Ides of March

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The Ides of March is the name of the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. His death marks a turning point in Roman history. Some Romans celebrate the Ides of March as new year celebrations. In Canada, the day is celebrated with the drinking of Bloody Caesars. (from www.cute-calendar.com)

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Cotton Gin Patented

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Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin in 1793. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States.

A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, allowing for much greater productivity than manual cotton separation. The fibers are then processed into various cotton goods such as linens, while any undamaged cotton is used largely for textiles, including clothing. Seeds may be used to grow more cotton or to produce cottonseed oil.

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Although simple handheld roller gins had been used in India and other countries since at least 500 AD, the first modern mechanical cotton gin was patented this date in 1794 by Whitney. However, the Indian worm-gear roller gin, invented sometime around the sixteenth century, has remained virtually unchanged up to the present time. Whitney’s gin used a combination of a wire screen and small wire hooks to pull the cotton through, while brushes continuously removed the loose cotton lint to prevent jams. It revolutionized the cotton industry in the United States, but has been identified as an inadvertent contributing factor to the outbreak of the American Civil War. (from Wikipedia)

 PHOTO:  A model of a 19th-century cotton gin on display at the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden, Connecticut.

Girl Scouts Founded ….

Girl Scouts Day is celebrated today and commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low founded the very first girl troop of scouts with 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia. It is also known as the birthday of the girl scouts. Girl Scouts aim to do a good turn daily and to be prepared any time to help. There are special camps organized in the honor of Juliette Gordon Low, whose idea has been followed by millions of girls all over the world. (from www.cute-calendar.com)

And, they make fabulous cookies!

Paper money issued ….

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The U. S. government first issued paper money this date yesterday in 1862. Paper currency was issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to fund military expeditions. Other colonies quickly took up the practice of issuing paper notes. The Continental Congress issued paper currency to finance the Revolutionary War in 1775.

Development of the banknote began in the Tang Dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions.

Most banknotes are made from cotton paper, sometimes mixed with linen, abaca, or other textile fibers. Generally, the paper used is different from ordinary paper: It is much more resilient, resists wear and tear, and also does not contain the usual agents that make ordinary paper glow slightly under ultraviolet light. Unlike most printing and writing paper, banknote paper is infused with polyvinyl alcohol or gelatin, instead of water, to give it extra strength.

In the United States, banknotes last an average of three years until they are no longer fit for circulation, after which they are collected for destruction, usually recycling or shredding. A banknote is removed from the money supply by banks or other financial institutions because of everyday wear and tear from its handling. Banknote bundles are passed through a sorting machine that determines whether a particular note needs to be shredded or are removed from the supply chain by a human inspector if they are deemed unfit for continued use – for example, if they are mutilated or torn. (from Wikipedia)

Daylight Savings Time Starts

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Most of the US, Canada and Mexico’s northern border cities started Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2 A.M. local time today. The clock “spring forward” (by shifting the clock forward) an hour, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Most of Europe will start DST on the last Sunday in March. With most of North America shifting at 02:00 local time, its zones do not shift at the same time, but increase through each time zone: EST, CST, MST, PST. Typically, clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. The modern idea of daylight saving was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then.

DST clock shifts present other challenges. They complicate timekeeping and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, recordkeeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when Daylight Saving Time protocols are changed. (from: Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

 

 

Barbie’s birthday …

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Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by American toy-company Mattel, Inc., and American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll as her inspiration.

Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles. At the time, most children’s toy dolls were representations of infants. Realizing that there could be a gap in the market, Handler suggested the idea of an adult-bodied doll to her husband, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company. He was unenthusiastic about the idea, as were Mattel’s directors.

During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth Handler came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli. The adult-figured doll was exactly what Handler had in mind, so she purchased three of them. She gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel. The Lilli doll was based on a popular character appearing in a comic strip drawn for the newspaper Bild. Lilli was a blonde bombshell, a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately.

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Upon her return to the United States, Handler redesigned the doll (with help from an engineer), and the doll was given a new name, Barbie, after Handler’s daughter. The doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York this date in 1959, the date also used as Barbie’s official birthday.

The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette. The doll was marketed as a “Teen-age Fashion Model,” with her clothes created by Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson. Around 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.

Louis Marx and Company sued Mattel in March 1961. After licensing Lilli, they claimed that Mattel had “infringed on Greiner & Hausser’s patent for Bild-Lilli’s hip joint, and also claimed that Barbie was “a direct take-off and copy” of Bild-Lilli. The company additionally claimed that Mattel “falsely and misleadingly represented itself as having originated the design.” Mattel counter-claimed and the case was settled out of court in 1963. In 1964, Mattel bought Greiner & Hausser’s copyright and patent rights for the Bild-Lilli doll for $21,600.

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Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance, and early market research showed that some parents were unhappy about the doll’s chest, which had distinct breasts. Barbie’s appearance has been changed many times. In January 2016, Mattel announced that it would add tall, curvy, and petite body shapes to its line-up of dolls. Alternative skin tones, hairstyles, and hair colors were also added.

Barbie was one of the first toys to have a marketing strategy based extensively on television advertising, which has been copied widely by other toys. It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second. (from Wikipedia)