Monthly Archives: March 2016

Declaration of Independence (United States of America)

This article is about the Declaration of Independence of United States of America. For other declarations of independence, see the Wikipedia article “Declaration of independence”.

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.
— Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

Image of a stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Image of a stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

The Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies — already at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain since the Revolutionary War started in April 1775 — regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule. Instead they formed a new nation — the United States of America.

The thirteen colonies were the Delaware Colony, the Province of Pennsylvania (also known as the Pennsylvania Colony), the Province of New Jersey, the Province of Georgia (also known as the Georgia Colony), the Connecticut Colony (also known as the Colony of Connecticut), the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the Province of Maryland, the Province of South Carolina (also known as the South Carolina Colony), the Province of New Hampshire, the Colony of Virginia (also known as the Virginia Colony, the Province of Virginia, the Dominion and Colony of Virginia, and the Most Ancient Colloney and Dominion of Virginia), the Province of New York, the Province of North Carolina (also known as the North Carolina Colony, and the Royal Colony of North Carolina), and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. A committee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. The term “Declaration of Independence” is not used in the document itself.

Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776. Thomas Jefferson (right), Benjamin Franklin (left), and John Adams (center) meet at Jefferson's lodgings, on the corner of Seventh and High (Market) streets in Philadelphia, to review a draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776. Thomas Jefferson (right), Benjamin Franklin (left), and John Adams (center) meet at Jefferson’s lodgings, on the corner of Seventh and High (Market) streets in Philadelphia, to review a draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain. The national birthday, Independence Day, is celebrated on July 4, although Adams wanted July 2.

The Declaration became official when Congress voted for it on July 4; signatures of the delegates were not needed to make it official. The handwritten copy of the Declaration that was signed by Congress is dated July 4, 1776. The signatures of fifty-six delegates are affixed, however, the exact date each person signed it has long been the subject of debate. Jefferson, Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all wrote that the Declaration had been signed by Congress on July 4. But in 1796, signer Thomas McKean disputed that the Declaration had been signed on July 4, pointing out that some signers were not then present, including several who were not even elected to Congress until after that date.

According to the 1911 record of events by the U.S. State Department, the Declaration was transposed on paper, adopted by the Continental Congress, and signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress, on July 4, 1776. On August 2, 1776, a parchment paper copy of the Declaration was signed by 56 persons. Many of these signers were not present when the original Declaration was adopted on July 4. One signer, Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire, who was seated in the Continental Congress in November, asked for and received the privilege of adding his signature at that time, and signed on November 4, 1776. The signers are grouped by state, except for Thorton, whose name appears last.

After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost, and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson’s hand. Jefferson’s original draft, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson’s notes of changes made by Congress, are preserved at the Library of Congress. The best known version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This engrossed copy was ordered by Congress on July 19, and signed primarily on August 2.

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and his policies. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language”, containing “the most potent and consequential words in American history”. The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

The United States’ Declaration of Independence inspired many other similar documents in other countries in the 18th and 19th centuries, spreading to the Low Countries, and then to the Caribbean, Spanish America, the Balkans, West Africa, and Central Europe in the decades up to 1848.

Declaration of Independence commemorative postage stamp, 1869

Declaration of Independence commemorative postage stamp, 1869

The Declaration is not divided into formal sections; but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: the Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of King George, the Denunciation of the British People, and the Conclusion. The Introduction asserts as a matter of Natural Law the ability of a people to assume political independence; acknowledges that the grounds for such independence must be reasonable, and therefore explicable, and ought to be explained. The Preamble outlines a general philosophy of government that justifies revolution when government harms natural rights. The Indictment of King George is a bill of particulars documenting the king’s “repeated injuries and usurpations” of the Americans’ rights and liberties. The Denunciation of the British People essentially finished the case for independence; the conditions that justified revolution have been shown. The Conclusion asserts that there exist conditions under which people must change their government, that the British have produced such conditions, and by necessity the colonies must throw off political ties with the British Crown and become independent states. The conclusion contains, at its core, the Lee Resolution that had been passed on July 2.

Below you can find the text of the Declaration of Independence, a photograph of the actual Declaration of Independence, and a stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

[Column 1]
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
[Column 2]
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
[Column 3]
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
[Column 4]
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
[Column 5]
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
[Column 6]
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton

Image of the actual Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Image of the actual Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Image of a stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Image of a stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Today in History: March 22

March 22 is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days remaining until the end of the year.
2015 The fastest half marathon dressed as a fruit was run in 1 hour 22 minutes 37 seconds.

