Over the past year if not more, I have allowed myself to pile today's stuff on top of yesterday's on all things MOH and other research. Thus, I have had five separate piles of stuff, each coming close to half a foot in height.
And through all of this I often have to search for hours, to get at what I want for the next blog.
Finally, several days ago I got fed up and decided to do something about it. For 18 years I wore the uniform of a soldier. Often I would be throwing, and teaching others how to throw grenades. Now that I needed one to throw into my office, I couldn't find any.
So I had to sort by hand!.
One of the problems all along was my inability to access the bottom of a 2 drawer filing cabinet. It would not open because my printer was in the way. With no other place for it, I had to just put up with it till a few days back.
I pulled the cabinet out, found a space in a corner, and built a shelf high enough for storage under, and the use of BOTH drawers at a comfortable level. But in the process the shelf the printer was on came smashing down. Thankfully it still works.
I've now six more shelves built and the printer in a great location so as to allow me to do what I come into the room to do. Work on my research. But all of this sorting out has prevented me from bringing you today's blog, due on Sunday.
So here goes...
This is Women's History Month in the US. A time to recognize their past struggles and those ongoing that will make a better life for themselves, their families, and their country.
When I think of this I cannot help but tear up at the struggles those in Ukraine are dealing with today. The women in uniform, and those not serving, their children and their parents having their homes blown apart. Struggling to find shelter and food, water and medical aid when needed, but go unnoticed by the aggressors.
Women around the world do their bit to provide assistance, many even wearing the uniforms of their countries and going into battle at the front lines with their male counterparts. Worse yet the children are also being taught how to carry and use weapons to kill.
Women in Russia, be they in military service or otherwise, also face all the above.
And this blog salutes all of them and prays that this horrendous carnage can soon come to an end, and the rebuilding starting ASAP. Much obviously lost forever.
Moving along... in Feb of 1909 A National Woman's Day was held at New York. A year later in Europe over 100 delegates from 17 countries gathered in Denmark. They came away with the idea to demand a woman's right to vote and end suffrage. Europe also saw a gathering of over 1 million women in March to demand equal rights and agreed at the creation of an International Woman's Day, starting on 28 February 1911.
Due to leap year and Julian to Gregorian calendar changes the new date to celebrate was accepting to be on March 8th, a date still in use today.
Here we see two of the European advocates for change... Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg, (on right).
Back in 1980 President Jimmy Carter signed congressional documents proclaiming that the week containing March 8th will also he known as Women's History Week. Each year the serving President repeats this celebration by proclamation.
In 1988 President Ronald Regan signed a proclamation creating the entire month of March to be a national month of recognition and to be known as Women's History Month, in the US. It has also continued by proclamation by all presidents since.
Truth be told, though no doubt unknown by Merna, was the fact that the above entry fails to state that Lynne Gough's "initiated" movement was for not a month but a week's celebration across the province. It was Kay Armstrong, my mother, that advanced the cause as one worthy of a MONTH long period of celebration annually, and nationaly at that. Space may not have been available to also add that my mother was a former Vice President of the International Council of Women, a world wide association, and also a recipient of the Order of Canada.
But these notes aside, the Forster book should be a "must read" and entry in your library as well.
Moving on, regular readers of these blogs may recall numerous mentions of the dreadful slaughter that became known around the world as the battle of the USS Monitor and CSS Merimack/Virginia. This happened on 8-9 March back in 1862, at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
The Merrimack was originally a Union vessel. It was sunk by Confederate actions earlier. But it was later reclaimed, rebuilt and called the Virginia.
But she was build differently than all war ships around the world till that day. She was made into an iron clad vessel. her above waterlines were built on an angle and the surfaces were all lined with actual railway line iron rails.
Tackling her, the opponent could throw any shells they wanted and all would simply bounce off. It would be akin to a child with slingshot trying to take down an elephant.
The Union had heard of its being constructed and quickly started to build a similar vessel. But that vessel, called the Monitor, arrived a day to late, literally, to save hundreds from almost instant death's.
This 1862 battle became news around the world and quite literally caused nations to start rebuilding their own fleets of "ironclads."
The very naval campaign medal for service in the Union's navy during the civil war, depicted this very battle. An image of this was shown in a blog most recently regarding Nova Scotia's Ben Jackson.
In the first day of battle, within very short order, the Union lost the sloop Cumberland, the 50 cannon frigate Congress and the frigate Minnesota which was run aground.
Due to tide lowering the Virginia had to retreat but returned for more glory on the 9th. That is when the brand new Union ironclad..the Monitor first ventured into battle. But the two ironclads spent hours teasing each other without doing and real damage to each other and finally had to back out again due to tide movements.
When all was said and done, the Confederates chalked up a major victory and had only 2 deaths on board and another 17 being wounded. At least 2 men on the ship were Canadians, one from New Brunswick and the other from Ontario. The NB sailor was the first and only death suffered by the Confederates in the 2 day battle. On the other hand the Union had well over 250 men killed and over 400 wounded.
Much detail on this battle has appeared in past blogs at this site. The search engine at upper right will help you find them.
Here is a close up picture of the Monitor's deck after the battle.
There are well over a dozen Canadian connections to this battle, one being a sailor who would, later in the war, earn a Medal of Honor.
Still with March in mind, there is a Canadian connection to the Harriet Beecher Stowe's book about Uncle Tom's Cabin.
And finally with some more March history we can turn back the pages, a lot of them, to the year 1752 and stop at the 23rd of March. Tomorrow being the 239 anniversary... to the day.. of the very first newspaper in the history of Canada being published. It was called the Halifax Gazette, and came out of a small print shop located on Halifax NS land now occupied by the major downtown shopping and office complex known as the Scotia Square.
The 2 page paper brought very dated world news and notices of activities in several of the British "plantations". Noting Halifax, it told the reader that the flawed character by the name of John Gorham had died in London from Smallpox. It also told of the death of King George's youngest daughter, the Queen of Denmark had died and also made note that Charles Morris had been appointed as the First Justice in NS.
Here also are some of the very first newspaper adds in the history of Canada...
Here then, in the first ever published letter to the editor...back in 1852.