Little Bits of History

March 22

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2017

1871: William Woods Holden is removed from office. He was a native of North Carolina and at the age of ten, began an apprenticeship at a newspaper and was working as a printer and writer by age 19. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1841, aged 22. He belonged to the Whig party. Two years later he became the owner and editor of the North Carolina Standard and he changed party affiliation to the Democrats. He became politically active and was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons where he served one term. He was a leader of the Democratic Party in the state but was unable to win the gubernatorial nomination and then his party passed him over for a seat in the US Senate.

During the 1840s and 50s, he advocated for Southern state rights, expansion of slavery, and was even supportive of secession, but by 1860 his ideology had shifted to support the Union and his newspaper lost readers when he supported a unified country. He was sent by his County to vote against secession in 1861, but when President Lincoln asked for North Carolina to send troops to help suppress the seceding states, Holden changed his vote to secede.  As the Civil War dragged on, he became a critic of the Confederate government and joined the North Carolina peace movement. He lost a bid for governor in 1864 running on a peace platform. When the war ended in 1865, Holden was appointed governor by President Andrew Jackson.

Holden played a role in stabilizing the state during early Reconstruction efforts but lost an election later in 1865. Holden went back to his newspaper, but in 1868 he was elected as governor on the Republican ticket. At that time, he gave up his paper and began to track down Ku Klux Klan members using 24 detectives he hired to stop the KKK, the best record in the South. In 1870, after a new law was passed, Holden was able to use the state militia to combat the KKK and did so. Although the goal was to permit all legal voters to vote, the KKK’s tactics worked and Democratic Party regained majorities in both houses of the state legislation. With this power, they impeached Holden on December 14, 1870.

The main charges against Holden were rough treatment and arrests of North Carolina citizens by the state militia which Holden formed after several lynchings. Holden was defended by well known attorneys but was convicted of six of the eight counts against him with the Senate voting straight party lines. The Democrats were able to also remove Holden from his position, the first governor to be removed from office by impeachment. Holden moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on a newspaper there. President Ulysses Grant made him postmaster from 1873 to 1881. Holden died in 1892 at the age of 73. In 2011 the North Carolina Senate pardoned Holden with a vote of 48-0.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. – Marcus Aurelius

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. – Lord Acton

Jasper Doesn’t Have the Same Panache

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2015
Emerald Buddha *

Emerald Buddha *

March 22, 1784: The Emerald Buddha is moved. The Kingdom of Thailand counts this statue as its palladium, an image or object of antiquity on which they depend for safety. The original Palladium was a wooden statue of Pallas Athena which Odysseus and Diomedes stole from the citadel of Troy and which was later taken to Rome by Aeneas. It remained there until it was moved to Constantinople and was lost. The Emerald Buddha is a figurine of the meditating Buddha in seated yogic posture. It is not made of emerald, but instead is made of green jasper, a type of quartz and/or chalcedony. Jasper’s most common color is red and rarely it comes in blue. Jasper is one of the traditional stones of March. The Emerald Buddha is about 30 inches tall and is clothed in gold.

Legend states the Emerald Buddha was created in India in 43 BC by Nagasena, a Buddhist sage from Kashmir, who made the statue in the city of Pataliputra where it remained for 300 years. After that, the statue was taken to Sri Lanka to save it from harm during a civil war. In 457, a Burmese king requested the statue and scriptures to be sent home to help with study in his country. While in transport, the ship was caught in a storm and the statue ended up in Cambodia. The Thais captured Angkor Wat in 1432 and with it the Emerald Buddha which was moved to Laos where it was hidden.

Historical sources note the surfacing of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand in the Lannathai kingdom in 1434. One record states the statue was in a building struck by lightning and when it was dug out it was thought to be made from emerald, hence the name. A less romantic version says that in Thailand “emerald” simply means “green colored” and is not specific. An elephant carrying the statue was supposed to go to Chiang Mai, but would not travel there and went to Lampang three times. This was seen as a divine sign and the Emerald Buddha stayed there until 1468 when it was finally taken to Chiang Mai. It stayed there until 1552. It was then taken to Luang Prabang until 1564 when it was brought to Vientiane. In 1779 it was captured during an insurrection and brought to Siam and on this day, it was ceremoniously moved to its current home – Wat Phra Kaew.

Wat Phra Kaew literally means Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. It is located in the Phra Nakhon District or the historic center of Bangkok. The Buddha has remained in the specially built temple for hundreds of years. He has three different sets of gold clothing. The King of Thailand or a liaison changes the Buddha’s outfit at the changing of the season, around March, July, and November. The three sets of clothes correspond to Thailand’s three seasons – the summer season, the rainy season, and the cool season. Two sets of golden garments are displayed at the Pavilion of Regalia on the grounds of the Grand Palace when the statue is not wearing them. There they can be viewed by the public.

