Today in History, March 2

Today is Texas Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence 180 years ago on this date. The Republic of Texas declared its independence from Mexico and lasted as an independent nation for just under 10 years.

“That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas” by Lyle Lovett:

* * * *
On this date in 1877, the most controversial U.S. Presidential election until 2000 was finally decided. From November 11, 1876, Election Day, Samuel Tilden had the lead in the popular vote but had not won enough states for an electoral vote victory. Months of negotiations resulted in awarding Republican Rutherford B. Hayes the White House in exchange for ending Reconstruction.

The final electoral vote was 185 for Hayes to Tilden’s 184.

Hayes did not seek reelection in 1880, which fulfilled a campaign promise, a fact that ought to place him higher in historical assessments of his time in office. A small-step reformer Republican, Hayes is little remembered as President. His biography notes that in his private journals, he wrote of his deep concerns about wealth inequality, but, because he was not a Progressive, his concerns remained private and thus of little note:

In church it occurred to me that it is time for the public to hear that the giant evil and danger in this country, the danger which transcends all others, is the vast wealth owned or controlled by a few persons. Money is power. In Congress, in state legislatures, in city councils, in the courts, in the political conventions, in the press, in the pulpit, in the circles of the educated and the talented, its influence is growing greater and greater. Excessive wealth in the hands of the few means extreme poverty, ignorance, vice, and wretchedness as the lot of the many. It is not yet time to debate about the remedy. The previous question is as to the danger—the evil. Let the people be fully informed and convinced as to the evil. Let them earnestly seek the remedy and it will be found.

* * * *
Wilt Chamberlain set the all-time single-game scoring record in an NBA game on this date in 1962. The Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169-147, with Chamberlain contributing 100 points to the winning effort. He scored 59 points in the second half. The game concluded with an exclamation point a four-game streak in which Chamberlain scored at least 60 points per game. There were no television or film cameras present; a post-game photo of Chamberlain holding a piece of paper on which someone scribbled “100” on it is the only same-day documentation of his feat.

* * * *
“King Kong,” the film starring Fay Wray and directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack with stop-motion animation by Willis O’Brien, opened in theaters on this date in 1933.

* * * *
The film version of “The Sound of Music,” directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, premiered in theaters om this date in 1965. Adjusted for inflation, the film remains the fifth highest-grossing film ever made worldwide.

* * * *
D. H. Lawrence died on this date in 1930. John Diamond died 15 years ago today.

* * * *
Sam Houston was born on this date in 1793. Kurt Weill was born on this date in 1900. Moe Berg was born on this date in 1902. Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 on this date. Desi Arnaz was born 99 years ago today. Lou Reed was born 74 years ago today.

* * * *
John Cullum, seen as “Leap Day William” on “30 Rock,” is 86 today. Mikhail Gorbachev is 85 today. Tom Wolfe is 85 today, so all punctuation marks are more useful on this date! John Irving is 74 today. Here is John Irving on Stephen Colbert:

Peter Straub is 73 today. Jon Bon Jovi is 54 today. Daniel Craig is 48. Amber Smith is 45 today. Chris Martin is 39 today.


* * * *
Follow The Gad About Town on Facebook! Subscribe today for daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history, plus links to other writers on Facebook.

Follow The Gad About Town on Instagram!

And please visit and participate in the Alterna-Prompt, “The Blog Propellant.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. GettingrealwithPTSD · March 2, 2016

    I have a big, goofy smile on my face from watching Irving read a bedtime story to Colbert. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.