It was run by Jim Heal of the United Kingdom, dressed as a banana, at the Fleet half marathon in Fleet, Hampshire, UK, on March 22, 2015.

Today in History: March 16

March 16 is the 75th day of the year (76th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 290 days remaining until the end of the year.
Day of the Book Smugglers (Lithuania)
1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge (Despenser War)

The Battle of Boroughbridge was a battle fought on March 16, 1322 between King Edward II of England and a group of rebellious barons, near Boroughbridge, Yorkshire. The battle was not in itself a part of the Wars of Scottish Independence, but was significant for its employment of tactics learned in the Scottish wars in a domestic English conflict. Both the extensive use of foot soldiers rather than cavalry, and the heavy impact caused by the longbow, represented significant steps in military developments.

The Royal forces of 4,000 soldiers were led by Andrew Harclay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, and Sir John Peche. The Baronial forces of 1,000 soldiers were led by Thomas of Lancaster, 2nd Earl of Leicester and Lancaster (Edward II’s first cousin and most powerful subject); Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford; and Roger de Clifford, 2nd Baron de Clifford, 2nd Lord of Skipton.

The battle resulted in Lancaster’s defeat and execution six days later. The victory allowed Edward to re-establish royal authority, and hold on to power for another five years.

The battle was part of the Despenser War (1321–1322), a baronial revolt against Edward II of England led by the Marcher Lords Roger de Mortimer, 3rd Baron Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, and Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford. The rebellion was fueled by opposition to Hugh le Despenser, 1st Lord Despenser, also known as “the younger Despenser”, the royal favorite. After the rebels’ summer campaign of 1321, Edward was able to take advantage of a temporary peace to rally more support and a successful winter campaign in southern Wales, culminating in royal victory at the battle of Boroughbridge. Edward’s response to victory was his increasingly harsh rule until his fall from power in 1326.

1751 Born today: James Madison (March 16, 17511–June 28, 1836, age 85)

Colonel James Madison, Jr. was a political theorist, American statesman, and the fourth President of the United States (March 4, 1809–March 4, 1817). He is often called the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Madison was the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress (1780–1783) and served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1784–1786) prior to the Constitutional Convention (May 25–September 17, 1787). After the Convention, he became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify it, both in Virginia and nationally. His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced The Federalist Papers, among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution.

Madison changed his political views during his life. During deliberations on the Constitution, he favored a strong national government, but later preferred stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes late in his life.

In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives. He is noted for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and so is known also as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”. He worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Hamilton and the Federalist Party in 1791, he and Thomas Jefferson organized the Democratic-Republican Party. In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions arguing that states can nullify unconstitutional laws.

As Jefferson’s Secretary of State (1801–1809), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation’s size. Madison succeeded Jefferson as President in 1809, was re-elected in 1813, and presided over renewed prosperity for several years. After the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against Britain, he led the U.S. into the War of 1812. The war was an administrative morass, as the U.S. had neither a strong army nor financial system. As a result, Madison afterward supported a stronger national government and a strong military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed.

1 At the time Madison was born, the Julian calendar (commonly called “Old Style”) was in effect in the U.S., making his birth date March 5, 1751. In the Gregorian calendar (commonly called “New Style”), the equivalent date is March 16, 1751. The U.S., which was part of the British Empire at the time it used the Julian calendar, typically translates notable events that happened prior to the transition into New Style date.

1903 Died today: Roy Bean (c. 1825–March 16, 1903, age 77–78)

The Jersey Lilly, Langtry, Texas (1900)

Judge Roy Bean, the “Law West of the Pecos”, holding court at The Jersey Lilly in Langtry, Texas in 1900, trying a horse thief. Bean is in the center of the photograph, sitting on a barrel and holding open his law book. The thief is sitting on a horse underneath the “Ice Beer” sign, with his hands behind his back. This building was a courthouse and a saloon. [National Archives and Records Administration, ID: 530985]

1916 Born today: Tsutomu Yamaguchi (March 16, 1916–January 4, 2010, age 93)

Tsutomu Yamaguchi (山口 彊, Yamaguchi Tsutomu) was either the luckiest — or the unluckiest — person that ever lived. He survived both the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. At least 160 people are known to have been affected by both bombings, but Yamaguchi is the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as surviving both explosions.

