On This Day – March 5th 2016

Who remembers these instruments of childhood torture my Gentle Readers? Yes, I am talking about the Hula Hoop, patented on this day in 1963 by Wham-O co-founder Arthur “Spud” Melin. I hated these things in elementary school gym class. It didn’t help was about as coordinated as a block of wood. Why would we subject kids to such a device? For exercise? Give me a ball and let’s play kickball, or dodgeball which I was actually pretty good at. You didn’t have to dodge if you could catch the ball and throw it back. Take that gym class.

For those of you who could handle the subtle trickery that is a Hula Hoop, I applaud you. And throw a dodgeball at your head.

From one ring to another, Charlotte Bronte turned down a marriage proposal on this day from Reverend Henry Nussey. Charlotte, though 23, turned down the offer, claiming that the Reverend would find her both “romantic and eccentric”, not at all a suitable clergyman’s wife. Charlotte would go on to publish three works in her lifetime. A collection of poems with her sisters in 1846 that, sadly, only sold two copies. The following year, all three sisters would publish their greatest and, for one, only other work. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre(under the pen name Currer Bell, would be followed later that year by Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey. She would lose both sisters and her brother over the next two years sadly. Charlotte would publish Villette, about a failed romance she had in Brussels, before her death in childbirth.

Tragic to think the possible works lost by the deplorable health care and conditions of their time. The Bronte sisters, I am sure at least, had more to give us, had they lived long enough to do so.

Another tragedy occurred on this day in 1770 when British soldiers fired on Boston colonists. Tempers had been running high in the town since the previous week’s brawl. They would spark into flame on that fateful Monday night. After being pelted with snowballs and taunted by the colonists, the British soldier standing guard at the customs house called for assistance. When more soldiers arrived, they affixed their bayonets and took up a defensive position. The snow and ice betrayed them however, and one soldier slipped, causing his gun to fire. This led to all the soldiers firing. 5 colonists were killed and an additional 3 wounded. A trial was held, but only 2 of the 6 soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter. They were branded and later released. The Boston Massacre is oft regarded as the first casualties of the American Revolution.

Seems to be a bit of sadness on this one so I want to end with a story that is a little bit funny. On this day in 1969, Dade County Florida issued a warrant for the arrest of Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, for lewd behavior during his concert in Miami a few days prior. The charges included one felony and three misdemeanors for lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure, profanity, and drunkenness. They would later add a charge for simulated oral copulation they claimed was performed on guitarist Robbie Krieger during the concert. Morrison, who was admittedly too drunk to do more than mumble on stage, turned down a plea deal. He would die in Paris before serving any of the 6 months jail time or paying the $500 fine ordered by the court. Their witnesses were all tied to the police or district attorney’s office, so there was much skepticism if the crimes were even committed. Morrison was pardoned posthumously in 2010. Miami, and Dade County, would also charge 2 Live crew with obscenity in June of 1990. Seeing a pattern here. They wanted Morrison to take a plea deal where he would give a concert in Miami, maybe this is how Miami helps lagging tourist revenue years? Charge a performer with lewd behavior so you can get another concert out of them. They should be having a field day with some performers these days. Miley Cyrus anyone?

Well, I am going to go put on some Doors music and rock out my Gentle Readers. Until next time. Live well, write well, be well.