On This Day In History – March 4th

The story of March 4th extends almost to the beginning of modern civilization. Throughout the years many, many notable things have occurred on this date. Including:

1493: Christopher Columbus returns home after discovering America. As expected, the intrepid explorer is overwhelmed with excitement upon docking at port. However, this initial enthusiasm quickly vanishes upon visiting the queen, who informs him that he has not “at long last reached the East Indies,” but rather, mistakenly “rediscovered” Lisbon, Portugal. He blames the map.

1634: The first tavern opens in Boston. Prior to this momentous day, Bostonians had only been able to purchase and consume beer at general stores, full-service restaurants, grain stores, shipping docks, financial banks, hen houses, outhouses, churches and schools.

Trust me, those horns are under there
Trust me, those horns are under there

1678: Famous composer Antonio Vivaldi is born and promptly baptized. The cause for immediate baptism is unknown, but likely a result of either poor health or the large pair of devil horns that were prominently growing out of the young child’s skull. Later, these horns would result in the infamous spat between Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach, in which Bach repeatedly insisted Vivaldi remove his powdered wig while at the dinner table. Fearing ridicule for his “demon curse,” Vivaldi understandably refused.

1791: Vermont is admitted into the Union as the 14th state earlier than expected. This is largely due to a crude homemade fake ID and a less-than-observant Rhode Island, who was working the door and, as he would later defend, “new to this whole club scene anyway.”

1837: Chicago officially becomes a city. The town name is taken from a local Indian term, shikaakwa, which literally translates to “Land of the Tubed Meats.”

1865: The Confederate States of America adopt a new flag. The new design is nearly identical to the previous version, with one minor exception – the national slogan “Negroes–can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em” is deemed “too long,” and therefore removed.

1930: Terrible flooding submerges much of the southwest portion of France, killing hundreds. Weeks later, excessive rain would return, this time resulting in pleasant flooding, delighting dozens.

1946: March 4th celebrates its 2,000th birthday. It has a group birthday party with March 3rd and March 6th at Benihana.

1994: Comedian and former SCTV alum John Candy dies at the age of 43. The cause of death, surprisingly, is a heart attack.