John’s Believe It Or Not… March 4th

It’s Sagacious Saturday! Did you know…

Picture of Wilson in her red and white judicial robes1982 – Bertha Wilson appointed first woman justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. (She heard many foundational cases interpreting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that was enacted the year she was appointed to the Supreme Court; 1991 May 2 appointed to head a Canadian Bar Association task force to improve the status of women in the legal profession; 1991-96 served as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.)

1870 – Louis Riel’s administration executes Thomas Scott at Fort Garry (Winnipeg). (Scott was an Orangeman, born in Ontario; 1870, March 3, a prisoner of the Métis, he is tried for insubordination and striking his guards, found guilty, and condemned to death. On March 4, he is shot by a Métis firing squad. Historians suggest that this is the reason why PM John A. Macdonald showed Riel no mercy when he was caught, tried and convicted of treason in 1885. Riel was hanged. It is interesting to note that today, Louis Riel is held up as a hero and defender of French/Native rights. The government even issued a commemorative postage stamp to honour him. Only in Canada, eh!)drawing depicting the execution of Thomas Scott.

1789 Government under the U.S. Constitution begins. (In 1786, defects in the Articles of Confederation became apparent, such as the lack of central authority [ie. President and executive branch] over foreign and domestic commerce and the inability of Congress to levy taxes, leading Congress to endorse a plan to draft a new constitution. On September 17, 1787, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the new U.S. Constitution, creating a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of 41 delegates to the convention.)

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson1801 Thomas Jefferson is the first US President inaugurated in Washington, D.C. (The first inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States was held on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, New York.)


1954 Dulles asks for action against communism. (Speaking before the 10th Inter-American Conference, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warns that “international communism” is making inroads in the Western Hemisphere and asks the nations of Latin America to condemn this danger. Dulles’s speech was part of a series of actions designed to put pressure on the leftist government of Guatemala, a nation in which U.S. policymakers feared communism had established a beachhead. Despite their condemnation of “international communism,” the other nations of Latin America were reluctant to sanction direct intervention in another country’s internal affairs. At that point, Eisenhower unleashed the Central Intelligence Agency. Through a combination of propaganda, covert bombings, and the establishment of a mercenary force of “counter-revolutionaries” in neighbouring Nicaragua and Honduras, the CIA was able to destabilise the Guatemalan government, which fell from power in June 1954. An anti-communist dictatorship led by Carlos Castillo Armas replaced it.)

Look who was born on this date!

* Antonio Vivaldi in 1678. (Venetian-Italian Violin Virtuoso & Composer: 
Known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.)

* Jack Fisher in 1939. (American MLB Pitcher: A starting pitcher during his 11-year MLB career, he is perhaps best known for giving up a few historic home runs, such as Ted Williams’s 521st in his final major league at-bat, Roger Maris’s 60th home run of the 1961 season, and the first home run in Shea Stadium history, to Willie Stargell.)

* Jason Newstead in 1963. (American Heavy Metal Musician: Known for playing bass guitar with the bands Metallica, Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam. Joining Metallica in 1986 after Cliff Burton’s death, he remained a member until 2001, making him the band’s longest-serving bassist.)




Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

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