Yamaguchi lived and worked in Nagasaki, but in the summer of 1945 he was in Hiroshima for a three-month-long business trip for his employer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, where he had worked as a draftsman designing oil tankers since the 1930s.

On August 6 he was preparing to leave the city and was on his way to the station when he realized he had forgotten his hanko (a stamp allowing him to travel) and returned to his workplace to get it. At 8:15 a.m., he was walking back toward the docks when the American bomber Enola Gay dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb near the center of the city, only 3 km away. He recalled seeing the bomber and two small parachutes, before there was “a great flash in the sky, and I was blown over.” The explosion ruptured his eardrums, blinded him temporarily, and left him with serious burns over the left side of the top half of his body.

Yamaguchi returned to Nagasaki on August 7. In Nagasaki, he received treatment for his wounds, and despite being heavily bandaged, he reported for work on August 9. At 11:00 a.m., he was describing the blast in Hiroshima to his supervisor, who told him that he was crazy, when the American bomber Bockscar dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb over the city. Again, his job put him 3 km from ground zero, but this time he was uninjured by the explosion. However, he was unable to replace his now ruined bandages, and he suffered from a high fever for more than a week.

When the Japanese government officially recognized atomic bomb survivors as hibakusha (“explosion-affected person”) in 1957, Yamaguchi’s identification stated only that he had been present at Nagasaki. He was content with this, satisfied that he was relatively healthy, and put the experiences behind him.

At first, Yamaguchi did not feel the need to draw attention to his double survivor status. However, in later life he began to consider his survival as destiny, so in January 2009, he applied for double recognition. This was accepted by the Japanese government in March 2009, making Yamaguchi the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both bombings. Speaking of the recognition, he said, “My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die.”

He died of stomach cancer on January 4, 2010, at the age of 93.

Today in History: March 15

March 15 is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 291 days remaining until the end of the year.
The Ides of March (Roman calendar)

The Ides of March, Idus Martii or Idus Martiae in Latin, …

International Day Against Police Brutality (International)
44 BCE Died today: Julius Caesar (July 13, 100 BCE–March 15, 44 BCE, age 55)

Gaius Julius Caesar, /ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar/ in Classical Latin, was Roman general and Dictator of the Roman Republic.

Julius Caesar’s full name was Imperator Gaius Iulius Gaii filius Gaii nepos Caesar Patris Patriae (“Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar, son of Gaius, grandson of Gaius, Father of his Country”), pronounced /ɪm.pɛˈraː.tɔr ˈgaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈgaː.i.iː ˈfiː.li.ʊs ˈgaː.i.iː ˈnɛ.poːs ˈkae̯.sar ˈpa.trɪs ˈ̯/. His official name after deification in 42 BCE was Divus Iulius (“The Divine Julius”).

270 Born today: Saint Nicholas (March 15, 270–December 6, 343, age 73)

Saint Nicholas, known as Ἅγιος Νικόλαος (Hagios Nikólaos) in Greek and Sanctus Nicolaus in Latin), is also called Nikolaos of Myra. He was an historic 4th-century Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey). As the Bishop of Myra, he attended the First Council of Nicaea and became a signer of the Nicene Creed. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker (Νικόλαος ὁ Θαυματουργός, Nikolaos ho Thaumaturgos).

Remembered for his role in bringing about apparent miracles and for his frequent, secret bestowal of gifts, Saint Nicholas inspired the modern Santa Claus character traditionally associated with the Christmas holiday.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of

  • archers
  • brewers
  • broadcasters
  • children
  • coopers (barrel makers)
  • the falsely accused
  • fishermen
  • The Hellenic Navy (naval force of Greece)
  • merchants
  • pawnbrokers
  • pharmacists
  • repentant thieves
  • sailors
  • The Duchy of (Upper) Lorraine (part of modern-day Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg)
  • Greece
  • Russia
  • Aberdeen (Scotland)
  • Amsterdam (North Holland, Netherlands)
  • Bari (Italy)
  • Galway (Ireland)
  • Liverpool (England)
  • Lorraine (France)
  • Moscow (Russia)

Saint Nicholas is commemorated and revered among Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians. In addition, some Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches have been named in honor of Saint Nicholas.

