ON THIS DAY: March 15, 2019

March 15th is

Ides of March

Peanut Lovers’ Day

Pears Helene Day

Shoe the World Day *

World Speech Day *

World Consumer Rights Day *

Everything You Think Is Wrong Day

International Day Against Police Brutality *

International Day Against Seal Slaughter *


MORE! Sarah Bernhardt, Sunetra Gupta and Naoko Takeuchi, click



Belarus – Constitution Day

Hungary – National Day
(1848 Revolution Day *)

Japan – Komaki: Hōnen Matsuri
(giant phallus – harvest festival)

Liberia – Joseph Jenkins Roberts Day
(first Liberian President)

Palau – Youth Day


On This Day in HISTORY

44 BC – Julius Caesar, ‘dictator in perpetuity’ at the end of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March, causing civil war and hastening the end of constitutional government

280 – Sun Hao, last emperor of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period, surrenders to Sima Yan, first emperor of the Jin dynasty, which unifies China, under Sima Yan, who then wallows in extravagance and self-indulgence, reportedly keeping 10,000 concubines

493 – Odoacer, first non-Roman King of Italy after the Western Roman Empire falls, is killed by Theoderic, king of the Ostrogoths, while the two kings are feasting together; the next day, only a few of  Odoacer’s family and his followers escape being slain


1147 – Portuguese Reconquista, the Conquest of Santarém: Under the cover of darkness, 25 knights of Portuguese King Afonso I (reign 1139-1185) use ladders to scale the walls of the Moorish city, then kill the sentries, force their way to the city gate, and open it for the rest of the army. The Moors put up a good fight, but are overwhelmed and slaughtered. Santarém had been taken from the Visigoths by the Moors in the 8th century, and they renamed it Shantarin. It became an important center for Moorish culture, and its loss marked the beginning of the end of Moorish domination in Portugal

1564 – Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar abolishes “jizya” (a sectarian per capita tax) levied on non-Muslim subjects. He also appointed non-Muslims to high civil and military posts, and won the trust and loyalty of his native subjects

1614 – Franciscus Sylvius born, physician, physiologist, anatomist, and chemist; pioneer in exploring chemical action as a cause of disease

1672 – Charles II issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence, attempting to extend religious liberty to Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics, by suspending the Penal Laws, which had been enacted between 1661 and 1665. The Penal Laws: 1) Required all municipal officials to take Anglican communion; 2) Made the Book of Common Prayercompulsory in religious services – over two thousand clergy refused, then are forced to resign their livings; 3) Outlaws conventicles (meetings for unauthorized worship) by more than five people not of the same household; and 4) prohibited nonconformist ministers from coming within five miles of incorporated towns, or the place of their former livings, and banned them from teaching in schools

1778 – Commanding two frigates, French naval officer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, sails east from Botany Bay on the last lap of his circumnavigation

1825 – Harriet E. Wilson born, one of the first African-American women novelists; her novel, Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, was published anonymously in 1859 in Boston, but was not widely known until it was discovered in 1982 by the scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

1838 – Alice Cunningham Fletcher born, American ethnologist, studied and documented Native American culture

Alice Cunningham Fletcher with Chief Joseph

1848 – The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 * begins, which will compel the Habsburg rulers to meet the demands of the Reform Party

1852 –Augusta, Lady Gregory, born, Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre manager; co-founder with William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn of the Irish Literary Theatre and the world-famed Abbey Theatre. She wrote numerous short works for the companies at both theatres, and produced a number of books retelling stories from Irish mythology. Lady Gregory was a prominent cultural nationalist, and a leader of Ireland’s Literary Revival and the renewed interest in Ireland’s Gaelic heritage in the late 19th and early 20 centuries. Her home at Coole Park was a major meeting place for leaders of the Revival

1868 – Lida Gustava Heymann born, German women’s rights activist, with her partner Anita Augspurg co-founds the movement to abolish prostitution in Germany, the Society for Women’s Suffrage, the newspaper Women in the State, and co-educational high school and professional associations for women

1868 – Grace Chisholm Young born, British mathematician; educated at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where she passed her final examinations with the equivalent of
a First class degree, but women at the time were only given certificates, and not included on the Honours Lists. On a challenge from a classmate, she took the exam for the Final Honours School in mathematics at the University of Oxford in 1892, and outperformed all the Oxford students, making her the first person to achieve the level of a First at both Oxford and Cambridge in any subject. Young continued her studies at Göttingen University in Germany, working on an equation to determine the orbit of a comet, and in 1895 she became the first woman to receive a doctorate in any field from a German University. Her earliest work on the theory of functions of a real variable was published under the name of her husband, fellow mathematician William Henry Young. After she began publishing under her own name, Girton College awarded her the Gamble Prize for Mathematics for her work on calculus (1914-1916). She and her husband did continue to collaborate and publish their work jointly until his death in 1942, although she did the majority of the writing. They were the first to publish a textbook on set theory, The Theory of Sets of Points (1906)

