special relativity, Einstein announced that mass and energy were equivalent and could be calculated with an equation, E=mc2.
Although the public was not quick to embrace his revolutionary science, Einstein was welcomed into the circle of Europe’s most eminent physicists and given professorships in Zýrich, Prague, and Berlin. In 1916, he published “The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity,” which proposed that gravity, as well as motion, can affect the intervals of time and of space. According to Einstein, gravitation is not a force, as Isaac Newton had argued, but a curved field in the space-time continuum, created by the presence of mass. An object of very large gravitational mass, such as the sun, would therefore appear to warp space and time around it, which could be demonstrated by observing starlight as it skirted the sun on its way to earth. In 1919, astronomers studying a solar eclipse verified predictions Einstein made in the general theory of relativity, and he became an overnight celebrity. Later, other predictions of general relativity, such as a shift in the orbit of the planet Mercury and the probable existence of black holes, were confirmed by scientists.
During the next decade, Einstein made continued contributions to quantum theory and began work on a unified field theory, which he hoped would encompass quantum mechanics and his own relativity theory as a grand explanation of the workings of the universe. As a world-renowned public figure, he became increasingly political, taking up the cause of Zionism and speaking out against militarism and rearmament. In his native Germany, this made him an unpopular figure, and after Nazi leader Adolf Hitlerbecame chancellor of Germany in 1933 Einstein renounced his German citizenship and left the country.
He later settled in the United States, where he accepted a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He would remain there for the rest of his life, working on his unified field theory and relaxing by sailing on a local lake or playing his violin. He became an American citizen in 1940.
In 1939, despite his lifelong pacifist beliefs, he agreed to write to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of a group of scientists who were concerned with American inaction in the field of atomic-weapons research. Like the other scientists, he feared sole German possession of such a weapon. He played no role, however, in the subsequent Manhattan Project and later deplored the use of atomic bombs against Japan. After the war, he called for the establishment of a world government that would control nuclear technology and prevent future armed conflict.
In 1950, he published his unified field theory, which was quietly criticized as a failure. A unified explanation of gravitation, subatomic phenomena, and electromagnetism remains elusive today. Albert Einstein, one of the most creative minds in human history, died in Princeton in 1955.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/albert-einstein-born (Mar 14, 2011).
1767 – The Birthday of Andrew Jackson.
1820 – Maine Entered the Union.
Pray for this state and the Christians who labor there.
1909 – The Birthday of the Well-Known Evangelist, Torry Johnson.
The day of evangelists and evangelism oftentimes seems to be over. In many denominations and Christian circles, revivals are laughed at, and evangelists are hardly used. How my own heart rejoices as I think of the contribution of evangelists such as Wilbur Chapman, Mordecai Ham, Billy Sunday, R. A. Torry, Dwight Moody and others. It is my joy today to know many evangelists and I thank God for them. There are hundreds of churches that would have no conversions annually were it not for faithful evangelists who come and conduct revivals. There are many churches who would receive few members, probably not enough to break even for the year, were it not for evangelists. Pray for every evangelist whose name you can think of today. Ask God if He would have you send a contribution to their ministry.
1919 – The American Legion was Formed.
1965 – Johnson calls for equal voting rights
“On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing voting rights for all.
Using the phrase “we shall overcome,” borrowed from African-American leaders struggling for equal rights, Johnson declared that “every American citizen must have an equal right to vote.” Johnson reminded the nation that the Fifteenth Amendment, which was passed after the Civil War, gave all citizens the right to vote regardless of race or color. But states had defied the Constitution and erected barriers. Discrimination had taken the form of literacy, knowledge or character tests administered solely to African-Americans to keep them from registering to vote.
“Their cause must be our cause too,” Johnson said. “Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.”
The speech was delivered eight days after racial violence erupted in Selma, Alabama. Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King and over 500 supporters were attacked while planning a march to Montgomery to register African-Americans to vote. The police violence that erupted resulted in the death of a King supporter, a white Unitarian Minister from Boston named James J. Reeb. Television news coverage of the event galvanized voting rights supporters in Congress.
A second attempt to march to Montgomery was also blocked by police. It took Federal intervention with the “federalizing” of the Alabama national guard and the addition of over 2,000 other guards to allow the march to begin.
The march to Montgomery finally began March 21 with over 3,000 participants under the glare of worldwide news publicity.
The violence, however, continued. Just after the march was successfully completed on March 25, four Klansman shot and killed Detroit homemaker Viola Liuzzo as she drove marchers back to Selma.
On August 6, 1965, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which made it illegal to impose restrictions on federal, state and local elections that were designed to deny the vote to blacks.
While state and local enforcement of the act was initially weak, mainly in the South, the Voting Rights Act gave African-American voters the legal means to challenge voting restrictions and vastly improved voter turnout. In Mississippi alone, voter turnout among blacks increased from 6 percent in 1964 to 59 percent in 1969.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon extended the provisions of the Voting Rights Act and lowered the eligible voting age for all voters to 18.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/johnson-appears-before-congress-to-demand-voting-rights-for-all (Mar 15, 2012).
1751 – James Madison was Born.
James Madison was the fourth President of our nation. Once again we pause to thank God for our President and to pray God’s leadership and blessing upon and to him in these strategic and perilous times. Remember this is a nation where a man can be born in a log cabin and become President. This is the nation where any boy may have as his dreams to be in the White House. May God keep it this way always.
