The Book Of Yesterday | March 31
March 31, 1889
On this day, in 1889, the inaugural Eiffel Tower in Paris, France was officially opened to the public through a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel who designed such a structure, and attended by then French Prime Minister Pirard, some senior officials, and about 200 construction workers.
In 1889, the French government planned to launch an international exposition and also announced the existence of a design competition for the monument to be erected on the Champ-de-Mars city center of Paris to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. Of the more than 100 who participated in such a contest, the Centennial Committee selected Gustave Eiffel’s design as an “open-lattice wrought-iron tower” estimated to be 1,000 feet high that could be considered the tallest man-made structure in the world. Eiffel was a famous bridge builder trained in metal construction, and he was also behind the design of the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
Eiffel's design has drawn mixed criticism. Some expressed skepticism over the durability or structural integrity of its design, and some also said it could only damage the beautiful landscape of Paris. Eiffel did not send in these criticisms and completed his tower in just two years. One worker died during the entire construction period of such a structure. Its lightweight and "airy structure" can be considered an innovation in the field of architecture.
The opening of the Eiffel Tower was colorful and pompous. In early May of the same year, the tower served as the entrance gateway of the Paris International Exposition.
The Eiffel Tower was almost removed from its site after the International Exposition's 20-year lease expired in 1909 but it was saved because of its value as an antenna for radio transmission. Currently, the Eiffel Tower is a popular attraction for tourists coming to France.
March 31, 1899
After the revolutionary government of General Emilio Aguinaldo failed to capture Manila in August 1898, the revolutionary government's capital was temporarily moved to the town of Malolos in Bulacan, and the first congress of the revolutionary government was also inaugurated there. The church of Barasoain became the capital of the first Republic of the Philippines when it was inaugurated on January 23, 1899. But just two months later, the fall of the capital of the first Republic to the Americans took place on this day.
After the successful crossing of the Marilao river by American troops in Bulacan, the Americans could take the capitol in just one step, but the Filipino troops were determined to defend the capitol to the death. President Emilio Aguinaldo reappointed General Antonio Luna as head of the armed forces and was assigned to oversee the defense of Malolos from the Americans. On March 30, American troops entered Malolos, led by General Arthur MacArthur and Lloyd Wheaton.
The next morning, a large artillery barrage began in General Luna's defense line in Malolos. Intense clashes took place in the Malolos plaza between the two camps, and during the gunfire the Americans saw that the Presidency or the office of the President and the Hall of Congress were on fire. The offensive in the capitol lasted only two hours and General MacArthur and Wheaton, with the help of Colonel Frederick Funston, also drove General Luna's line to Malolos and they successfully raised the American flag over Malolos.
However, the capital of the first Republic in the town of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija had retreated before the invasion so the Americans also failed to capture President Aguinaldo in Malolos. It is uncertain how many Republican soldiers were killed but only eight Americans were killed in such an operation. Although they captured Malolos, they failed to break the morale of the Filipino army and in April while the Americans were advancing in Pampanga, the Filipinos confused them and recaptured Malolos.
March 31, 1521
An important date in the history of the Christian religion in the Philippines is the last day of March, in the year 1521. On this day the first Christian worship was held in our country, the first holy mass and the first introduction of the Christian religion in the Philippines. Even before this, the two sides, the Spaniards and the natives of Limasawa, became friends, with the effect of the treaty between Fernando Magallanes and Raha Kolambu on March 29.
Along the coast of the island of Limasawa in the present province of Southern Leyte, this ceremony was held attended by Fernando Magallanes and approximately 50 of his staff, including chronicler Antonio Pigafetta. It was also attended by Raha Kolambu and Siagu and the mother of other indigenous people on the island of Limasawa who wanted to see what they considered foreign ritual worship. The Mass in Limasawa also took place on Easter Sunday, and the first mass ceremony was held on the shores of Limasawa under the leadership of Father Pedro Valderrama, the only surviving priest in Magallanes' expedition. Indigenous people, on the other hand, eagerly follow the foreign rituals they witness. After the simple mass, a wooden cross was erected on the hill on the island, attended by Padre Valderrama, Magallanes, Pigafetta and Raha Kolambu and Siagu. According to Pigafetta, they prayed Pater Noster (Our Father) and Ave Maria (Aba Ginoong Maria) simultaneously and repeatedly, and Raha Kolambu and Siagu also prayed together. It was in this event that the Christian religion was born in the Philippines, which will be part of our national consciousness and culture for future generations.
It was only in 1872 that the Spanish government recognized that the first mass in the country took place on the island of Limasawa, based on the support of Pigafetta's records in his journal. In fact, Republic Act no. 2733 on 19 June 1960, recognizing the island of Limasawa as the place where the first mass was celebrated. Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos even built a shrine on the top of the hill overlooking barangay Magallanes on the island, the Shrine of the First Holy Mass, in 1984 and spent millions of pesos. But over the years this belief has been challenged, when Filipino historian Sonia Zaide proposed that the site of the first mass in the Philippines took place not in Limasawa but in Butuan, in Agusan del Norte, also based on records by Pigafetta.
Conflicting historians also went through a lengthy debate asserting their arguments using the notes of Pigafetta and another traveler, Francisco Alvo, who in turn gave a more detailed description of the construction of the cross in Limasawa. According to Alvo, the three islands to the west and southwest can be seen from the hill, which corresponds to today's description of the southern part of Limasawa, unlike the Butuan side where only one island can be seen.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines has intervened on the issue and a few years later the NHCP formally declared last year that the first mass in the country took place in Limasawa. This is also in preparation for the quincentenary anniversary of the birth of Christianity in the country and the arrival of Magallanes in our country.
What is the significance of our study of history? Does it have an effect on our lives today? The truth is that there is. It is important to know the history of our past so that we can understand what will happen in the present. We can also learn the difference between then and now by comparing events. Take for example people, places and equipment or things. Back then, people did not know much about what was going on in the world. It's just like what the real shape of the world is, why are there events that are mysterious to them that are actually only natural. People back then gave meaning to the things that were happening around them.
Perhaps also out of their curiosity, they discover objects or equipment that help them to make their lives easier. It can also be considered an ancient technology. Just like today, people now know a lot when it comes to technology. Using computers, cellphones, or high -tech things. I guess all the work is now using technology. You used to just wa lk or ride animals used for transportation, but now there are vehicles. You can pay for its service, and if you are able or rich, you can buy your own.
They are just one of the importance of why we need to know history.
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