On March 26…

“If you work hard and play by the rules, you can earn your share of America’s blessings. The daughter of an immigrant from Italy has been chosen to run for vice president in the new land my father came to love.”
~Geraldine Ferraro


1812 – A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term “gerrymander” to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.
The cartoon was a reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then-governor Elbridge Gerry, who signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party.
When mapped, one of the contorted districts to the north of Boston was said to resemble the shape of a salamander, but since Gerry had signed the bill, it was decided to come up with the term that still exists to this day.


1942 – A mass transport of women, 999 non-Jewish German women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp, arrived in Auschwitz.
A second mass transport of women, 999 Jews from Poprad, Slovakia, arrived on the same day, and a third transport of 798 Jewish women from Bratislava, Slovakia, followed on March 28.
Johanna Langefeld, a superintendent at Ravensbruck, was named supervisor of the female camp at Auschwitz, but was soon shipped back to Ravensbruck because she was “not adhering to party policy.”
She was later dismissed from Ravensbruck for “excessive sympathy with the prisoners” and left the service.
You Don’t Read About This Very Often: The story of Johanna Langefeld is the only known case of an SS official being saved from a death sentence after the war by a very unusual group.
On December 20, 1945, Langefeld was arrested by the U.S. Army, and was extradited to the Polish judiciary preparing a trial in Krakow against SS personnel in Auschwitz.
On December 23, 1946, she escaped from prison.
Given her prior relatively positive treatment of inmates in the Nazi concentration camp located on occupied Polish soil, the escape was assisted by several of her former prisoners.
After the escape, she hid in a convent, and later worked in a private home. She died in Augsburg, Germany on January 26, 1974.


1958 – At the 30th Academy Awards, The Bridge On The River Kwai won 7 Oscars.
The film’s wins included Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean) and Best Actor (Alec Guinness).
Joanne Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her stunning performance in The Three Faces of Eve.
Film Flop Factoid: Peyton Place started the evening with nine nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, and 2 nominations each in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.
The film ended the night empty-handed.


1964 – The musical Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand, opened at Winter Garden Theater on Broadway for the first of 1,348 performances.
Streisand was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. In 1968, she reprised her role of Fanny Brice in the film version and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance, tying with Katharine Hepburn (The Lion In Winter).


1970 – Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary was arrested in Washington, DC for taking “immoral liberties” with a 14 year-old girl.
The girl had gone to Yarrow’s hotel room with her 17-year-old sister seeking an autograph. “Yarrow answered the door naked,” according to the police report, “and made sexual advances but stopped short of intercourse”.
The 14-year-old resisted his advances but did not call for help.
Yarrow pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a prison term of one-to three-years, with all but 3 months suspended.
Irony Factoid: At the time of his arrest, Peter, Paul & Mary had just won a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children.


1979 – The Camp David peace treaty was signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the White House in front of a beaming President Jimmy Carter.
The main features of the treaty were mutual recognition, cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, normalization of relations and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula.
The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, and recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways.
The agreement notably made Egypt the first Arab state to officially recognize Israel.


1979 – Magic Johnson led Michigan State to a 75-64 win Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
The game marked the start of a rivalry between the future Hall of Famers. As professionals, the two men would share the glory of the next decade as leaders of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.


1982 – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held in Washington, D.C.
Stone for the wall came from India, chosen because of its reflective quality (there was opposition to Swedish and Canadian stone as those countries were destinations for draft evaders).
Stone cutting and fabrication were done in Barre, Vermont. The 144 stone panels were then shipped to Memphis, Tennessee where the names were etched.


