Little Bits of History

February 26

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 26, 2017

1971: UN Secretary-General U Thant signs a proclamation. John McConnell was born in 1915 in Davis City, Iowa. His father was a traveling Pentecostal evangelist and John grew up with a strong commitment to making the world a better place. He spent his life on causes. He and Albert Nobell, a chemist who worked making plastics, noticed how damaging industry was to the ecological balance of Mother Nature. McConnell advocated for peace on Earth, even during the darkest days of World War II. When Sputnik was launched, he wrote an article for the peaceful exploration of space.

His environmental concerns grew throughout the late fifties and sixties. His Christian upbringing led him to believe humans had a duty to take care of Spaceship Earth for future generations. In October 1969, a National UNESCO Conference was held in San Francisco and John first proposed a global holiday to celebrate Earth, all her life and beauty, and to foster peace among all her inhabitants. Earth Day won strong support in San Francisco and the first celebration of the Day was held there on March 21, 1970. In June of that year, McConnell created the Earth Day Proclamation for worldwide use. It was signed by 36 world leaders. U Thant was one of the signatories.

U Thant was from Burma and was the Secretary-General of the UN from 1961 to 1971 after Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a plane crash. U Thant was the only candidate the US and the USSR could agree on and he took office amid the Cold War super powers animosity. He brokered many different agreements between categorically opposed factions during his terms in office. On this day, he was able to create a worldwide day for peace and understanding between humans of any place and their world. John McConnell’s idea had spread around the globe.

The spring equinox Earth Day is celebrated around the world and has been acknowledged at the United Nations with ringing of the UN Peace Bell. While some of the predictions from the early years have been averted, today we are still in a precarious position on the planet. There are issues of rising populations and destruction of the natural environment to support all the people. There are issues with extinctions of many species, but thankfully not nearly as bad as had been predicted. There was a prediction the world would suffer a new ice age. Instead, we have been dealing with issues of global warming and threat of rising waters drowning out much of the coastal regions of the world. Earth Day will be celebrated in 2017 on April 22.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. – John Muir

He that plants trees loves others beside himself. – Thomas Fuller

For 200 years we’ve been conquering nature. Now we’re beating it to death. –  Tom McMillan

The earth is what we all have in common. – Wendell Berr

February 25

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 25, 2017

1866: The Calaveras Skull is found by miners. Working Calaveras County, California mines at a depth of 130 feet below the surface, miners discovered a skull beneath a layer of lava. They were able to get their find to Josiah Whitney who was, at the time, the State Geologist of California as well as a Professor of Geology at Harvard University. The year before, Prof. Whitney had published a paper on the co-existence of early humans, mastodons, and elephants. He was delighted to have this physical proof of his theory and he officially announced his confirmation of authenticity at a meeting of the California Academy of Sciences later in the year. He was certain Pliocene age (about 2.5 to 5.3 million years ago) humans were residing in North America which would make them the oldest humans on the continent.

While Prof. Whitney was sure of the veracity of the skull, other were not. In a San Francisco newspaper, a reporter claimed to have been told the skull was a practical joke. This was ignored. In 1879, Thomas Wilson, also of Harvard, ran a flourine analysis (the first time the test was used on human bone) and claimed the skull to be of far more recent provenance. While generally claimed as a hoax, Whitney refused to relinquish his belief as did his successor at Harvard, FW Putnam. Putnam, in an effort to find the truth, traveled to Harvard in 1901.

Putnam was told that in 1865 a Native American’s skull had been dug up from a local burial site and planted in the mine specifically to be found by later miners. Putnam allowed the story may or may not have been true and it was impossible to tell for sure if the skull was fake or not, but he was still sure it was the real thing. Others who found the usefulness of the ancient skull convenient for “proving” their philosophical or religious beliefs also claimed the skull was authentic. Just to further complicate matters, it was later found the skull in question was not even the original skull given to Whiney.

