The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March," has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression "Ides of March" did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying "March 15." Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. Even in Shakespeare’s time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn’t have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides.
The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calendar, which is said to have been devised by Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:
Kalends (1st day of the month)
Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)
There are three special names for some of the NCAA championship rounds (March Madness)
They begin with sixty-four teams
Then become thirty-two teams
The names begin here:
After that it’s the final two teams in the championship
Dr. James Naismith is known world-wide as the inventor of basketball. He was born in 1861 in Ramsay township, near Almonte, Ontario, Canada. The concept of basketball was born from Naismith’s school days in the area where he played a simple child’s game known as duck-on-a-rock outside his one-room schoolhouse. The game involved attempting to knock a “duck” off the top of a large rock by tossing another rock at it. Naismith went on to attend McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
After serving as McGill’s Athletic Director, James Naismith moved on to the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA in 1891, where the sport of basketball was born. In Springfield, Naismith was faced with the problem of finding a sport that was suitable for play inside during the Massachusetts winter for the students at the School for Christian Workers. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students instead of one that relied solely on strength. He needed a game that could be played indoors in a relatively small space. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets used as goals. Naismith joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1898, teaching physical education and being a chaplain.
The last three days of March are said to be “borrowed from April.”
‘March said to Aperill, I see 3 hoggs [hoggets, sheep] upon a hill; And if you’ll lend me dayes 3 I’ll find a way to make them dee [die]. The first o’ them wus wind and weet, The second o’ them wus snaw and sleet, The third o’ them wus sic a freeze It froze the birds’ nebs to the trees. When the 3 days were past and gane The 3 silly hoggs came hirpling [limping] hame.”