If you have a preconceived idea of the first principle, that idea is topsy-turvy, and as long as you seek a first principle that is something to be applied in one way to every occasion, you will have topsy-turvy ideas. Such ideas are not necessary. Buddha’s great light shines forth from everything, each moment. – Shunryu Suzuki

Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes. – Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure. – Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. – Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

Also on this day: Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Hockey is Rough – In 1989, Clint Malarchuk was hurt during a hockey game.
Flying Wallendas – In 1978, Karl Wallenda died from a fall.
Preschool Predicament – In 1984, the McMartin Preschool indictments were brought.
Elite Golf – In 1934, the first Augusta National Invitational Tournament was held.

* Picture by Gremel Madolora

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Elite Golf

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2014
Augusta National Invitational Tournament in 1934

Augusta National Invitational Tournament in 1934

March 22, 1934: The first Augusta National Invitational Tournament is held. This was the original name for what is today called the Masters Tournament. It is one fo the four major championships in professional golf with the other three being: the US Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Prior to this, the majors were four tournaments: two British – The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship; and two American – the US Open and the US Amateur. There was a substantial rise in the number of golfers in the 1940s and 50s and eventually the “major championships” came to mean those first listed above.

There is no real definitive line for the change, but it was around Arnold Palmer’s 1960 season. He won both the Masters and the US Open and claimed if he could win the Open Championship and the PGA Championship to finish, he would have won a grand slam that would rival Bobby Jones’ 1930 wins. Other serious games were also considered “big” wins, such as the Western Open and the North and South Open as well as the British PGA Matchplay Championship. During the 1950s the World Championship of Golf was also considered a big win and the first place purse was nearly ten times any other event. However, the sponsor pulled the plug and the last game was held in 1957.

Bobby Jones built Augusta National after he retired from golf. He and Clifford Roberts found a spot in Augusta, Georgia which had been an indigo plantation in the early 1800s and plant nursery since 1857. Alister MacKenzie was hired to help with the design and work began in 1931 with the course formally opening in 1933. The course was sensitively designed in MacKenzie’s signature style and the 18 holes have a 72 par rating, measuring 7,435 yards today (6,800  yards when built). Since 1949, a green jacket has been awarded to the winner who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory. Usually only first-time winners remove the jacket from the club’s grounds and repeat winners usually use the same jacket from previous wins.

Horton Smith won the first championship in 1934 at four under par. Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters (six) as well as being the oldest player to win when he took the jacket in 1986. Tiger Woods has been the youngest player to win and in that initial game he also had the widest winning margin and the lowest winning score. His score of 270 was eighteen under par and twelve strokes ahead of the second place golfer. Gary Player has made the most appearances at the Masters with 52 and made the most successive cuts at 23. Nick Price and Greg Norman share with lowest round scores of 63. There have been three times when a winning score was actually one above par: 1954, Sam Snead; 1956, Jack Burke, Jr.; and 2007, Zack Johnson. The current champion is Adam Scott who had a nine under score in 2013. This year’s tournament is scheduled for April 10 through the 13.

I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. – Will Rogers

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf. – H. L. Mencken

If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. – Lee Trevino

Don’t force your kids into sports. I never was. To this day, my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It’s the child’s desire to play that matters, not the parent’s desire to have the child play. Fun. Keep it fun. – Tiger Woods

Also on this day: Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Hockey is Rough – In 1989, Clint Malarchuk was hurt during a hockey game.
Flying Wallendas – In 1978, Karl Wallenda died from a fall.
Preschool Predicament – In 1984, the McMartin Preschool indictments were brought.

Hockey is Rough

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2013
Clint Malarchuk injured on the ice

Clint Malarchuk injured on the ice

March 22, 1989: Ice hockey goaltender Clint Malarchuk  is hurt during a game. Malarchuk was playing for the Buffalo Sabres. They were hosting the St. Louis Blues. Steve Tuttle of St. Louis collided with Uwe Krupp of Buffalo in front of the goal. Tuttle’s skate blade caught Malarchuk on the neck and severed his jugular vein. Bleeding profusely, Malarchuk managed to leave the ice under his own power with the help of the team’s athletic trainer, Jim Pizzutelli.