Around the same time Putman was traveling in California, William Henry Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution was also studying the skull. He determined the plant and animal fossils found along with the skull were, in fact, genuine. But the skull was not. It was not even feasible, according to Holmes, to believe that a human skull would be so unchanged after millions of years and would so closely resemble today’s human skull. The skull was declared, with some finality, to be a hoax. Apparently, the miners there did not really like Prof. Whitney, finding him a stuffy Easterner. They were delighted to have been able to trick the revered scientist. Radiocarbon dating in 1992 found the skull to be about 1,000 years old.

It may be impossible ever to determine to the satisfaction of the archaeologist the place where the skull was actually found. – FW Putnam

To suppose that man could have remained unchanged… for a million years, roughly speaking… is to suppose a miracle. – William Henry Holmes

In a secular age, an authentic miracle must purport to be a hoax, in order to gain credit in the world. – Angela Carter

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. – Carl Sagan

February 24

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 24, 2017

1582: Inter gravissimas is issued. The papal bull was written in Latin and Pope Gregory XIII was setting forth the way to realign the calendar with the actual orbit of the planet. The Catholic calendar used older methods to determine the dates for some feasts, most notably – Easter. In order to accurately place the celebration for Christ’s triumph over death, there were three things that needed to be restored. The first of these was the correct placement of the northern vernal equinox or the first day of spring. The next calculation needed was the proper identification of the “14th day of the moon” or as we would call it, the full moon. After these two pieces of information were available, the next Sunday after this full moon after the vernal equinox would be Easter.

The Council of Nicaea was held in summer of 325. At that time, March 21 was when the sun was aligned with the equator as it moved northward into the summer solstice. Since a year is not actually 365 days long, calculations had been made by the older calendar to create a more accurate time table. But the year is also not exactly 365.25 days long either and the planet had drifted away from the original location over 1200 years earlier. Not only is there a problem with the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, but the Moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t exact either. So the new calendar would make the full moon actually occur at the time of the full moon which removed “four days and more” of further drift. This would realign Easter with where it was originally found in 325.

The new calendar would simply change the numbers of the date. Pope Gregory had no authority over the entire globe, but Catholic countries were mandated to update their calendars in October of 1582. Thursday, October 4 was followed by Friday, October 15. This realigned the old style calendar with the solar year. However, other countries/places around the world were using a variety of other calendars. In fact, even today, there are many different ways to compute the date and many places have more than one calendar in use. The Gregorian calendar is almost universally recognized as the most accurate, but religious and national calendars remain in use for internal reasons, as well.

The longer it took to accept the new solar calendar, the greater the change in the dates. Between the years 1900 and 2100, a change of 13 days would be needed to upgrade a Julian calendar to a Gregorian. Russia finally accepted the “new” calendar in 1918 although they had changed their new year’s day to January 1 in 1700 whereas Great Britain and the British Empire took until 1752 for that to take place (it had been on March 25 prior to that). Even now, there is some confusion when giving a date. Some places add OS or NS to the date, to let the reader know if the Julian (OS) calendar or the Gregorian (NS) date is being used. Extending the dates backwards creates a proleptic calendar and is confusing so should be used only with great caution.

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. – Charles Richards

Tomorrow is only found in the calendar of fools. – Og Mandino

I don’t wait for the calendar to figure out when I should live life. – Gene Simmons

Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar. – D. H. Lawrence

February 23

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 23, 2017

1739: Richard Palmer is unmasked. He was born in Essex, England and baptized on September 21, 1705. He was the fifth of six children in his family. His father was a butcher and innkeeper and it is sometimes told the son followed, at least at first, in his father’s footsteps. He had some rudimentary education and eventually married. He opened his own butcher shop but eventually found other ways to make a more lucrative living. He joined up with an Essex gang of deer poachers, a criminal endeavor rampant in the area. The gang had to find a way to get rid of the deer meat and having a butcher join in was a way to sell off the goods without drawing too much attention. While this worked for a while, Richard eventually left the butcher trade and took up with a more criminal lifestyle. He also changed his name at some point from Dick Turpin to Richard Palmer.

Within a few years, the makeup of the gang had changed dramatically with many of the members captured or moved away. Turpin moved on to robbery and began invading the homes of the local wealthy farmers. The gang members moved near London and began breaking and entering there. Their attacks were quite violent when homeowners would not reveal where their money was hidden. Rewards were offered for their capture, starting at £10 and working their way upwards. Many of the group were caught in this manner, but Turpin remained elusive.

