ON THIS DAY: March 21, 2019

March 21st is

Common Courtesy Day

Education Freedom Day *

French Bread Day

Single Parent Day *

World Poetry Day *

World Down Syndrome Day *

International Colour Day

International Day of Forests *

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination *


MORE! Alice Henry, Amina Myers and Moa Matthis, click



Hinduism – Holi/Dolapurnima /Phagu Purnima began last night – widely celebrated in India and Nepal

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox in Bahrain, Comoros, Dijbouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Smoalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen

Australia – Harmony Day

Faroe Islands and Poland –
Truant’s Day (First day of Spring)

Iran & Iraq – Spring Day

Japan – Shunbun no Hi
(Shintoism – Spring Day)

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan &
Uzbekistan – Persian New Year

Lesotho – National Tree Planting Day

Mexico – Natalicio de Benito Juárez
(Birthday of Benito Juárez)

Namibia – Independence Day

Portugal – Arbor Day

South Africa – Human Rights Day *

Tunisia – Youth Day

Turkmenistan – Spring Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

630 – Byzantine Emperor Heraclius returns the ‘True Cross,’ one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem

Display in Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

1180 – In Japan, Crown Prince Antoku of the Tiara clan ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne before his second birthday, after his father, Emperor Takakura, is forced to abdicate. Taira no Kiyomori, Antoku’s grandfather, rules in his name. The Minamoto clan  and the Tiara clan are in a power struggle. When Minamoto no Yoshinaka enters the capital in 1183, members of the Tiara clan flee with the young emperor and the Imperial Regalia, called the Three Sacred Treasures, to Yashima. The battle there is lost by the Tiaras, and they flee even further west. By 1185, the Minamotos have won against the Tiaras. Antoku’s grandmother drowns herself and the boy emperor, with the three sacred treasures. The jewel of benevolence, Yasakani no Magatama, and the mirror of wisdom, Yata no Kagami, were recovered; but the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, representing valor, was lost

1349 – 3,000 Jews are killed in Black Death riots in Efurt Germany

1474 – Angela Merici born, Italian religious educator, founder of the Company of St. Ursula, dedicated to the education of girls and care of the sick and needy. The ‘Uruslines’ later divided into two branches, the monastic order of St. Ursula, and those who remained the Company of St. Ursula. She was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 1807

Symbolic picture of Saint Angela Merici, artist not credited

1556 – Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day

1557 – Anne Dacre Howard born, Countess of Arundel, poet; in 1582, converts to Roman Catholicism, placed under house arrest on Queen Elizabeth I’s orders; after her release in 1584, influences her husband, Philip Howard, to also convert; he tries to escape to France, but is caught and held prisoner in the Tower of London; Anne is forbidden to live in London; Philip dies in the Tower in 1595; Anne, unable to claim his possessions because of Philip’s imprisonment, resorts to selling her land to pay debts and support her children

Anne, Countess of Arundel – 17th century English School

1678 – The London Gazette offers a reward to whoever can reveal the identity of the author of An Account of the Growth of Popery, published anonymously in 1677 (by poet and satirist Andrew Marvell)

1685 – Johann Sebastian Bach born, major German Baroque composer

1752 – Mary Dixon Kies born, American inventor, who receives one of the first patents given to a woman in May, 1809, signed by President James Madison, for a new technique to weave straw with silk and thread to make hats

1815 woman’s hat made with patented Kies technique

1788 – The city of New Orleans LA is devastated by fire, 856 buildings are destroyed

1790 – Thomas Jefferson reports to U.S. President George Washington as the first U.S. secretary of state

1804 – The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, is adopted

1806 – Benito Juárez born, Mexican lawyer and politician, President of Mexico (1858-1872); headed Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN, 1857-1858)

1826 – The Rensselaer School in Troy NY is incorporated, the first U.S. engineering college, later renamed Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

1826 – Beethoven’s Quartet #13 in B flat major (Op 130) premieres in Vienna

1839 – Modest Mussorgsky born, major Russian Romantic composer

1841 – The U.S. government puts 220 Tallahassee Seminole prisoners aboard a boat in Tampa Bay, beginning a journey to Indian Territory; 15 prisoners will die in transit

