24 March commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing to a small group of scientists at the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. According to Koch’s colleague, Paul Ehrlich, “At this memorable session, Koch appeared before the public with an announcement which marked a turning-point in the story of a virulent human infectious disease. In clear, simple words Koch explained the aetiology of tuberculosis with convincing force, presenting many of his microscope slides and other pieces of evidence.” At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.
1909, the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species and the 100th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, saw several major events celebrating both. At Cambridge, more than 400 scientists and dignitaries from 167 countries met in a widely reported event of public interest to honour Darwin’s contributions and discuss the latest discoveries and ideas related to evolution, the New York Academy of Sciences held a celebration at the American Museum of Natural History, and the Royal Society of New Zealand held an event with “a very large attendance”.
The Ardeatine massacre, or Fosse Ardeatine massacre (Italian: Eccidio delle Fosse Ardeatine), was a mass killing carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for the Via Rasella attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome against the SS Police Regiment Bozen.
Subsequently, the Ardeatine Caves site (Fosse Ardeatine) was declared a Memorial Cemetery and National Monument open daily to visitors. Every year, on the anniversary of the slaughter and in the presence of the senior officials of the Italian Republic, a solemn state commemoration is held at the monument in honour of the fallen. Each year, 335 names are called out, a simple roll call of the dead, to reinforce that 335 discrete individuals symbolise a collective entity.
Today, among the twitter trends there is: “If Women Were Men For A Day”.
Someone, on Thanksgiving Day, wanted to indulge in hunting this somewhat extravagant hashtag. There would be much to say if a woman was a man for a day. He (she) would not fall into gossip, or he would not speak in the ambiguous and somewhat bifurcated way that often characterizes a woman. It would be paranoid and save a couple of hours a day for facial makeup.
I think it is difficult for a woman to become temperamentally a man, while the opposite would be more realistic. The character of a woman, although it may become tomboy, never became completely man because a woman’s character is an indelible mark, difficult to remove or erase. The woman hardly ever gives up her femininity, except in some rare cases where she wants to save herself from a system that would kill her.