1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse (American Revolutionary War)

1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis defeated an American force of 4,400 near present-day Greensboro, North Carolina.

1939 Carpatho-Ukraine declared itself an independent republic.

Carpatho-Ukraine, Карпа́тська Украї́на (Karpats’ka Ukrayina) in Ukrainian, pronounced /kɐrˈpɑtsʲkɐ ukrɐˈjinɐ/, was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was annexed by Hungary on March 16, 1939. The region remained under Hungarian control until the end of World War II, when it was ceded to the Soviet Union. The territory is now administered as Zakarpattia Oblast in Ukraine.

1978 Born today: Takeru Kobayashi (March 15, 1978– ) (小林尊, Kobayashi Takeru)

Kobayashi is a Japanese competitive eater, holding several records, including four Guinness Records, for eating hot dogs, meatballs, Twinkies, hamburgers, and pasta. He holds the world record for eating cow brains with 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes.

1985 The first Internet domain name,, was registered.

The Number 83


83 is the atomic number of bismuth (symbol Bi).

In Judaism, when someone reaches 83 years old they may celebrate a second bar mitzvah. The Torah says that a normal lifespan is 70 years, so an 83-year-old person can be considered 13 years old in a second lifetime.

83 is the highest UHF channel on older televisions made before the late 1970s (newer televisions only go up to channel 69, due to the frequency spectrum previously assigned to channels 70–83 in the USA being reassigned to cellular phone service there in the late 1970s–early 1980s).

The 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar is March 24 in non-leap years, March 23 in leap years.

The Bell XP-83 (later redesignated ZXF-83) was a United States prototype escort fighter designed by Bell Aircraft during World War II. It first flew in 1945. As an early jet fighter, its limitations included a lack of power and it was soon eclipsed by more advanced designs.

The B83 thermonuclear bomb is a variable-yield gravity bomb developed by the United States in the late 1970s, entering service in 1983. With a maximum yield of 1.2 megatonnes of TNT (75 times the yield of the atomic bomb “Little Boy” dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, which had a yield of 16 kilotonnes of TNT), it is the most powerful nuclear free-fall weapon in the United States arsenal. The first underground test detonation of the production B83 took place on December 15, 1984.

HLA-B*83 (B83) is an HLA-B allele-group composed of a single allele, B*8301. There is no useful serology associated with this allele. It is found in a single Mbenzele Pygmy tribe of the Central Africa Republic.

Interstate 83 (abbreviated I-83) is an Interstate Highway in the Eastern United States that runs from Baltimore, Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

83 is the ISBN Group Identifier for books published in Poland. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 10 digits long if it was assigned on or before December 31, 2006 and 13 digits long if assigned on or after January 1, 2007.

83 is slang for a bisexual person. It is derived from the atomic number of bismuth which has the symbol Bi.

83 is a glasses-wearing variation of the :3 emoticon. The :3 emoticon represents the cat face made by anime characters when they say something clever or sarcastic, or are commenting on something cute.

Prime Numbers

83 is a prime number. A prime number is a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself.

83 is the 23rd prime number. 23 is also a prime number. The previous prime number is 79 and the next prime number is 89.

79 and 83 are cousin primes. Cousin primes are prime numbers that differ by four. Twin primes are pairs of prime numbers that differ by two, and sexy primes are pairs of prime numbers that differ by six. The term “sexy prime” stems from the Latin word for six: sex.

83 is the sum of three consecutive prime numbers: 23 + 29 + 31.

83 is the sum of five consecutive primes: 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23.


Messier object M83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel galaxy, is a magnitude 8.5, barred spiral galaxy, 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. M83 is classified as a barred spiral galaxy due to the bar-like pattern of stars that run through its center, very similar in structure to our own Milky Way galaxy. More info.

New General Catalogue object NGC 83 is a magnitude 14.2, a lenticular galaxy, 285–330 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. NGC 83 was discovered by John Herschel on August 17, 1828. More info.

Solar eclipse saros series 83 contained 71 solar eclipses over a period of 1,262.11 years, beginning on May 5, 210 BCE and ended on May 30, 1052. More info.

Lunar eclipse saros series 83 contained 84 lunar eclipses over a period of 1,496.50 years, beginning on August 22, 197 BCE and ended on February 5, 1300. More info.

The saros is a period of approximately 223 synodic months (approximately 6,585.3211 days, or 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One saros period after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, a near straight line, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur, in what is referred to as an eclipse cycle. A sar is one half of a saros. A series of eclipses that are separated by one saros is called a saros series.

