Day By Day

Friday, November 27, 2009

This Day In History

Recovering from Thanksgiving overeating festival -- so posting is late and will be short today.

Today is "National Pins and Needles Day" -- it was originally a publicity gag for a Broadway show -- "Pins and Needles" back in 1937. Today it is more generic as a day of excitement and anticipation. Something's coming..., coming soon..., what will it be?

On this day in 43 BC Octavian, Lepidus, and Antony form the Second Triumvirate in Rome. This is traditionally considered to mark the end of the Roman Republic. The three men had been strong supporters of Julius Caesar and after his death two years earlier they had joined forces to hunt down and kill his assassins. To cement their alliance and to prevent future conflict they agreed to share the rule of Rome after the assassins were dead. Brutus and Cassius were killed in two battles at Phillipi in 42 BC, other republicans were hunted down and murdered, and for ten years thereafter the triumvirs ruled Rome as absolute dictators, dividing the empire among themselves. The whole thing eventually fell apart because Octavian and Anthony were bitter enemies, each determined to eliminate the other. In the end Octavian won the power struggle and emerged as the supreme power in Rome. HBO's series "Rome" presented a highly fictionalized and entertaining account of these events as seen by some men in the ranks.

And on this day in 511 Clovis, King of the Franks, died. He was the first leader to unite all of the Frankish tribes under his rule and under his command the Franks conquered most of Gaul. He also introduced Christianity in his realm. His achievements shaped the course of Western European history for centuries to come.

And on this day in 1966 the Washington Redskins defeated the New York Giants. The score? 72-41. Wow!

Entering the building:

Charles A. Beard [1874], the greatest of America's "Progressive" historians.

Jimi Hendrix [1942] rock guitarist.

Leaving the building:

Baby Face Nelson [1934], taken down by the FBI.

Eugene O'Neill [1953], "Ah Wilderness!"