Monday, March 15, 2010

ides

When I hear the word "ides" I only think of the month of March. But the Romans identified the ides on the 15th of March, May, July and October. Thanks to Shakepeare's soothsayer, we are all expected to "beware the ides of March," forever commemorating Caesar's betrayal by Brutus, Cassius, et al, who brutally murdered him on the Senate steps.




When I think of Caesar and the ides, I can't help but think of the (in)famous Taylor Burton epic, Cleopatra. The movie is way too long and has its problems, but Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar is top-notch. And his romance with Liz as the young Cleopatra is quite believable. In fact, they have more on-screen chemistry than her actual true-love Burton. Or maybe it's just the mini-skirt togas that crimped Burton's style. Not sure, but I do like to watch the first half of the film.

According to Wikipedia, some other auspicious (and inauspicious) events are associated with the fifteenth day of the third month of the year. I've cherry-picked a few:


1877 – The first Test cricket match begins between England and Australia.
1917 – Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne and his brother the Grand Duke becomes Tsar.
1939 – World War II: German troops occupy the remaining part of Bohemia and Moravia; Czechoslovakia ceases to exist.
1961 – South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
1985 – The first Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).
1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first executive president of the Soviet Union.
Births
1767 – Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
1835 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer (d. 1916)
1887 – Marjorie Merriweather Post, American entrepreneur (d. 1973)
1899 – George Brent, American film actor (d. 1979)
1912 – Lightnin' Hopkins, American musician (d. 1982)
1915 – Joe E. Ross, American actor and comedian (d. 1982)
1916 – Harry James, American musician and band leader (d. 1983)
1932 – Alan Bean, American astronaut
1933 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American jurist
1941 – Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
1943 – David Cronenberg, Canadian film director
1944 – Sly Stone, American musician
1946 – Bobby Bonds, American baseball player (d. 2003)
1947 – Ry Cooder, American guitarist
1954 – Craig Wasson, American actor
1955 – Dee Snider, American singer (Twisted Sister)
Deaths
44 BC – Julius Caesar (murdered) (b. 100 BC)
1416 – John, Duke of Berry, son of John II of France (b. 1340)
1673 – Salvator Rosa, Italian painter and poet (b. 1615)
1937 – H. P. Lovecraft, American writer (b. 1890)
1981 – René Clair, French film director (b. 1898)
1997 – Victor Vasarely, Hungarian painter (b. 1906)
1998 – Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and writer (b. 1903)
2009 – Ron Silver, American actor (b. 1946)

Happy ides!

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