The Old Farmer’s Almanac for March 4: HOW MARDI GRAS STARTED: HARD WINTERS AND CHARITY

 

HOW MARDI GRAS STARTED: HARD WINTERS AND CHARITY

It’s hard to believe that Mardi Gras started with long hard winters and acts of charity. However, before it was a day for parties, Mardi Gras started out as a day to help the hungry and the poor.

Most people know Mardi Gras as the last extravagant day before Lent. Even the name, Mardi Gras, translates to Fat Tuesday suggesting the last feast of rich food before the self-denial some Christians observe before Easter. However, before it was a day for parties, Mardi Gras started out as hungry day near the end of winter, when people needed charity.

In the past, the last six weeks of winter could be very harsh and food supplies frequently ran short. In Medieval France, Mardi Gras became a traditional day when the poor were allowed to visit their wealthier neighbors and beg for food. In return, they would sing, dance and entertain their hosts. As traditions evolved, the beggars began to wear costumes, hiding their identities and salvaging their pride. They formed parades and a painful begging process evolved into a party.

Today, rural Louisiana has the costumed parades from house to house, as neighbors share food, drink and hospitality. These Courir de Mardi Gras usually end with gumbo and contests in a community center. In cities, it has evolved into more of a spectator sport with parades, parties and extravagant costumes. In memory of the older days of charity, necklaces and tokens are thrown to spectators.

Different versions of this celebration occur around the world, from Carnival in Europe to North and South America. Pity me, gentle reader, as I shovel snow this February and correspond with my student son in Brazil. I shiver in the cold, while he is wearing shorts and has a week off for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Called “The Greatest Show on Earth”, their carnivals combine European, African and Native American traditions to become citywide festivals, filled with samba, feasts and parades.

Yet behind all this glorious fun lies a simple truth: Winter was hard and people were kind. The parties of Mardi Gras celebrated charity and generosity.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Are you a weather watcher? Welcome to “Weather Whispers” by James Garriss and until recently, Evelyn Browning Garriss. With expertise and humor, this column covers everything weather—from weather forecasts to WHY extreme weather happens to ways that weather affects your life from farming to your grocery bill. Enjoy weather facts, folklore, and fun!

With heavy hearts, we share the news that historical climatologist and immensely entertaining Almanac contributor Evelyn Browning Garriss passed away in late June 2017. Evelyn shared her lifetime of weather knowledge with Almanac editors and readers, explaining weather phenomena in conversation and expounding on topics in articles for the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac as well as in these articles. We were honored to know and work with her as her time allowed, which is to say when she was not giving lectures to, writing articles for, and consulting with scientists, academia, investors, and government agencies around the world. She will be greatly missed by the Almanac staff and readers.

Old Farmer’s Almanac

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World War Two: North Africa (7-33) Allied Advance To Mateur

The 34th Division’s attack was expected to continue on a northeast-southwest axis against the westward bulge in the enemy’s line along the hills north of the Sidi Nsir-Chouigui road, and thus to bring under Allied control the heights of Hill 609. Hill 609’s upper contours rising from a much larger, less steeply slanting base, when seen from above, resemble a crude Indian arrowhead pointing toward the east. From tip to base, this arrowhead extends for more than 800 yards, while the distance from the northern to the southern barb approximates 500 yards. Deep notches, bounded by precipitous slopes, pierce the northern and southern sides. Its top is divided into two major areas, a fairly level table rising gradually from west to east in the triangular section between tip and barbs, and an irregular amphitheater falling off to the west, with a narrow level shelf above the white southwestern escarpment. That cliff because of its great height masks from the adjacent ground to the south and southwest the existence of the higher slopes on the western portion of the crest and gives the appearance of a substantial mesa resting on a massive ridge. Low vegetation, mostly bunch grass, growing among rocky outcrops over much of Hill 609, offered little concealment, while the rocky ground made digging in with infantry tools out of the question.

The triangular eastern section juts up from its base, while the western end rises gradually on the northwest and most steeply of the entire mass on the southwest. There a great palisade, looming brightly in the April sun high above the surrounding ground, was visible to the attacking forces for many miles. An unimproved road crosses the western part of the arrowhead to an Arab village which nestles at the base of the southern notch. Another track skirts the crest at the east, giving access to scattered olive orchards on the lower slopes. Hill 609 is no monadnock but its summit projects at least 200 feet above the crests of any neighboring hills, and it furnished excellent observation over much of the II Corps zone of attack. A British artillery observation post there in February had proved its value.

Hill 609 could be captured and retained only by driving the enemy from adjacent hills which controlled the approaches. Foxholes were blasted out with “bee-hive” explosive charges by American troops at many of the hills in this zone. A mountainous mass directly west of the main objective has two great shoulders, Hill 490 and Hill 435 (northwest of Hill 490). A second massif northwest of Hill 609, divided by a narrow defile from Hill 490, is known as Hill 461. Opposite the southeastern quarter of Hill 609 and northwest of the Sidi Nsir–Chouigui road is a wide hilly zone with two rows of crests or ridges. An observer on Hill 609 sweeping the horizon from south to east sees the crests designated on the map as Hills 529,531,455,523,545 and then 558. Almost parallel to these hills and between them and the Sidi Nsir-Chouigui road is a lower series of heights rising from a second ridge, of which the most prominent hills are 428 and 476.

The contours of these hills are usually rounded except at the northwest, where they are more sharply eroded, so that from Hill 609 this area looks somewhat like a rolling tableland extending back from a steep edge. From the southwest, even from observation points on the shoulders of hills within the American lines, observers could see the upper slopes only on some of these hills, leaving important details of the terrain near their bases to be ascertained by reconnaissance patrols.

The boundary between the 34th Infantry Division and the 1st Infantry Division cut across this area from the southwest to the northeast in such a way as to require mutual support between the units on either flank. The boundary sliced across the southeastern slopes of Hill 531, with the smaller part of that mile-long ridge inside General Allen’s area, and the rest reaching its highest point at 531 in the attack zone of the 34th Infantry Division. The 16th Infantry could best approach the southeastern portion of Hill 531 by passing through the saddle of Kef el Guebli (529). The regiment could not continue to other assigned objectives to the east and northeast without being subjected to flanking fire from Hill 531. The 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, could attack Hill 531 only over ground already being occupied by elements of the 16th Infantry.

A battalion commander of the 135th Infantry on occasion directed American artillery fire on an enemy target in the 16th Infantry’s area. Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Miller, commander of the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, was mindful of the disastrous consequences which a failure of co-ordination could cause because of his own recent experience on the left flank at Fondouk el Aouareb near Djebel Ain el Rhorab, and he took the initiative in arranging a telephone connection with the command post of the adjacent unit of the 16th Infantry. Regimental liaison was also established. The difficulties of co-ordinated operations in such a complex area severely strained the possible arrangements.