Hockey is known for its violence and injuries are commonplace. Even so, the amount of blood on the ice was overwhelming. In the stands, nine people fainted and two others had heart attacks. Three of Malarchuk’s teammates vomited on the ice. The game was being televised and the cameras cut away as soon as they realized the extent of the injury. Malarchuk’s mother was at home watching the game. Malarchuk said he knew he was dying and didn’t want his mother to see him do so. He had someone call her and tell her he loved her and then sent for a priest.

Pizzutelli had been a medic in Vietnam and he is credited with saving Malarchuk’s life. He pinched the major blood vessel closed and did not let go until doctors arrived and began to suture the wound. Doctors said if the blade had hit just 1/8 inch higher, Malarchuk would have been dead within two minutes. Instead, they worked for 90 minutes and placed more than 300 stitches to close the wound. Malarchuk spent one night in the hospital and was back at practice 4 days later and back as goalie a week after the incident.

Malarchuk continued to play until 1992 and went on to coach the sport. The NHL does not require players to wear any sort of neck protection. In 1995, Swedish hockey player Bengt Akerblom was injured in a similar manner and died due to blood loss. On June 1, 1996 Swedish players were mandated to wear neck protection. On February 10, 2008 while the Florida Panthers were in Buffalo, Richard Zednik was also injured by a skate blade cutting his neck. He, too, survived.

“All I wanted to do was get off the ice. My mother was watching the game on TV, and I didn’t want her to see me die.” – Clint Malarchuk

“Doctors told me to take the rest of the year off, but there was no way. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be. I play for keeps.” – Clint Malarchuk

“A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can’t hit one another.” – Jimmy Cannon

“Red ice sells hockey tickets.” – Bob Stewart

This article first appeared at in 2010. Editor’s update: Only two players from the NHL have died as a result of on-ice injuries. Howie Morenz (1937) died from complications from a broken leg, suffered on the ice while playing for the Canadiens. While recuperating in the hospital, he began complaining of chest pain and which may have been a heart attack. He tried to get up, but collapsed onto the floor and was found there, dead at the age of 34. Bill Masterson (1968) was moving the puck down ice when he was checked. He fell backwards onto the ice and struck the back of his head. He received a massive brain hemorrhage and died two days later at the age of 29. Akerblom played for a Swedish team when he was injured in the same manner as Malarchuk. Not as lucky, he bled to death at the age of 28.

Also on this day: Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Flying Wallendas – In 1978, Karl Wallenda died from a fall.
Preschool Predicament – In 1984, the McMartin Preschool indictments were brought.

Preschool Predicament

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2012

The McMartin Preschool

March 22, 1984: The McMartin Preschool indictments are brought. The preschool was located in Manhattan Beach, California – a small, upscale beach town near Los Angeles. The preschool was established by Virginia McMartin who was in her 70s at the time the accusations were put forth. Judy Johnson first dropped her two-and-a-half year old son, Billy, at the school on May 12, 1983. The first inkling of trouble was when Billy had a painful bowel movement. The cascading effects resulted in the “longest and most expensive case in the history of the US legal system.”

On August 12, 1983 Judy claimed Ray Buckey, Virginia’s 25-year-old grandson, had sexually molested Billy. Judy met with Detective Jane Hoag on August 18 and Billy was interviewed at the police station on August 30. Ray was arrested on September 7 and the next day the police chief sent out 200 letters to McMartin Preschool parents concerning suspected abuse and asking for information. In October, Children’s Institute International was consulted. In November, Kee MacFarlane began interviewing children to find those who were abused.

By March 1984, there were 360 cases of abuse uncovered. The abuse was not only sexual in nature, but bizarre in practice. The children were being used as part of a satanic cult. On this date Ray, his sister, mother, and grandmother, and three other employees were indicted on 115 counts of child sexual abuse. The numbers kept escalating for both the victims and the perpetrators. By August there were an additional 397 charges brought. Investigations continued for three years. Judy Johnson died of alcohol poisoning in December 1986 before she had a chance to testify.

The trial for Ray and his mother began July 14, 1987 (all the other defendants had been freed). The end result was all charges were dropped; there were zero convictions. Ray had spent five years in jail, his mother had been jailed for two years. The children’s testimony was questionable. The method of extracting information proved to be coercive with interviewers using suggestive questioning. The children were giving false memories in answer to questions in order to placate the adults. The case cost $15 million to prosecute. The preschool was destroyed while looking for secret rooms used for satanic rites – in vain. This was only one of many cases of false memories being elicited and victimizing innocent adults. Some of those accused spent decades in prison.

