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March 11, 2005

March the Eleventh

This day in history:

From the Mathematicians of the African Diaspora:

Molly Walsh emigrated from England to the colony Maryland as an indentured slave in bondage for seven years. When her servitude ended, Molly purchased a farm along the Patapsco River near Baltimore. and two slaves. In time she set the slaves free and married one of them, a man named Bannaky (changed from Banna Ka). They had several children, one a daughter named Mary. Mary Bannaky grew up, purchased a slave, Robert, whom she later married and lived on the family farm. On Nov. 9, 1731, a son, Benjamin, was born to Robert and Mary Bannaky.

Benjamin Banneker eventually became a noteworthy surveyor. George Washington (himself a former surveyor) appointed Banneker to a three man team  of surveyors headed by Major Andrew Ellicott, to survey the future District of Columbia. 

It was 216 years ago today that they began surveying the swamp what would eventually become Washington, D.C.

Banneker and Ellicott worked closely with Pierre L'Enfant, the architect in charge. But, L'Enfant couldn't control his temper and was fired by Washington a year later. He left, taking all the plans with him. But Banneker saved the day by recreating the plans from memory.

From ScienceDaily.com:

The Great Blizzard of 1888 (March 11 - March 14, 1888) was one of fiercest blizzards on U.S. record: 400 total deaths were calculated and there are still some missing to this day-- with up to 50 foot (15 m) snow drifts it was definitely a hard period of time. All across the eastern seaboard there was snow walls up to 50 inches (1.3 m) high. 100 people alone were killed in New York City.

The "Great White Hurricane," as it was called, paralyzed the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. Telegraph wires were downed, isolating New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington for days. Two hundred ships were grounded, and at least one hundred seamen died. Fire stations were immobilized, and property loss from fire alone was estimated at $25 million. Overall, more than 400 deaths were reported.

I really wonder if the author of the article thinks that there actually remains hope that those “still missing to this day” could be found -- 117 years later?

March 11th, 1917 - British troops occupy Baghdad  
March 11th, 1977 - 34 Israelis killed by Palestinians on the Tel Aviv-Haifa highway 
March 11th, 1977 - Moslems hold 130 hostages in Washington DC 
March 11th, 1978 - Terrorists attack mail truck at Tel Aviv, 45 killed 

Seems we've been caught in some kind of twisted time warp, doesn’t it.

1982 - Menachem Begin & Anwar Sadat sign peace treaty in Washington DC 

Both were later assassinated by those who felt they sold out their respective nations.

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 11, 2005 01:54 PM

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