The Attack Opens

Hill 609 was wholly in the 34th Infantry Division’s zone. The strength and the determination with which the enemy would defend his possession of that dominating height, and the nature of the interlocking defense of its satellite hills, were discovered during the first stage of the operations to seize it. General Ryder’s initial plan of attack assigned the task of taking the hill to the 135th Infantry (Colonel Ward), which gained control on 26 April of lightly held heights, but discovered almost at once that a direct approach to Hill 609 from the southwest would be strongly resisted from Hill 490 (to the west ), Hill 531 (to the south), and from Hill 609 itself. The Americans did not then know that the relatively small forces on these hills would be able to hold them back. General Ryder, after being advised that Hill 609 itself might be “bypassed,” approved Colonel Ward’s plan to send one battalion against Hill 490 and a second battalion to occupy the part of HilI 529 in the division zone and then continue to Hill 531.

Neither of these two attacks on the night of 26-27 April was successful. The two battalions gained footholds, but failed to reach their objectives. Hill 490 was won on 28 April only after an additional battalion had been committed and a series of enemy counterattacks had been repulsed. Control over the upper slopes of this large hill mass west of Hill 609 was extended northwest-ward onto the Hill 435 shoulder. The 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, discovered at the same time at Hills 529 and 531 what the 16th Infantry had already ascertained that American troops could send patrols or small attacking forces without being resisted, but any substantial movement was likely to be observed from one of the heights in enemy possession and to receive prepared artillery fires. Although an attacking force might work its way up a southwestern slope and reach the bare top, once there, it would be pinned down by heavy machine gun fire from a neighboring hill and subjected to severe casualties by enemy artillery air bursts.

The enemy used a reverse slope defense, firing his automatic weapons in quick bursts, then ducking for cover, and dropping high trajectory fire into draws and gulches through which attacking troops could be expected to move. ‘Many such areas were mined. Whenever American troops gained a summit and survived the subsequent enemy fire, they could expect counterattacks before they had organized a defense unless they were extraordinarily quick about it. At Hill 529, the enemy had been temporarily driven off the top before noon, 27 April, but Hill 531, the next objective, seemed unattainable a day later, because of the fire which he could place on the hill from various quarters. Furthermore, the enemy was able to deliver flanking fire from Hill 531 both eastward upon the 16th Infantry during its operations toward Hill 523 and northwestward over the open area between Hill 490 and Hill 609.

Hill 531 seemed on the map much like any other hill, but for a time, the course of the battle implied that it was the key to the 18th Division’s seizure of Hills 523 and 545, northeast of it, and to any success against Hill 609, still the main objective of the 34th Division, from the south. On April, General Anderson proposed to General Bradley that Hill 609 be bypassed, but was persuaded that such a move would not be good tactics.

First Failure and Broadened Plans

The inability of General Ryder’s division to seize Hill 609 on 28 April in turn frustrated the 1st Infantry Division’s costly attempts on that day to press northeastward as far as Hills 523 and 545, which masked the enemy’s line of supply and principal route of reinforcement. General Allen then at 1400 ordered all units under his command to hold up offensive movement pending the capture of Hill 609 by the 34th Division. General Ryder next planned to take Hill 609 early on 29 April by envelopment from the north, west, and south. Three interrelated attacks would be made by the three battalions of the 135th Infantry. The 3rd Battalion had captured Hill 490 the day before. It was now to advance from this hill behind a rolling barrage to make a holding attack against the southwestern section of Hill 609 while the 2nd Battalion gained Hill 461 and swung southeast, and while the 1st Battalion took Hill 531 and attacked northward. Defense of Hill 490 (and Hill 435) was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 133rd Infantry, attached to the 135th Infantry. These moves were made in the hope that if all three battalions in the assault were to strike Hill 609 simultaneously, the defenders might be taken off balance by at least one of them.

The plan could not be executed on 29 April. The enemy held positions in the draw between Hill 435 and Hill 461 from which enfilading fire struck the western flank of the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, already much weakened by the bitter fighting of the previous day, and pinned it down short of Hill 461. The northern envelopment was thus checked before it was fairly in progress.

On the other flank, the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, could not get a firm hold at any point on Hill 531, and withdrew at nightfall, as it had on the two preceding days, toward Hill 529 (Kef el Guebli). Major Garnet Hall’s 3rd Battalion, 135th Infantry, made its attack from the base of Hill 490 toward the southwestern quarter of Hill 609 and got across the intervening ground behind a rolling barrage as far as the base of the objective.

When the barrage was lifted, however, the enemy counterattacked and forced the Americans back a quarter of a mile. There they reorganized amid rocky outcrops along a low rise and started a second attack with renewed artillery support. This advance brought the troops part way up the hills to the shelf, where many sought cover from alert enemy riflemen and machine gunners among the buildings of the Arab village, and thus passed out of control of the battalion commander. At that stage, darkness fell. The enemy was still in full possession of Hill 609. The attack by II Corps in the south had reached a critical point after the failure on 29 April. Casualties included 183 killed, 1,594 wounded, and 676 captured or missing. [Half of the wounded (781) had been evacuated. Strength remained 95,194. II Corps Weekly Rpt, 30 Apr 43, copy in II Corps G-4 Jnl.]

General Allen’s battered units were obliged to operate at an enormous disadvantage. The 16th Infantry had been severely punished trying to reach Hill 523. The 26th Infantry, fighting to occupy Djebel el Anz (289), drew flanking fire from Hills 523 and 545 northwest of it. To attack and hold Hills 523 and 545 before the enemy had been driven off Hill 609 was certain to be costly and likely to prove impossible. Those heights, although not so close to Hill 609, were as exposed to fire as Hill 531. Yet General Allen was not disposed to accept a plan in which his own command had to wait for another to discharge its part of the burden of attack.

He reasoned that if in addition to Hills 523 and 545, he took another height, Hill 558 (Djebel el Facuar), about 4,000 yards east-northeast of Hill 609, he might thereby enclose Hill 609 in a pocket from which the enemy would feel compelled to withdraw before it became too late. Although the enemy had lost only 408 prisoners, he was weakening, for his troops had been under incessant pressure by substantially greater forces. Furthermore, his reinforcements and supplies were brought in under American observation and fire and his rations and ammunition were running critically low. There were other signs that the enemy was resorting to improvisation and persisting under severe strain. In the whole operation from Hill 609 to the Tine river valley, therefore, it was perhaps better to keep pushing everywhere rather than to concentrate on some key objective as a method of winning the battle.

It was possible, moreover, that if the enemy failed in his efforts to defend the Hill 609 complex the effort would leave him so depleted that he would be unable to hold firmly the area farther to the northeast. An attempt to capture an obstacle to American advance was thus at the same time a major opportunity for the destruction of the enemy’s fighting power.

