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March 14: On This Day In History

Albert Einstein is born. Karl Marx dies. George Eastman commits suicide.

"After several tedious delays from clouded weather, on the 14th of March, we gladly stood out of King George's Sound on our course to Keeling Island. Farewell, Australia! you are a rising child, and doubtless some day will reign a great princess in the South: but you are too great and ambitious for affection, yet not great enough for respect. I leave your shores without sorrow or regret." - C. Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle.

Watching from my terrace, I observe a jetliner heading north, up the spine of Manhattan. The plane banks to the left, but disappears below the tall horizon of midtown before I can detect any movement to the left. I take it on faith that such movement occurred.

I walk out to the store and pass an SUV with a Florida license plate displaying the motto: "The Sunshine State". I muse on the notion of Floridians approaching each other, offering their hands in fellowship while beaming brightly and saying, evangelically, "We are in the Sunshine State."

I return to my apartment and hang my coat up on the deadbolt latch inside my front door. I see the Fire Safety Notice sticker placed there years ago by my landlord. It begins: "YOU ARE IN A COMBUSTIBLE (NON-FIREPROOF) BUILDING". I have long known this, I think, but can't recall ever noticing this bold declaration before, despite the fact that the sticker has been on my door for years. I take this as tentative proof that the hoped-for, cumulative effect on me of these "On This Day" entries is starting to kick in.


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