In Other Number Systems

83 in Roman numerals is LXXXIII.

83 in binary (base 2) is 10100112.

83 in ternary (base 3) is 100023.

83 in quaternary (base 4) is 11034.

83 in quinary (base 5) is 3135.

83 in senary (base 6) is 2156.

83 in octal (base 8) is 1238.

83 in duodecimal (base 12) is 6B12.

83 in hexadecimal (base 16) is 5316.

83 in vigesimal (base 20) is 4320.

83 in base 36 is 2B36.


83 is both a Sophie Germain prime and a safe prime. A prime number p is a Sophie Germain prime if 2p + 1 is also prime. The number 2p + 1 associated with a Sophie Germain prime is called a safe prime.
As a Sophie Germain prime, 2 × 83 + 1 = 167 (167 is the safe prime).
As a safe prime, 2 × 41 + 1 = 83 (41 is the Sophie Germain prime)

83 is a Chen prime. A prime number p is called a Chen prime if p + 2 is either a prime or a product of two primes (also called a semiprime). The even number 2p + 2 therefore satisfies Chen’s theorem. The lower member of a pair of twin primes is by definition a Chen prime.

83 is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and real part of the form 3n – 1. An Eisenstein prime is an Eisenstein integer

z = a + bω     (ω = e2πi/3)

that is irreducible (or equivalently prime) in the ring-theoretic sense: its only Eisenstein divisors are the units (±1, ±ω, ±ω2), a + bω itself and its associates. The associates (unit multiples) and the complex conjugate of any Eisenstein prime are also prime.

83 is a highly cototient number. A highly cototient number is a positive integer k which is above one and has more solutions to the equation

x – φ(x) = k,

than any other integer below k and above one. Here, φ is Euler’s totient function.

In Other Languages

In Afrikaans eighty-three is drie en tagtig.

In Albanian eighty-three is tetëdhjetë e tre.

In Amharic eighty-three is የሰማንያ ሦስት (_____).

In Arabic eighty-three is ثلاث وثمانون (thlath wathamanun).

In Armenian eighty-three is ութսուներեք (ut’sunerek’).

In Azerbaijani eighty-three is səksən üç.

In Basque eighty-three is laurogeita hiru.

In Belarusian eighty-three is восемдзесят тры (vosiemdziesiat try).

In Bengali eighty-three is তিরাশি (tirāśi).

In Bosnian eighty-three is osamdeset i tri.

In Bulgarian eighty-three is осемдесет и три (osemdeset i tri).

In Catalan eighty-three is vuitanta-tres.

In Cebuano eighty-three is kawaloan ug tulo ka.

In Cherokee eighty-three is ᏧᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ (tsunelasgo tsoi). More info.

In Chichewa eighty-three is eyite atatu.

In Chinese (Simplified) eighty-three is 八十三 (bāshísān).

In Chinese (Traditional) eighty-three is 八十三 (bāshísān).

In Corsican eighty-three is ottanta-di trè.

In Croatian eighty-three is osamdeset tri.

In Czech eighty-three is osmdesát tři.

In Danish eighty-three is treogfirs.

In Dutch eighty-three is drieëntachtig.

In Esperanto eighty-three is okdek tri.

In Estonian eighty-three is kaheksakümmend kolm.

In Filipino eighty-three is may walong pu’t tatlong.

In Finnish eighty-three is kahdeksankymmentäkolme.

In French eighty-three is quatre vingt trois.

In Frisian eighty-three is trijentachtich.

In Galician eighty-three is oitenta e tres.

In Georgian eighty-three is ოთხმოცდასამი (ot’khmots’dasami).

In German eighty-three is dreiundachtzig.

In Greek eighty-three is ογδόντα τρία (ogdónta tría).

In Gujarati eighty-three is એંસી ત્રણ (ēnsī traṇa).

In Haitian Creole eighty-three is katreven-twa.

In Hausa eighty-three is tamanin da uku.

In Hawaiian eighty-three is kanawalu-ekolu.

In Hebrew eighty-three is שמונים ושלוש (_____).

In Hindi eighty-three is तिरासी (tiraasee).

In Hmong eighty-three is eighty-peb.

In Hungarian eighty-three is nyolcvanhárom.