1802 – West Point was Established.
“The United States Military Academy–the first military school in the United States–is founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.
Located on the high west bank of New York’s Hudson River, West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the commander of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 6,000 pounds. However, the plot was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to the British for protection.
Ten years after the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802, the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in congressional action to expand the academy’s facilities and increase the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the U.S. Military Academy was reorganized by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer–later known as the “father of West Point”–and the school became one of the nation’s finest sources of civil engineers. During the Mexican-American War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious U.S. forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War former West Point classmates regretfully lined up against one another in the defense of their native states.
In 1870, the first African-American cadet was admitted into the U.S. Military Academy, and in 1976, the first female cadets. The academy is now under the general direction and supervision of the department of the U.S. Army and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-military-academy-established (Mar 16, 2012).
Many of our greatest leaders have come from this institution. From its halls have come generals, U. S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, senators, congressmen, college presidents and other world leaders. How we should thank God for the educational institutions in America and pray for God to bring them to the Bible.
Of course, we must pray today for the Christian Colleges. It was my joy just a day or two ago to talk to Dr. Lee Roberson on the telephone concerning my coming to speak for that great college, Tennessee Temple Schools, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am reminded constantly to pray for this great school as well as other Christian schools. I pray regularly for Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where I am on the Board; for the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, for our Conservative Baptist colleges; and our Regular Baptist colleges; for the fundamental non-denominational schools and other schools of fundamental denominations. Let us bless God for Christian education.
May I suggest to each of us parents to pray carefully about where we should send our young people to college. How we need new schools founded upon the Word of God. Pray for your favorite Christian school today. Pray for the educational system in America. Write a letter and send an offering to some good Christian school expressing your thanks for its stand.
461 – Saint Patrick dies
“On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.
Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. For the next six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland, turning to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream one night, he escaped and found passage on a ship to Britain, where he was eventually reunited with his family.
According to the Confessio, in Britain Patrick had another dream, in which an individual named Victoricus gave him a letter, entitled “The Voice of the Irish.” As he read it, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country and walk among them once more. After studying for the priesthood, Patrick was ordained a bishop. He arrived in Ireland in 433 and began preaching the Gospel, converting many thousands of Irish and building churches around the country. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.
Since that time, countless legends have grown up around Patrick. Made the patron saint of Ireland, he is said to have baptized hundreds of people on a single day, and to have used a three-leaf clover–the famous shamrock–to describe the Holy Trinity. In art, he is often portrayed trampling on snakes, in accordance with the belief that he drove those reptiles out of Ireland. For thousands of years, the Irish have observed the day of Saint Patrick’s death as a religious holiday, attending church in the morning and celebrating with food and drink in the afternoon. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade, though, took place not in Ireland, but the United States, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. As the years went on, the parades became a show of unity and strength for persecuted Irish-American immigrants, and then a popular celebration of Irish-American heritage. The party went global in 1995, when the Irish government began a large-scale campaign to market St. Patrick’s Day as a way of driving tourism and showcasing Ireland’s many charms to the rest of the world. Today, March 17 is a day of international celebration, as millions of people around the globe put on their best green clothing and watch parades.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/saint-patrick-dies (Mar 17, 2012).
1910 – The Campfire Girls was Organized.
This would call to our attention several things:
1. If you have a girl, have a special prayer for her life today, that God will always keep her clean and pure.
2. Do something nice for your girl today. Maybe surprise her with a gift. Better still, take her somewhere, just the two of you, and let her enjoy your company.
3. Dedicate yourself to be a better parent and to rear your girl in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
St. Patrick’s Day
This, of course, would lead us to pray for our friends, our Christian friends, in Ireland, and for the work of the Gospel in this great country.
1837 – The Birthdate of Grover Cleveland.
1852 – Wells and Fargo start shipping and banking company
“On this day in 1852, in New York City, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business.
The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank–buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California’s growing economy.
In 1857, Wells, Fargo and Co. formed the Overland Mail Company, known as the “Butterfield Line,” which provided regular mail and passenger service along an ever-growing number of routes. In the boom-and-bust economy of the 1850s, the company earned a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable business, and its logo–the classic stagecoach–became famous. For a premium price, Wells, Fargo and Co. would send an employee on horseback to deliver or pick up a message or package.
Wells, Fargo and Co. merged with several other “Pony Express” and stagecoach lines in 1866 to become the unrivaled leader in transportation in the West. When the transcontinental railroad was completed three years later, the company began using railroad to transport its freight. By 1910, its shipping network connected 6,000 locations, from the urban centers of the East and the farming towns of the Midwest to the ranching and mining centers of Texas and California and the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest.
After splitting from the freight business in 1905, the banking branch of the company merged with the Nevada National Bank and established new headquarters in San Francisco. During World War I, the U.S. government nationalized the company’s shipping routes and combined them with the railroads into the American Railway Express, effectively putting an end to Wells, Fargo and Co. as a transportation and delivery business. The following April, the banking headquarters was destroyed in a major earthquake, but the vaults remained intact and the bank’s business continued to grow. After two later mergers, the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company–shortened to the Wells Fargo Bank in 1962–became, and has remained, one of the biggest banking institutions in the United States.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/wells-and-fargo-start-shipping-and-banking-company (Mar 18, 2012).