During the afternoon of 29 April, General Ryder planned an attack with tanks for execution that night and early next day. With one company of medium tanks and a fresh battalion of infantry (the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry) attached to Colonel Ward’s command, that force, jumping off from a point 800 yards east-southeast of Hill 490, was to make a predawn assault with the objective of gaining a foothold on the northwestern slopes of Hill 609 for subsequent infantry exploitation. The tank unit, Company I, 1st Armored Regiment (Captain Robert D. Gwin), made its own reconnaissance before darkness and devised its own tactical plan, which was co-ordinated with others and approved by General Ryder at one of his daily command conferences within sight of the area to be attacked.

At the same time, General Allen ordered an attack during the night by the 16th Infantry to seize Hill 523. Hill 523 could not be held unless the enemy was also driven from Hill 545, the next crest to the east on the same major ridge. Colonel Taylor therefore worked out a plan for the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry (Lieutenant Colonel Charles J. Denholm), to cross the open area south of Hill 523 in darkness and seize its crest before daylight, while the 3rd Battalion would clear the southern sector of Hill 531 by pushing north toward the reverse slope where the enemy had dug his positions. The 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, was to hold itself in readiness to attack Hill 545 at the earliest opportunity.10 These two major attacks on 29-30 April would be conducted while the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, returned to the offensive for the third day in the attempt to clear the northwestern slopes of Hill 531, and while at Djebel el Anz the 26th Infantry improved its positions on the western approach in the of the enemy’s apparent intention to challenge that hold by strong counterattack.

Successful General Attack, 30 April-l May

On 30 April American troops reached the summit of Hills 609, 531, and 523 and began to defend these gains against determined enemy countermeasures. As expected, some of these hills proved more costly than others. The early morning attack to reach the northwestern slopes of Hill 609 by Lt. Colonel Carley L. Marshall’s 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, and Captain Gwin’s Company I, 1st Armored Regiment, was a success. Not only did these units push through, but on their left, the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, was able to renew its advance onto Hill 461, and captured it. From there the battalion farmed out to the southeast and by 1100 made contact with Colonel Marshall’s battalion. Elements of the latter, which had “grabbed and held onto the tails of the tanks, cleaned out enemy gun positions.” The German defenders knocked out four of the tanks (two of which were recoverable), but the remainder were ready to roll back over the saddle between Hill 490 and Hill 609 in order to mop up.

Colonel Miller’s battalion by then was heavily engaged in what proved to be the final attack on Hill 531. Since the small hours of the day the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, had made repeated efforts to reach the summit but had failed. The troops had beaten off a series of German counterattacks by making excellent use of well-directed artillery fires. But in their own attempt to seize Hill 531 they were at a distinct disadvantage owing to the failure of the 16th Infantry to maintain its hold on Hill 523. The right flank of Colonel Miller’s battalion was thus dangerously exposed.

At about 1530 Miller’s battalion renewed its attack from the slopes of Hill 529 with the mission of capturing Hill 531 and pushing beyond to Hill 455. Covered by an artillery preparation, including smoke, and by mortar and overhead machine gun fire from Hill 529, Company A, 135th Infantry, worked up the northwestern bulge of Hill 531 while Company C fought its way up the southern slopes. At some points, particularly in the center between these two enveloping companies, the hillside rose in steep escarpments and cliffs, which made these attacks up the two flanks necessary. The enemy pressure on Company A’s left flank from Hill 609 was greatly diminished by the simultaneous operations against that hill, and the 3rd Battalion, 135th Infantry, near the Arab village, assisted the 1st Battalion at Hill 531 by firing on the enemy’s reverse slope positions and checking his repeated attempts at reinforcement.

The Germans supplemented other weapons by tying together bundles of “potato masher” grenades and dropping them on the attacking troops from higher crags. When Company C was stopped just short of the top by German rifle and machine gun fire, the heavy weapons platoon, from a rocky shelf, knocked out some of the enemy’s fire power by mortar shells and made possible a renewed advance. Company A left its weapons platoon in position on Kef el Guebli (Hill 529) and used most of one platoon as ammunition carriers. Late in the day, the light machine gun squad and a detail heavily loaded with hand grenades crossed from Hill 529 to Hill 531 and climbed to the crest, where the attack was thereupon renewed. By nightfall, 30 April, Hill 531 was “owned” by Colonel Miller’s battalion. But Hill 455 stilI seemed out of reach and the gap between the battalion and its left neighbor, the 3rd Battalion, 135th Infantry, was yet to be closed. The simultaneous operations against Hill 609 had prevented the enemy from subjecting the top of Hill 531 to the sort of fire with which the arrival of the Americans might previously have been greeted.

Hill 523 cost the 1st Infantry Division a heavy price. The hill was taken by the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, in a night attack (29-30 April) against light resistance. The approach due north by compass through open fields of short wheat brought the battalion to the base of its objective undiscovered, and it reached the crest in a swift climb under fire, culminating in an assault with hand grenades and knives. By 0445, it had seized the hill. Colonel Denholm’s misgivings, which Colonel Taylor had shared, applied to the difficulty which could be expected not in taking, but in holding, the hill. The line of communications would be under enemy fire. The southern slopes of Hill 523 could be observed and struck from Hill 609 to the west and from lower, intermediate knolls in the area of the German stronghold around Hill 455. On the rocky summit of Hill 523, Denholm’s men erected parapets for a perimeter defense. Foxholes were out of the question.

An attempt to extend control along the heights to the crest of Hill 545 (northeast of Hill 523) was stopped by an unexpected, deep earthquake fault between two parts of the ridge with a gap too wide to jump and sides too sheer and high to climb. Daylight was certain to bring enemy countermeasures which might cut off the battalion. The expected reaction came at dawn in the form of light fire from the southeast and south, and heavy fire from southwest and west. In shelling from the southwest the Germans employed in particular one captured American self-propelled gun or tank destroyer, and several of their own antitank guns for effective direct fire. All wire lines were broken and all rad105 were shot out so that by midmorning the battalion lost communication with the rear except by courier.

During this preparation fire, the enemy organized a counterattack. He swung around the shoulder of the hill from the southwest and simultaneously attacked from the northeast, encircled the men on the hill, and killed or captured them in a wild melee on the summit. The commander and about 150 men were eventually taken prisoner. The rest were killed.

