2008-04-17 / Sam Bari

Do you think we should we beware of the Ides of April?

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

April 15 has mercifully passed. Did everyone survive? I hope so. Most Americans remember April 15 as the darkest day of the year because Federal Income Taxes are due. We suspected that its stigma was not unwarranted, but for more reasons than just taxes. We had our crack research team, the Googlamaniacs, check out the date throughout history to confirm our suspicions.

After nanoseconds of intense labor, the Googlamaniacs' research revealed that disastrous events have occurred on that date for quite some time.

For example: on April 15, 1992, Billionaire Leona Helmsley was sent to jail for tax evasion. How ironic. President Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, in Washington, D.C. The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, in 1912. And President Roosevelt was buried at Hyde Park, New York, in 1945. April 15 has not been a good day in history.

Some radio commentator once said, "That old saying should be "beware the Ides of April" instead of March." He would be correct except for one small error. April 15 is not the Ides of April.

Everyone knows that March 15 is the Ides of March, the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. But most people don't know that the Ides only falls on the 15th of the month one-third of the time, in March, July and October. During the other months, the Ides falls on the 13th.

April 13, the real Ides, was not that bad. President Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743. The Pennsylvania Railroad received its charter in 1847. And The Beatles began their historic seven-week engagement at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, 1962.

The only bad event was the surrender of Fort Sumter in 1861, marking the beginning of the Civil War.

However, when we reviewed the month of April in its entirety, we found it to be thirty days of historical catastrophe.

• Nazi Germany began its persecution of Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in 1933.

• The World War II invasion of Okinawa began in 1945.

• Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang, in 1882.

• President William Henry Harrison died in 1841.

• Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., 1968.

• General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington, D.C., at age 84, in 1964.

• Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 72 in 1976.

• Civil War Battle of Shiloh, Tenn. was in 1862.

• The United States declared war on Germany in 1917.

• Henry Ford died at age 83 in 1947.

• St. Bernadette, who described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers, France in 1879.

• The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington & Concord in 1775.

• The Spanish-American War began in 1898.

• Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Austria in 1889.

• Samuel Clemens, (Mark Twain), died in Connecticut in 1910.

• President Richard M. Nixon died in 1994.

• William Shakespeare was born in 1564. He died on the same day, 52 years later, in 1616.

• Spain declared war on the United States in 1898.

• The world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union in 1986.

• Edward R. Murrow died in Pawling, New York at age 57 in 1965.

• Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun in 1945.

And let's not forget about the Branch Davidian disaster, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Columbine massacre all happened within a few days of each other, but in different years.

Think about this. In our country alone, four significant wars began in the month of April. Hitler was born and died during April. Four presidents passed away (one of them was assassinated), and several of the most diabolical crimes in history were committed. The entire month of March pales in comparison, not just the Ides.

Let's see . . . today is only the 17th. We still have a couple of weeks of April left. This is not good. May is a nice month. But it's so far away. We're right in the middle of the anniversary of one of the darkest weeks in history. We're stuck trying to survive in a system we can't understand.

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