1861 – The Metropolitan Tabernacle was Opened in London.
This, of course, was Spurgeon’s famous tabernacle. In 1965, and in 1969 I visited what is now still called the “Metropolitan Tabernacle.” It seats 1,700 people, 700 on the main floor and 1,000 in the balcony. Originally it seated several thousands of people. Someone asked Spurgeon one day what was the secret to his power. He opened a door in the floor beneath the pulpit, and there were some of his men on their faces praying for the services. “Here is the secret,” said Spurgeon. Can any of us doubt it? Pray for the work in London today.
1915 – The Date of the First Atlantic Wireless.
1813 – The Birthday of David Livingstone
What a missionary he was! What a tremendous work he did! What faith he had in his God! Only eternity will reveal the millions of souls that will be in Heaven because of the work of this great man. Once again, we turn our eyes toward the missionaries and the mission fields for our devotion today. Think of all the missionaries you know. Pray for them by name. One of the saddest parts of our missionary programs today is that they are so impersonal. Millions simply give to the church, not knowing a missionary at all by name, and not knowing who will get the money. For many years, I have sought to lead my churches to have a personalized missionary program. We know our missionaries; we pray for them by name. We send them presents, write them letters, and have personal contact with them. Perhaps even now, one of them is in special need. Your prayer could mean the difference.
Sit down now and write a letter to a missionary. Include a gift. Assure him of your prayers and interest, and meditate on his work for awhile. It will be a blessing to him as well as to your own heart.
Let us not forget to thank God for David Livingstone.
1860 – William Jennings Bryan was Born
2003 – War in Iraq begins
“On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, “At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” President Bush and his advisors built much of their case for war on the idea that Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed or was in the process of building weapons of mass destruction.
Hostilities began about 90 minutes after the U.S.-imposed deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face war passed. The first targets, which Bush said were “of military importance,” were hit with Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. fighter-bombers and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf. In response to the attacks, Republic of Iraq radio in Baghdad announced, “the evil ones, the enemies of God, the homeland and humanity, have committed the stupidity of aggression against our homeland and people.”
Though Saddam Hussein had declared in early March 2003 that, “it is without doubt that the faithful will be victorious against aggression,” he went into hiding soon after the American invasion, speaking to his people only through an occasional audiotape. Coalition forces were able to topple his regime and capture Iraq’s major cities in just three weeks, sustaining few casualties. President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Despite the defeat of conventional military forces in Iraq, an insurgency has continued an intense guerrilla war in the nation in the years since military victory was announced, resulting in thousands of coalition military, insurgent and civilian deaths.
After an intense manhunt, U.S. soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a six-to-eight-foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. He did not resist and was uninjured during the arrest. A soldier at the scene described him as “a man resigned to his fate.” Hussein was arrested and began trial for crimes against his people, including mass killings, in October 2005.
In June 2004, the provisional government in place since soon after Saddam’s ouster transferred power to the Iraqi Interim Government. In January 2005, the Iraqi people elected a 275-member Iraqi National Assembly. A new constitution for the country was ratified that October. On November 6, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006.
No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/war-in-iraq-begins (Mar 19, 2012).
1621 – The First Indian Treaty was Signed.
One does not have to travel far in this great nation of ours to find needy mission fields. So often we are prone to think of missions as being outside our own boundaries. Include in your vacation plans sometime a trip to New Mexico and Arizona and see the need for the Gospel among the Indian people. Of course, this same need is prevalent in and among Indians in other states as well as other minority groups that know nothing of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the finished work of the Cross of Calvary. Pray for the work among the Indians. Pray for the missionaries to the Indians. Pray that God will bring many precious Indian souls to Jesus Christ through their labor and ministry.
1685 – The Birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Though in our church we have allowed no classicai music to be played as offertories, preludes, etc., I am nevertheless a great lover of classical music. Almost every day I listen to the classics. One that loves good music would of necessity love to hear the music of Bach. He certainly was one of the masters. In these days of “hirky, jirky” sensual singing, thank God for good music.
1871 – Stanley begins search for Livingstone
“On this day in 1871, journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous search through Africa for the missing British explorer Dr. David Livingstone.
In the late 19th century, Europeans and Americans were deeply fascinated by the “Dark Continent” of Africa and its many mysteries. Few did more to increase Africa’s fame than Livingstone, one of England’s most intrepid explorers. In August 1865, he set out on a planned two-year expedition to find the source of the Nile River. Livingstone also wanted to help bring about the abolition of the slave trade, which was devastating Africa’s population.
Almost six years after his expedition began, little had been heard from Livingstone. James Gordon Bennett, Jr., editor of the New York Herald, decided to capitalize on the public’s craze for news of their hero. He sent Stanley to lead an expedition into the African wilderness to find Livingstone or bring back proof of his death. At age 28, Stanley had his own fascinating past. As a young orphan in Wales, he crossed the Atlantic on the crew of a merchant ship. He jumped ship in New Orleans and later served in the Civil War as both a Confederate and a Union soldier before beginning a career in journalism.
