March 6: That Just Happened
Things that happened on March 6 with scenario planning implications:
12 BC: Roman Emperor Augustus adds the title Pontifex Maximus (Greatest Bridge-Builder) to his title. If you had been writing scenarios back then, would you believe that a group of 111 scarlet-clad men would be gathering in Rome to determine the next holder of this title, 1536 1/2 years after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire?
1820: The Missouri Compromise is signed by President James Monroe, admitting Missouri as a slave state but making all states to the north of it in the Louisiana Purchase free soil. Two scenario lessons: (1) An unstable situation (like slavery or an economic bubble) can persist far longer than most reasonable people would believe; (2) eventually all truly unstable situations will resolve themselves, usually suddenly and dramatically.
1836: After a 13-day siege, the Alamo is overrun and David Crockett, Jim Bowie, and 185 others are killed by 3,000 Mexican attackers under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. (Both sides could have used some scenario planning on this one.)
1857: The Supreme Court issues its ruling in the Dred Scott case. No doubt this will put off a crisis over slavery for another 37 years, just as the Missouri Compromise did.
1975: Algiers Accord: Iran and Iraq settle their border dispute for all time. With stable long-term leadership under Saddam Hussein and the Shah, these two countries are a model of stability for the Middle East.