ON THIS DAY: March 17, 2019

March 17th is

Camp Fire Girls Day *

Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

St. Patrick’s Day


MORE! Cornelia Clapp, Myrlie Evers and ‘Ank’ Bijleveld, click



St. Patrick’s Day is primarily celebrated in Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Montserrat, Switzerland, parts of the United Kingdom, and the United States, but is also noted in other English-speaking countries

Bangladesh – Children’s Day and
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birthday

Ireland – Dublin: St. Patrick’s Festival

United States – Boston, Massachusetts:
Evacuation Day *


On This Day in HISTORY

45 BC – In Hispania, at Munda, the last battle of the civil war between Julius Caesar and the forces of the Optimates (the traditionalist majority of the Roman Senate) who have backed Pompey, ends with Caesar victorious and Pompey’s eldest son, Gnaeneus Pompeius killed in the battle. can now return to Rome and rule as the elected Roman dictator perpetuo rei publicae constituendae, dictator-for-life

180 – Marcus Aurelius, last of the “Five Good Emperors” and regarded as a philosopher king, dies, leaving his unstable son Commodus, whom he named as Caesar in 166 and has ruled jointly with since 177, as sole Emperor of the Roman Empire

461 – Bishop Patrick, St. Patrick, dies in Saul. Ireland celebrates St.Patrick’s Day * in his honor

763 – Harun al-Rashid born, 5th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate – al-Rashid means “the Just”; his reign is marked by scientific, cultural, and religious expansion. Islamic art and music flourished; he establishes the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma (“House of Wisdom”) in Baghdad, and during his rule Baghdad becomes a center of knowledge, culture and trade

Harun al-Rashid’s court

1628 – François Girardon born, French sculptor

1665 – Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre born into a family of master musicians instrument-makers, French harpsichord player and composer; noted for the 1687 publication of Premier livre de pièces de clavessin (First Book of Harpsichord Pieces), one of the few harpsichord collections printed in France in the 17th Century, and Céphale et Procris, based on the Greek myth of Cephalus and Procris, a married couple tricked and tormented by the Gods, until Cephalus, a hunter, accidently kills his wife, who is hiding in the forest. It is the first opera written by a Frenchwoman to be produced

1756 – St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time, at the Crown and Thistle Tavern

1766 – Britain repeals the Stamp Act which has caused so much resentment in the North American colonies

1775 – The Sycamore Shoals Treaty is signed between the Transylvania Company, headed by Richard Henderson, and the Cherokees, represented by Chiefs Attakullaculla and Oconostota, exchanging a large portion of the tribal lands, covering most of western and central Kentucky and north central Tennessee, for $10,000 in trade goods and $2000 in money; the governments of Virginia and North Carolina revoke the private company’s rights to the land, but government uses the treaty to claim the land

1776 – Evacuation Day * American Colonel Henry Knox leads his men in moving 59 cannons 300 miles from Fort Ticonderoga to the Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston Harbor, and they begin fortifying their position in the middle of a storm; on March 17, under the command of General Sir William Howe, 10,000 British troops evacuate aboard the ships that had blockaded Boston harbor for 8 years; setting sail for Halifax, Nova Scotia, they are accompanied by civilian vessels carrying fleeing loyalist families; regarded as the first Continental Army victory

1804 – Jim Bridger born, American fur trader and explorer

1805 – The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King, but actually run by Napoleon’s step-son, Eugène de Beauharnais, serving as Viceroy

1820 – Jean Ingelow born, English poet, novelist and children’s author; Mopsa the Fairy,  and Fated to be Free: A Novel 

1820 – Britain’s serious unemployment after the Napoleonic Wars led the British government to encourage people to immigrate to their Cape colony at the Cape of Good Hope, in what is now South Africa. The first of the 1820 settlers arrived on this day in Table Bay, aboard the Nautilus and the Chapman. From the Cape colony, they were sent to Algoa Bay, known today as Port Elizabeth

1834 – Gottlieb Daimler born, German engineer and businessman, co-founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft

1845 – Stephen Perry patents the rubber band, originally made from vulcanized rubber

1846 – Kate Greenaway born, English author and illustrator; sometimes used the pseudonym ‘Orris’

1849 – Cornelia M. Clapp born, notable American zoologist-marine biologist; earned the first and second Ph.B. awarded to an American woman, at the University of Chicago; made studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole; as an instructor, whose students learned by doing and going out of doors, she influenced generations of students, and encouraged many young women to pursue careers in science; noted for The Lateral Line System of Batrachus Tau

1868 – Postage stamp canceling machine patent is issued

1870 – Wellesley College is incorporated by the Massachusetts legislature under its original name, Wellesley Female Seminary

Wellesley – College Hall, North front

1873 – Margaret Bondfield born, British Labour politician and feminist, first woman Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom, one of the first three women to be Labour Members of Parliament