After setting out from Zanzibar in March 1871, Stanley led his caravan of nearly 2,000 men into the interior of Africa. Nearly eight months passed–during which Stanley contracted dysentery, cerebral malaria and smallpox–before the expedition approached the village of Ujiji, on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Sick and poverty-stricken, Livingstone had come to Ujiji that July after living for some time at the mercy of Arab slave traders. When Stanley’s caravan entered the village on October 27, flying the American flag, villagers crowded toward the new arrivals. Spotting a white man with a gray beard in the crowd, Stanley stepped toward him and stretched out his hand: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
These words–and Livingstone’s grateful response–soon became famous across Europe and the United States. Though Stanley urged Livingstone to return with him to London, the explorer vowed to continue his original mission. Livingstone died 18 months later in today’s Zambia; his body was embalmed and returned to Britain, where he was buried in Westminster Abbey. As for Stanley, he returned to Africa to fulfill a promise he had made to Livingstone to find the source of the Nile. He later damaged his reputation by accepting money from King Leopold II of Belgium to help create the Belgian-ruled Congo Free State and promote the slave trade. When he left Africa, Stanley resumed his British citizenship and even served in Parliament, but when he died he was refused burial in Westminster Abbey because of his actions in the Congo Free State.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/stanley-begins-search-for-livingstone (Mar 21, 2012).
1906 – The Birthday of John D. Rockefeller, III.
God has given some men the ability to make much money. Such has been the case of the Rockefellers. Regardless of how much money one has, money can become one of his greatest enemies when used wrongly. Each of us should dedicate his physical and material possessions to Jesus Christ. Let us together do this today.
1758 – This is the Date of the Death of Jonathan Edwards.
Jonathan Edwards was a great scholar and evangelist, who influenced America tremendously in the early days of our nation. He was small of stature and his eyesight was bad. It is said that he usually read his sermons, but, oh, the power of God was on him. Some have said that he spent as much as fifteen hours a day praying and studying the Word of God. His most famous sermon was “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It is said that while he preached it, people would fall on their faces begging God for mercy and hanging on to anything near to keep from falling immediately into the fires of hell.
It is interesting to note that Jonathan Edwards was voted out of his first pastorate for preaching against dancing and against unconverted folks taking the Lord’s Supper. We would suggest to our readers that each one take time to read of the life of this great man, one of the giants of the Cross.
1765 – Stamp Act imposed on American colonies
“In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act on this day in 1765. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice.
Though the Stamp Act employed a strategy that was a common fundraising vehicle in England, it stirred a storm of protest in the colonies. The colonists had recently been hit with three major taxes: the Sugar Act (1764), which levied new duties on imports of textiles, wines, coffee and sugar; the Currency Act (1764), which caused a major decline in the value of the paper money used by colonists; and the Quartering Act (1765), which required colonists to provide food and lodging to British troops.
With the passing of the Stamp Act, the colonists’ grumbling finally became an articulated response to what they saw as the mother country’s attempt to undermine their economic strength and independence. They raised the issue of taxation without representation, and formed societies throughout the colonies to rally against the British government and nobles who sought to exploit the colonies as a source of revenue and raw materials. By October of that year, nine of the 13 colonies sent representatives to the Stamp Act Congress, at which the colonists drafted the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances,” a document that railed against the autocratic policies of the mercantilist British empire.
Realizing that it actually cost more to enforce the Stamp Act in the protesting colonies than it did to abolish it, the British government repealed the tax the following year. The fracas over the Stamp Act, though, helped plant seeds for a far larger movement against the British government and the eventual battle for independence. Most important of these was the formation of the Sons of Liberty–a group of tradesmen who led anti-British protests in Boston and other seaboard cities–and other groups of wealthy landowners who came together from across the colonies. Well after the Stamp Act was repealed, these societies continued to meet in opposition to what they saw as the abusive policies of the British empire. Out of their meetings, a growing nationalism emerged that would culminate in the fighting of the American Revolution only a decade later.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/stamp-act-imposed-on-american-colonies (Mar 22, 2012).
1861 – W. B. Riley was Born
1934 – Independence was Granted to the Philippine Islands.
Just this past Sunday a man from the Philippines was in the services of our church. He has been in our country receiving some formal training. He now goes back to the Philippines. He expressed to me how ripe the Philippine Islands are for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps some of the finest missionary works in our day are being done in this part of our world. Our attention is drawn because of this to our brethren in the Philippine Islands. May we pray for them and the work of God there. Pray for the missionaries who serve there. You may even know some by name. They need our prayers. They would be glad and blessed to hear from you today.
The Earliest Date on which Easter can Fall.
1775 – The Date of Patrick Henry’s Oration.
The famous words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” will go through the corridors of American history. He tells us he would rather die than be a slave. He would rather be dead than not be free. To him security was not the main thing, but freedom. To him socialism was not the main thing, but freedom. He did not think the government owed him a living, but rather owed him the right to have a chance to make a living. Such slogans as “I’d rather be red than dead” have done great damage in our day. Where is American patriotism? Where is the tingling when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played? God give us liberty or give us death!
