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Wednesday, December 14, 2005
********** SPRING **********

********** March **********

1)..... In the ancient Roman calendar, this day was the fesat fo the Matronalia, when women held feasts for their slaves.

1)..... Frederic Chopin born, 1810.

..... George Washington's way of curing colds was to eat a toasted ontion before going to bed.

..... On the fist of any month, British schoolchildren believe that before speaking to anyone else you must say "white rabbit" for lunck. Some say "hares and rabbits" or just "rabbits"

3)..... On this month in 1895, Munich begins to give test for bicycle riders. Those who pass receive license plates for their bicycles.

3)..... On this month in the year 1884, a Munich businessman and his wife rode a home made bicyle down the main street. A headline in a leading newspaper protested the next day: "A SCANDELOUS DRIVE" "Without shame, proud as an Amazon, this fine lady let herself be inspected by one and all. Shall propriety de dealth such a blow ith impunity?"

8)..... On this month also, the first woman obtains a pilot's license; in Paris, Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, 1910.

9)..... Napoleon married Josephine on this month in 1796.

13).... Planet Uranus was discovered, 1781.

14).... Johann Strauss born, 1804.

15).... The Ides of March, The assasination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.

..... To avoid clothes freezing on the line, mix one pint of salt with one pint of hot water, and rub this on the line where the clothes are hung.

.....Crumbled mothballs mixed witht eh soil where carrots are planted will discourage the larvae of the carot fly.

17).... Noah is said to have gone into the ark on this day of this month.

..... The day of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland.

.....St. Gertrude's Day. She was regarded a help againts plagues of mice and rats.

..... In the region of Freising, Germanym, there was a plague of mice in 1233 so terrible that the whole towns were abandoned by populations fleeing the pests.

18).... The first public buses in Europe were run in Paris in 1662, under Louis XIV. Intended for the city's poor, who could not afford to hire carriages, the nuses became a fad among the fashionable, who jammed them for the first months. After that, the poor would have nothing to do with them and the service was discontinued.

..... paper kites were introduced in Europe at the end of 1600s by travellers retruning from China.

19).... This is the day the swallows return to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California. According to tradition (though not to biologists), the swallows return on exaxctly this date every year, even in leap year.

21).... The sun enters the first zodiac sign of the year. Aries.

.... The day of the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, when the day and night are of equal length.

.... Johann Sebastian Bach born, 1685.

22).... The earliest possible Easter. It happend in 1818 and will not occur again until 2285.

.... Death of Goethe in 1832, aged 83 and hailed as one of Germany's greatest man. His last words were "More light!"

.... Playing cards are first mentioned in writing , Florence, 1377.

24).... Queen Elizabeth I deis on this day in the year 1603, aged 70.

25).... Annunciation Day. Celebrates the Angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. It is called Waffle Day in Sweden and waffles are eaten on this day.

.... The unpredictable temperature in March often cause colds. A nineteenth centruy remedy for sore throats was t =o put a red stocking around your neck before going to bed.

27).... In Bavarian folk belief, one who eats bratwurst before sunrise will have money and good health all year; he who eats it sober will never suffer from fle bites and rashes.

28).... The first washing machine is patented in the U.S. in 1797.

30).... Palm Sunday.

31).... Eiffel Tower in Paris, competed in 1889.

.... Death of Francis I in 1547, brought on "by immorality". At his funeral, the sermon suggeted he had gone straight to heaven without passing through purgatory; the bishop was rebujed and the sermon was never published.

********** April **********

1)..... April Fool's Day. The origin of April Fool's Day is not clear; it has been traced only to the 18th century in England and the 16th century in France. Remarkably, the Hindus have a similar festival, the Huli, at about this time, which includes prankishly sending off people with messages to nonexistent or absent persons.

..... The 16th century calendar change made the eyar begin on January 1 instead of March 25 in parts of Europe. Pranksters continued making the New Years' calls at the end of March.

..... In most places, the rule is that April Fooling is to end at noon, and anyone who tries to play a joke later in the day is the fool.

..... The Duke of Lorraine and his wife escape from Nantes prison because they attempt it on April Fool's Day. As they were leaving the city disguised as peasants, a woman recognized them and hurried to inform the guard. The soldier however, suspecting an April Fool's joke, cried April Fool! and did nothing.

2)..... Hans Christian Anderson born, 1805.

..... First motion picture theater in the United States opens, in a shop in Los Angeles, 1902.

..... Washington Irving born, 1783.

..... The surgeon Leon Labbe' presents to the French Academie des Sciences a fork he has removed from the stomach of a Paris department store worker (who from then on called the Forkman - L'homme a la fourchette) This was the first such operation in Pais 1876.

..... Yhe Pony Ex[ress starts service, 1886; couriers set off on this day from St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco. The 1,900 mile (3057 km) trip is made in about ten days -- an average of eight miles per hour.

6)..... Easter Sunday. The egg symbol of rebirth at springtime. Gifts of eggs and games involving eggs are universal customs at Easter.