With most of the gang members in custody, Turpin turned to what he is most famous for. Highway robbery became his new venture. He and some new associates attacked those moving along the highways of rural England. They were accomplished horse thieves as well as powerful riders and able to approach targets with impunity due to the legendary violence associated with Turpin’s attacks. While trying to capture Turpin, one of the posse was shot and eventually died. Turpin was charged with his murder, but stories were confusing and often contradictory.

While travelling around the country under his assumed name, he was caught and eventually sent to York Castle to await trial for more minor crimes. While there, he wrote a letter to his brother in law but when it arrived, the man refused to pay the delivery charge, stating he knew no one at York Castle. He may have truly been loath to pay or he may have been trying to distance himself from his criminal family. The letter was taken to a post office where James Smith, who had taught Turpin to write years ago, recognized the handwriting. He alerted the authorities and was taken to York Castle where he was able to identify the man held there as the man wanted for murder. He received a £200 reward (about £29,000 today). Turpin was executed, but became a legend after the fact.

Make your educational laws strict and your criminal ones can be gentle; but if you leave youth its liberty you will have to dig dungeons for ages. – Michel de Montaigne

Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on. – Robert Kennedy

Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear. – Karl Kraus

The criminal is trying to solve his immediate problems. – Naguib Mahfouz

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February 22

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 22, 2017

1909: The Great White Fleet returns to Hampton Roads, Virginia. US President Theodore Roosevelt sent 16 Navy battleships along with a larger contingency of ancillary vessels on a world tour, circumnavigating the globe. They left on December 16, 1907 with their hulls painted white, the Navy’s peacetime color. The ships were decorated with gold scrollwork and there was a red, white, and blue banner on the bows of the ships. In 1891, after decades of conflict, France sent a fleet of ships to Kronstadt, Russia. The mission was peaceful and threatening. The large contingency of ships and the implied threat of more to come was not lost on Tsar Nicholas II and a treaty was soon signed.

Roosevelt theorized a fleet this size simply sailing around the world would increase goodwill toward America, striving to become a world power. The ability to muster such a fleet to visit many countries and harbors during peacetime would also serve as an indication of the growing importance of the nation’s powerful armed forces. The triumph of America in the Spanish-American War had the US now in possession of Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. This was not the first time Roosevelt had sent an impressive US naval presence. He sent eight battleships to the Mediterranean Sea during a diplomatic crisis between France and Germany in their dispute over Morocco. Europe may have already taken notice of the US, but Roosevelt was also hoping to impress Japan, after their defeat of the Russian fleet in 1905.

The President wished to let the world know the US Navy was able to be anywhere. This seemed to have worked, at least in part. Another benefit of showcasing this massive peacetime endeavor was to help the ships and men practice both sea and battle worthiness as a fleet and to use that practice in developing later classes of ships for the upgrading Navy. The trip around the world was to help the ships with all manner of at sea experience including navigation, communication, power supply, and fleet maneuvering. There was, of course, some dissention. The Navy brass was worried about deploying ships for so long and so far away from home. The long voyage would also take a toll on the ships themselves which would need maintenance when they reached the west coast.

At the time of the trip, the Panama Canal was not yet operational and the ships had to pass through the Straits of Magellan. This was an as yet, unprecedented operation for the US Navy. The ships had to sail from a variety of points before coalescing into the Great White Fleet. However, all the planning was worth it as thousands came to see the ships anytime they entered any port city. The 14-month voyage covered 43,000 nautical miles and made twenty port calls on six continents. The 14,000 sailors brought their Fleet safely around the world, impressing both foreign nationals and the folks back home.