1839 – OK enters national vernacular
“On this day in 1839, the initials “O.K.” are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for “oll correct,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
During the late 1830s, it was a favorite practice among younger, educated circles to misspell words intentionally, then abbreviate them and use them as slang when talking to one another. Just as teenagers today have their own slang based on distortions of common words, such as “kewl” for “cool” or “DZ” for “these,” the “in crowd” of the 1830s had a whole host of slang terms they abbreviated. Popular abbreviations included “KY” for “No use” (“know yuse”), “KG” for “No go” (“Know go”), and “OW” for all right (“oll wright”).
Of all the abbreviations used during that time, OK was propelled into the limelight when it was printed in the Boston Morning Post as part of a joke. Its popularity exploded when it was picked up by contemporary politicians. When the incumbent president Martin Van Buren was up for reelection, his Democratic supporters organized a band of thugs to influence voters. This group was formally called the “O.K. Club,” which referred both to Van Buren’s nickname “Old Kinderhook” (based on his hometown of Kinderhook, New York), and to the term recently made popular in the papers. At the same time, the opposing Whig Party made use of “OK” to denigrate Van Buren’s political mentor Andrew Jackson. According to the Whigs, Jackson invented the abbreviation “OK” to cover up his own misspelling of “all correct.”
The man responsible for unraveling the mystery behind “OK” was an American linguist named Allen Walker Read. An English professor at Columbia University, Read dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the origins of “OK,” ranging from the name of a popular Army biscuit (Orrin Kendall) to the name of a Haitian port famed for its rum (Aux Cayes) to the signature of a Choctaw chief named Old Keokuk. Whatever its origins, “OK” has become one of the most ubiquitous terms in the world, and certainly one of America’s greatest lingual exports.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ok-enters-national-vernacular (Mar 23, 2012).
1858 – The First Cable Car was Patented.
1912 – The Birthday of the Famous Atomic Scientist Von Braun.
This great scientist has said many times that he believes in God and that science itself leads him to this belief. He has said that no matter can be destroyed. Consequently, the soul will live somewhere forever. This is certainly good reasoning. Let the atheist and agnostic take note and accept the fact of the existence of God and the certainty of life after death.
Now let us pause and pray for him and other scientists who lead our nation toward further advancements in this field. Let us pray for God to lead us to advance the field of human relationships and human wisdom, so we will know how to handle the power we have discovered.
1508 – Martin Luther’s Life was Threatened.
He said, “Oh, what joy I feel,” and “I said formerly that the Pope was Christ’s vicar; now I assert that he is the Lord’s adversary and the Devil’s apostle.” He was taken from his church, town, and friends for his stand and for his convictions.
1603 – Queen Elizabeth I Died.
Pray for the Queen of England today.
1820 – Fannie Crosby was Born.
She was the dear song writer and Christian lady who was blinded at the age of six weeks. She has given us many of our most cherished hymns. Among them is my favorite hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” She also wrote “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,” “Safe In The Arms of Jesus,” “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,” and other songs by which we have been blessed. At the age of eight Fannie Crosby wrote,
Oh, what a happy soul am I although I cannot see.
I am resolved in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t
To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.
What a testimony to each of us who have lesser problems and lesser burdens than did she!
1882 – Longfellow Died.
Someone has said that Longfellow attended church one day, came home and wrote in his diary that he had heard a man from Cambridge preach and “I applied it to myself.”
1902 – The Birthday of Thomas E. Dewey.
1989 – Exxon Valdez runs aground
“The worst oil spill in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.
It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood’s conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.
Exxon itself was condemned by the National Transportation Safety Board and in early 1991 agreed under pressure from environmental groups to pay a penalty of $100 million and provide $1 billion over a 10-year period for the cost of the cleanup. However, later in the year, both Alaska and Exxon rejected the agreement, and in October 1991 the oil giant settled the matter by paying $25 million, less than 4 percent of the cleanup aid promised by Exxon earlier that year.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/exxon-valdez-runs-aground (Mar 24, 2012).
1890 – Billy Sunday Quit Baseball for the Ministry.
Because I knew “Ma” Sunday so well, I feel as if I knew Billy Sunday, though I never heard him preach and never saw him. “Ma” sat at our lunch table and told us many stories about him. As most of our readers probably know, Billy Sunday was left fielder for the Chicago White Sox. He turned to Christ and God called him to preach. He became what some believe to be the greatest evangelist since the apostle Paul. Oh for a Billy Sunday today!
“Ma” Sunday said that eyery sermon that Billy preached for years he preached with his Bible opened to Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
1911 – Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City
“In one of the darkest moments of America’s industrial history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burns down, killing 145 workers, on this day in 1911. The tragedy led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of factory workers.
The Triangle factory, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, was located in the top three floors of the 10-story Asch Building in downtown Manhattan. It was a sweatshop in every sense of the word: a cramped space lined with work stations and packed with poor immigrant workers, mostly teenaged women who did not speak English. At the time of the fire, there were four elevators with access to the factory floors, but only one was fully operational and it could hold only 12 people at a time. There were two stairways down to the street, but one was locked from the outside to prevent theft by the workers and the other opened inward only. The fire escape, as all would come to see, was shoddily constructed, and could not support the weight of more than a few women at a time.
Blanck and Harris already had a suspicious history of factory fires. The Triangle factory was twice scorched in 1902, while their Diamond Waist Company factory burned twice, in 1907 and in 1910. It seems that Blanck and Harris deliberately torched their workplaces before business hours in order to collect on the large fire-insurance policies they purchased, a not uncommon practice in the early 20th century. While this was not the cause of the 1911 fire, it contributed to the tragedy, as Blanck and Harris refused to install sprinkler systems and take other safety measures in case they needed to burn down their shops again.
