This Day in History – March 14 – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.




1590 – Battle of Ivry. A decisive battle during the French Wars of Religion.

armor age of henry iv

A Protestant army (Huguenot), led by Henry IV of France, defeated the forces of the Catholic League.

Another war over religion. Seems like a silly thing to die for. And this one didn’t even have different gods, just a violent disagreement over interpretation of the bible. Or, you don’t think there was more at stake for the leaders, like power and money, and religion was just a guise to inspire their followers? Something akin to fighting over WMDs rather than oil?


1923 – President Warren Harding becomes the first American president to pay taxes.

warren harding

According to “On March 14, 1923, President Warren G. Harding filed his income tax return for the 1922 year, paying about $17,000 in tax on his presidential salary of $75,000, although further details were not released. The New York Times of February 15, 1921 reports that then-President-elect Harding spoke against a proposed bill that would make the President permanently immune from the income tax, effectively killing it.”

Quite noble on his part. Why do I think such a bill would stand a better chance now?


1933 – The CCC begins tree conservation.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was a program initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt to address the nation’s massive unemployment problem. Camps were located throughout the country and eventually over half a million young men served in them. As its title would imply, the work was mainly conservation. Besides building roads and bridges and stocking a billion fish in lakes, the men were responsible for the planting of millions of trees.

Another noble act, conserving our planet rather than destroying it. Well, we got that antiquated notion out of our heads. Not to mention that the whole idea sounds more than a little communistic.



1854 – Thomas Riley Marshall. 28th Vice President of the United States, he served from 1913 to 1921 under Woodrow Wilson.

thomas riley marshall

He hated being VP, thinking it a superfluous position. He also did not get along with Wilson. Coming from Indiana he was considered provincial and was not accepted in Washington. He countered with wit. One of his useless duties was to be on a committee discussing whether to send an expedition to Guatemala to search for pre-historic man. Marshall suggested they save money by just digging in DC because based on what he had seen, pre-historic man could not be far beneath the surface.

A quote by somebody else about Marshall from “An unfriendly fairy godmother presented Marshall with a keen sense of humor. Nothing is more fatal in politics.” Also from the same source, an excerpt from a book he wrote about his family. “There was not one of my blood, in or out of the Union Army who was not either serving and sacrificing at home or suffering and dying among the hills and valleys of the southland for the preservation of the Union. And yet, so bitter was the politics of the time that they had to undergo the suspicion of being disloyal to their country because they did not vote the Republican ticket. My grandfather and my father were notified by the Methodist preacher whose church they attended that he would have to strike their names off the roll if they continued to vote the Democratic ticket. My grandfather, as a fiery Virginian, announced that he was willing to take his chance on Hell but never on the Republican party.”

I think I would have liked this guy.


1914 – Lee Hays. Leftist folksinger and member of the banned singing group the Weavers.

Rather than me picking and choosing a few items about him, I suggest you go to the website Whether you are a fan of folk music or not, it is a fascinating read of a man and a time in American history.


1933 – Michael Caine. Academy Award winning British actor.

michael caine

His real name was Maurice Micklewhite, and he only recently officially changed it to Michael Caine due to airport security. Security guards would recognize him as Michael Caine and then see a different name on his passport and it became a time-delaying hassle. Caine also served in the British Army with the Royal Fusiliers and saw extensive combat action in Korea.

One of my favorite actors ever since I first saw him in “The Ipcress File” and “Alfie.”



At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at



The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers:


Warren Harding –

Civilian Conservation Corps –

Lee Hays –

Thomas Riley Marshall –

We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image – Jorg Hackemann / – “LOS ANGELES – JUNE 26, 2012: handprint of Michael Caine… in the concrete of Chinese Theatre’s forecourt.”

* Battle Of Ivry (armor) – Morphart Creation / – “Military uniforms of the reign of Henri IV, vintage engraved illustration. Colorful History of England, 1837.”

* President Warren Harding (with golf club) – Everett Historical /

* Vice-President Thomas Marshall (with pipe) – Everett Historical /

* Lee Hays (video clip) – farmboy10001 /

* Michael Caine – Denis Makarenko / – “Sir Michael Caine attends the ‘Youth’ Photocall during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2015 in Cannes, France.”

* “This Is How Michael Caine Speaks” (video clip) – BBC /

* Italian Job (video clip) – Movieclips /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /