Daily Almanac for Friday, March 18, 2022

On this date in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi sentenced to six years in jail after his first civil disobedience campaign against British rule in India. Here is Gandhi in London in 1931. By Elliott & Fry, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (/ˈɡɑːndi, ˈɡændi/GAHN-dee; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, and to later inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (Sanskrit: “great-souled”, “venerable”), first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.

Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, Gandhi trained in the law at the Inner Temple, London, and was called to the bar at age 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to live in South Africa for 21 years. It was here that Gandhi raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India’s rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930 and in calling for the British to quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress. In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence. The last of these, begun in Delhi on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Although the Government of India relented, as did the religious rioters, the belief that Gandhi had been too resolute in his defence of both Pakistan and Indian Muslims, especially those besieged in Delhi, spread among some Hindus in India. Among these was Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu nationalist from western India, who assassinated Gandhi by firing three bullets into the chest at an inter-faith prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January 1948.

Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is commonly, though not formally, considered the Father of the Nation in India and was commonly called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for fatherpapa).

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Full Worm Moon

March’s full Moon goes by the name Worm Moon, which was originally thought to refer to the earthworms that appear as the soil warms in spring. This invites robins and other birds to feed—a true sign of spring! An alternative explanation for this name comes from Captain Jonathan Carver, an 18th-century explorer, who wrote that this Moon name refers to a different sort of “worm”—beetle larvae—which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time.

Question of the Day

I have a sick bonsai tree and need help.We’re out of our depth when it comes to discussing bonsai, so we can offer just the basics. Watering depends very much on the type of bonsai, but as a general rule, water once a day for a well-drained pot. The appearance of liverwort on the soil means either poor drainage or overwatering. Dry soil and brown moss are signs of underwatering. Fertilizer should be used sparingly. Check the wiring on the tree and remove it before it starts biting into the bark. We suggest checking the Internet for more information. There should be expert sources out there to help you.

Advice of the Day

Remove felt-tip ink stains from kitchen counters by rubbing them with alcohol.

Home Hint of the Day

Sometimes the tiny screws on your glasses won’t stay tight. Unscrew them, dab with a drop of shellac or super glue (available at hardware stores), and put them back in. Tighten the screws firmly, and they shouldn’t come loose again.

Word of the Day

Roman indictionA number in a 15-year cycle, established January 1, a.d. 313, as a fiscal term. Add 3 to any given year in the Christian era and divide by 15; the remainder is the Roman Indiction. If there is no remainder, it is 15.

Puzzle of the Day

When does a caterpillar improve in morals?When it turns over a new leaf.

Born

  • John C. Calhoun (7th U.S. vice president) – 1782
  • Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th U.S. president) – 1837
  • Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (composer) – 1844
  • Rudolf Diesel (inventor) – 1858
  • Tristram Coffin (writer) – 1892
  • Robert Donat (actor) – 1905
  • Herman Tarnower (physician) – 1910
  • Peter Graves (actor) – 1926
  • George Plimpton (author) – 1927
  • John Updike (author) – 1932
  • Charley Pride (singer) – 1938
  • Wilson Pickett (singer) – 1941
  • Kevin Dobson (actor) – 1944
  • Ingemar Stenmark (skier) – 1956
  • Mike Rowe (television host) – 1962
  • Vanessa Williams (actress) – 1963
  • Bonnie Blair (speedskater, Olympic gold medalist) – 1964
  • Queen Latifah (singer & actress) – 1970
  • Dane Cook (comedian) – 1972
  • Adam Levine (musician) – 1979
  • Lily Collins (actress) – 1989

Died

  • Louis Bromfield (author) – 1956
  • Eric Fromm (author) – 1980
  • Maude Farris-Luse (died at 115 years, 56 days) – 2002
  • Alonzo Decker, Jr. (turned tool manufacturer Black & Decker into corporate giant) – 2002
  • Natasha Richardson (actress) – 2009
  • Fess Parker (actor) – 2010

Events

  • British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act– 1766
  • Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourned for the last time– 1865
  • Telephone communication established between London and the Continent– 1891
  • Mahatma Gandhi sentenced to six years in jail after his first civil disobedience campaign against British rule in India– 1922
  • First electric razor marketed– 1931
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must supply free legal aid to indigent clients charged with serious criminal offenses– 1963
  • Russian cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov became the first man to float freely in space, on a lifeline attached to Soviet spacecraft Voskhod– 1965
  • Fourteen NATO members (all except France) expressed their support for the North Atlantic Treaty and the principle of military integration– 1966
  • The tanker Torrey Canyon was wrecked near Cornwall, England, and discharged more than 31,000,000 gallons of crude oil– 1967
  • U.S. postal workers went on strike– 1970
  • Most Arab oil companies ended oil embargo against U.S.– 1974
  • Capital Cities Communications, Inc., announced the purchase of American Broadcasting Companies for $3.5 billion– 1985
  • Fleet Financial Corp. and Norstar Bancorp swapped stock in a $1.3 billion merger– 1987
  • Daylilies return to Earth on space shuttle Discovery– 1989
  • Largest art theft in the United States at the time ($500 million) occurred in Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston– 1990
  • Sumatran tiger born, Sacramento Zoo, California– 2010

Weather

  • Great Tri-State Tornado: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana – most deadly in U.S. history – killed 695 people– 1925
  • Flooding worsened when more than 6.27 inches of rain (and 4.05 inches the next day) fell in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire– 1936
  • Over 9 inches of rain caused severe flooding in the Catskill Mountains in New York– 1980
  • A haboob rose up to 1,000 feet high and 200 miles wide across western Texas and New Mexico– 2014
  • NOAA announced that February 2019 was the world’s 5th warmest February since 1880– 2019

COURTESY www.almanac.com

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