Scenario planning (or its lack) through history – March 3.
1776: The Continental Marines, predecessor of the United States Marines, make their first amphibious landing, in an attempt to capture Nassau, Bahamas. You have to like their choice of a first venue, winter in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the British governor of Nassau has moved the stores of gunpowder the Marines were after out of Fort Montagu and eventually out of Nassau.
1845: Florida is admitted to the Union as the 27th state. Celebratory dinner at 4:45 PM.
1861: Tsar Alexander II frees the serfs, the most progressive thing a Russian monarch has ever done; for his pains he dodges various assassination attempts for 20 years minus one day, until he doesn't in 1881 (see yesterday's entry).
1885: AT&T is incorporated in New York as a means to protect the patent rights of Alexander Graham Bell.
1904: The first political document is recorded by a sound recorder, Thomas Edison's phonograph cylinder, guaranteeing world peace. Kaiser Wilhelm II is the speaker. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHGQBX25EAQ )
1905: Tsar Nicholas II allows an elected assembly, the Duma, the most progressive thing a Russian monarch has ever done, thus forestalling forever the threat of revolution.
1924: Caliph Adbul Mejid II is deposed by Kemal Ataturk in Istanbul, ending the 1400-year Islamic caliphate.
1931: The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the official national anthem of the United States. (You thought it was the anthem since 1812, didn't you?)
1938: Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia, a sleepy nomadic desert nation of 2.7 million that could never have much effect on the world economy.
(Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube)