1759 Voltaire said, “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”
J895 Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the x-ray. (See March 27th entry.)
1914 Henry Ford announced a $5 minimum wage for an eight-hour workday.
1943 George Washington Carver died. (George Washington Carver Day)
1964 Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athengoras of Jerusalem met in the Holy Land.
Today marks Twelfth Night—the end of the Christmas season. It is easy to feel that in this era of shop till you drop consumerism, Twelfth Night doesn’t come soon enough. But today brings inspiration of its own. With its roots deep in Western European history, Twelfth Night is traditionally celebrated with festive humor, lighthearted jests, and good cheer.
George Washington Carver Day commemorates the death, in 1943, of a onetime slave who became a great inventor. Carver proved that the American dream isn’t—or maybe is—peanuts. He gave the world a hundred and one uses for the humble goober, proving that even simple or common things can provide solutions to greater problems.
Automobile mogul Henry Ford started a trend on this day in 1914. He announced the establishment of two relatively revolutionary concepts for their time: an eight-hour workday and a $5-a-day minimum wage. As with many new ideas, most people thought he was crazy, heretical, or subversive. Though he proved them wrong in the end, words can become the toughest challenges for anyone with new ideas to overcome. As Voltaire said on this very day in 1759, “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.” However, one meeting which took place on this date in 1964, illustrates that no difference of opinion needs to permanently sever relations between people who share a common goal. This was the day when, for the first time in five centuries, the Roman Catholic Church met with the Eastern Orthodoxy. Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athengoras of Jerusalem met in the Holy Land, ending the long-held belief that simply because they celebrated their Christianity in different ways, they had nothing in common.