1969 – George Armstrong Custer and his troops discover two Cheyenne villages of over 250 lodges, on Sweetwater Creek near the Texas-Oklahoma boundary, after the Cheyenne had been ordered to report to their reservation. Custer captures four Chiefs, and threatens to hang the Chief unless all the Cheyenne surrender, which they do

1875 – NY’s Roman Catholic Archbishop, John McCloskey, is named the first U.S. Cardinal

1880 – Hattie Carnegie born in Austria, American fashion designer and entrepreneur, designs both couture and ready-to-wear lines, designer of the Women’s Army Corps uniform, recipient of Congressional Medal of Freedom for the WAC uniform design and other charitable and patriotic contributions

1887 – Marjorie Merriweather Post born, American owner of General Foods, philanthropist and noted art collector. She funded a U.S. Army Hospital in France during WWI, and was presented in 1971 with the Silver Fawn Award by the Boy Scouts of America for her support. Lake Merriweather at the Goshen Scout Reservation in Virginia is also named for her

1892 – Jesse W. Reno patents the Reno Inclined Elevator, the first escalator

1894 – France and Germany agree on boundaries between the French Congo and Cameroon, and the French and German Spheres of Influence in the Lake Chad region

1896 – Marion Cuthbert born, co-founder of the National Association of College Women to fight discrimination in higher education (1932); wrote pioneering dissertation, “Education and Marginality: A Study of the Negro Woman College Graduate” (1942); secretary of National Board of YWCA; member of the NAACP, also numerous peace and human rights boards

1900 – In Paris, Sarah Bernhardt stars in the premiere of Edmond Rostand’s L’Aiglon 

1901 – German Chancellor von Bulow declared that an agreement between Russia and China over Manchuria would violate the Anglo-German accord of October 1900

1902 – 10,000 Boston MA freight handlers go back to work after a week-long strike.

1903 – The British conquest of Nigeria was completed. 500,000 square miles were now controlled by the U.K.

1905 – Margaret Webster, theatre actress, director and producer with citizenship and successful careers in both Britain and the U.S., known for her Shakespearean productions, including Othello (1943) with Paul Robeson and Jose Ferrer

1905 – William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, is appointed as High Commissioner for Southern Africa, and governor of the Transvaal and Orange River, replacing Lord Alfred Milner, who resigned, exhausted and in ill health from dealing with the economic crisis caused by the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902)

1907 – In Finland, women win their first seats in the Finnish Parliament; they take their oaths of office on May 23

1909 – Italy proposed a European conference on the Balkans

1909 – Jaroslava Muchová born, Czech painter, noted for her work on Slovanská epopej (The Slav Epic), a project initiated by her father, painter Alphonse Mucha, and especially for her restoration of works from the Slav Epic damaged by frost and water when they were hidden away during WWII to keep them from the Nazis


1910 – Otto Kahn offers $500,000 for a family portrait by Dutch artist Frans Hals, outbidding J.P. Morgan for the work

1913 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson meets with 100 reporters, the first formal presidential news conference

1916 – President Wilson sends 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa, but the mission fails

1919 – The American Legion was founded in Paris

1921 – Madelyn Pugh born, American screenwriter and producer, I Love Lucy

Madelyn Pugh with Lucille Ball

1922 – Fuad I assumed the title of king of Egypt after the country gained nominal independence from Britain

1930 – Wilma L. Vaught born, Brigadier General in U.S. Air Force, first woman to deploy with an Air Force bomber unit, inductee into National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame

Retired USAF Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught

1933 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg born, American lawyer, professor, and the second woman appointed as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1993); courtroom advocate for fair treatment of women, co-founder of Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first U.S. law journal to focus exclusively on women’s rights (1970); taught at Columbia Law School (1972-1980), becoming Columbia’s first female tenured professor; worked on the ACLU Women’s Rights Project cases involving discriminatory labor laws

1934 – Henry Ford restores the $5-a-day wage

1935 – Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda bans four Berlin newspapers

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration is established at the Cook County Hospital

1938 – Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia

1939 – German forces occupy Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia

1939 – Julie Tullis born, British mountaineer and filmmaker; first British woman to reach the summit of K2 in 1986, but she died from injuries after a fall during the descent

1943 – Lynda La Plante born, English author, and screenwriter; best known for the television crime series, Prime Suspect

1944 – Cassino, Italy, destroyed by Allied bombing

1946 – British Premier Attlee offers India full independence after agreement on a constitution

