The Auspicious March One

Turns out March 1 is a pretty auspicious day in history. That is, a lot of things occurred on this date that are fairly well-known (and some lesser known, of course. Learn more here). I write about two in particular here that in their own ways continue to faintly ripple in the present: Articles of Confederation adopted; Lindbergh baby kidnapped.

March 1, 1781: Articles of Confederation (and Perpetual Union) adopted by the Continental Congress. With the Revolution still being fought against British troops, the new Articles attempt to stitch together an already loose coalition of former colonies, nascent states that agree on dislodging themselves from British rule but little else. Following the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the new country finds itself in a terrible economic depression, without a common currency, conflicting goals, and still with competing ideas of progress. In 1787, delegates gather in Philadelphia to revise the Articles but meet in secret and produced the U.S. Constitution!

March 1, 1932: Charles Lindbergh, III is kidnapped from his bedroom in New Jersey. The nation erupts in gyrations of mourning. False leads frustrate state and federal investigators. Charles Lindbergh engages in a wild marked-bills for ransom scheme with shadowy players. Further intrusion into the lives of the Lindberghs, occurs (eventually they relocate to England for a number of years, from whence Charles visits Nazi Germany a couple of times and offhandedly admires (and cautions against) their growing air power).

Later, Bruno Hauptman is arrested and charged with the crime. In a trial completely open to the public and media, a mountain of circumstantial evidence links him to the kidnapping (and death) of the baby. He is executed in 1935 but questions persist to this day about his involvement in the crime. Due to the intensity of the trial and high profile of the parents, live coverage of court room trials ceases, and kidnapping becomes a federal crime.

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