Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A March 1 retrospective.

It’s the first day of a brand new month, so the Howdygram would like to wish you an Extremely Happy March as we provide the following information for your amusement and education. This is great stuff and I think you’ll be impressed as hell.

The Salem Witch Hunt Begins (1692). In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, two women named Sarah and a creepy Indian slave from Barbados are accused of practicing witchcraft after a pastor’s young daughters are afflicted by fits. With the help of several extremely stupid adults and the diagnosis of a quack doctor, the girls’ ailments are blamed on witchcraft and they all begin to point out suspected witches. During the following few months more than 150 women and men from Salem Village are accused, tried and executed. Incriminating evidence included making a neighbor’s pie crust fall apart, having green eyes, or if a possum sits on your doorstep when it’s raining. Those wacky, wacky Puritans.

Yellowstone National Park Established (1872). On this date in 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill creating the first national park at Yellowstone, consisting of 1,221,773 acres of public land straddling the future states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The region had been mostly unknown (unless you’re a Native American) until after the Civil War, when exploration parties in 1869 and 1870 returned to Washington, D.C. with stories about exploding geysers, gurgling mud pots and herds of wildlife. In 1871 a government geologist named Ferdinand Hayden shlepped a photographer and artist on a third expedition, and the images they brought home sealed Yellowstone’s fate as a protected wilderness for all Americans. The first souvenir stand with hotdogs was built in 1875.

Lindbergh Baby Kidnapped (1932). It was a crime that riveted the entire nation when the 20-month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped on this date in 1932 from the family’s home in Hopewell, New Jersey. After paying $70,000 ransom the Lindberghs were led on a wild goose chase to recover their son from a boat off the coast of Massachusetts, but the baby’s body eventually was discovered less than a mile away from their home. Two years later a marked bill from the ransom money turned up at a gas station and police arrested German immigrant Bruno Hauptmann, who was later tried and executed for the kidnapping. The moral of the story is, you should always pay for gas with an ATM card.

Mickey Mantle Retires (1969). Legendary New York Yankees center-fielder Mickey Mantle retired on this date in 1969. During his 17-year career with the Yankees (1951 to 1968) the team won 12 American League pennants and seven World Series. You can buy a 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle #350 Baseball Card on eBay for $195, but Howdygram financial experts recommend investing in something of real value from our Boutique, like maybe a mouse pad. Thank you.

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