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March 15, 2005

March the Fifteenth (The Ides of March)

This day in history:

March 15th, 1493 - Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first voyage to the New World

...still thinking he'd found a western passage to India. In fact he went to his grave not knowing that the land he'd discovered was another continent.

March 15th, 1913 - Woodrow Wilson becomes the first president to hold a press conference

Helen Thomas, of course, had the first question.

March 15th, 1939 - Hitler occupies Bohemia & Moravia (later Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) 

...and nobody seemed all that concerned about Hitler's growing collection of small, neighboring nations.

March 15th, 1969 - US Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigns

When a voting-fraud charge threatened Lyndon Baines Johnson's rise to power in 1948, attorney Abe Fortas lead his defense, and won him the governorship of Texas. To return the favor, in 1965, now President Lyndon Johnson, enticed a sitting Supreme Court Justice, Arthur Goldberg, into resigning from the court to accept an ambassadorship, and appointed  Fortas to the newly vacant seat. But when Earl Warren decided to retire in 1968, LBJ once again decided to reward his old friend and appointed him to the Chief Justice Chair. Unfortunately, like Johnson, Fortas rise to power was packed with corruption and greed.

In July, Fortas erred, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee despite the fact that no sitting Justice had ever done so. During those hearings, Fortas lied to the Committee, although he had not yet been caught in that lie. The Senate recessed without voting on the nomination. When Senator Robert Griffin learned in September that Fortas had accepted $15,000 to give some summer school lectures at American University’s law school, money that had been raised by Fortas’s former partners and clients, the nomination was in trouble. In early October, after a vote to end the filibuster on the nomination failed, Fortas asked that his nomination be withdrawn. By 1969, further revelations led Fortas to resign from the Court. A convicted financier named Louis Wolfson had agreed to pay Fortas $20,000 per year for the remainder of his life, an amount that continued until the death of his wife if Fortas died before she did. Fortas received the first check in January 1966, after joining the Court, and though he returned it in December, Fortas's actions were condemned as ethically improper.

Abe Fortas, exposed and now a liability to the Johnson administration, resigned March 15th, 1969. His old law firm that he helped create, even refused to let him return. 

March 15th, 1971 - CBS TV announces it is dropping "Ed Sullivan Show" 

I would have been 8 years old. I can't remember watching the show. PBS has begun airing bits and pieces of it, but it would be nice to see the entire episodes once again. It's a significant mark on the landscape of American culture.

March 15th, 1971 - Chatrooms make their debut on the Internet

Now, I imagine this would be to the limited few computers, probably on University campuses, that had connections capable of communication like this.

March 15th, 1972 - Assassination attempt on Governor George Wallace of Alabama

In a way George Wallace could be called the first Race Pimp. After losing the governor's election in 1958, ostensibly because he was too supportive of civil rights for Blacks (he even had the NAACP's endorsement in that race) he altered his “views” to match the prevalent racism, and continued his political pursuits, winning the governor's seat in 1962. His administration became notorious for its opposition to desegregation.

Wallace's first administration was marked by social tension. Among the major incidents of the administration were racial demonstrations in Birmingham and Montgomery, desegregation of schools in Macon County, his dramatic "stand in the school house door," and the nationally publicized fire hose and police dog incidents of Birmingham. Furthermore, during this administration, Wallace made his first sortie into the North. In 1964, he entered the presidential primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Indiana and showed a surprising strength, receiving as high as forty-three percent of the vote.

In 1972 he tried to run again, as a Democrat. On March 15th, that year, Arthur Herman Bremer, a 21-year-old bus boy and janitor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, approached Wallace during a campaign rally and shot him four times, leaving Wallace paralyzed from the waist down and injuring three other people. The Washington Post has placed their original story of the incident online.

March 15th, 1933 - Roy Clark
March 15th, 1935 - Rev. Jimmy Swaggart 
March 15th, 1935 - Judd Hirsch

March 15th, 44BC - Julius Cæsar 
March 15th, 1975 - Aristotle Onassis 

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 15, 2005 09:30 AM

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I can't find a mailto link so I hope you will see this here. Apparently the "a name" tag is missing from your template because all of the links in your RSS feed take the reader to the first entry for the day, i.e. http://jacklewis.net/weblog/archives/2005/03/15/index.php#000897 and http://jacklewis.net/weblog/archives/2005/03/15/index.php#000898 just take the viewer to http://jacklewis.net/weblog/archives/2005/03/15/index.php

Posted by: Don Singleton at March 15, 2005 12:11 PM

Redoing the blog layout so some functions may not work temporarily. This particuler bug should be fixed now.

Posted by: Jack at March 15, 2005 01:48 PM

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