Added to this delinquency were Blanck and Harris’ notorious anti-worker policies. Their employees were paid a mere $15 a week, despite working 12 hours a day, every day. When the International Ladies Garment Workers Union led a strike in 1909 demanding higher pay and shorter and more predictable hours, Blanck and Harris’ company was one of the few manufacturers who resisted, hiring police as thugs to imprison the striking women, and paying off politicians to look the other way.
On March 25, a Saturday afternoon, there were 600 workers at the factory when a fire broke out in a rag bin on the eighth floor. The manager turned the fire hose on it, but the hose was rotted and its valve was rusted shut. Panic ensued as the workers fled to every exit. The elevator broke down after only four trips, and women began jumping down the shaft to their deaths. Those who fled down the wrong set of stairs were trapped inside and burned alive. Other women trapped on the eighth floor began jumping out the windows, which created a problem for the firefighters whose hoses were crushed by falling bodies. Also, the firefighters’ ladders stretched only as high as the seventh floor, and their safety nets were not strong enough to catch the women, who were jumping three at a time.
Blanck and Harris were on the building’s top floor with some workers when the fire broke out. They were able to escape by climbing onto the roof and hopping to an adjoining building.
The fire was out within half an hour, but not before 49 workers had been killed by the fire, and another 100 or so were piled up dead in the elevator shaft or on the sidewalk. The workers’ union organized a march on April 5 to protest the conditions that led to the fire; it was attended by 80,000 people.
Though Blanck and Harris were put on trial for manslaughter, they managed to get off scot-free. Still, the massacre for which they were responsible did finally compel the city to enact reform. In addition to the Sullivan-Hoey Fire Prevention Law passed that October, the New York Democratic set took up the cause of the worker and became known as a reform party.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/triangle-shirtwaist-fire-in-new-york-city (Mar 25, 2012).
1513 – Ponce de Leon Discovered Florida.
There are many wonderful Christians in the state of Florida. There are many good churches and fine preachers. Our attention is drawn to them today. May we be drawn together in praying for God’s work in Florida.
1875 – The Birthday of Syngman Rhee.
1892 – The Death of Walt Whitman.
1979 – Israel-Egyptian peace agreement signed
In a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties.
Less than two years earlier, in an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to seek a permanent peace settlement with Egypt’s Jewish neighbor after decades of conflict. Sadat’s visit, in which he met with Begin and spoke before Israel’s parliament, was met with outrage in most of the Arab world. Despite criticism from Egypt’s regional allies, Sadat continued to pursue peace with Begin, and in September 1978 the two leaders met again in the United States, where they negotiated an agreement with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland. The Camp David Accords, the first peace agreement between the state of Israel and one of its Arab neighbors, laid the groundwork for diplomatic and commercial relations. Seven months later, a formal peace treaty was signed.
For their achievement, Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Peace. Sadat’s peace efforts were not so highly acclaimed in the Arab world–Egypt was suspended from the Arab League, and on October 6, 1981, Muslim extremists assassinated Sadat in Cairo. Nevertheless, the peace process continued without Sadat, and in 1982 Egypt formally established diplomatic relations with Israel. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/israel-egyptian-peace-agreement-signed (Mar 26, 2012)
Why Not Try to Do a Kind Deed for Another Today.
This is being dictated on Monday. In the services at First Baptist Church in Hammond yesterday we had an unusual thing happen. Two men were in our services. In fact, they have moved to our city because of our work among the deaf. One of these men is deaf. This is not so startling, because we have many deaf people in our church, but the friend that was with him is a remarkable person. He is both blind and deaf. Think of this. He cannot speak because he cannot hear, and he is not privileged to communicate in the sign language because he cannot see. His friend has devoted his life to staying with him. The deaf man can read sign language, so he in turn speaks to the deaf and blind man by squeezes of the hand. Here is a man who has only one person in the world with whom he can communicate. All other communications must be done through this one man. Oh, let us bless the Lord today for vision and hearing and so many wonderful things that God has given.
588 B.C. – Jehoiachin was Freed from Prison.
Jehoiachin was freed from prison at approximately this date by the King of Babylon. He was allowed to eat with the King and allowed to change from his prison garments. (II Kings 25:27-30)
Because the Bible says the King of Babylon spoke kindly to Johoiachin, the word “kindly” is brought to my attention today. Dr. George W. Truett once said, “Be kind to everybody because everybody is having a tough time.” Resolve to be kind to everybody today. No one needs your criticism, but everyone needs your help.
1513 – Some Think that the Discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon was on this Date Rather than the Previously Mentioned One.
1667 – “Paradise Lost” was Published by John Milton.
1881- The Birthday of Walter Wilson.
Walter Wilson was a medical doctor from Kansas City, Missouri. God made of him one of America’s most unique soul winners. He was in demand across the country and around the world as a Bible Conference speaker. His favorite verse is Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
Walter Wilson left with me a precious orchid from the Word of God once when he reminded me that Psalm 126:6, which says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him,” really means “He that goeth forth having a leaky seed basket…” Every Christian should have a leaky seed basket.
