I think that most people in the eastern part of the United States have just about had it with the weather. It’s been brutal – and I live in one of the nicer places. We’ve not been below zero at all, while some parts of the country have really suffered from massive snowfall and temperatures in the -30’s. And, based on the news tonight, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to end any time soon.
For our neck of the woods (about 30 miles north of Atlanta), the governor has issued a state of emergency starting tomorrow at 2 p.m. Oh, we’re not going to experience anything like Boston…but in Georgia, 4-6″ of snow is enough to really mess things up.
And so, that brings me to the picture for today. Do you remember when boxed wines first came out? I do. I am not sure if they still sell it or not, but when I saw this sign in a store, I thought, “Why not!?!?” And right now, there’s been enough whine from those who are boxed in by snow and cold, that boxed whine might be a great product to sell!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in1836,Texas Colonel William Travis sends a desperate plea for help for the besieged defenders of the Alamo, ending the message with the famous last words, “Victory or Death.”
Travis’ path to the Alamo began five years earlier when he moved to the Mexican state ofTexas to start fresh after a failed marriage in Alabama. Trained as a lawyer, he established a law office in Anahuac, where he quickly gained a reputation for his willingness to defy the local Mexican officials. In 1832, a minor confrontation with the Mexican government landed Travis in jail. When he was freed a month later, many Anglo settlers hailed him as a hero. As Anglo-American resentment toward the Mexican government grew, Travis was increasingly viewed as a strong leader among those seeking an independent Texan republic.
When the Texas revolution began in 1835, Travis joined the revolutionary army. In February 1836, he was made a lieutenant colonel and given command of the regular Texas troops in San Antonio. On February 23, the Mexican army under Santa Ana arrived in the city unexpectedly. Travis and his troops retreated to the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress, where they were soon joined by James Bowie’s volunteer force. The Mexican army of 5,000 soldiers badly outnumbered the several hundred defenders of the Alamo. Their determination was fierce, though, and when Santa Ana asked for their surrender the following day, Travis answered with a cannon shot.
Furious, Santa Ana began a siege. Recognizing he was doomed to defeat without reinforcements, Travis dispatched via couriers several messages asking for help. The most famous was addressed to “The People of Texas and All Americans in the World” and was signed “Victory or Death.” Unfortunately, it was to be death for the defenders: only 32 men from nearby Gonzales responded to Travis’ call for reinforcements. On March 6, the Mexicans stormed the Alamo and Travis, Bowie, and about 190 of their comrades were killed. The Texans made Santa Ana pay for his victory, though, having claimed at least 600 of his men during the attack.
Although Travis’ defense of the Alamo was a miserable failure militarily, symbolically it was a tremendous success. “Remember the Alamo” quickly became the rallying cry for the Texas revolution. By April, Travis’ countrymen had beaten the Mexicans and won their independence. Travis’ daring defiance of the overwhelmingly superior Mexican forces has since become the stuff of myth, and a facsimile of his famous call for help is on permanent display at the Texas State Library in Austin.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Unlike most other fish, the ocean sunfish does not have a tail. A female sunfish can lay 300 million eggs each year, more than any other known vertebrate. Each egg is smaller than the period at the end of a sentence, which is especially intriguing because the ocean sunfish (or Mola mola) is the heaviest known bony fish in the world with an average adult weight of 2200 pounds. The species is native totropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when theirdorsal and ventral fins are extended. They live on a diet consisting mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts to develop and maintain their great bulk.