Today is Friday, March 17, 2006. Today is also St. Patrick's Day so be sure and wear something green today. Expect mostly sunny skies today and a high of around 60. On this day in history:
1753-St. Patrick's Day is celebrated for the first time.
1762-The first St. Patrick's Day parade takes place in New York City.
1845-Both self-rising flour and rubber bands are patented on this date.
1917-The first bowling tournament for women is held in St. Louis.
1941-The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington, D.C.
1956- “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Phil Silvers Show,” and Lucille Ball are big winners at the 8th annual Emmy Awards.
1969-The Atlanta Braves trade Joe Torre to the St. Louis Cardinals for Orlando Cepeda.
1987-IBM releases PC-DOS version 3.3.
1998-The US Women's Olympic Hockey team wins a gold medal for the first time.
People celebrating birthdays today include: actor Rob Lowe is 42; actress Leslie-Anne Down is 52; actor Kurt Russell is 55; actor Patrick Duffey is 57; musician John Sebastian is 62; and Hall of Fame football player Sammy Baugh is 92.
THE HISTORY OF
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship. Maewyn considered himself a pagan until he was 16-years-old. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. It was during his slave days that he discovered God.
Maewyn escaped from slavery after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years. During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity. He wanted to return to Ireland and convert the native pagans to Christianity. His superiors appointed St. Palladius, but two years later Palladius transferred to Scotland. Maewyn adopted the Christian name Patrick and was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland.
Patrick was quite successful at winning converts and this upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.
His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. Patrick retired to County Down and died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. (from wilstar.com)
SO WHY THE PINCHING?
The official color of St. Patrick's Day is green partly because of spring and partly because it is the color of shamrocks. The tradition of pinching anyone not wearing green was started by school children. Do that today and you'll get expelled for sexual harassment.
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY
The Tower Group, a consulting firm, recently released a report which predicts that Americans will spend $58.3 billion on gift cards this year. Ten percent or $583 million of that will never be redeemed. That is why retail companies love gift cards. Best Buy was able to add four cents to its 2005 fourth quarter earnings thanks to unused gift cards. I thought that only the government could waste that kind of money.
A NAME TO REMEMBER
My oldest daughter's middle name is Amelia. She was named after her mother and her great-grandmother. It is interesting to learn how some people got their names. Chipper Jones, all-star third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, recently named his new son Shea. The reason given was because Chipper hits so well at the home of the New York Mets, Shea Stadium. I guess Chipper's wife is glad he plays in the National League. Just think, if he hit well at the home of the Minnesota Twins his son would be named Metrodome Jones.
COUNTING YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH
The city of Valparaiso, Indiana, accidentally valued a house in their town at $400 million when it was actually valued at around $122,000. You would think that someone in the tax office would know that a $400 million home might be a little out of line in Valparaiso, but the city went ahead and added $8 million to its budget for this year in anticipation of the taxes on the home. City tax assessors finally realized their mistake but, oops, they had already spent $3 million of the expected money.
CAN I GET 72 MONTH FINANCING ON THAT?
Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to own the world's most expensive car? The Bugatti Veyron 16.4, manufactured in France, has a 16-cylinder engine with 1001 horsepower. This little beauty can be all yours for just $1,192,057. If you could get full financing your payments would be a mere $19,755.83 per month for 72 months. Your tag would cost about $10,000 per year and as far as insurance, call Lanny Norris for a quote.
AND FINALLY, THE CRIMINAL MIND
Back in December a man walked into a bank in Auckland, New Zealand, and demanded money. When he left he counted his take and got upset over the small amount of money in his bag. The crook called the bank and told the manager to stand outside the bank with more money in a bag and he would drive by and grab it. The thief never showed up but he did leave some incriminating behind, his phone number on caller ID at the bank. The police traced the call and arrested the greedy, and dumb, bandit.
Richard Parker is Minister of Students and Education at First Baptist Church in Russellville. You can e-mail him your comments at RParker@russellvilleFBC.org.