1958 – Krushchev Became Premier of Russia.
1895 – The Birthday of Christian Herter, Formerly the Secretary of State.
1895 – The First United States Subway was Opened in Boston.
This calls to our attention the tremendous advances that have been made in transportation in our generation. I am dictating this page while turning off a state highway and onto Interstate Highway 94, which leads to Detroit. I will be preaching in the greater Detroit area tonight, and must, of course, thank God for the miracle of the automobile and other means of conveyance. I travel thousands and thousands of miles each year preaching the Gospel. This is made possible because of public transportation, modern means of travel. How I thank God for the airplane, the train, the bus, the car, and yes, the subway which makes it possible to get so much more done for God which couldn’t be done without these aids.
Far too many of us are like the pig who was hit on the head by an apple falling from a tree. He ate the apple never pausing to look from whence the apple came. These many things we take for granted certainly should be the object of our praise to God.
1969 – Death of Dwight Eisenhower.
1979 – Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island
At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.
The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar onPennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.
After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.
As the plant operators struggled to understand what had happened, the contaminated water was releasing radioactive gases throughout the plant. The radiation levels, though not immediately life-threatening, were dangerous, and the core cooked further as the contaminated water was contained and precautions were taken to protect the operators. Shortly after 8 a.m., word of the accident leaked to the outside world. The plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, downplayed the crisis and claimed that no radiation had been detected off plant grounds, but the same day inspectors detected slightly increased levels of radiation nearby as a result of the contaminated water leak. Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh considered calling an evacuation.
Finally, at about 8 p.m., plant operators realized they needed to get water moving through the core again and restarted the pumps. The temperature began to drop, and pressure in the reactor was reduced. The reactor had come within less than an hour of a complete meltdown. More than half the core was destroyed or molten, but it had not broken its protective shell, and no radiation was escaping. The crisis was apparently over.
Two days later, however, on March 30, a bubble of highly flammable hydrogen gas was discovered within the reactor building. The bubble of gas was created two days before when exposed core materials reacted with super-heated steam. On March 28, some of this gas had exploded, releasing a small amount of radiation into the atmosphere. At that time, plant operators had not registered the explosion, which sounded like a ventilation door closing. After the radiation leak was discovered on March 30, residents were advised to stay indoors. Experts were uncertain if the hydrogen bubble would create further meltdown or possibly a giant explosion, and as a precaution Governor Thornburgh advised “pregnant women and pre-school age children to leave the area within a five-mile radius of the Three Mile Island facility until further notice.” This led to the panic the governor had hoped to avoid; within days, more than 100,000 people had fled surrounding towns.
On April 1, President Jimmy Carter arrived at Three Mile Island to inspect the plant. Carter, a trained nuclear engineer, had helped dismantle a damaged Canadian nuclear reactor while serving in the U.S. Navy. His visit achieved its aim of calming local residents and the nation. That afternoon, experts agreed that the hydrogen bubble was not in danger of exploding. Slowly, the hydrogen was bled from the system as the reactor cooled.
At the height of the crisis, plant workers were exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation, but no one outside Three Mile Island had their health adversely affected by the accident. Nonetheless, the incident greatly eroded the public’s faith in nuclear power. The unharmed Unit-1 reactor at Three Mile Island, which was shut down during the crisis, did not resume operation until 1985. Cleanup continued on Unit-2 until 1990, but it was too damaged to be rendered usable again. In the more than two decades since the accident at Three Mile Island, not a single new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nuclear-accident-at-three-mile-island (Mar 28, 2012).
1790 – The Birthday of John Tyler.
John Tyler was the tenth president of our nation. It has been several days now since we turned our attention toward the White House and toward special prayer for our President. Hence, we do so today. Pray for him. Pray for his family. Pray for his cabinet. Pray for his aides.
An interesting thing happened a few days ago. My associate pastor, Mr. Charles Hand, had written the White House telling about the progress of our church and the growth we have enjoyed; also about the building program soon to be started. To the surprise of all of us, my associate pastor received a long distance phone call from one of the presidential assistants congratulating our church. This is simply a little human interest story which reminds us that our President is human too. Because of this, he needs our prayers.
1929 – F. B. Meyer Died.
F. B. Meyer was a great preacher and writer. Many of his books have been published to the edification of tens of thousands of God’s people. Just recently, I was reading his devotional studies on the Gospel of John. I commented to myself what a kindly man he must have been and how sweet was his relationship with the Father. We, too, should be kindly, and we, too, should enjoy a precious relationship with God the Father. It is amazing what a happy “Good Morning” will do to someone who is discouraged. A warm handshake, a pat on the back, or a word of encouragement may mean the difference between success and failure to a fellow traveler. Let us be that means of difference.
1973 – U.S. withdraws from Vietnam
Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America’s direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam.
In 1961, after two decades of indirect military aid, U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent the first large force of U.S. military personnel to Vietnam to bolster the ineffectual autocratic regime of South Vietnam against the communist North. Three years later, with the South Vietnamese government crumbling, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids on North Vietnam, and Congress authorized the use of U.S. troops. By 1965, North Vietnamese offensives left President Johnson with two choices: escalate U.S. involvement or withdraw. Johnson ordered the former, and troop levels soon jumped to more than 300,000 as U.S. air forces commenced the largest bombing campaign in history.
