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Jan, my wife and the editor of The Nyack Villager, was born in March. So was my mother, my brother and my son-in-law—as was Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Harriet Tubman, Houdini and Dr. Seuss.

The rubber band was invented in March, 1845 and the pencil with eraser was patented in March 1858—two of the most useful things ever made. So we should show a lot of respect for March.

The name March dates from ancient Rome; it was called Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. March was the first month of Spring, so it was considered a logical time for the beginning of the year. Also March was the first month with good weather so the Romans considered it a logical time to start a war.

Many memorable events occurred in March.

The Great Blizzard of 1888, one of the worst snowstorms in United States history, happened between March 11 and 14. Snowfalls of 50” were recorded in the Northeast. Railroads were paralyzed and telegraph lines were disabled, isolating cities from Boston to Washington, DC for days. The good news: after the storm, NY City began burying its wires to prevent their destruction.

March 15, The Ides of March, is the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus, Cassius, Casca and many other well-thought-of Romans.

Also on March 15, March Madness begins, the national Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, beloved by presidents and ticket scalpers alike. For weeks it is the nation’s most talked-about, most-watched TV event.

March 17, 1901: creating a sensation, seventy-one paintings by Vincent van Gogh are shown in Paris—eleven years after the artist’s death.

March 17, 1780 (St. Patrick’s Day): George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.

March 20-21 is the Spring Equinox, when night & day are approximately the same length.

Not so well known are other actual celebrations: National Crab Meat Day on March 9, not to be confused with National Clams-on-the-Half-Shell Day, on March 31.

Also on March 31 is the Birthday of René Descartes, father of modern philosophy, celebrated as, I Think Therefore I Am Day.