I said a lot of things that didn’t happen. I lied. … Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. … I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do. – a child witness, speaking as an adult

When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again. Maybe that is why it is easier for most of us to forget, rather than to try and explain, the Satanic-abuse scare that gripped this country in the early 80s. – Margaret Talbot

…the kids involved in this hysteria have indeed suffered, but not at the hands of their teachers. And the abuse perpetrated against them by the child-protection movement gone mad are every bit as awful as the tyranny of incest. – Debbie Nathan

I felt everyone knew I was lying. But my parents said, ‘You’re doing fine. Don’t worry.’ And everyone was saying how proud they were of me. – Kyle Zripolo, a child witness speaking as an adult

Also on this day:

Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Hockey is Rough – In 1989, Clint Malarchuk was hurt during a hockey game.
Flying Wallendas – In 1978, Karl Wallenda died from a fall.

Flying Wallendas

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2011

Karl Wallenda

March 22, 1978: Karl Wallenda dies from a fall. Karl was part of The Great Wallendas and was 73 years old at the time of his death. He was born in Magdeburg, Germany. He had been performing with his family since he was six. The Wallendas were already famous in Europe, especially noted for their four-man pyramid and cycling on a high wire when they came to the US in 1928. They joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus and their debut was held at Madison Square Garden. They performed there without a net because it had been lost in transit. They were met with a standing ovation.

They were performing in Akron, Ohio when they fell from the high wire. No one was injured. The next day, a newspaper reported “The Wallendas fell so gracefully that it seemed as if they were flying.” Their name changed to The Flying Wallendas after this. In 1944, they were performing with the circus in Hartford, Connecticut when a fire started and killed 168 people in a disaster called the Hartford Circus Fire. None of the Wallendas suffered injury.

In the following years, Karl developed a seven-person chair pyramid. They performed the act successfully for years. In 1962, while performing in Detroit, the front man on the wire faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Two men were killed when they fell to the ground. Karl himself injured his pelvis and his adopted son, Mario, was paralyzed from the waist down. Another Wallenda fell to her death in 1963 and Karl’s son-in-law was killed when he touched a live electric wire while holding metal rigging in 1972.

Karl continued to perform, sometimes with smaller groups and sometimes solo. He successfully crossed the Tallulah Gorge in Georgia in 1970. On this day, Karl was attempting to walk a wire between the two towers of the ten-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The wire was struck 121 feet above the pavement. Winds were gusting at 30 mph and Karl fell to the ground below. Other family members state the tragedy could have been averted, but several of the guide ropes along the wire were not properly connected for the windy conditions. Other family members continue to perform and The Flying Wallendas remain active.

“Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting.” Karl Wallenda

“I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline – production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one.” – Alfred Hitchcock

“Wanting to do it was much more powerful than the fright.” – Charlotte Gainsbourg

“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” – Omar N. Bradley

Also on this day:
Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Clint Malarchuk – In 1989, Malarchuk was critically injured on the ice.

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Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2010

Helium-Neon laser

March 22, 1960: Arthur L. Schawlow and Charles Townes receive a patent for the laser while working for Bell Labs and change our lives dramatically. LASER is an acronym rather than a noun. It stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is a device that creates and amplifies a narrow intense beam of coherent light.

The trick is to find the right atoms – which emit the radiation. Atoms are used from crystals like rubies and garnets as well as gases or liquids. These atoms are stimulated or excited as well as focused and then used in a variety of applications today.

The output of lasers are varied. They can be a continuous constant-amplitude and called CW or continuous wave. Some of these can produce visible light and can do so for a very short period of time – a few femtoseconds. That word means one quarrillionth of a second or 10-15 which is also one millionth of one billionth of a second. So a very short time. There is also a method of use called Q-switching, another method is modelocking, and there is also pulsed pumping.

Lasers are useful in industry, medicine, communications, scientific research, and holography. You use lasers every day when items are run across a bar scanner or when you print with a laser printer. When you listen to a music CD or run a data CD the reader uses laser technology. DVDs also use this focused light.

“We manipulate nature as if we were stuffing an Alsatian goose. We create new forms of energy; we make new elements; we kill crops; we wash brains. I can hear them in the dark sharpening their lasers.” – Erwin Chargaff

“The simplistic concept (of lasers) probably derived from that old James Bond movie of a laser driving down at Sean Connery. It was a big-old device with a circular beam coming down. Conceptually, that’s kind of correct, but all lasers today with those big beams come from gas or material lasers,” – Malcolm Thompson

“You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?” Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

“The atoms become like a moth, seeking out the region of higher laser intensity.” – Steven Chu

Also on this day, in 1989 Clint Malarchuk got his throat slit during a hockey game.

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