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March 18, 2005

March the Eighteenth

This day in history:

March 18th, 1895 - 200 blacks leave Savannah, Georgia for Liberia 

From the African American Registry:

On this date in 1895, 200 former African slaves left Savannah, Georgia for Liberia. Much of the aid for this came through the American Colonization Society (ACS).

Among those that opposed slavery there were two distinct camps: those that felt all people could live together, and those that, while, opposed to slavery, didn't think Blacks could stay in American. Abraham Lincoln was an advocate for the second view.

From the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia:

The colonization movement came under the bitter attack of the abolitionists, who charged that in the South it strengthened slavery by removing the free blacks. The blacks themselves were not enthusiastic about abandoning their native land for the African coast.

Fortunately the goals of the ACS and the separatist abolitionists eventually failed and the place of Blacks in American society and culture was recognized. But, again unfortunately, that place wasn't fully recognized until later last century. America would be a much poorer nation in many aspects if the goals of the separatists had succeeded.

March 18th, 1930 - Pluto discovered by Clyde Tombaugh (US) 

The planet, not the cartoon dog.

March 18th, 1931 - 1st electric shavers go on sale in US (Schick) 

Man, I would never have guessed they were available that early.

March 18th, 1937 - Gas explosion in school in New London TX; 298 die 

From NLSE.com:

On March 18, [1937] students [in rural New London, in northwest Rusk County, Texas,] prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet.

Fifteen minutes later, the news of the explosion had been relayed over telephone and Western Union lines. Frantic parents at the PTA meeting rushed to the school building. Community residents and roughnecks from the East Texas oilfield came with heavy-duty equipment. Within an hour Governor James Allred had sent the Texas Rangers and highway patrol to aid the victims. Doctors and medical supplies came from Baylor Hospital and Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Dallas and from Nacogdoches, Wichita Falls, and the United States Army Air Corps at Barksdale Field in Shreveport, Louisiana. They were assisted by deputy sheriffs from Overton, Henderson, and Kilgore, by the Boy Scouts, the American Legion, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and volunteers from the Humble Oil Company, Gulf Pipe Line, Sinclair, and the International-Great Northern Railroad....

Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. Those who died received individual caskets, individual graves, and religious services.

Other sites with info: The Handbook of Texas Online; pictures by Allen Morris, Wylie, Texas Independent School District

March 18th, 1940 - Mussolini joins Hitler in Germany's war against France & Britain 

As if fighting one bone-head dictator wasn't bad enough.

March 18th, 1959 - President Dwight D Eisenhower signs Hawaii statehood bill 

I still find the history of Hawaii, and the way it was declared a US territory suspicious. It is one of two US states that had at one time been their own sovereign nation. Can you guess the other one?

March 18th, 1961 - Poppin' Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy introduced 

That makes him older than me. I find it hard to believe 43-year-old dough could be very “fresh”

March 18th, 1963 - Supreme Court's Miranda Decision: defendants must have lawyers 

Victims, of course, do not require lawyers in order to become victims.

March 18th, 1989 - Investor group led by George W Bush & Edward W Rose purchases controlling interest of Texas Rangers 

Liberals have been digging for dirt in this for years. Maybe they'll invent something like CBS.

March 18th, 1925 - Peter Graves (who needs to do a real remake of Mission: Impossible a whup up on that arrogant Tom Cruise)
March 18th, 1946 - Michael Reagan
March 18th, 1963 - Vanessa Williams
March 18th, 1970 - Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah)

March 18th, 1584 - Ivan IV the terrible, Russian tsar (1547-84), dies at 53 
March 18th, 1882 - Morgan Earp brother of Wyatt Earp, shot and killed while playing billiards in Tombstone 

Her name was Kathy and after a 1995 car accident left her comatose at the age of 19, she was placed in the Westfall Healthcare Center in Rochester, New York. In 1996 employees there discovered she was pregnant. John Horace, a nurse's aid with a questionable background was arrested and convicted in 1997 of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse and received 8 to 25 years in prison. He now admits to the crime.

On this day in 1996, Kathy gave birth to son. Her family took custody of the boy. John Parrinello, a lawyer for the family, said the boy lives with his grandmother. Exactly a year later, on March 18th, 1997, Kathy died of complications unrelated to the rape or pregnancy.

The State of New York has since enacted "Kathy's Law," intended to protect nursing home patients from abusers.

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 18, 2005 11:30 AM

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