It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious. – John Paul Jones

A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace. – Commodore George Dewey

The Navy has both a tradition and a future–and we look with pride and confidence in both directions. – Admiral Arleigh Burke

In my opinion, any navy less than that which would give us the habitual command of our own coast and seas would be little short of useless. – John C. Calhoun

February 21

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 21, 2017

1677: Benedito de Espinosa dies. We know him as Baruch Spinoza. He was a Dutch philosopher of Sephardic Jewish/Portuguese origin and born in the Dutch Republic. His family had moved to Amsterdam after the Portuguese Inquisition began forcing conversions on the Iberian peninsula. These exiles found acceptance in Amsterdam and were proud of their heritage, survival, and community. The senior Spinoza was a successful merchant as well as active in the local synagogue. The port city also brought many ships in and along with their products for sale came an influx of people, ideas, and experiences. This helped to foster a city of tolerance.

Spinoza grew up speaking Portuguese but also knew Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch, and Latin. He may have also spoken French. He had a traditional Jewish upbringing and educational opportunities. He may have been headed towards becoming a rabbi but at the age of 17, when his older brother died, he quit school and joined the family importing business. At the age of 20, he was learning Latin from a former Jesuit who was a radical democrat who may have been responsible for introducing his young pupil to scholastic and modern philosophy, up to and including the heretical Rene Descartes. After the senior Spinoza died, Baruch went to teach at his Jesuit mentor’s school.

It was at this time that Spinoza became acquainted with many other Christian religions as well as anti-clerical belief systems. He slowly broke away from his Jewish beliefs and eventually was expelled from the Jewish community as a heretic. He spent the rest of his life writing and studying as a private scholar. He was able to publish only one work under his own name during his lifetime, Descartes’ “Principles of Philosophy”. He kept working on what would become his masterpiece work, published posthumously, Ethics.

In his famous book, he posited that God did exist but was abstract and impersonal. He was opposed to Descartes’ mind-body dualism but also disagreed with other anti-Cartesian philosophies. Spinoza believed in strict determinism, today rather akin to quantum mechanics. Spinoza rationalized that everything in Nature, that is everything that exists, is one Reality or one substance and there is only one set of rules which govern all. He saw God and Nature as two names for the same thing. Reality is perfection and anything we find imperfect is due to our lack of understanding. Our inability to understand is because the universe is vast and complex but our striving to understand more and better is our salvation.

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.

Ambition is the immoderate desire for power. – all from Baruch Spinoza

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February 20

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 20, 2017

1472: King Christian I of Norway cannot pay his daughter’s dowry. The Orkney Islands are an archipelago off the northern tip of Scotland. The Shetland Islands are even farther north and both are part of what is today called the Northern Isles and part of the United Kingdom. The Vikings had taken over the region after the Gaels, Picts, Celts, and Scots had all tried their hand at living there. The Vikings used the islands as a way station before heading farther south to raid and plunder coastal Europe. The Norwegians took over the islands by 875 and they remained under Norway’s rule, at first via Earls of Norway and then under the King himself.

By the mid-1400s Denmark and Scotland were in a feud over taxation of the Hebrides, another group of islands off the coast of Scotland. The King of France suggested the daughter of the King of Denmark and Norway (they were united at the time) marry the son of the King of Scotland. In July 1469, Margaret (13), daughter of Christian, married James (18), son of King James II. The Norse king was a bit short of cash. Margaret’s dowry was 60,000 Guilders. Christian was to pay 10,000 Guilders and put up Orkney as collateral for the rest. But the King could only come up with 2,000 Guilders and the Shetland Islands were then also added as further collateral.

Christian was unable to come up with the money he owed to the Scottish rulers and on this day the lands were taken over by Scotland. Neither Danes nor Norwegians accepted the fact their lands were taken and they attempted to fight the annexation for many centuries. However, since the lands had been put up as collateral and the debt had not been paid, there was legal basis for the Scots taking them over. The islands remain under Scottish/British control to this day.

Margaret’s marriage to the King of Scotland was not an entirely happy one. She simply did not care for the man. She joined the marriage bed solely for the purpose of procreation and did have three sons to carry on the line. She was much more popular than her husband and she has been described as better fit to rule than the actual king. Margaret died at Stirling Castle in July 1486 at the age of 30. There were rumors her husband had poisoned her. While these were probably false, they did not endear the man to his countrymen. James III died in 1488 either in battle or while trying to escape. James IV succeed his father to the throne and is generally accepted at the most successful of all the Stewart monarchs.

