March Menace

T.S. Eliot began his most famous poem, The Wasteland, with the stark assertion that "April is the cruelest month," and perhaps it was for Eliot and other highbrow poets.

But for political big shots like Bill Clinton, the cruelest month is more likely to be the one that precedes April. March has been a bummer for men in power for more than two millennia, ever since the old Roman potentate Julius Caesar chose to ignore the warning to "beware the Ides of March."

Instead, when the Ides came along that year - 44 B.C. - Caesar ventured down to the Senate where Cassius, Brutus, and the other assassins were waiting, with concealed knives, to stab him to death. And from that day to this, the Ides of March - the 15th day of the month - has been a date to view with foreboding.

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Written by Gary Paul Gates. Graphic design by Dana Byerly.
Associate Producer, Adam S. Gaynor
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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