As soon as he learned that the situation on Hill 523 was critical, General Allen tried to relieve it by sending a company of medium tanks (Company H, 1st Armored Regiment, commanded by Captain Herbert F. Hillenmeyer), which had been attached to his command. At about the same time, Company I, 1st Armored Regiment, was beginning to work along the southern slopes of Hill 609 from west to east. A combination of enemy mine fields, antitank gun fire, and air attacks and the absence of arrangements for co-ordinated tank-infantry-artillery operations soon frustrated this attempt by Captain Gwin’s company and forced Captain Hillenmeyer’s company to be redirected to Hill 523 over a longer, slower route. In the interval, other measures to support Colonel Denholm were tried without success. The tanks arrived at approximately 1645. Despite the quick loss of four vehicles to antitank guns, the tank unit then supported a successful small attack to drive the enemy off, but the battalion had been lost. For lack of troops, neither Colonel Taylor nor the enemy could reoccupy the hill in strength.

By midafternoon on 30 April the fall of Hill 609, after four days of fighting, seemed imminent. The troops of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, which had attacked with the tanks, had built up a coordinated defense of the sector to the northwest of Hill 609, tying in with the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, on Hill 461. The 3rd Battalion, which had spent the night in isolation in the area of the Arab village, sent a patrol around the western slopes of Hill 609. At long last these men got to the summit and established an observation post. B The Americans had driven the enemy from Hill 609, but their ability to hold it was to be tested by a series of counterattacks during the following night and on 1 May.

During the afternoon of 30 April, the 2nd Battalion, 168th Infantry (Lieutenant Colonel Edward W. Bird), was attached to Colonel Ward’s command for the last phase of operations against Hill 609. The battalion moved forward to an assembly area north of the Sidi Nsir road about 2,000 yards southwest of Hill 609. Colonel Bird’s battalion was directed to advance toward the saddle between Hill 609 and Hill 531, clearing it of the enemy and, by attacking around the eastern and northeastern base of Hill 609, to establish contact with the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry on its left, while on its right it was to tie in with the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry on Hill 531. This night assault was ordered for 2300. As the battalion moved toward the saddle and the base of Hill 609 the troops caught by surprise a platoon of enemy infantry trying to infiltrate up the western slopes of Hill 609 behind the lines of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry. Before dawn, the Germans sent about a company from Hill 455 to reinforce this advance group. Company F, 168th Infantry, nearest Hill 609, intercepted this attempt to regain the lost position and drove the enemy off with substantial losses. Meanwhile the 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, had continued its attack in the area of Hill 531 and, after securing the long-contested stronghold, finally closed the gap between it and Hill 609 by also seizing the area of Hill 455 in the afternoon of 1 May.

These operations completed the American ring around Hill 609. German countermeasures on 1 May were ineffective and un-coordinated. The enemy undertook a number of desperate efforts to restore his positions, but his movements were now subject to the superb American observation from the very heights which had previously served the German defenders so well. Heavy concentrations from the combined artillery of the 34th and 1st Divisions broke up every enemy attempt to assemble his forces for counterattack. A final German effort at dusk ended in failure. By the end of 1 May, the enemy had failed to make a dent in the newly won positions of the American troops.

Approaching “The Mousetrap

Elsewhere in the area under attack in the southern part of the II Corps zone, the enemy was forced off critical heights, the most noteworthy of which was Djebel el Anz, just north of the Sidi Nsir-Chouigui road. The enemy’s efforts to retake it reached a climax on 30 April in five unsuccessful counterattacks supported by a last flicker of Stuka attacks and effective fire from 88’s. In the possession of the 26th Infantry, Djebel el Anz offered an advantageous position from which to su pport the 18th Infantry’s attack on Djebel Badjar (278), the hill about one mile to the southeast on the opposite side of the road, which guarded the northern side of the narrow Mousetrap exit from the upper Tine valley.

The operations on the southern side of the Tine valley were geared to the advance of the British 5 Corps farther south, and to the progress of the two infantry divisions fighting between the valley and the area of Hill 609. The tank units of the U.S. 1st Armored Division awaited the signal from General Bradley to emerge from The Mousetrap onto the broader plain near Mateur for the rapid exploitation of success by the infantry in the mountains. When the signal came, Combat Command B would be ready to go. By 1 May, the time seemed very near. Meanwhile, the 6th Armored Infantry, with the 27th, 68th, and 91st Armored Field Artillery Battalions, and reconnaissance troops, fought among a series of shoulders protruding into the Tine valley from Djebel Lanserine (569). Advance was difficult indeed and correspondingly slow, despite determined and often heroic efforts. On 28 April, Company A, 6th Armored Infantry, was held up by enemy machine gunners until Private Nicholas Minue alone boldly crept behind them and cleared them out by bayonet. He persisted against other enemy positions until he was mortally wounded. [NOTE: ( I) 26th Inf AAR, 14 Apr-9 May 43. (2) 26th Inf Jnl, 30 Apr 43. Casualties: four killed, twenty-nine wounded. (3) 1st Di,’ G3 Jnl, Entrit’s 18 and 20, 30 Apr 43.”For this heroic exploit, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Howe, Battle History of the 1st Armored Division, pp.232-33.]

A seesaw struggle in these hills had settled into a deadlock by 1 May. Company D, 16th Armored Engineer Battalion, meanwhile lifted mines from two routes along the banks of the stream and prepared roadbeds toward the narrows for the armored vehicles. The enemy faced the choice of fighting at a growing disadvantage back through the last narrow segment of hills or of pulling back to a shorter line closer to Bizerte and the hills east of the Tine. His decision was affected by the progress of the 9th Infantry Division’s attack in the northern part of the II Corps zone.

The Enemy Is Forced To Withdraw, 1-3 May

The 9th Infantry Division’s attack was conducted, as already noted, according to a revised plan, beginning on the night of 26-27 April. The 60th Infantry then sent its northern elements along the north side of the Sedjenane river toward Djebel Touro ( 499 ) , converging on the path of advance of the Corps Franc d’ Afrique, while its center and right pushed more nearly eastward toward Kef en Nsour (523) . Thus the northern envelopment of the Djefna position devolved upon the 39th Infantry alone rather than upon both regiments. The 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, after four days of assiduous effort under recurrent strong enemy artillery fire, gained possession of Hill 382, three miles east of Djebel Ainchouna, at daylight on 30 April, and started toward its next objective only to be pinned down by accurate shelling, obviously directed by some hidden enemy observer. The locations of the firing batteries were established by American observation and confirmed by enemy prisoners, but they were out of range of the supporting American artillery. The mission of neutralizing these batteries was passed to tactical air support, which was unable to find the one which caused most damage.

While the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, was thus held back, the other two battalions moved from Djebel Ainchouna by trails northeast of it toward a long Hill 406 (Djebel Nechat el Maza) and a smaller, lower mound, Hill 299, south of its eastern extremity. The 1st Battalion took Hill 406 during the forenoon, organized it, and after 1400 supported the attack of the 3rd Battalion on Hill 299. By nightfall, Hill 299 was also occupied. It had been possible from Hill 406 to observe enemy vehicles and a supply dump south of Hill 299, and to bring artillery fire upon the area about an hour after the 3rd Battalion’s attack on Hill 299 began. Possession of that hill, which had a very steep southeastern slope rising from a small plain, made possible domination of the enemy’s supply lines. It was a further menace to the enemy as a base from which the Americans could thrust less than three miles eastward onto the open Mateur plain or southeastward to cut the Sedjenane-Mateur highway in the rear of Djefna position.