A currency serves three functions: providing a means of payment, a unit of account and a store of value. Gold may be a store of value for wealth, but it is not a means of payment. You cannot pay for your groceries with it. Nor is it a unit of account. Prices of goods and services, and of financial assets, are not denominated in gold terms. – Nouriel Roubini

The payment for sins can be delayed. But they can’t be avoided. – Shawn Ryan

Everybody loves to spend money at least some of the time – because everybody loves the stuff you can buy with it. The key to the pleasure level of any transaction is the balance between the pain of the payment and the reward of the purchased object. – Jeffrey Kluger

I’ve learned that when someone does something very kind and refuses payment, giving them an engraved Swiss Army knife is never refused! – Christine Lavin

February 19

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 19, 2017

1913: Pedro Lascuráin becomes the 34th President of Mexico. He was born in Mexico City in 1856 and graduated from law school in 1880. He was the mayor of Mexico City in 1910 when Francisco Madero challenged then-President Porfirio Diaz and sparked the Mexican Revolution. This led to Madero taking over the Presidency which he held until his assassination on this day. Lascuráin had supported Madero in his rule and served as foreign secretary in his cabinet for two terms. In revolutionary times, the leadership position is often up for grabs by whomever has the power to take control. General Victoriano Huerto was that person.

Huerto used Lascuráin to convince Madero to resign his position while he was being held prisoner in the National Palace. Madero was told his life was in danger if he did not relinquish control. The 1857 Constitution listed who would take over the rule of the country should a President leave office for any reason. The vice president, the attorney general, the foreign minister, and finally the interior minister. As Huerto was getting rid of Madero, he also ousted Vice President Jose Maria Suarez and Attorney General Adolfo Valles Baca. That left Lascuráin as next in line. In order to give some semblance of authenticity to the coup d’état, Lascuráin was made President of Mexico, a post he kept for less than an hour. Some sources say only 15 minutes and some give as long as 56 minutes. Regardless, his is the shortest Presidency in the world.

Huerta called for a late night session of Congress and with his backers holding guns on them, Congress endorsed Huerta’s rise to power. Within days, both Madero and Suarez were killed. Huerta’s regime came immediately under fire and resistance dogged his every stop. He was forced to flee the country in 1914 just 17 months after his coup. He was attempting to meet with German spies when he was arrested in the US during World War I. He died while in custody. Cause of death was cirrhosis of the liver or possibly poisoning, widely suspected at the time.

Lascuráin had been offered a position in Huerta’s cabinet but wisely declined the offer. He retired from politics and began to practice law again. He became the director of the Escuela Libre de Derecho, a conservative law school in Mexico City. He worked there for sixteen years and also published many articles on commercial and civil law. He died in 1952 at the age of 96. Diosdado Cabello of Venezuela, served as President of that country for just a few hours when Hugo Chavez was taking control there, the second shortest Presidency.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. – Thomas Jefferson

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. – Ambrose Bierce

No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action. – Emma Goldman

I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies. – Napoleon Bonaparte

February 18

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 18, 2017

1930: Pluto is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh. Tombaugh was born in 1906 in Illinois and the family moved to Kansas when he was a teenager. A hailstorm destroyed their crops, ending Clyde’s hopes for a college education. Instead, he began to build his own telescopes at home. He hand dug a pit 24 feet long and 8 feet deep, measuring 7 feet wide in which to lower his scopes to create a better environment for watching the night sky. In a temperature controlled pit free of air currents he was able to make several observations. He sent detailed drawing of Jupiter and Mars to Lowell Observatory and they offered him a job. He worked there from 1929 to 1945.

His job at the Flagstaff, Arizona observatory was to make a systematic search for a proposed trans-Neptune planet theorized by Percival Lowell and William Pickering. Tombaugh used the 13-inch astrograph (a telescope designed solely for taking pictures of space) to observe the same section of the sky several nights apart. He then used a machine to compare the sequential photographs to determine if there were any objects moving through the background stability of the night stars. He noticed such an object. He had already found many asteroids and was able to determine, due to the orbit outside Neptune, what he had discovered was the mathematically predicted planet Lowell and Pickering had hoped for. Images from January were studies and on this day, the discovery was made.