1844 – The Bahá’í calendar begins on 1844’s Vernal Equinox, the Bahá’í New Year or Náw-Rúz

1851 – Vietnamese Emperor Tu Duc, tired of conspiracies and uprisings against his reign in which some French and Spanish priests have taken part, orders all Christian priests be put to death

1857 – Alice Henry born, Australian suffragist, journalist and trade unionist who becomes a leader in the American Women’s Trade Union League

1859 – In Philadelphia, the first U.S. Zoological Society is incorporated

1861 – Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens gives the ‘Cornerstone’ Address, at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, to explain fundamental differences between the constitutions of the Confederacy and the U.S., laying out the Confederacy’s causes for declaring secession, “. . .  our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.” He defends slavery: “Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

1866 – Antonia Maury born, American astronomer, one of the “Harvard computers,” a group of skilled women workers who processed astronomical data; Maury developed a catalog of stellar spectra, and published a spectroscopic analysis of the binary star Beta Lyrae (1933)

1867 – Florenz Ziegfield born, Broadway impresario, producer of musicals and extravagant theatrical reviews

1868 – The Sorosis club for professional women is formed in New York City by Jane Cunningham Crolyn after she was not allowed to join the male-only New York Press Club; the new organization is open to professional and wealthy women, not to women are wage-earners

1871 – New York Herald journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous expedition to find Dr. David Livingstone

1871 – Otto von Bismarck is appointed Chancellor of the German Empire

1887 – Clarice Beckett born, Australian Tonalist painter; she died at age 48, from pneumonia, after painting the wild sea off Beaumaris, near Melbourne, during a big storm in 1935

Clarice Beckett painting, title unlisted

1897 – Martha Foley born, creates Story magazine in 1932 with her husband Whit Burnett, edits annual, “The Best American Short Stories” (1941-1977), which includes entries by Eudora Welty, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike and other well-known writers


1902 – Eddie “Son” House born, American Blues singer-songwriter

1903 – J.B. Marks born, South African teacher, trade unionist and activist; member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the African National Congress (ANC)

1904 – The British Parliament vetoes a proposal to send Chinese workers to Transvaal

1904 – Jehane Benoît born, French Canadian culinary author, commentator, journalist, and broadcaster. After studying at the Sorbonne and the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, she started her own cooking school, Fumet de la Vieille France, in Montreal. She also opened one of Canada’s first vegetarian restaurants “The Salad Bar” in 1935. Author of over 30 cookbooks, including the Encyclopedia of Canadian Cuisine, and appeared regularly on Canadian’s television’s newsmagazine series, Take 30

1905 – Phyllis McGinley born, American poet and author; she won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

1905 – Sterilization for “mental defectives” legislation is passed in the State of Pennsylvania, the measure is vetoed by Governor Samuel Pennypacker

1906 – Ohio passes a law prohibiting hazing by fraternities after two fatalities

1910 – U.S. Senate grants ex-President Teddy Roosevelt a $10,000 yearly pension

1911 – Walter Lincoln Hawkins born, African-American chemist and engineer, a pioneer in polymer chemistry, who worked for 34 years at Bell Laboratories. He was the first black member of the National Academy of Engineering, and was awarded the National Medal of technology in 1992

1919 – The Hungarian Soviet Republic is established, the first Communist government formed in Europe after Russia’s October Revolution

1923 – Nizar Qabbani born, Syrian poet, diplomat and women’s rights activist, serving in Syrian missions in Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, and London, and as UAR Vice-Secretary at their Chinese embassy; his sister’s suicide under pressure when she refused to marry a man she did not love made a profound impression on Qabbani, who was 15 years old at the time

1923 – Nirmala Srivastava born, Indian founder of Sahaja Yoga, a self-awareness meditation movement, and activist for Indian Independence, who was jailed in 1942 during the Quit India Movement

1928 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge gives the Congressional Medal of Honor to Charles Lindbergh for making the first solo trans-Atlantic flight

1935 – Shah Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its historical name, Iran

1937 – Ann Clwyd born, Welsh Labour Party politician; Member of Parliament for the Cynon Valley since 1984; advocate for human rights and international women’s rights; member of the Royal Commission on the National Health Service (1976-1979); helped pass the Female Genital Mutilation Bill in 1985, which bans Female Circumcision in the UK and prohibits parents sending/taking their daughters abroad for the procedure