Plans for a one battalion attack by the 47th Infantry on Green Hill in conjunction with the 39th Infantry’s next spurt were ready when the 9th Infantry Division, on corps orders, suspended offensive movement on 1 May.The 60th Infantry struggled northeastward across country along the Sedjenane river, through dense underbrush, with the benefit of few trails or roads, but overcoming the drastic supply difficulties. The attacking forces suffered to such a degree from the enemy’s use of the observation points on Kef en Nsour (523) that occupation of that height finally seemed imperative. The 3rd Battalion approached Kef en Nsour on 30 April, while the remainder of the regiment held strong positions on and near the Djebel Guermach (490), southwest of it.

On 1 May, therefore, the Allies threatened to cut the enemy off from both Bizerte and Mateur. He was obliged to move speedily from the Djefna position. A retirement on Mateur along the Sedjenane road also necessitated a withdrawal from the hills adjacent to the Sidi Nsir road, in the area surmounted by Hill 609, if the forces there were not to be attacked from the flank and rear. The enemy facing the II Corps thus simultaneously found all his positions west and southwest of Mateur untenable. His forces had become insufficient to close the gaps in his line. The supply situation had become acute. The lack of artillery ammunition was such that at some points in the 9th Infantry Division zone, as early as 29 April, about 90 percent of the enemy’s shells which fell failed to detonate either because of defective fuses or other imperfections. On 1 May, only four Siebel ferries and two small craft from Italy reached Tunisian ports, discharging 90 tons of fuel and 60 tons of ammunition. It was a hand-to-mouth situation, with a partly filled hand at that. In the circumstances, the high command chose to pull back the Fifth Panzer Army’s line in the sectors of the Division von Manteuffel and 334th Infantry Division, anchoring the northern end in the prepared defenses between the Garaet Ichkeul and the sea, and swinging down the eastern side of the Tine river to Djebel Lanserine.

By 1 May, the Allies estimated that the enemy, far from evacuating the Tunisian bridgehead, would be resolute in defending it, so that they would have to force him back into separate bridgeheads around Bizerte, Tunis, and Cap Bon, or drive him out altogether. Previous expenditure of enemy reserves was believed to have reduced him to shifting units from point to point to meet Allied threats, but not yet to last-ditch perimeter defense of smaller, isolated areas.

The enemy skillfully and quietly withdrew on the nights of 1-2 and 2-3 May. The scope of this retirement was suspected on 2 May and confirmed next day. From Hill 609, a large fire was visible in Mateur. Elsewhere, explosions and fires indicated the demolition of bridges and destruction of materiel. The northern elements of Division von Manteuffel pulled back more slowly for lack of vehicles rather than as the result of more determined opposition. The U.S. 9th Infantry Division diverted the 47th Infantry from the Djefna position to the area northwest of Garaet Ichkeul and sent the 39th Infantry to high ground west of it.

The Fall of Mateur, 3 May

Mateur fell on 3 May with dramatic suddenness to the 1st Armored Division, which was finally released after being held for a week on leash. Armored detachments from the division where feasible had assisted from the start in offensive operations with infantry, and had stood in corps reserve ready for a short time to meet an enemy counterattack near Sidi Nsir which was never delivered. They had tipped the scales with the reinforced 135th Infantry in the battle for Hill 609. The 1st Armored Division’s zone of attack, in which Combat Command A ( Colonel Lambert) had directed operations, had been narrow, and all operations there had been subsidiary. Now the division was to advance out of the upper Tine valley by two cleared routes and, turning northward, to seize Mateur. This operation would not be the classical role of the armored division, exploiting a break-through into the enemy’s rear, for the enemy had already pulled back. The maneuver would instead be a rapid pursuit. General Hannon had earlier assigned the mission to Combat Command B under General Robinett. [NOTE: The 1st Armored Division reported 52 light and 154 M4 medium tanks operational at noon, 3 May 1943. See Msg, 3 May 43, Entry 100, in II Corps G-3 Jnl.]

The road from the mouth of the upper Tine valley to Mateur runs almost due northward across a series of broad terraces by which the mountainous area of the recent fighting recedes to the plain adjacent to Mateur. The Tine river sweeps farther to the east around the tips of these contours before flowing northeastward toward Mateur. The base of the western hilly area, extending along a northwest-southeast line, forms one boundary of a triangular area of open undulating plain. Across the northern edge of the plain is the Garaet Ichkeul and a dome-like, sentinel height, Djebel Ichkeul (508). The eastern border is marked by another area of rounded hills which extends from the southeastern corner of the Garaet Ichkeul to Chouigui pass and Eddekhila. In addition to Chouigui pass, which had been the scene of the first American armored action against German tanks in World War II, these mountains are crossed by a broader trough which connects the Mateur plain with the Garaet el Mabtouha, ten miles east of it. Through this valley run the main highway and railroad linking Tunis and Mateur. Roads connect Mateur with Bizerte by way of either the western or eastern rim of the Garaet Ichkeul. The latter route passes through a very restricted gap at the southeastern corner of Garaet Ichkeul, and continues northward over the narrow strip of land which separates it from the Lac de Bizerte.

In approaching Mateur from the mouth of the upper Tine valley, Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division, crossed the west-east road from Sidi Nsir to Chouigui northeast of Djebel Badjar. Along this road advance elements of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division emerged from the hills eastward bound at the same time that the armored force was heading northward. Enemy long-range artillery fire was falling close to the junction, where traffic congestion seemed likely to furnish a juicy target. Alert adjustment enabled the two long columns to cross each other without delay, by sending the vehiclesof one through the intervals in the other. The 81st Reconnaissance Battalion arrived at the edge of Mateur at approximately 1100, with the main armored force rolling up in the early afternoon.

The enemy was demolishing the eastern entrance to Mateur as the Americans arrived from the south and west. A few German and Italian prisoners were taken near Mateur but most of the enemy had disappeared in the direction of Ferryville or into the hills south of Lac de Bizerte. Elements of Combat Command B forded the stream east of Mateur to mop up the town while others reconnoitered to the northwest and northeast. General Harmon sent forward the bridge train of the 16th Armored Engineers, and by 2130, that unit had the first of five crossings in operation despite constant artillery shelling, which continued for the next two days, supplemented by air attacks. Combat Command A began its preparations to move up next day. General Harmon’s command post was set up about eight miles southwest of Mateur, and from it he issued orders to reconnoiter on 4 May north and east of Mateur. The 9th Infantry Division in the vicinity of Djebel Ichkeul, the 1st Infantry Division along the Tine river southeast of Mateur, and the 34th Infantry Division along the road to Chouigui and the fiats adjacent to Garaet Ichkeul and pass and Eddekhila, also re-established con tact with the enemy.

