[Daily article] March 4: Percheron

The Percheron is a draft horse that originated in the Huisne river
valley, part of the former Perche province in France from which the
breed takes its name. Usually gray or black, Percherons are well
muscled, and known for their intelligence and willingness to work.
Ancestors of the breed were present in Huisne by the 17th century, and
were originally bred to be war horses. Over time, they were used for
farm work, pulling stage coaches, and hauling heavy goods. The first
purebred Percheron stud book was created in France in 1883. In the late
19th century, thousands of Percherons were shipped from France to the
US, but after World War I began, some were shipped back to France to
help in the fighting. In 1918 breeding of Percherons began in Great
Britain and the British Percheron Horse Society was formed. The current
US Percheron registry was created in 1934. Their numbers declined
substantially after World War II, but later rebounded. The breed is
still used today for riding, for pulling carriages and for heavier draft
work. They have been crossed with light horse breeds to produce horses
for a wide range of uses.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Roman Herculian guard Adrian of Nicomedia, who had converted to
Christianity after being impressed with the faith of Christians that he
had been torturing, was martyred.


Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI was
deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then became King Edward IV.


French astronomer Charles Messier first noted the Orion Nebula,
a bright nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt, later cataloguing it as
Messier 42 in his list of Messier objects.


Second World War: British Commandos successfully executed
Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands of Norway.


The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for
President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes
against humanity regarding his actions during the War in Darfur.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. A medicine which preserves or defends against disease; a preventive.
2. (US) Specifically, a prophylactic condom.
3. (figuratively) Any device or mechanism intended to prevent harmful

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  How far should one accept the rules of the society in which one
lives? To put it another way: at what point does conformity become
corruption? Only by answering such questions does the conscience truly
define itself.  
–Kenneth Tynan

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