Friday, March 1, 2013

A New Year Begins

Square Inch Gardening
One plant at a time

By Jim Miller

Today is Friday, March 1, 2013. A new beginning. A new year.

Today begins a new year of paying attention, of reflection, of learning. This journal is to be a report of our discoveries, our progress, and what we have collected along the way.

On this launch date, I am reminded of the young Charles Darwin as the HMS Beagle slipped from the dock at Devonport two days past Christmas, 1831, embarked on its second voyage to map the coastline of South America.

My great grandfather John Sanford Saunders somewhere near Knoxville, Georgia, was 18 months old that late December morning.


MARCH ONE awoke suddenly at 6am with a mandate to start a new season of gardening and to record the progress of that year. Before the coffee had done dripping I suspected we were witnessing the launch of an ebook. We further suspected the scope would grow beyond the gardening theme to embrace any number of themes related to being a 65 (almost)-year-old couple on Social Security caught between climatic change and rampant right-wing Christian conservatism.

As it happens, any number of momentous projects have launched on March One through the years. York, Maine, formerly known as Georgeana, Mass., became the first incorporated city in the United States in 1642. Fifty years on in Salem Village, Mass., three young women went on trial on this date, accused of practicing witchcraft.
The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1781, and nine years later the first census of the United States of America was authorized. The count was taken the following August 2 with 3.9 million souls tallied.
Ohio became the 17th state to join the United States on March 1, 1803.
In 1836 representatives from 57 settlements in what would become Texas met at Washington-on-the-Brazos to consider declaring independence from Mexico. We have reason to believe at least one member of the Saunders clan, perhaps an uncle to John Sanford, was in the territory by this time. President John Tyler would sign the bill officially annexing Texas a U.S. territory on March 1, 1845.
Yellowstone National Park, a grand piece of real estate I've yet to see, became the world's first national park on this date in 1872. Exactly one year later E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, launched production of the first practical typewriter.


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