The U.S. 3d Infantry Division (less 7th Regimental Combat Team), commanded by General Truscott, was brought eastward as far as Ain Mililla, about thirty miles of Constantine, to pass from U.S. Fifth Army to British First Army reserve. From 3 May on, its units came under General Anderson’s control in the Rhardimaou-Souk el Arba area, not necessarily to be committed in the II Corps area, but to be available where most needed. For the infantry, the prospect was another series of attacks in the hills. The armored division Mateur had the valley toward Garaet el Mabtouha and the flats adjacent Garaet Ichkeul and Lac de Bizerte on which to operate, but the adjacent heights in enemy possession undoubtedly held strong antitank positions which would make themselves felt when, after reconnaissance, II Corps resumed its attack.

SOURCE: Northwest Africa: Seizing The Initiative In The West; by George F. Howe (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: North Africa (7-34) End in Tunisia: Plans To Take Tunis

World War Two: North Africa (7-32) Allied Attack Begins-Tunisia

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 4: WHEN IS MARDI GRAS 2019?

 

WHEN IS MARDI GRAS 2019?

LEARN THE HISTORY BEHIND THIS TRADITIONAL FEAST DAY

When is Mardi Gras 2019? Why is this day—also called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday—celebrated? Read what The Old Farmer’s Almanac has to say about this festive holiday.

I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
– Mark Twain, American writer (1835–1910)

WHEN IS MARDI GRAS?

Mardi Gras takes place

Year Mardi Gras
2019 Tuesday, March 5
2020 Tuesday, February 25
2021 Tuesday, February 16

WHAT IS MARDI GRAS OR SHROVE TUESDAY?

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and is the final feasting day before the Christian season of Lent, which begins on the day after Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday.

Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of “shriving”—purifying oneself through confession—prior to Lent.

For many Christians, Shrove Tuesday is a time to receive penance and absolution. It is the last day to finish up the eggs, milk, and fat that are forbidden during the 40-day Lenten fast, which begins the next day (Ash Wednesday) and ends on Holy Thursday (three days before Easter Sunday).

In England, where the event is also known as Pancake Tuesday, festivities include flapjack-related activities. The pancake race held by women in Olney, Buckinghamshire, dates back to 1445. Legend says that the idea started when a woman cooking pancakes lost track of the time. When she heard the church bells ring, she rushed out the door to attend the shriving service while still wearing her apron and holding a skillet containing a pancake.

Serve up some Shrove Tuesday Pancakes to celebrate—or choose from any of our favorite homemade pancake recipes!

In 1950, Liberal, Kansas, having seen photos of the English pancake race, challenged Olney to a competition: The International Pancake Day Race has been held annually ever since. The two towns run their own race, after which the scores are compared and the international champion announced. Each contestant, wearing a head scarf and apron, holds a pancake in a skillet while running a 415-yard course. She must flip the pancake at the beginning and end of the race, without dropping it.

Other cultures also cook up rich treats and fried foods, which was traditionally based on using up all the butter, flour, and fat in the house.

  • Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Tuesday is called Fastnacht (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fastnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle.
  • In Louisiana, the favorite treat is the beignet, a pillowy fried dough concoction.
  • In Polish communities, the Tuesday is called “Paczki Day,” after the puffy jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally enjoyed.

In countries with large Roman Catholic populations, Mardi Gras is also a day of revelry with festivals, parades, masked balls, and lavish dinners. In the United States, New Orleans is the most known for its Mardi Gras celebrations with marching bands, decorated floats, colorful costumes and masks, lots of beads, and King Cake.

LEARN MORE

Discover more about the history and traditions of this holiday on the City of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Website.

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 

 

 

 

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 4: ALL ABOUT THE MONTH OF MARCH

 

ALL ABOUT THE MONTH OF MARCH

March brings with it the promise of gardening and warm(er), sunny days, as Earth turns its frostbitten cheek to winter and springs forth from the vernal equinox. Read about this month’s holidays, happenings, seasonal recipes, gardening tips, Moon phases, folklore, and much more!

The brown buds thicken on the trees,
Unbound, the free streams sing,
As March leads forth across the leas
The wild and windy spring.

–Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)

MARCH CALENDAR

The month of March was named for the Roman god of war, Mars. Traditionally, this was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter.

  • March 5: Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) or Shrove Tuesday.
  • March 8: International Women’s Day.
  • March 10: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 A.M. Don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour!
  • March 15: The Ides of March. Legend surrounds this ill-fated day. Beware the Ides of March!
  • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. Read more about St. Patrick’s Day.
  • March 20: The vernal equinox, also called the Spring Equinox, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs on Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. On this day, the Sun rises due east and sets due west. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks the autumnal equinox.
  • The Borrowing Days: According to lore, the last three days of March have a reputation for being stormy.
  • Easter Sunday: This year, Easter Sunday will occur on April 21, culminating the Holy Week for Christian churches and commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Read more about Easter Sunday and why the date changes every year.

“Just for Fun” Days

Did you know that March is National Umbrella Month? Here are some more wacky things to celebrate this month:

  • March 3: What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day
  • March 9: International Fanny Pack Day
  • March 13: National Ear Muff Day
  • March 16: National Panda Day
  • March 21: Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
  • March 23: World Meteorological Day
  • March 31: World Backup Day

March Quiz

The March equinox occurs on March 20 at 5:58 P.M. EDT this year, ushering in the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere. At this time, the Sun’s position will be at which of the following coordinates on the celestial sphere?

A. 0 hour right ascension, 0° declination.
B. 6 hours right ascension, 23.5° North declination.
C. 12 hours right ascension, 0° declination
D. 18 hours right ascension, 23.5° South declination

.

.

Answer: A. B describes the Sun’s position during the June (summer) solstice; C, during the September (fall) equinox; and D, during the December (winter) solstice.

Photo Credit: Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock

GARDENING

  • Planning a vegetable garden? We’ve done all the research for you—from how far to space plants to seeding dates to best crops to plant together.
  • Wondering when to plant what? Check out our free location-based Planting Calender to see when to start seeds and transplant in your area.
  • Just getting started with gardening? Check out our Vegetable Gardening for Beginners Guide, as well as our numerous veggie, fruit, flower, and herb Growing Guides for more advice.

RECIPES FOR THE SEASON

  • In celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, try making some traditional Irish food—from Irish Soda Bread to Corned Beef and Cabbage.
  • March is the start of spring! Enjoy this delicious Spring Risotto recipe, as well as this recipe for Cream of Fiddleheads Soup.
  • See our Spring Recipes collection for more delicious recipes using the season’s best ingredients.
  • Now is the time for making maple sugar.

