Sunday, March 03, 2019

March 4

1519 - Hernando Cortes landed in Mexico.

Cortes landed with around 600 troops and 20 horses, and took on the most powerful nation in the New World - with a population of millions.

There is no way the Spaniard should have been able to defeat such an empire, but Cortes' force of will and audacity, along with an incredible amount of luck, technology, horses, native enemies the Aztecs had abused for years, and smallpox, allowed him to perform the Alexandrian task of conquering the Aztecs...I'd argue what Cortes accomplished was even more amazing than what Alexander the Great did - regardless of how it happened.

That said, had the Aztecs followed the 'First Rule of Invasions':  Kill them on the beach - their civilization might still be around. But they didn't, and paid the ultimate price for their mistake.

1238 - Battle of the Sit River:  Russia vs. Mongols.

The Mongols thoroughly crushed the Russians in this battle, which effectively ended Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian unified resistance; at least as an organized force.

As a result, these lands were subjected to two centuries of Mongol domination.  A fact which forever changed the culture, psychology and biological makeup of the region.

1776 - George Washington's colonial forces occupied Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts:  American Revolutionary War.

Overnight the Continentals secretly manned the heights, building defensive structures and lining cannon to defend Boston Harbor...On March 17th the British accepted their position was untenable and retreated.

This 'battle' was one of the early 'victories' in the Revolution and was of enormous strategic value to the Continentals:  "The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army could do in months." - British General William Howe

1789 - The U.S. Constitution went into effect when the first federal Congress met in New York.

The most perfect government system ever created took effect - a low threshold to pass, but still.

Obviously it has flaws, and required revisions, but the fact it contains a means for doing so is part of its greatness.

1801 - Thomas Jefferson became the first U.S. President inaugurated in Washington D.C.

There's a trivia question most Americans won't get correct, because they would assume George Washington was the first...Washington's first inauguration was in New York City, and his second in Philadelphia.  John Adams was also inaugurated in Philadelphia, but he was the first to live in the White House, when the federal government moved to D.C. in 1800.

1849 - Senator David Atchison was President of the United States - at least he claimed to be for one day.

This date was supposed to be inauguration day for President-Elect Zachary Taylor, but it was a Sunday and Taylor wasn't sworn in (quite a different time back then when it came to religion)...Sen. Atchison was the President Pro Tempore, and as such believed it was his duty to assume the title of President to assure continuity of the government.

Another trivia question I'm pretty certain only a handful of Americans would know.

1917 - Jeanette Rankin (Montana) was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives and became the first woman to serve in Congress.

How odd that a woman was elected to a federal office before women were allowed to vote in federal elections...That said, lets not get too excited about Rep. Rankin. She voted against U.S. entry in WWI, and was the only representative to vote against entering WWII after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor:

"Small use it will be to save democracy for the race, if we cannot save the race for democracy." - J. Rankin.

Ugh! She would fit in perfectly with our current peacenik jackasses.

1997 - Declaring the creation of life "a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science," President Bill Clinton barred spending federal money on human cloning.

I must admit I didn’t think he had this amount of decency in him...On the same note, why wouldn’t he have the same opinion on the destruction of life in the womb? Particularly in the case of Partial Birth Abortions?

2009 - The International Criminal Court issued and arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur.

Of course Bashir is a 'bad man.'  So what has the ICC done about it?  Last I checked he's still in power ...Also, why Bashir?  Or even the rest of those on the ICC list of 'war criminals and crimes against humanity?'  There are so many bad actors in the world, the list could be much larger, but the reality is the list is political and about power.  Those on the list are 'small' compared to those who belong on it.

And even if the list is legit, what is the ICC going to do about it?  Nada!

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