During the next few years, the extended length of the war, the high number of U.S. casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes, such as the massacre at My Lai, helped turn many in the United States against the Vietnam War. The communists’ Tet Offensive of 1968 crushed U.S. hopes of an imminent end to the conflict and galvanized U.S. opposition to the war. In response, Johnson announced in March 1968 that he would not seek reelection, citing what he perceived to be his responsibility in creating a perilous national division over Vietnam. He also authorized the beginning of peace talks.
In the spring of 1969, as protests against the war escalated in the United States, U.S. troop strength in the war-torn country reached its peak at nearly 550,000 men. Richard Nixon, the new U.S. president, began U.S. troop withdrawal and “Vietnamization” of the war effort that year, but he intensified bombing. Large U.S. troop withdrawals continued in the early 1970s as President Nixon expanded air and ground operations into Cambodia and Laos in attempts to block enemy supply routes along Vietnam’s borders. This expansion of the war, which accomplished few positive results, led to new waves of protests in the United States and elsewhere.
Finally, in January 1973, representatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam, and the Vietcong signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war, and the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced.
In reality, however, the agreement was little more than a face-saving gesture by the U.S. government. Even before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire, and by early 1974 full-scale war had resumed. At the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000 of their soldiers and civilians had been killed in fighting during the year, making it the most costly of the Vietnam War.
On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces. North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, accepting the surrender of South Vietnam later in the day, remarked, “You have nothing to fear; between Vietnamese there are no victors and no vanquished. Only the Americans have been defeated.” The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular foreign war in U.S. history and cost 58,000 American lives. As many as two million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were killed – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-withdraws-from-vietnam (Mar 29, 2014).
1867 – The Date of the Alaska Purchase.
Since our attention is turned toward Alaska, we should certainly pray for the work of the Gospel in this great state. Many years ago when I was in college, I was called to pastor a church near our college town. A young lady from Alaska enrolled in college and came to our church. She had never received Jesus as her Saviour. One evening, before the service, it was my joy, in my study, to lead her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It was not long until I had the privilege of baptising her. Her name was Leta Squartsoff. After college she returned to Alaska to serve the Lord there. I’ve often wondered what she is doing and if she is still faithful to the Lord.
While pastoring the afore-mentioned church, the daughter of the pastor of the First Baptist Church at Anchorage came to me desiring that I would perform the marriage ceremony for her and her fiance. This was my privilege.
One of the students at the college went to Alaska to teach school, so I feel I have a personal contact with the saints of Alaska. Let us pray for them today as they witness and seek to bring others to faith in Jesus Christ.
1981 – President Reagan Shot
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.
The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.
The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.
The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan’s plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years.
Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the “Brady Bill,” which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.
After being arrested on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley’s defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.
The verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity” aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley’s attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/president-reagan-shot (Mar 30, 2012)
Tomorrow Ends the Month of March.
Are there things you had planned to do that you failed to do, kind deeds you should have done that you left undone, souls to whom you planned to witness who are still lost and without Christ? Take inventory today and complete the course that God had laid out for you in the month of March. Have you written the loved ones as often as you should? Have you told your love to dear ones as you ought? Today would be a good catch-up day, would it not?
1850 – John C. Calhoun Died.
1860 – Rodney “Gypsy” Smith was Born.
Gypsy Smith once said, “Anyone can preach to a crowd, but it takes the Grace of God to preach to one man.”
1889 – Eiffel Tower opens.
On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.
In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel’s plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world’s tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor.
Eiffel’s tower was greeted with skepticism from critics who argued that it would be structurally unsound, and indignation from others who thought it would be an eyesore in the heart of Paris. Unperturbed, Eiffel completed his great tower under budget in just two years. Only one worker lost his life during construction, which at the time was a remarkably low casualty number for a project of that magnitude. The light, airy structure was by all accounts a technological wonder and within a few decades came to be regarded as an architectural masterpiece.
The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to form a single vertical tower. Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels. Elevators ascend the piers on a curve, and Eiffel contracted the Otis Elevator Company of the United States to design the tower’s famous glass-cage elevators.
The elevators were not completed by March 31, 1889, however, so Gustave Eiffel ascended the tower’s stairs with a few hardy companions and raised an enormous French tricolor on the structure’s flagpole. Fireworks were then set off from the second platform. Eiffel and his party descended, and the architect addressed the guests and about 200 workers. In early May, the Paris International Exposition opened, and the tower served as the entrance gateway to the giant fair.
The Eiffel Tower remained the world’s tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition’s 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world’s premier tourist attractions. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/eiffel-tower-opens (Mar 31, 2012)
1913 – The Date of the Death of J. Pierpont Morgan.
He was supposed to have been the most powerful international banker that ever lived. An interesting thing about Mr. Morgan was the introduction to his will: “I commit my soul into the hands of the Saviour in full confidence that having redeemed it and washed it in His precious blood, He will present it faultless before my Heavenly Father and entreat my children to maintain and defend at all hazards and at any costs of our personal sacrifice the blessed doctrine of complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ once offered and through that alone.”
1931 – The Date that Knute Rockne was Killed in a Kansas Plane Crash.