John’s Believe It Or Not… March 22nd

Picture of John Fioravanti at the front of his classroom.

It’s Wondrous Wednesday! Did you know…

* March 22, 1877, Northwest Territories Council passes an Ordinance For the Protection of the Buffalo. (It was a failed attempt to slow the wanton destruction of the bison herds, because they moved back and forth across the US border; outlaws buffalo jumps and hunting bison for sport; provides for closed season on cows from November 15 to August 14; as many as 60 million bison once roamed the North American plains; by the late 1880s they were almost extinct.)

Painting of Metis Buffalo hunt in the 1840s. Metis hunters pursue the buffalo on horseback.

* 1765 Stamp Act imposed on American colonies. (In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act on this day in 1765. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice. Though the Stamp Act employed a strategy that was a common fundraising vehicle in England, it stirred a storm of protest in the colonies. The colonists had recently been hit with three major taxes: the Sugar Act (1764), which levied new duties on imports of textiles, wines, coffee and sugar; the Currency Act (1764), which caused a major decline in the value of the paper money used by colonists; and the Quartering Act (1765), which required colonists to provide food and lodging to British troops.)

Drawing depicting public protest as Bostonians react to the Stamp Tax
Bostonians reacting to the Stamp Tax

* 1983 The origins of the Hummer. (On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. In 1992, a civilian version of the Humvee, known as the Hummer, went on sale. The hulking, attention-grabbing road warrior tipped the scales at some 10,000 pounds and got less than 10 miles per gallon. It was an early hit with Hollywood celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went on to own a fleet of Hummers. In December 1999, when the economy was strong and gas prices were relatively low, General Motors purchased the rights from AM General to market and distribute the Hummer. In 2002, the Hummer H2, a smaller (some 8,600 pounds), less expensive version of the original model, debuted.)

A high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle hmmwv
A high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle HMMWV

* 1947 Truman orders loyalty checks of federal employees. (In response to public fears and Congressional investigations into communism in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees. The basic elements of Truman’s order established the framework for a wide-ranging and powerful government apparatus to perform loyalty checks. Loyalty boards were to be set up in every department and agency of the federal government. Using lists of “totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive” organisations provided by the attorney general, and relying on investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these boards were to review every employee. If there existed “reasonable grounds” to doubt an employee’s loyalty, he or she would be dismissed. A Loyalty Review Board was set up under the Civil Service Commission to deal with employees’ appeals.)

A poster asking "Who Are The Reds?"
On This Day, Mar 22, 1947 -Truman Orders Loyalty Checks of Federal Employees

* 1972 Equal Rights Amendment passed by Congress. (On March 22, 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment is passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification. First proposed by the National Woman’s political party in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. More than four decades later, the revival of feminism in the late 1960s spurred its introduction into Congress. Under the leadership of U.S. Representative Bella Abzug of New York and feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, it won the requisite two-thirds vote from the U.S. House of Representatives in October 1971. In March 1972, it was approved by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states. Hawaii was the first state to ratify what would have been the 27th Amendment, followed by some 30 other states within a year. However, during the mid-1970s, a conservative backlash against feminism eroded support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which ultimately failed to achieve ratification by the requisite 38, or three-fourths, of the states.)Equal Rights demonstration in 1978.

Look who was born on this date!

Portrait of AguinaldoEmilio Aguinaldo in 1869. (Emilio Aguinaldo was a Filipino revolutionary general and 1st President of the Philippines. He played a leading role in the Revolution against Spain (1896-1897) and against the United States during the Philippine-American War (1899-1901). In June 1898 he declared the Philippines independent from Spain. However by February 1899, he was fighting the Philippine-American War (1899-1901), and when captured in 1901 swore an oath of allegiance to the US in the face of outstanding odds.)

Head shot of Webber* Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1948. (An English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” and “You Must Love Me” from Evita, “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and “Memory” from Cats. In 2001 the New York Times referred to him as “the most commercially successful composer in history”. Ranked the “fifth most powerful person in British culture” by The Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated, “Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical.”)

Head shot of Witherspoon.* Reese Witherspoon in 1976. (American Actress:  Rose to fame with the breakout role as Elle Woods in the box-office hit “Legally Blonde”. She received worldwide praise and an Academy Award for her role in “Walk the Line”.)



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.

7 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… March 22nd”

        1. I’m sure it wasn’t. The Revolution certainly curbed British arrogance toward the remaining colonies. When we rebelled in 1837, Lord Durham was dispatched to Toronto immediately to ascertain the causes and suggest remedies. That resulted in the Canadian colonies being granted responsible government – answerable to the colonial voters. The Brits would never have considered that in the case of the 13 colonies.

          Liked by 1 person

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