1997 – The bodies of 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate techno-religious cult who had committed suicide were found inside a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
The group – led by Marshall Applewhite – had participated in a coordinated series of ritual suicides in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp.
Founded in 1974 by Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles – she died in 1985 – the cult’s solitary goal was to return to the Kingdom of Heaven, which they called “Evolutionary Level Above Human.”
On March 22, 1997, Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth, at 122 million miles. Applewhite and his followers meticulously cleaned the house, took out the garbage, polished the silver and packed their things.
The sign was above; the time was now.
The group began executing “The Routine,” a document they’d created that precisely choreographed how teams would help each other to wash down phenobarbital-laced helpings of applesauce and pudding with vodka, a lethal combination that did its work painlessly.
“Lay back and rest quietly,” the ritual instructed, which they did, covered in purple shrouds, a $5 bill tucked in their wallets, waiting for the “elixir of life” to cause drowsiness, then a coma, and finally a circulatory-system collapse.
No one knows the exact timeline, but within three days, all the members of Heaven’s Gate were dead.
Just before the mass suicide, the group’s website was updated with the message: “Hale–Bopp brings closure to Heaven’s Gate … Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion.”


2000 – At the 72nd Academy Awards, American Beauty won five Oscars, including Best Picture.
Sam Mendes (American Beauty) won the Academy Award for Best Director while Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for the same film.
Hilary Swank won the Best Actress award for her performance in Boys Don’t Cry.


2004 – Jan Berry died at the age of 62 after suffering a seizure.
He was one-half of Jan & Dean (Torrance). Among their most successful songs were Surf City, Drag City, The Little Old Lady From Pasadena, and Dead Man’s Curve.
In 1966, Berry received severe head injuries in an automobile accident just a short distance from the real Dead Man’s Curve in Beverly Hills two years after the song had become a hit.
Berry was in a coma for more than two months. He slowly recovered from brain damage and partial paralysis. He had limited use of his right arm, and had to learn to write with his left hand and had to learn to walk again.


2011 – Former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party nominee for the office, died after a long battle with cancer. She was 75.
A three-term Congresswoman from New York, Ferraro was selected by Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale to be his running mate in 1984.
Mondale and Ferraro would lose the general election to incumbent Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in a landslide.
Reagan’s personal appeal and campaign themes of prosperity were quite strong, while Mondale’s liberal campaign alienated Southern whites and northern blue-collar workers who usually voted Democratic.

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2020 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.

Comments (6)

  1. Donna

    1942…why were 999 non Jewish women sent to Auschwitz? Johanna was a very brave woman. It is always good to hear that there were Germans who didn’t fall inline with Hitler’s insanity.
    1958…The Bridge was epic. Joanne Woodward played Eve so well. Peyton Place didn’t deserve to be considered, just my opinion.
    1964…Barbra Streisand amazing talent. Not sure her performance was a match for Katherine Hepburn, however.
    1970…YIKES guess you just never know. And how ironic to get a Grammy for caring about children. Not sure the punishment fit the crime, again maybe his celebrity status protected him from what he deserved.
    1979…and yet that part of the world can’t seem to stop fighting with each other and involving the world.
    1979…big names in basketball awed us for years.
    1982…Holey Moley I didn’t realize. Vermont was involved with the Vietnam Memorial, makes you feel proud.
    1997…can’t get my head around mass suicides. Marshall Applewhite looks crazy. He must have had great powers of persuasion. Killing yourself is not an easy thing to do, instinct screams not to.
    2000…American Beauty was a depressing movie but the acting was superb.
    2004…Jan Berry obviously had determination and strength to overcome such difficulty.
    2011…I find it surprising that a woman hasn’t been selected as a running mate since then.
    Thank you Ray, stay safe and healthy.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Donna. 🙂

      1942… The non-Jewish were sent there as political prisoners.
      1958… ‘Bridge’ was an epic.
      1964… It would have been difficult to ever match Kate in her prime.
      1970… I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Sen. Gene McCarthy was his father-in-law at the time.
      1978… They will NEVER stop fighting.
      1982… Vermont proud.
      1997… Applewhite wasn’t playing with a full deck. He was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
      2000… Like him as a person or not, kevin Spacey is an extraordinary actor, and he certainly was in ‘American Beauty’.
      2004… Very eerie how the song described his life.
      2011… I think the Democrats will have one this year.
      STAY SAFE!