1877 – Edith New born, English suffragette; she left her teaching career shortly after 1900 to work as an organizer and campaigner for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), and in January, 1908, chained herself to the railings of 10 Downing Street shouting “Votes for Women!” to help create a diversion for other protesters to sneak past the railings before being arrested. In June, 1908, she and Mary Leigh were the first two suffragettes to use vandalism as a tactic, breaking two windows at 10 Downing Street. They were arrested and sentenced to two months in Holloway Prison. Edith New staged a hunger strike while at Holloway. When New and Leigh were released from prison, a parade was held in their honor, with suffragettes pulling them in a carriage through the streets. She continued to address crowds until 1911, when she returned to teaching, in Lewisham, a small town southeast of London

1881 – Walter R. Hess born, Swiss physiologist, Nobel Laureate

1884 – In Otay, California, John Joseph Montgomery makes the first manned, controlled, heavier-than-air glider flight in the U.S.

1892 – Sayed Darwish born, Egyptian singer and composer, ‘father of Egyptian popular music’ and its greatest composer

1896 – Helen Lynd born, sociologist, studied life in Muncie, Indiana, for 18 months (1924-25) with husband Robert; their book Middletown is a best-seller, tracing decline of community spirit as town faces industrial growth; she taught at Sarah Lawrence College for almost 40 years

1899 – Radie Britain born, American pianist, author and composer; she won the 1930 Juilliard National Publication Prize

1901 – Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings are shown at the Bernheim Gallery in Paris France

1901 – Alfred Newman born, American composer and conductor; nominated 43 times for and winner of 9 Academy Awards for Best Musical Score; Wuthering Heights,  Captain from Castile, All About Eve,  How The West Was Won are among his best-known scores

1902 – Alice Greenough born, professional rodeo rider, toured Australia and Spain as well as the U.S.; started her own rodeo business; first inductee to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame

1902 – Robert Tyre ‘Bobby’ Jones born, American amateur golfer and lawyer; first to win golf’s ‘Grand Slam’ in 1930: U.S. Open, British Open and both U.S. and British Amateur Championships; fights a debilitating illness from 1948 until his death in 1971

1905 – Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, distant cousins, are married; Teddy Roosevelt walks his niece down the aisle

Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905

1909 – In France, the communications industry is paralyzed by strikes

1910 – Camp Fire Girls Day * celebrates founding of the organization by Luther and Charlotte Gulick, and Charlotte A. Farnsworth in Thelford VT; the first interracial, non-sectarian American organization for girls, now called Camp Fire USA

1912 – Bayard Rustin born, American civil rights activist

1914 – Russia increases the number of active duty military from 460,000 to 1,700,000

1917 – Loretta Perfectus Walsh is the first woman to join the U.S. Navy and the first woman to officially join the military in a role other than a nurse

1919 – Nat King Cole born, American singer, jazz pianist, and the first African American man to host a television series, The Nat ‘King’ Cole Show (1956-1957). It was canceled for lack of sponsors. Cole commented, “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.” When he bought a house in the all-white Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on his front lawn. In 1956 he was in Birmingham, Alabama, performing for an all-white audience, when he was assaulted by three white racists apparently attempting to kidnap him. His back was injured, and he was unable to continue his performance. His assailants were arrested, tried and convicted. After the incident, he was called out by the NAACP, and fellow entertainers for performing before white-only audiences, and not being involved in the struggle for civil rights, and he became an active and visible participant. He played an important role in the March on Washington in 1963.  A heavy smoker, he died of lung cancer in 1965, at age 45

1921 – Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain’s first birth control clinic, in London

1930 – Al Capone is released from jail

1930 – In New York, construction begins on the Empire State Building

1930 – Paul Horn born, American-Canadian flute player and saxophonist

1933 – Myrlie Evers-Williams born, American journalist and activist, Chair of the NAACP 1995-1998; widow of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers who campaigned for justice after his murder for over three decades; the first woman and first layperson to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration, for President Obama’s second inaugural

1933 – Penelope Lively born, British author, fiction for adults and children; winner of Booker Prize and the Carnegie Medal

1937 – Galina Samsove born in the U.S.S.R., a principal dancer for the London Festival Ballet (1964-1973); National Ballet of Canada soloist (1961-1964); soloist for the Kiev Opera Ballet; noted for her performances of Prokofiev’s Cinderella

Galina Samsove with Desmond Kelly in Spring Waters

1938 – Zola Taylor born, American singer, The Platters

1938 – Rudolf Nureyev born, Soviet dancer and choreographer who defects to the West; Director, Paris Opera Ballet (1983-1989), one of the greatest dancers of all time

1939 – Robin Knox-Johnston, English sailor; first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe

1941 – The National Gallery of Art is officially opened by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC.