EVERYDAY ADVICE

  • According to folklore, wear a sprig of rosemary in your hair to improve your memory!
  • March brings rain and mud! Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.

BIRDS & FISHING

According to Henry David Thoreau, the call of a bluebird is a song that “melts the ear, as the snow.”

Check birdhouses for damage and give them a spring cleaning before tenants arrive for the season.

Spring means fishing!

FOLKLORE FOR THE SEASON

  • A wet spring, a dry harvest.
  • On St. Patrick’s Day, the warm side of a stone turns up, and the broad-back goose begins to lay. 
  • March comes in with adders’ heads and goes out with peacocks’ tails.
  • Thunder in spring, Cold will bring.
  • So many mists in March you see, So many frosts in May will be.
  • In beginning or in end, March its gifts will send.
  • Bleak winds assault us all around;
    Dances aloft, or skims the ground:
    See the school-boy—his hat in hand,
    While on the path he scarce can stand

March’s birth flower is the daffodil or jonquil. The daffodil signifies regard or unrequited love. The jonquil means “I desire a return of affection.”

March’s birthstone is the aquamarine. This gem is a type of beryl; its color can be pale to dark blue, greenish-blue, or blue-green; deep, intense blue versions are more valuable.

March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (February 20 to March 20) and Aries (March 21 to April 20).

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Holidays Around The World for March 4: Holidays Around The World

Eight-Hour Day (Western Australia)

Each of Australia’s states celebrates the improvements that have been made in working conditions with its own Labor Day. The Eight-Hour Day holiday is marked with parades and celebrations to commemorate trade union efforts to limit working hours. In many places, people still chant the unions’ slogan: “Eight hours’ labor, eight hours’ recreation, and eight hours’ rest!,” which, by happenstance, is the basis of St. Benedict’s Rule of Life for religious orders.

In Queensland Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in May; in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia it’s the first Monday in October; in Western Australia it’s the first Monday in March; and in Tasmania and Victoria it’s the second Monday in March. In New Zealand, Labour Day is observed on the first Monday in October.

 

CONTACTS:
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
P.O. Box 5364
Wellington, New Zealand
64-4-471-4027; fax: 61-4-499-4490
http://www.nzhistory.net.nz
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, pp. 54, 91, 180
BkHolWrld-1986, Mar 5
DictDays-1988, pp. 36, 65

This Day in History for March 4: Chicago Is Incorporated as a City (1837)

Chicago Is Incorporated as a City (1837)

On March 4, 1837, the Illinois state legislature enacted a city charter for Chicago.

At the time, Chicago was a different place than we would recognize today. The population was over 4,000, according to the 1840 federal census.

Read how Chicago evolved from a seasonal hunting ground for local Native American tribes to a thriving, modern city in City of the Century by Donald Miller. To explore the city’s history further, visit the Encyclopedia of Chicago online. If you like old maps, view this 1836 map of Chicago, printed a year before incorporation.

This summer, Chicago is the host city for the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference.

— Elisa Babel, Adult Librarian
Published on DC Public Library

Inspiration for the Day for March 4: Finding Our Life’s Work

 

 

 

Finding Our Life’s Work

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Your most important work in this lifetime may not be your job – it’s a conviction within your soul, recognizable if you allow it to shine.

Sometimes it takes us the better part of a lifetime to discover our life’s work, even though we may have been doing it our whole lives without necessarily realizing it. Our life’s work is not always what we do to make money, although we often think it should be, and sometimes this way of thinking prevents us from seeing clearly what it is. It may be the work of having children, caring for them, and running a household. The way we know our life’s work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

When we are doing our life’s work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn’t mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self. When we are engaged in our life’s work, our bodies feel more alive, because our energy is devoted to a cause that, in turn, feeds us. We may be tired after engaging in our life’s work, but we are almost never depleted. We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.

When we are deeply unhappy, depressed, or subject to one illness after another, this may be due to a sense of disconnection from our life’s work. At times like these, finding the work we are meant to do is an essential act of healing. Most of us remember a time when we felt fully engaged in some act of work, service or creativity, and it is here that we may rediscover the work we are meant to do now. On the other hand, it may be time to explore what inspires us through volunteering, taking a class, going back to school, or just doing whatever it is we long to try. We all have callings, and when we find them, we owe it to ourselves to nurture and protect them, because while they may or may not be our livelihood, they are the keys to our wellbeing.

 

–Daily OM

Read Your Zodiac Sign’s Tarotscope: Week of March 4

Read Your Zodiac Sign’s Tarotscope: Week of March 4

Read what’s in the cards for your sign this week!

 

Welcome to the week of March 4! Each week a card will be pulled for your zodiac sign, offering the guidance and insight needed to maximize your opportunities and avoid any obstacles headed your way. Reveal the message the Tarot has for YOU now!

Aries Tarotscope (March 21 – April 19)

Your card for the week: Temperance

Temperance is a card of balance and moderation. Receiving this card signifies a need to keep a more go-with-the-flow attitude, practicing patience and adaptability as best you can. Perhaps you’ve been resisting a change in your life or letting a stressful situation get the best of you. If this is the case, change your approach this week. Allow things to slide off your back instead of meeting them with resistance. By finding your inner balance, you set yourself up to find your outer balance once again.

 

Taurus Tarotscope (April 20 – May 20)

Your card for the week: 4 of Pentacles

The 4 of Pentacles wants you to focus on your relationship with money this week. Are you saving your money, while also still indulging in life’s little luxuries? Or are you hoarding every penny you have because you’re afraid you’re going to lose everything? Examine what is driving this mindset. Don’t allow your feelings around finances to distract you from effectively managing your wealth and setting yourself up for long-term success. You can have fun now, while still having security later.

 

Gemini Tarotscope (May 21 – June 20)

Your card for the week: 9 of Wands

You could find yourself approaching the finish line this week! The 9 of Wands recognizes the persistence and dedication you’ve put into a personal goal you’ve been working toward. Your initial goals and ideas were planted and have grown, and you are so close to finally reaching your destination. While the road may have been long and weary at times, this is no time to give up. Resilience is your greatest asset right now, so put on your battle armor and keep moving forward no matter what life may throw your way.

 

Cancer Tarotscope (June 21 – July 22)

Your card for the week: Page of Pentacles

The Page of Pentacles represents enthusiasm for new beginnings and new ventures. This week, you are being encouraged to express your creative talents in some way. Have you been thinking about starting something but haven’t taken the first steps to get it off the ground? This card wants you to take those imaginative ideas you’ve been toying with and start working toward manifesting them. By remaining focused and applying a strong work ethic, you give yourself the ability to turn your dreams into a reality.