1946 – In South Africa, the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act is introduced, which will prevent Indians from occupying land outside certain exempted areas and attempts to marginalise Indians, forcing them to live in certain restricted areas. In return for the restrictions on land ownership, Indians are offered a limited form of parliamentary representation, though mainly through White representatives. This act is labeled “the Ghetto Act” by Indians and an anti-segregationist lobby is formed, which calls for a day of hartal (mourning), and then a passive resistance campaign which would last for two years. The position of Indians in South Africa is brought before the General Assembly of the United Nations by both the Indian leadership in South Africa, and the government of India. Nevertheless, the Act passes in June 1946

1948 – Sir Laurence Olivier on the cover of “LIFE” magazine for his starring role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet 

1948 – Kate Bornstein born, American author, playwright performer and gender theorist; in 1986, she identified as gender non-conforming and underwent gender affirmation surgery. Author of Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us;  My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely; and A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir

1949 – Clothes rationing in Great Britain ends nearly four years after the end of WWII

1951 – General de Lattre demands Paris send him more troops for the fight in Vietnam

1951 – The Persian parliament votes to nationalize the oil industry

1954 – CBS television debuts its Morning Show

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveils a self-guided missile

1956 – The musical My Fair Lady opens on Broadway

1957 – The first official Buzzard Day in the Cleveland Metroparks, although there was a long-standing legend that the buzzards return to Cleveland every year on March 15

1958 – Ann Davies born, British television and radio presenter and newsreader, currently for BBC East Midlands Today, and the documentary program Inside Out

1959 – Lisa Holton born, American journalist, editor and non-fiction author; former Business Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times

1960 – Consumers International is founded, an umbrella organization for citizen activist groups in 100 countries advocating for consumer protection laws, safer products and the right to redress in the event of harm; in 1983, they launch World Consumer Rights Day *

1960 – The first underwater park is established as the Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve

1965 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson addresses a joint session of Congress, calls for new legislation to guarantee every American’s right to vote

1965 – Sunetra Gupta born, Indian Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford with an interest in infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, HIV, influenza and bacterial meningitis. Awarded the 2009 Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her research on Surviving pandemics: a pathogen’s perspective. She is also the author of works of fiction in Bengali and in English, including the English-language novel, Memories of Rain, awarded the 1996 Sahitya Akademi Award by the Government of India

1967 – The Republic of the United States of Brazil is renamed  República Federativa do Brasil (the Federative Republic of Brazil)

1967 – Naoko Takeuchi, Japanese manga artist; known for her series, Sailor Moon

1968 – The U.S. mint halts the buying and selling gold

1972 – The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster movie based on Mario Puzo’s novel, premieres in New York

1973 – Robin Hunicke born, American video game designer and producer; noted for MySims, Bloom Blox and Journey

1976 – Katherine Brooks born, American film writer and director; noted for her feature films, Loving Annabelle, and Waking Madison. She is an LGBTQ activist, and a spokesperson for PETA 

1978 – Somalia and Ethiopia sign a truce to end the Ethio-Somali War (1977-1988), which began with the Somali invasion of Ethiopia. Considered an Ethiopian victory

1979 – Pope John Paul II publishes his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis, in which he warns of the growing gap between rich and poor

1985 – In Brazil, two decades of military rule comes to an end with the installation of a civilian government

1989 – The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs becomes the 14th Department in the President’s Cabinet

1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev elected the first executive president of the USSR, and the Soviet parliament rules that Lithuania’s declaration of independence is invalid and that Soviet law is still in force in the Baltic republic

1990 – The Ford Explorer is introduced to the public

1991 – Four Los Angeles police officers are indicted in the beating of Rodney King

1994 – U.S. President Clinton extends the moratorium on nuclear testing until September of 1995

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapses

1997 – International Day Against Police Brutality * is started as an initiative of the Montreal-based Collective Opposed to Police Brutality and the Black Flag group in Switzerland. In the U.S. there is a National Anti-Police Brutality Day on October 22

1998 – More than 15,000 ethnic Albanians march in Yugoslavia to demand independence for Kosovo

2002 – Secretary of State Colin Powell tells the Associated Press that the U.S. will stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them

2003 – The World Health Organization issues a worldwide health alert for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)

2014 – Shoe the World Day * is inspired by Donald Zsemonadi and the United Indigenous People, now sponsored by Soles4Soles, which accepts donations of shoes for disadvantaged children in the U.S. and 126 other countries

2016 – World Speech Day * was first envisioned at the Athens Democracy Forum in 2015, to celebrate the great speeches of the past, and encourage new voices to speak out. It was launched on this day in 2016, with events in Athens, Singapore, Tawau (Malaysia) and Moscow.  By 2017, events were held in over 80 countries


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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