In Icelandic eighty-three is áttatíu og þrír. More info.

In Igbo eighty-three is iri-na-atọ.

In Indonesian eighty-three is delapan puluh tiga.

In Irish eighty-three is ochtó is trí.

In Italian eighty-three is ottantatre.

In Japanese eighty-three is 八十三 (yasomi).

In Javanese eighty-three is wolung puluh telu.

In Kannada eighty-three is ಎಂಬತ್ಮೂರು (embatmūru).

In Kazakh eighty-three is сексен үш (seksen üş).

In Khmer eighty-three is ប៉ែតសិប​បី (betseb​ bei).

In Korean eighty-three is 여든세 (yeodeunse).

In Kurdish (Kurmanji) eighty-three is heştê-sê.

In Kyrgyz eighty-three is сексен үч (seksen üç).

In Lao eighty-three is eighty ສາມ (eighty sam).

In Latin eighty-three is octoginta trium.

In Latvian eighty-three is astoņdesmit trīs.

In Lithuanian eighty-three is aštuoniasdešimt trys.

In Luxembourgish eighty-three is uechtzeg-dräi.

In Macedonian eighty-three is осумдесет и три (osumdeset i tri).

In Malagasy eighty-three is amby valo-telo.

In Malay eighty-three is lapan puluh tiga.

In Malayalam eighty-three is എണ്പത്തിമൂന്ന് (eṇpattimūnn).

In Maltese eighty-three is tlieta u tmenien (tlieta “three” u “and” tmenien “eighty”). More info.

In Maori eighty-three is e waru tekau-toru.

In Marathi eighty-three is त्र्याऐंशी (tryā’ainśī).

In Mongolian eighty-three is наян гурав (nayan gurav)

In Myanmar (Burmese) eighty-three is ရှစ်ဆယ့်သုံး (shit s y sone).

In Navajo eighty-three is tseebídiin dóó ba’ąą táá’ (tseebídiin “eighty” dóó ba’ąą “and in addition to it” táá’ “three”). More info.

In Nepali eighty-three is असी तीन (asī tīna).

In Norwegian eighty-three is åttitre.

In Pashto eighty-three is اتيا درې (_____).

In Persian eighty-three is هشتاد و سه (_____).

In Polish eighty-three is osiemdziesiąt trzy.

In Portuguese eighty-three is oitenta e três.

In Punjabi eighty-three is ਅੱਸੀ-ਤਿੰਨ (asī-tina).

In Romanian eighty-three is optzeci și trei.

In Russian eighty-three is восемьдесят три (vosem’desyat tri).

In Samoan eighty-three is valusefulu-tolu.

In Scots Gaelic eighty-three is ceithir fichead ’sa trì.

In Serbian eighty-three is осамдесет три (osamdeset tri).

In Sesotho eighty-three is mashome a robeli e meraro.

In Shona eighty-three is makumi masere nematatu.

In Sindhi eighty-three is اسي-ٽي (_____).

In Sinhala eighty-three is අසු තුන (asu tuna).

In Slovak eighty-three is osemdesiat tri.

In Slovenian eighty-three is tri in osemdeset.

In Somali eighty-three is siddeetan iyo saddex.

In Spanish eighty-three is ochenta y tres (ochenta “eighty” y “and” tres “three”).

In Sundanese eighty-three is dalapan puluh tilu.

In Swahili eighty-three is themanini na mitatu.

In Swedish eighty-three is _____.

In Tajik eighty-three is ҳаштоду се (_____).

In Tamil eighty-three is எண்பத்தி மூன்று (eṇpatti mūṉṟu).

In Telugu eighty-three is ఎనభై మూడు (enabhai mūḍu).

In Thai eighty-three is แปดสิบสาม (pæd s̄ib s̄ām).

In Turkish eighty-three is seksen üç.

In Ukrainian eighty-three is вісімдесят три (visimdesyat try).

In Urdu eighty-three is تراسی (_____).

In Uzbek eighty-three is sakson uch.

In Vietnamese eighty-three is tám mươi ba.

In Welsh eighty-three is wyth deg tri o.

In Xhosa eighty-three is asibhozo anesithathu.

In Yiddish eighty-three is _____ (_____). (אַכציק “eighty” דרײַ “three”). More info.

In Yoruba eighty-three is ọgọrin-mẹta.

In Zulu eighty-three is ayisishiyagalombili nantathu.