..... In pre-Christian times, Romans held running races at this time of year on egg-shaped trakcs and gave eggs as prizes.

..... First Olympic Games in modern times are held in 1896 in Greece.

8)..... In parts of Britain until very recently a strange custom called "heaving" was practiced on teh Monday and Tuesday following Easter Sunday. On the first day, women would capture men and heave them up in the air, the next day the roles would be reversed. This is said to represent the Resurrection, but is probably left over from a pagan rite to promise the growth of crops.

..... Buddha's birthday is celebrated around this time in Hawaii, Japan and Koread. In Japan, his statue is bathed with hydrangea-leaf tea.

10).... Safety pin is pattented, 1849. The patent was sold later for US$400.

..... Until the last century, jump rope was a town boys' activity. Jump rope games with rhymes and dispalys of skill, as played by girls now, are quite new.

..... It is suggested that April derives from the Latin term aperio-- "I open". It has also been conjectured that the origin of the word was Aphrodite (Aphrilis, Aprilis, April?) because the month was associated with the reproductive powers of nature. Saxon called it Oster monath, perhaps for the prevalent east winds.

15).... Leonardo da Vinci born, 1452.

16).... Charlie Caplin born, 1889.

18).... The first train in Asia, 1853. Great Peninsula Railway, Bombay to Tanna, 22 miles (36 Km).

19).... Queen Christina, who abdicated the Swedish throne in order to gratify her intellectual yearnings, dies this day in 1689.

20).... In 1841, the first detective story was published by Edgar Allan Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue.

..... In ancient Egypt, all nigjht parties were held to celebrate ten day old babies.

21).... The sun enters the second zodiac sign of the year. Taurus.

..... The founding of Rome in 753 B.C.

..... In ancient Rome, during the festival of the Parilia, fores scented with laurel and rosemary were passed among the sheep and cattle to purify the. Shepherds and animals also lept through bonfires.

22).... The first knwon roller skates are worn by a young Belgian musical intrument maker in 1760. He rolls into a party in London palying the violin, but is unable to stop and crashes into a mirror.

..... In 1903 a German glasscutter built a working grandfather's clock which, with the exception of the spring, was made completely of glass.

23).... William Shakespeare born, 1564.

..... Founding of the Order of the Garter, the oldest order of Knighthood, in 1347.

..... St. George's Day. St. George is noted for slaying a dragon in Libya in the 3rd century. He became the parton saint of England because he appeared as an apprarition in the sky during the Crusaders, frightening the Moslem enemies of the Crusaders.

24).... St. Mark's Eve. In the northern England it is believed that if you keep watch over a graveyard on this night, you will see apparitions of all who will be buried there in the coming year. On the light hearted side, girls would attempt to divine the identity of their future husbands. One custom was to lay a row of nuts on the embers of a fire, whispering the name of one's beloved. Popping was a good omen; silent consumotion by the fire was not.

25).... London: Publication of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, 1719.

..... The latest possible Easter occured in 1843. This will happen again in 2038.

26).... Audubon born, 1785. He toured Europe to raise subscriptions for this volumes of bird studies in 1826; the names of the kings of France and England headed his list.

..... Peppercorn Day in Bermuda. A rent of one peppercorn is collected for the use of an old building in St. George.

27).... The first raincoat was made by Francois Fresnau, an engineer in French Guiana who made an old overcoar waterproof by coating it with latex from rubber trees.

..... The first mention of umbrellas appeared in 1637, in a list of the belongings of Louis XIII. The list included: e;even sunshades in various colors made of taffeta; three umbrellas of oiled cloth trimmed underneath with gold and silver lace.
Until late in the 18th century, umbrellas were considered feminine, and men were ridiculed for carrying the. They were also expensive and were often rented out by coffeehouses or churches.

28).... Mutiny on the Bounty, 1789.

..... In ancient Rome, the first day of the weeklong Festival of the Flora.

..... Both eggs and seeds for planting can be tested by the same method; a good seed or a good egg sinks to the bottom of the pan of water. Those that float should be discarded.

29).... The zipper is patented, 1913.

..... The nightingale is preeminently the bird of April. They sing most strongly in this month, as they have not yet become distracted by the choresof rearing a family. Sir John Sinclair hoped to establish nightingales in his native Scotland. He purchased as many eggs as he could for a shilling a piece and had them mailed to Scotland, where his deputies palced them in preselected robins nests. The birds hatched and, as fall approached, migrated. However, they did not return as Sir John had hoped, and were seen again.

30).... Walpurgis Night. Bonfires to ward off evil spirits were lit all over Germany and Scandinavia starting in pre-Christian times.

********** May **********

1)..... MayDay is traditionally the last of the series of rites celebrating the arrival of spring. Inmedieval England it was customary to "go a-Maying", fetching hawthorn blossoms and bedecking the houses. The prettiest girl was crowned Queenof May and a tall pole was set up and hung wild flowers. Even the royalty joined in these festivities. These charming celebrations of nature have not, infortunately, survived theindustrial age. The only May Day custom still widely observed is that practiced by young girls who wash their faces with the first dew of the morning to ensure a lovely complexion.

