Dr. Hurlbutt's Highly Peculiar Online Calendar

March 2011

(National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month)

March 1: National Pig Day. Observed since 1972, this solemn occasion is intended "to accord to the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and useful domesticated animals."

March 2: Floris II (the Fat), Count of Holland, died in 1121, and was succeeded by his son Dirk VI.

March 3: President Herbert Hoover signed a law establishing "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States in 1931.

March 4: Thomas Jefferson became the first U.S. president to be inaugurated in the new capital of Washington, D.C., in 1801.

March 6: The German Prince Wilhelm de Wied was crowned King of Albania in 1914. The outbreak of the First World War later that year brought his rule to a premature conclusion, and he was forced to flee the country in early September, never to return.

March 8: The first episode of the first incarnation of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978.

March 9: Ash Wednesday (Western Church). The first day of Lent and the forty-sixth day before Easter, Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. It derives its name from the tradition of applying sacremental ash to the foreheads of the faithful in the shape of the cross.

March 10: Slavery was abolished in China in 1910.

March 12: Held each year on the second Saturday of March, the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika, New Zealand, offers some adventurous eating experiences, with wholesome treats such as slugs, crickets, sheep's eyes, and sausages made from some of the more intimate parts of the bull. One can only hope that the Hokitikans would approve of Archelaus's Low Fat Chewy Fruit Bat Bars.

Low fat chewy fruit bat bars.

March 13: Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 using a telescope of his own devising. Six years later he discovered the first two of its plentiful moons (now believed to number as many as twenty-seven). Although Herschel sycophantically wished to name the new planet after his royal patron, King George III, the international astronomical community overruled him in favor of continuing the practice of giving the planets the Latin names of Greek gods.

March 16: St. Urho's Day. A spurious feastday invented in good fun by Finnish-Americans in the 1950s to compete with St. Patrick's Day (March 17). According to the story given out by the Finns, St. Patrick may have driven the snakes out of Ireland, but the pitchfork-wielding St. Urho rid Finland of grasshoppers. Parades and other observances (usually involving the heavy consumption of alcohol) are now held in many North American communities with significant Finnish populations, particularly in the upper Midwest.

March 17: The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., opened in 1941.

March 18: King George I of Greece was assassinated by an anarchist in 1913, ending a long and generally successful reign.

March 19: The state of Nevada legalized casino gambling in 1931.

March 20: At 11:21 p.m. GMT, the vernal equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern as the sun crosses the celestial equator, moving northward. Night and day are approximately the same length and spring begins in the north, autumn in the south.

March 21: "Just be damned sure you say, 'I don't remember.' " — President Richard Nixon at an Oval Office meeting in 1973, giving free legal advice on how to testify under oath.

March 22: World Water Day (U.N.). Observed each year since 1993, World Water Day is intended to heighten awareness of a growing crisis, as staggering numbers of people live without access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. In the developing world, conflicts over water rights are often becoming actual wars. Even in many developed countries, it is increasingly difficult to obtain drinking water unadulturated with worrisome levels of industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

March 25: Feast of the Annunciation, celebrating the appearance of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. In Sweden, a fancied similarity between the Swedish words for "Our Lady's Day" (Vårfrudagen) and "Waffle Day" (Vårffeldagen) has led to the tradition of consuming waffles on this holiday, as well it might.

March 27: Argentina became the last power in the Western Hemisphere to declare war on the Axis powers — in 1945, some six weeks before fighting ended in Europe and less than five months before it ended in the Pacific.

Vintage advertisement for 'bust-reducer, $5 as illustrated.'

March 28: The Las Vegas International Lingerie Show will open for three days at the Rio Hotel. The largest trade show for intimate apparel in the United States, it will host buyers and sellers from around the world. A lingerie fashion show takes place on the evening of the first day. Patented bust-reducing garments, such as the one shown at left from 1915 (which purportedly worked by "inducing perspiration") are not expected to make a strong comeback this year.

March 29: The Twenty-Third Amendment was ratified in 1961, giving citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote in presidential elections.

March 31: The Times of London reported in 1919 that sheep farmers in New Zealand were complaining about "carnivorous mountain parrots" attacking their livestock.

Sheep-Killing Parrots

January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

While Archelaus reasonably believes the contents of this calendar to be accurate, it disclaims
all liability for the consequences of any action undertaken in reliance upon said contents.