On This Day...

March 17, 2020

Always MEAN to do things to better yourself (go spelunking, master Swahili, learn counted cross-stitch) but never have time? Well, now you do, during, our International Time Out!!!

 I recently subscribed to “On This Day,” an informative daily newsletter published by Encyclopedia Britannica. Since this particular day doesn’t promise a heckuva lot of good news, I’m finding it more fun to delve back into the archives of history and check out the doings on some March 17ths of yore. Join me!

Of course, the Big Guy must be mentioned first. Saint Patrick is honored today in many places, though with all the bars closed it won’t be quite the same (pro tip: you can make your own green beer with food coloring!) St. Pat has a fascinating back story: kidnapped and sold into slavery as a teenager, finding his way to Ireland where he became a beloved bishop who managed to spread Catholicism without ticking off the Druids in the process (we could use his diplomatic skills right about now). Legends crowd out the facts, however: the Trinity explained with a shamrock! Snakes banished from the country and cast into the sea! It’s even said he raised 33 people from the dead (or maybe they were just heavy sleepers). I love St. Patrick, as I’m Irish through and through and I think it’s a requirement. Plus I named a son after him. 

But March 17th has more riches to unearth! 

Mia Hamm and Nat King Cole were born on this day. One kicks soccer balls, the other invites listeners to “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” Oh and Rudolph Nureyev’s birthday too. I guess a grand jeté is a kind of a “kick,” right?

Golda Meir became fourth Prime Minister of Israel on March 17th. The great Eleanor Roosevelt married FDR on March 17th  Milestone events for two amazing 20th century women. Still waiting for the many amazing 21st century women to be adequately recognized for THEIR achievements.

BIG DEAL: Apartheid finally repealed in South Africa on March 17, 1992.

SMALL DEAL: 1958. The Champs topped the pop music charts with the timeless classic “Tequila.”

Camp Fire Girls was founded on this day, 1912. I never actually knew a Camp Fire Girl. Did you? 

The rubber band was patented in 1825. Can you imagine how kids shot spitballs before this?

Today is Irish Coffee Day. Also Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. Wonder why?:-) 

Today is WELLderly Day (get it?) Well and elderly--combined! That’s me! Almost!**

Had enough? Me too! We need to save our energy for celebrating tomorrow (March 18th-birthdate of Neville Chamberlain, Grover Cleveland AND Queen Latifah!) and the next day (March 19th--Feast of Saint Joseph, swallows fly back to Capistrano, and--most importantly--Steve and I married in 1977.)

Let’s see, if we all spend a couple of hours every day researching, the weeks of lockdown will speed by, and we will be SO much wiser! 

**I just checked another source that tells me Wellderly Day was yesterday! Fake news!


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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