      Reply
  2. Wendyl

    1. political (I did not know this!)
    2. Auschwitz (LOVE that escape story!)
    3. The Bridge On The River Kwai (Fascinating Film Flop Factoid 🙂 )
    4. Funny Girl (I’ve been to the Winter Garden Theater! 😉 )
    5. arrested! (I had forgetten about this! In your Irony Factoid, was it Puff the Magic Dragon? 🙁 )
    6. Camp David Peace Treaty (Giving Peace a chance is a good thing 🙂 )
    7. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (A ‘court’ship of rivals 🙂 )
    8. Vietnam Veterans Memorial (I don’t think I knew the fabrication took place in Vermont!)
    9. Heaven’s Gate (“a one time psychiatric patient..”)
    10. American Beauty (another for my list 🙂 )
    11. Jan Berry (Eerie coincidence for an accident! I always liked Jan and Dee-an 😉 )
    12. Geraldine Ferraro (a trailblazer, indeed!)
    May you enjoy some sunshine today! We could all use a boost! Your lesson picked me up as well! XOXOXOXO

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Wendyl. 🙂
      1 – I started with one “Gerry” and ended the column (#12) with another one. 🙂
      2 – There were a FEW good prison guards.
      3 – Yep, Peyton Place was a hit movie but a flop at the Oscars.
      4 – I was thinking about you being there when I wrote about it. 🙂
      5 – Sorry to say “Puff” was on it, as well as one of my favorite PP&M songs (“Day Is Done”) 🙁
      6 – Peace is always a good thing.
      7 – Larry Bird is my all-time favorite player!
      8 – The Wall is such an emotional place.
      9 – He should never have been a “former”. He should have stayed incarcerated.
      10 – I LOVE this movie!
      11 – Spooky coincidence.
      Beautiful day outside! All the snow from the other day is G-O-N-E!
      STAY SAFE!
      XOXOXOXO

      Reply
  3. Barbara

    I think there were many Germans who did not agree with Hitler’s plan to wipe out the Jewish population. They worked behind the scenes trying to save as many as they could. This is another example of an individual who could not participate in the atrocities.

    I think Barbra Streisand is an enormous talent …. although I loved Katharine Hepburn I did not like The Lion in Winter at all ….

    How disappointing to learn that Peter Yarrow was a pervert. Not surprised that he wasn’t sentenced for a much longer period – it’s a story that repeated itself in Hollywood many many times —

    Loved Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics – Jeremy’s favorite basketball team so am very familiar with the team that included Larry Bird.

    Cults are so dangerous … we see mass suicide over and over and it’s hard to fathom why people would follow someone like lemmings …. very sad…

    Have visited the Vietnam Wall … it is a very somber monument — glad Vermont played a role in its creation …

    Jan & Dean were music of our time … I was not aware of his accident or his early death ….

    Thanks for another interesting compilation Ray – be safe out there as there are many more Days to Rock!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Barbara. 🙂
      Once again, you have put a lot of thought into your comments. No surprise to me.

      I can’t listen to Peter, Paul & Mary music without thinking about Yarrow’s “incident”. Making his light sentence even worse was the fact that Jimmy Carter granted Yarrow a presidential pardon for the crime in 1981. But karma hits hard at times. In 2013, Republican politicians called on Democratic Congressional candidate Martha Robertson to cancel a scheduled fundraiser with Yarrow, and in 2019 he was “disinvited” from a folk music festival when the organizers were informed of his conviction.

      Larry Bird was the best I ever saw.

      If you look at the history of cults, they are always inhabited by people who have nothing positive in their lives, whether it be because of family problems or emotional instability. They are the type of people who lock in on anyone who makes them think they care about them … Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite … the list goes on and on.

      ROCK THIS EXTRAORDINARY DAY!

      Reply

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