 

Leo Tarotscope (July 23 – Aug. 22)

Your card for the week: The Star

You can breathe a little bit easier, because relief has arrived this week! The Star is signaling a reprieve after a period of great change or difficulty. While this turmoil has not been easy for you to go through, you have been able to endure whatever challenges life has thrown your way. What lessons have you learned? What were you able to let go of that was holding you back? How will you move forward differently? Now is the time to shed the old you, so you can emerge as the person you were meant to be.

 

Virgo Tarotscope (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

Your card for the week: Knight of Pentacles

Have you had your head in the clouds recently? The Knight of Pentacles is urging you to come back down to Earth this week and apply effort to your ideas this week. Maybe you’ve been suffering from a case of “all talk and no action.” Alternately, you could be putting off your day-to-day responsibilities in favor of more exciting offers. No matter what your situation, you’re being encouraged to create a plan of action or stick to a routine as progress is best achieved through discipline.

 

Libra Tarotscope (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

Your card for the week: The Empress

Receiving The Empress card signals that this week is about receiving the gifts that are all around you. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzied pace of everyday life, but now you’re being urged to stop, slow down, and connect with your senses. Eat a nice meal. Stop and smell the flowers. Breathe in fresh forest air. By grounding yourself in this way, you open yourself up to seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting, and truly experiencing all of life’s greatest rewards.

 

Scorpio Tarotscope (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Your card for the week: 7 of Pentacles

Don’t give up just yet! Your card this week, the 7 of Pentacles, is reminding you that anything worth having can’t be achieved overnight. Perhaps you’ve been working on a project or area of your life and haven’t yet reaped the rewards of your efforts. Understandably, this has been a source of frustration for you. Remind yourself that this wasn’t a task you could have been finished overnight and take pride in the effort you’ve already put forth. Your hard work and patience may not have paid off just yet, but they will soon enough.

 

Sagittarius Tarotscope (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

Your card for the week: Page of Wands

The Page of Wands wants you to embrace your more free-spirited side this week! Sometimes it’s easy for us to get stuck in our routines or to keep going along with what’s most comfortable for us. However, there’s so much more to life left to explore! What is that you’ve been wanting to do but thought you couldn’t? No dream is too big or small right now. When you combine your passion with your enthusiasm, the sky will truly be the limit for you.

Capricorn Tarotscope (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

Your card for the week: Ace of Swords

Your breakthrough moment has arrived! The Ace of Swords signals that the fog is lifting, and you have greater mental clarity this week. It may feel as though you’re viewing the world through a brand-new lens, one that helps you cut through the noise and get to the truth of the matter. Is a situation not what it seems? Has someone been deceiving you? Have you been deceiving yourself? You’re being handed an opportunity to clear the air and get to the heart of the matter.

 

Aquarius Tarotscope (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Your card for the week: Judgment

You could be on the verge of a decision that will have a long-lasting impact! You’ve been at this crossroads for a while, unsure of which path to go down. The Judgment card knows the best choices comes from the perfect blending of head and heart. This means you should not only look to your past for tangible lessons you’ve learned, but you must also connect with your inner self and listen to what your intuition is trying to tell you. This is the week to make your decision — and you already have everything you need to do so.

 

Pisces Tarotscope (Feb. 19 – March 20)

Your card for the week: Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune reminds you this week that life is full of ups and down. If you’ve been going through a problematic time in your life, this card could signal an end to this difficult period. If you’ve been going through a prosperous period, things could soon return to normal. Don’t lament this change — it is a natural part of growth and a natural part of life. Every experience you have serves a purpose in your understanding of yourself and your situations. Let this card serve as a reminder to embrace the ebbs and flows of life.

 

Tarot.com is Part of Zappallas USA © 2019

 

 

Get a Jump on Tomorrow, Your Daily Horoscopes for Tuesday, March 5th

Get a Jump on Tomorrow…..

Your Daily Horoscopes for Tuesday, March 5th

 

Moon Alert

After 3:30 AM EST today, we have the “all clear” to shop and do business. The Moon is in Pisces.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Generally, you’re first in line. You get the first word and the last, cuz there’s no moss growing on you! Today however, you prefer to step back and work alone or behind the scenes because it just feels better. You want to keep a low profile.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You’re keen to interact with others today, especially friends or members of groups. You will identify with someone and be ready to sympathize with their situation, which is why you might have a heart-to-heart talk. You might also be involved with a group today.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Whether you choose to be or not, you are high viz. today. People notice you, especially bosses and parents. Do take note because this also includes the police. (Good to know.) You’ll find you carry extra authority in whatever you do or say.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

As a rule, you are a nester, which means you generally travel for a reason – business, family or a special occasion. Today however, you want to do something different. You want some stimulation and a chance to learn something new! You want to meet new faces.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

You are gung ho now to achieve your mission (whatever it is) because fiery Mars is at the top of your chart arousing your ambition. Today your focus is on shared property, taxes, debt, insurance issues, wills and inheritances. All that red tape stuff that we try to ignore but it never goes away on its own.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Because the Moon today is opposite your sign, you have to be more accommodating than usual when dealing with others. Be prepared to go more than halfway. This doesn’t mean you’re giving up anything or “losing” – it is simply skilful means on your part.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Look around you to see what you can do to work more efficiently and run your life more smoothly. Start with small things. It’s funny how little things like making your bed or doing your laundry, give you the impetus to tackle bigger tasks with confidence. (The reverse is true, too.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This is a playful, fun-loving day, which means you need to get out and socialize! Enjoy fun activities with children. Be open to romantic flirtations and meeting others. Be patient with partners and close friends because Mars is opposite your sign. (By April this is over for another two years.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

No sign more than you likes to be outdoors. You love to have sky overhead. Today however, you might want to cocoon at home because it suit your needs. Maybe you need a breather? Maybe your home situation demands your attention?

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Make a point of talking to others today, especially neighbours, relatives and siblings because you need to enlighten others about something. You have something you want to say and you need an audience! Yada, yada, yada.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

“There’s money in them thar hills!” Money, financial discussions, earnings, cash flow and shopping are a strong focus for you today. With respect to your financial deals, remember that this year your interaction with others will actually benefit you. Keep this in mind.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Wow – the Sun, the Moon, Mercury retrograde and your ruler Neptune are all in your sign! This means the entire world is having a Pisces hit. (Surely there is a great shoe sale somewhere.) Ask for what you want because you just might get it!

If Your Birthday Is Today

Actress Eva Mendes (1974) shares your birthday today. You are a talented, independent thinker. You have a mind of your own and feel free to express your opinions. Because this will be a fast-paced year, get ready for action. Expect fresh excitement! Enjoy travel opportunities and chances to expand your horizons. Be open to embracing change and new opportunities. Your personal freedom is one of your goals this year.

 

–GeorgiaNichols