There were several names suggested for the new planet (since demoted to dwarf planet) but Venetia Burney (11-year-old schoolgirl from England) suggested the Roman god of the underworld who could make himself invisible. Due to the far flung orbit and hidden nature of the find, Pluto became the name for the first of many objects found in Kuiper belt, sometimes referred to as the “third zone” of the solar system. The Kuiper belt is disc shaped like the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and not to be confused with the Oort cloud which is spherical and surrounds the entire solar system in every direction.

Pluto is the second most massive object in the Kuiper belt, Eris being larger but far more distant. Pluto’s orbit is quite eccentric, ranging from 30 to 49 astronomical units from the sun, a difference of 3 billion kilometers from closest to farthest point. Pluto has five known moons with Charon being the largest. As our observational equipment grew ever more powerful, many more objects were discovered outside Neptune’s orbit. As more of these bodies were found, it became necessary to reassess our definition of what a planet actually was. In 2006, a consensus was agreed upon and Pluto did not meet the requirements. Therefore, it was reassigned as a dwarf planet.

I refuse to accept Pluto’s resignation as a planet. – Amy Lee

With any luck, by the time NASA’s space probe hits Pluto, you’ll be booking a spaceflight with a privately run suborbital airline. – Burt Rutan

When I was a little kid, we only knew about our nine planets. Since then, we’ve downgraded Pluto but have discovered that other solar systems and stars are common. So life is probably quite prevalent. – Buzz Aldrin

Pluto’s orbit is so elongated that it crosses the orbit of another planet. Now that’s… you’ve got no business doing that if you want to call yourself a planet. Come on, now! There’s something especially transgressive about that. – Neil deGrasse Tyson

February 17

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 17, 2017

2015:  Eighteen people are killed during a Mardi Gras parade. Mardi Gras is also called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday. Carnival is a period in the Christian calendar, beginning after the feast of the Epiphany (aka Three Kings Day and traditionally celebrated January 6) and the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The period often culminates in celebrations and parades on the day before the forty days of Lent begin, a time of sacrifice and atonement. Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti and there is a huge following there to celebrate this holiday. A parade was held on Champ de Mars. During this parade, around 2.48 AM, a disaster struck.

Fantom was the lead singer for a Haitian hip hop band or rap kreyòl called Barikad Crew, sometimes just called BC. The band was formed in 2002 and has had several tragedies befall them. Papa K-tafalk, Deja-Voo and Kondagana started the band to create music reflective of life in the slums of Haiti. They were commercially successful when their singles were released, allowing them to finally put out an entire album in 2007. The membership of the band has altered over time. In 2008 while travelling to a concert, Papa K-tafalk, Deja-Voo and Dade were killed in a car accident. Young Cliff was killed in the January 2010 earthquake that rocked the island. On this day, Fantom was riding atop a float in the parade when he made contact with a high-voltage power line. He survived the jolt and was in stable condition after the event.

The electrifying event caused a stampede among the revelers. It was at first thought that sixteen people were killed but later reports increased the numbers. Fifteen men and three women were killed and another 78 people were injured in the hysteria following the initial accident. Video of the event can be found at You Tube.

The Prime Minister of Haiti called for three days of mourning for the 18 people killed. There was also a state funeral and vigil for the victims held on February 21. In order to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful night, another parade, this one to be held in silence would follow the same route on Champ de Mars. The President of Haiti offered his condolences and the Minister of Communications announced the government’s plan to modernize the state electricity company to keep other events like this one from happening.

There’s a thing I’ve dreamed of all my life, and I’ll be damned if it don’t look like it’s about to come true-to be King of the Zulu’s parade. After that, I’ll be ready to die. – Louis Armstrong

I love Mardi Gras. I’m a street rat. – Mitch Landrieu

Do what you do. This Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, and every day henceforth. Just do what you do. Live out your life and your traditions on your own terms. If it offends others, so be it. That’s their problem. – Chris Rose

It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans. – Mark Twain