Today in History: March 14

March 14 is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 292 days remaining until the end of the year.
Pi Day

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi) — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The first 50 digits of π are:

Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day date format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π (3.14…).

In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day with H. Res. 224 (March 12, 2009).

In 2010, Google’s doodle for the day spelled Google with circles and other mathematical shapes.

Google’s doodle on Pi Day, March 14, 2010.

Google’s doodle on Pi Day, March 14, 2010.

In 2015, Pi Day had special significance on 3/14/15 (month/day/year date format) at 9:26:53 a.m. and also at p.m., with the date and time representing the first 10 digits of π (3.141592653…). That same second also contained a precise instant corresponding to all of the digits of π.

A related celebration is Pi Approximation Day, observed on July 22 (22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 22/7 is a common approximation of π, which is accurate to two decimal places (3.1428…) and dates from Archimedes.

Constitution Day (Andorra)

Constitution Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the Andorran people approving the principality’s Constitution. The Constitution of Andorra (Constitució d’Andorra in Catalan) is the supreme law of the Principality of Andorra. It was adopted on February 2, 1993 and given assent by the Andorran people in a referendum on March 14, 1993. According to the Constitution itself, it was to enter into force the day of its publication in the Butlletí Oficial del Principat d’Andorra, which occurred on April 28, 1993.

The Constitution was signed by Andorra’s two co-princes, the President of France (at that time François Mitterrand) and the Bishop of Urgell (at that time Joan Martí Alanis). The new constitution stipulates that these two officials are Andorra’s heads of state. Indeed, this arrangement has existed for centuries, although at one time, the French king held the position now held by the French president.

Heroes’ Day (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Mother Tongue Day (Estonia)
1863 Born today: Casey Jones (March 14, 1863–April 30, 1900, age 37)

Jonathan Luther “Casey” Jones was an American railroad engineer who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. As a boy, he lived near Cayce, Kentucky, where he acquired the nickname of “Cayce”, which he chose to spell as “Casey”. On April 30, 1900, he was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi, on a foggy and rainy night.

His dramatic death while trying to stop his train and save lives made him a hero; he was immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his friend Wallace Saunders, an engine wiper for the Illinois Central.

1879 Born today: Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879–April 18, 1955, age 76)
1900 The Gold Standard Act was ratified, placing United States currency on the gold standard.

H.R. 1, which became Public Law 56–41, was signed into law by President William McKinley on March 14, 1900. It established gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money, stopping bimetallism (which had allowed silver in exchange for gold). The Act made the de facto gold standard in place since the Coinage Act of 1873 (whereby debt holders could demand reimbursement in whatever metal was preferred — usually gold) a de jure gold standard alongside other major European powers at the time.

Be it enacted…, That the dollar consisting of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains of gold nine-tenths fine, as established by section thirty-five hundred and eleven of the Revised Statutes of the United States, shall be the standard unit of value, and all forms of money issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity of value with this standard, and it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain such parity.

The Act fixed the value of the dollar at 258/10 grains of gold at 90% purity (9/10 fine), equivalent to 23.22 grains (1.5046 grams) of pure gold. Looked at another way, the price of gold was set at just over $20.67 per Troy ounce.

On April 25, 1933, the United States and Canada dropped the gold standard.

1908 Born today: Philip Conrad Vincent (March 14, 1908–March 27, 1979, age 71)
1933 Died today: Balto (1919–March 14, 1933, age 14)
1978 Born today: Giorgio A. Tsoukalos (March 14, 1978– )

Today in History: March 13

March 13 is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 293 days remaining until the end of the year.
1781 William Herschel discovered Uranus.
1842 Died today: Henry Shrapnel (June 3, 1761–March 13, 1842, age 80)
1855 Born today: Percival Lowell (March 13, 1855–November 12, 1916, age 61)
1886 Born today: Albert William Stevens (March 13, 1886–March 26, 1949, age 63)
1921 Born today: Al Jaffee (March 13, 1921– )

Al Jaffee is an American cartoonist, notable for his work in the satirical Mad magazine. His trademark feature is the Mad Fold-in. As of 2015, he remains a regular in the magazine and, after sixty years, is its longest-running contributor. In the half-century between April 1964 and April 2013, only one issue of Mad was published without containing new material by Jaffee. His longest unbroken streak was 274 consecutive issues from #86 (April 1964) to #359 (July 1997).