It’s Momentous Monday! Did you know…
* 1617 – Louis Hébert the First Colonist of New France (Quebec). (Louis Hébert signs an agreement to become the first colonist of New France; he is a farmer and apothecary, and will provide herbal medicines to the inhabitants.)
* Happy Birthday Toronto: March 6, 1834. (Formerly the unincorporated town of York, incorporated under its original name, from “Le Passage de Toronto,” a portage route to the “Lac de Toronto” – today’s Lake Simcoe. “Toronto” in Huron referred to the fishing weirs at the narrows in Lake Couchiching. The city’s population is now 10,000; the city is divided into five wards – St. George, St. Andrew, St. David, St. Patrick and St. Lawrence – and the first municipal election will be held March 27; William Lyon Mackenzie King will be elected Toronto’s first mayor. Later, Mackenzie King leads Canada through world War II as Prime Minister and serves in that office longer than any other person in the British Commonwealth [22 years]).
* 1836 Battle of the Alamo. (After 13 days of fighting 1,500-3,000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Texan defenders, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.)
* 1857 Dred Scott decision. (Dred Scott was a slave whose owner, an army doctor, had spent time in Illinois, a free state, and Wisconsin, a free territory at the time of Scott’s residence. The Supreme Court was stacked in favour of the slave states. Five of the nine justices were from the South while another, Robert Grier of Pennsylvania, was staunchly pro-slavery. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote the majority decision, which was issued on March 6, 1857. The court held that Scott was not free based on his residence in either Illinois or Wisconsin because he was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution–in the opinion of the justices, black people were not considered citizens when the Constitution was drafted in 1787. According to Taney, Dred Scott was the property of his owner, and property could not be taken from a person without due process of law.)
* 1965 U.S. is sending Marines to South Vietnam. (The White House confirms reports that, at the request of South Vietnam, the United States is sending two battalions of U.S. Marines for security work at the Da Nang air base, which will hopefully free South Vietnamese troops for combat. On March 1, Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informed South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States was preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam. Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to “invite” the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council. Thieu approved, but asked that the Marines be “brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible.” The Marines began landing near Da Nang on March 8.)
Look who was born on this day!
* Michelangelo in 1435. (Italian Sculptor and Painter: Considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Most celebrated for the paintings in the Sistine Chapel and his statue of David, he made countless other masterpieces.)
* Lou Costello in 1906. (American Comedian and Actor: Lou Costello started his career in burlesque and vaudeville theatre where he met his comedic partner Bud Abbott. Costello was the funny man for Abbott’s straight performance. The two worked theatre until being talent spotted and given roles on the radio show “The Kate Smith Hour” in 1938. The duo’s first role in film was “A Night in the Tropics” (1940) and was so well received that they were given starring roles thereafter. During their heydey, they were one of Hollywood’s most successful act. They also had their only radio show “The Abbott and Costello” show which ran 1942-1949. After a sometimes fractious working relationship, Costello parted ways with Abbot in 1957 and dies of a Heart Attack in 1959. Their most famous comedy routine is “Who’s on first”.)
* Shaquille O’Neal in 1972. (American Basketball Player: Won three consecutive NBA championships from 2000-2002 as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Won a fourth NBA championship as a member of the Miami Heat in 2006. Also won the 1999-2000 MVP award and three NBA Finals MVP awards. Ranks 3rd all-time in field goal percentage (58.2%), largely because of his ability to dunk the basketball.)