March actually isn’t an unlucky or ‘bad’ month at all. It’s just that peskily prolific Shakespeare whose line it is that’s responsible for the month’s bad reputation.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Beware the Ides of March.’ The actual quote is from Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar (1599). The warning is uttered by a soothsayer who is letting Roman leader Julius Caesar know that his life is in danger and he should probably stay home and be careful when March 15th, the Ides of March, rolls around.
That said, the quote does reflect actual history because on March 15th, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was violently murdered, stabbed 23 times by a mob of senators who were led by his protégés and supposed ‘friends’ Cassius and Brutus.
Moving swiftly on from all that gore, there’s actually some cracker things that have occurred in the March month. Here’s a soupçon:
2 March 1969 – Concorde, the Anglo-French supersonic airline, roared into the skies on its maiden flight. The aircraft will travel at twice the speed of sound.
5 March 1936 – The British fighter plane Spitfire made its first test flight from Eastleigh, Southampton. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine the aircraft will enter service with the Royal Air Force in the next two years.
7 March 1876 – The Scottish-born inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, patented the telephone. Look where that got us!
10 March 1886 – Cruft’s Dog Show was held in London for the first time – since 1859 it had been held in Newcastle. More recently the venue has changed to the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.
27 March 1871 – Legalised warfare – England and Scotland played their first rugby international, in Edinburgh; first blood to Scotland. Och aye!
30 March 1856 – The Crimean War between Russia and Europe was brought to an end by the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Obviously there’s a lot more that happen(ed)s in March, but it seems to be a very fly-ee type of month, what with the Concorde’s maiden flight and the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine powered Spitfire being introduced! I always wanted to fly on the Concorde, but that’s another story entirely.
So, take heart and regale your co-workers this March with your spiffy general and historical trivia knowledge. You’re sure to be the toast of the water cooler circuit.