APPLE SEEDS:  Beware the Ides of March

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APPLE SEEDS:  Beware the Ides of March



Since I was in high school, I greet the day, each and every March 15th, with that ominous phrase.  I am not normally superstitious, but for reasons unknown to me, I never forget this date.   

What is “The Ides of March” and why beware?

In Roman times, it was merely how that date, March 15th, was referenced in idle conversation.  But when the infamous soothsayer gave Julius Caesar the warning to “beware the Ides of March”, the meaning changed for the rest of days.  Thanks to the power of Shakespeare’s pen, the date of Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC is remembered (and dreaded?), centuries later by common folk like me.

Is it only Caesar’s assassination that clouds March 15th with nervous tension?  Nope.  The Smithsonian, in the style of Letterman, published the top ten reasons to Beware the Ides of March. (Smithsonian.com, 2010)

10.  SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) – New Global Health Scare in 2003 – The World Health Organization issues the alert.

9.   Disappearing Ozone Layer – 1988 – NASA reported that the ozone layer over the Northern Hemisphere has been depleted three times faster than predicted.

8.  Ed Sullivan Show CANCELLED – 1971 – after 23 years on CBS.  :(

7.  World Record Rainfall – 1952 – 73.62 inches – recorded on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. 

6.  Blizzard leaves at least 66 people dead – 1941 – in the Great Plains (which includes Manitoba and Saskatchewan) from an unexpected Saturday night storm sweeping down from the north.

5.  Germany Occupies Czechoslovakia – 1939 Just 6 months after the Sudentenland was ceded, Nazi troops seized the two remaining provinces.

4.  Russion Czar Abdicates throne – 1917 ending a 304 year old royal dynasty, ushering in Bolshevik rule.  He and his family are executed in 1918.

3.  Samoan Cyclone – 1889 cyclone destroys 6 warships – 3 U.S. and 3 German killing over 200 sailors.  (it is said this disaster averted a war over who would annex the Samoan Islands)

2.  French begins a 48 hour raid in Southern England.  Upon learning of the rape, pillage and murder taking place in England, King Edward III interrupts his own pillaging spree in France to launch reprisals, writes historian Barbara Tuchman, “on discovering that the French could act as viciously in his realm as the English did in France.”

1.  Assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 B.C.  -  Conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus stab dictator-for-life Julius Caesar to death before the Roman senate. Caesar was 55.

So step carefully today… and wish upon a star that the Ides of March will come and go without disaster or mayhem… “knock on wood”.

 

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