1942 – Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia, becomes Supreme Commander of the WWII Allied forces in the Southwestern Pacific

1943 – Bakili Muluzi born, Malawian United Democratic Front (UDF) politician; first freely elected President of Malawi (1994-2004) and Malawi’s first Muslim president

1944 – During WWII, the U.S. bombs Vienna

1950 – Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announce that they have created a new radioactive element, and named it “californium” aka element 98

1955 – Cynthia A. McKinney born, African American politician and activist; first black woman elected to represent Georgia in the U.S. House (D-GA 1993-1997 and 2005-2007); left the Democratic Party in 2008 to join the U.S. Green Party

1958 – The Vanguard 1 satellite is launched by the U.S.

1959 – The Dalai Lama (Lhama Dhondrub, Tenzin Gyatso) flees Tibet for India in the wake of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule

1961 – The U.S. increases military aid and technicians to Laos

1961 – Dana Morosini Reeve born, American actress-singer and activist for people with disabilities. She was married to Christopher Reeve from 1992 until his death in 2004. In 2005, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, even though she had never smoked. She died in March, 2006

1962 – ‘Ank’ Anna Bijleveld born, Dutch civil servant and politician; Minister of Defence since 2017; King’s Commissioner (2011-2017) of Overijssel, an eastern province of the Netherlands; State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations (2007-2010); Mayor of Hof van Twente (2001-2007); Member of the Netherlands House of Representatives (2010-2011)

1962 – The USSR asks the U.S. to pull out of South Vietnam

1966 – A U.S. submarine finds a missing H-bomb off the coast of Spain

1967 – Snoopy and Charlie Brown of Peanuts on LIFE magazine’s cover

1969 – Golda Meir, whose father moved their family to Milwaukee from the Ukraine when she was 8 years old, is sworn in as the first female and fourth premier of Israel

1970 – The U.S. Army charges 14 officers with suppression of facts in the My Lai massacre case

1972 – U.S. President Nixon asks Congress to pass legislation imposing a “moratorium” on the Federal courts to prevent them from ordering any new busing of schoolchildren to achieve racial balance

1973 – The first American prisoners of war (POWs) are released from the “Hanoi Hilton” in Hanoi, North Vietnam

1985 – U.S. President Reagan agrees to a joint acid rain study with Canada

1989 – A series of solar flares set off a violent magnetic storm causing power outages over large regions of Canada, and spectacular Aurora Borealis shows

1992 – White South African voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum on constitutional reforms that will give legal equality to Black South Africans

1995 – Gerry Adams is the first leader of Sinn Fein to be received at the White House

1998 – Washington Mutual announces it has agreed to buy H.F. Ahmanson and Co. for $9.9 billion dollars, a deal which creates the nation’s seventh-largest banking company

1999 – A panel of medical experts conclude that marijuana has medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and AIDS

2000 – In Kanungu, Uganda, a fire at a church linked to the cult known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments kills more than 530: on March 31, officials set the number of deaths linked to the cult at more than 900 after authorities find mass graves at various sites linked to the cult

2003 – Edging to the brink of war, President George W. Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave his country; the ultimatum is rejected

2004 – NASA’s Messenger is the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around Mercury; it takes more than 270,000 pictures before it crashes to Mercury’s surface in April, 2015

2011 – The U.N. Security Council votes to authorize military action to protect civilians and impose a no-fly zone over Libya

2014 – Russian President Vladimir Putin defied new U.S. and European Union sanctions, and announced that Russia would annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea


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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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: March 17, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    I used to work in New York City, on the East Side, Park Avenue at 45th St. I worked for an Orthodox Jew who’d get his lunch from one of the kosher places on the West side in the “diamond district,” which was just (usually) a ten-minute walk cross-town. So I’d walk cross-town each day ad get him a sandwich and bring it back, oh maybe around 12 or 1 o’clock. So one day I started out in the usual way and when I got to Fifth Avenue at 45th, suddenly realized I wasn’t going to get across the street any time soon! After about 25 minutes or so, I cashed over the street after County Cork passed by; the return trip was even a little longer! During that time period I was so “out of it” I went from home to work to (another) work to home to sleep to wake up to work again and in that isolated world (working for a law firm composed of Jewish lawyers representing clients in the garment district and diamond district) I had forgotten all about March 17.

    • wordcloud9 says:


      I had a somewhat similar experience when I raced to Pasadena to pick up a computer part for my husband before the store closed at 5 PM, parked on a side street, then rushed into the computer store through a back entrance. I got the part in the nick of time, then suddenly saw through the store’s front window all the fanatic attendees setting up to stay overnight on the sidewalks so they’d be first on scene for Pasadena’s famous Rose Parade the next morning. Getting OUT of Pasadena turned into a two-hour nightmare of closed-off streets and bumper-to- bumper traffic.

      We are still married, so it must be True Love!

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