I’m back with another episode giving an overview into historical events of the month.
March is a crazy month for history! It is packed full of serious events that took place. Let’s dive in!
(By the way, I had fun using a spring-ish looking graphic this month. Seeing as Sunday is the first day of spring. 😉)
1. The Adoption of the National Anthem
The Star Spangled Banner — America’s song — was officially adopted on March 3, 1931. Almost since the time that Francis Scott Key penned the words to the song, it had been regarded as the unofficial National Anthem. It was regarded as such by every branch of our armed forces and also by our nation’s citizens. But it wasn’t until 1931 that it was signed into law. Here are a few facts about it.
- The original title of the song was ‘The Defense of Fort McHenry’.
- It actually has four verses, but the first one is the most well known. I love the fourth verse:
“O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.“
The other verses are just as spectacular though and I recommend you look them up! You can find them here.
- Key wrote the words while detained on a British war ship during the Battle for Fort McHenry. He had been sent to negotiate the release of American prisoners being held in horrendous conditions aboard British ships. While on board he was told that he couldn’t leave because the British were preparing to shell Fort McHenry and end the war. He watched as the battle continued through the night, constantly looking to see if the Flag was still flying over the fort.
- After the September 11th attacks, the Star Spangled Banner was played for the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
2. The Boston Massacre
March 5th, 1770 was the date of the infamous Boston Massacre. There is much speculation over who was in the right in this tragic event. Let’s look at some interesting facts about it.
- The Boston Massacre’s alternate name that was more commonly used among the British was “The Incident On King Street”.
- The incident started over some confusion about a wig.
- The trial of Captain Preston (The British officer involved in the massacre) was the first trial to use the defense of “reasonable doubt”.
- John Adams — one of America’s firebrands in the fight for Independence — was the defense council for the soldiers on trial. He choose to accept the position of defending them because he believed that everyone should be given the right to adequate council and a fair trial.
3. The Alamo Falls
On March 6, 1836, after thirteen days of fighting against extraordinary odds, the Alamo, and those defending her, fell. There is SO much I could say about the Alamo, but I will try and only do some so that we can look at a few other events as well.
- General Houston gave orders to destroy the Alamo and bring all the men who were there to safety. Jim Bowie and Colonel Travis however disagreed and decided to stay, because freedom depended on it. The other men at the Alamo were given a chance to leave, but none of them did.
- The actual Alamo was named after the cotton wood tree.
- During the siege, Davy Crockett was known to play his fiddle for the men to lift their spirits.
- There is speculation on whether Davy Crockett was killed during the actual battle or if he was captured by Santa Anna and executed. No-one knows for sure either way. It is forever lost to history.
4. Liberty Or Death — March 23, 1775
It has been argued that nothing quite captured the spirit of the American War for Independence better than Patrick Henry’s beloved “Liberty or Death” speech. I have to say that I agree with that assessment. Just reading his speech sends shivers up my spine and brings tears to my heart— and that is without even being able to hear the passion and fervor with which he proclaimed it! Of course I can see his passion just in reading it, but imagine hearing this speech in person!
- Patrick Henry’s speech served to enrage the loyalists who saw it as being treasonous, and burn a fire in the patriots who heard it as a call to freedom.
- He was accused of treason after a loyalist wrongfully claimed that he called King George III names in the speech.
- His speech is most remembered for his infamous closing paragraph: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Personally I would highly recommend that each of you go and read his entire speech. It really is not that long and it will be worth your time! You can find it here.
One of my favorite parts is, “They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?….Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations;”
5. President Reagan Is Shot — March 30,1981
March 30, 1981 was the day that President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt. .
- He was seventy years old when it happened
- His first words to the First Lady after it happened were, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”
- While being wheeled into the operating room he jokingly told the surgeons, “I hope you’re all good Republicans.”
- It was only sixty-nine days into his presidency.
- He was the only president to survive a bullet wound while still in office.
Hopefully you enjoyed this week’s post! Let me know what you think in the comments! What are some events this month that you enjoy learning about? I would love to hear!