..... In Sweden, a sham battle is held on May Day between boys representing Winter and Summer -- Summer always win.

..... There was a May Day poetry competition in Provence, with flowers made of gold and silver awarded to the champions. The contest was financed by a bequest of a lady of rank in 1540 and the tradition survived until the Revolution.

..... In is an old American May Day custom, which still exists in some places, for children to make paper baskets, fill them with candies and wildflowers, and hang them on th door of a special friend.

.....May Day is Labor Day inmany parts of Europe.

2)..... Ash and hickory wood for barrels and hoops are at their best if they are cut in May, when they contain their highest perdetnage of oil. Wood cut in May is good for making tool handles, too.

3)..... Machiavelli was born, 1469.

..... In 1810, Lord Byron swims the Hellespont, in Turkey, in one hour and 10 minutes.

..... A belief: The stroking of a basil plant, whcih scents the hand, is also helpful to the plant and keeps it alive.

4)..... St. Florian's Day. The aptron saint of blacksmiths and firemen. This is a day to take fire prevention measures.

5)..... Near North Bend, Ohio, in 1865, the first train robbery in the United States took place.

..... The ancients called all the sprouts of young vegetables "asparagus", but the name is reserved now for the vegetable that begins to be available in early spring.

..... May is the time to eat dandelion greens -- later on they are tough.

6)..... Paris Exposition, 1900; opening day, 500,000 visitors.

7)..... Robert Browning born, 1812.

..... Beethoven, already deaf, conducts the first performance of his Ninth Symphony, in 1823, in Vienna.

8)..... By tradition, the daya the storks return to Ribe, Denmark, where they nest on the roof of the houses.

9)..... When the bridge at Niagara Falls was built, kites were used to carry cables across the river.

..... South German farmes sometimes like to feed cattle black bread spread wiht early morning dew.

..... Cows in pasture on fresh May grass. Saxons called May Thrimilce because they could milk their cows three times each day instead of twice.

11).... The second Sunday in May is Mother's Day in the United States. It was proposed by Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia in 1907 -- no one in Congress dared to vote against the idea.

..... The first official Mother's Day in the United States, 1914.

13).... In Germany, one occasionally hears people speak of having "heartworm". An old Bavarian manuscript says that this is a worm "which bites at peoples heart"; it was supposed to have little horns like deers antlers.

15).... Lyman Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz books, born, 1856.

..... In England, people decorate their wells in Ascension Day with flowered trellies. The water is thanked and blessed.

..... In ancient Rome, the festival of the Fontanalia was held at this time, to honor the spirits of Springs, streams and fountains.

17).... In the middle ages, manuscript books were so precious that one abbot gae an entire vineyard in exchange for a single missal.

18).... Before the 19th century, many Germans refused to eat potatoes. American born Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson) intoduced a Rumford soup -- made mostly of potatoes -- which reversed this resistance to the extent that potatoes became a favorite in Bavaria.

..... Early New England believed that eating potatoes could shorten your life.

..... Mounts for the U.S. Army's camel corps arrive at the corps base in Texas, 1856.

19).... Napoleon establishes the Legion d'Honneur, 1802.

22).... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle born , 1859.

..... In the 14th century, under Bavarian law, women were given the right to duel men to settle disputes.

24).... The sun enters the third Zodiac sign f the year, Gemini.

..... Birth of Queen Victoria, 1819; celebrated as Empire Day.

..... In 1844 F.B. Morse inaugurates the first telegraph line in America with the messae "What hath God wrought!" transmitted between Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

25).... At Haarlem, Holland, there is a flower festival that begins with a dramatic midnight display; Flower sellers arranged their wares in the town square in the dark; at midnight, church bells peal, lights go on and the festival begins.

26).... At Dunmow, Essex, the Flitch of Bacon Trial has been held on this day sicne the 13th century. To earn the flitch of bacon, a couple must convice a jury of six maidens and six bachelors that they have been married for one year and one day without quarreling. The first winners were a sea captain and his wife who had'nt seen each other since their wedding day. In 1841 the rpize was offered to Victoria and Albert, who graciously declined it.

28).... A Munich ordinance prohibited the wearing of caps pulled down over the face since, as it noted, "robbers, burglers and poachers usually wear such hats to hide their faces" 1650.

29).... In England, this is known as Royal Oak Day or Oak Apple Day. If schoolboys don't wear an oak leaf in their buttonholes or hats, other boys can flog them with nettles. This goes back to the restoration of Charles II tot he British throne; he successfully hid from his enemies in an oak tree after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

30).... First Memorail Day in the United States, 1868.

..... Day of St. Joan of Arc, Partron saint of France.

31).... Walt Whiteman born, 1819.

(Source: The Illuminated Book Of Days by Kay and Marshall Lee)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:07 AM  
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