This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 302 days remaining until the end of the year.
In this day in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his famous inaugural address, delivered outside the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal”–an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although it was a rainy day in Washington, and gusts of rain blew over Roosevelt as he spoke, he delivered a speech that radiated optimism and competence, and a broad majority of Americans united behind their new president and his radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression.
The only American president elected to more than two terms, he forged a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depths of the Great Depression. FDR’s combination of optimism and activism contributed to reviving the national spirit. Working closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, he died just as victory was in sight.
Starting in his “first hundred days” in office, which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt launched major legislation and a profusion of executive orders that gave form to the New Deal, a complex, interlocking set of programs designed to produce relief (especially government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (of the economy), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then went into a deep recession. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented his packing the Supreme Court or passing much new legislation; it abolished many of the relief programs when unemployment practically ended during World War II. Most of the regulations on business were ended about 1975-85, except for the regulation of Wall Street by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which still exists. Along with several smaller programs, major surviving programs include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which was created in 1933, and Social Security, which Congress passed in 1935.
As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggressions of Nazi Germany, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the “Arsenal of Democracy” which would supply munitions to the Allies. In March 1941, Roosevelt, with Congressional approval, provided Lend-Lease aid to the countries fighting against Nazi Germany with Great Britain. He secured a near-unanimous declaration of war against Japan after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, calling it a “date which will live in infamy“. He supervised the mobilization of the US economy to support the Allied war effort. Unemployment dropped to 2%, relief programs largely ended, and the industrial economy grew rapidly to new heights as millions of people moved to new jobs in war centers, and 16 million men (and 300,000 women) were drafted or volunteered for military service.
Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterward. He orchestrated the realignment of voters that created the Fifth Party System. FDR’s New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt’s diplomatic impact also resonated on the world stage long after his death, with the United Nations and Bretton Woods as examples of his administration’s wide-ranging impact. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.
51 – Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).
306 – Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.
852 – Croatian Duke Trpimir I issues a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.
932 – Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.
1152 – Frederick I Barbarossa is elected King of the Germans.
1238 – The Battle of the Sit River is fought in the northern part of the present-day Yaroslavl Oblast of Russia between the Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal during the Mongol invasion of Russia.
1351 – Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam.
1386 – Wladyslaw II Jagiello (Jogaila) is crowned King of Poland.
1461 – Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV.
1493 – Explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
1519 – Hernan Cortes arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.
1628 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter.
1665 – English King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands marking the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
1675 – John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
1681 – Charles II grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army fortifies Dorchester Heights with cannon, leading the British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston.
1789 – In New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect.
1790 – France is divided into 83 departements, cutting across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.
1791 – A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).
1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress.
1797 – In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.
1804 – Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.
1814 – Americans defeat the British at the Battle of Longwoods between London, Ontario and Thamesville, near present-day Wardsville, Ontario.
1824 – The “National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck” is founded in the United Kingdom, later to be renamed The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1858.
1848 – Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the Statuto Albertino that will later represent the first constitution of the Regno d’Italia
1861 – The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the “Stars and Bars”) is adopted.
1861 – Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States.
1882 – Britain’s first electric trams run in east London.
1890 – The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, is opened by the Prince of Wales, who later becomes King Edward VII.
1899 – Cyclone Mahina sweeps in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metres (39 ft) wave that reaches up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland, killing over 300.
1908 – The Collinwood School Fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.
1909 – U.S. President William Taft used what became known as a Saxbe fix, a mechanism to avoid the restriction of the U.S. Constitution’s Ineligibility Clause, to appoint Philander C. Knox as U.S. Secretary of State
1911 – Victor Berger (Wisconsin) becomes the first socialist congressman in U.S..
1913 – First Balkan War: The Greek army engages the Turks at Bizani, resulting in victory two days later.
1917 – Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.
1918 – The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.
1925 – Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to have his inauguration broadcast on radio.
1929 – Charles Curtis becomes the first native-American Vice President of the United States.
1933 – Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.
1933 – The Parliament of Austria is suspended because of a quibble over procedure – Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiates an authoritarian rule by decree.
1941 – World War II: The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands.
1943 – World War II: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the South West Pacific comes to an end.
1944 – World War II: After the success of Big Week, the USAAF begins a daylight bombing campaign of Berlin.
1945 – Lapland War: Finland declares war on Nazi Germany.
1957 – The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.
1960 – The French freighter La Coubre explodes in Havana, Cuba killing 100.
1966 – Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 explodes on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.
1970 – French submarine Eurydice explodes underwater, resulting in the loss of the entire 57-man crew.
1976 – The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention is formally dissolved in Northern Ireland resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London via the British parliament.
1977 – The 1977 Bucharest Earthquake in southern and eastern Europe kills more than 1,500.
1980 – Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister.
1983 – Bertha Wilson is appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.
1985 – The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.
1986 – The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus.
1991 – Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returns to his country for the first time since Iraq’s invasion.
1998 – Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex, although to strictly refer to this as “gay rights” is something of a misnomer.
2001 – 4 March 2001 BBC bombing: a massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring 1 person. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.
2001 – Hintze Ribeiro disaster, a bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70 people.
2007 – Estonian parliamentary election, 2007: Approximately 30,000 voters take advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world’s first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting is allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.
2009 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_4#Holidays_and_observances Holidays and observances
* Christian Feast Day:
o Adrian of Nicomedia
o Basinus, Benedictine bishop of Trier (705)
o Blessed Humbert III of Savoy (Roman Catholic Church)
* Saint Casimir’s Day (Poland and Lithuania)
* The day of the United States presidential inauguration from 1798 to 1933, except when it was on the 3rd and 5th because the 4th was on a Sunday. Starting 1937, the inauguration day is traditionally January 20.