1942 – Amina Claudine Myers, African American singer-songwriter, composer-arranger

1943 – Cornelia Fort born, flight instructor and pilot in the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, becomes first American female pilot to die during active duty

1946 – The UN sets up a temporary headquarters at Hunter College in New York City

1952 – Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland OH

1960 – In Sharpeville, South Africa, about 70 people are killed and 180 wounded when police fire on unarmed black demonstrators protesting the Pass Laws, which forced Black South Africans to carry documents at all times including a photograph, place of birth, employment records, tax payments and criminal records, and enabled the government to further restrict their movement. It was illegal to be without a Pass, and the penalty was arrest and imprisonment. (see 1995 entry)

1962 – Rosie O’Donnell born, American comedian, author, TV producer, and LGBTQ rights activist; host of The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1996-2002), which won five Emmys for Outstanding Talk Show

1962 – Kathy Greenwood born, Canadian comedian and scriptwriter; performer and writer in the Toronto branch of Second City (1988-1992); was a regular cast member of the Canadian television drama Wind at My Back (1996-2001); and is a member of the sketch comedy quintet, Women Fully Clothed

1963 –The federal penitentiary on San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz Island closes

1965 – NASA launches Ranger 9, last in a series of unmanned lunar probes

1965 – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people starting the third and finally successful civil rights march, from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

1966 – In New York, demolition begins to clear thirteen square blocks for the construction of the original World Trade Center

1966 – Moa Matthis born, Swedish author and literary critic; she writes articles for the Stockholm daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter (The Day’s News), many from a feminist point of view

1966 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination * is proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre  in South Africa

1970 – San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto issues the first Earth Day proclamation

1971 – Two U.S. platoons in refuse their orders to advance into Laos, which would be in violation of a prohibition of U.S. ground forces entering Laotian territory

1972 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the 1970 Voting Rights Act which set 30 days as the maximum permissible residency requirement in Dunn v. Blumstein

1973 – Ananda Lewis born, African American television host and social activist; host of the talk show  The Ananda Lewis Show in 2001, which unfortunately never recovered from debuting the day before 9-11; worked on The Insider 2004-2005; she left show business, in part because of a series of problems with stalkers, and is now a carpenter and home renovator; she’s volunteered as a mentor for Youth at Risk, and as a spokesperson for the Humane Society and Reading is Fundamental

1975 – In South Africa, the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement is founded by ANC office-bearers and activists after the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) are banned by the Apartheid regime. It was the precursor to the Inkatha Freedom Party, created at a special conference in 1990

1980 – US President Jimmy Carter announces a U. S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan

1980 – On the TV show Dallas, J.R. Ewing is shot

1984 – Single Parent Day * is proclaimed on the anniversary of the founding of Parents Without Partners in 1957

1984 – Part of NYC’s Central Park renamed ‘Strawberry Fields’ in John Lennon’s honor

1985 – Police in Langa, South Africa, open fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville shootings; at least 21 demonstrators are killed

1986 – Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the World Figure Skating Championships, and the first black athlete to win a medal in the Winter Olympics (1988); she later became an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement, but lost of most of her savings in two divorces and the financial failure of her medical practice in the dying coal-mining town of Richlands, Virginia, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She sold her Olympic Bronze Medal to help pay some of her debts, but was reported in February 2018 to still be living precariously

1987 – U2 releases “With or Without You”

1989 – Randall Dale Adams is released from a Texas prison after his conviction was overturned; the documentary “The Thin Blue Line” had challenged evidence of Adams’ conviction for killing a police officer

1989 – Madonna’s album Like a Prayer is released

1990 – Namibia, at one time the German territory of South West Africa, but originally put by the League of Nations under the administration of the government of South Africa in 1915, finally becomes an independent nation

1990 – Australian businessman Alan Bond sells Van Gogh’s “Irises” to the Getty Museum for an undisclosed price; Bond purchased the painting for $53.9 million in 1987

1994 – Steven Spielberg wins his first Oscar for Best Director for Schindler’s List, which also wins Best Picture

1994 – The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change goes into force

1995 – Human Rights Day * is celebrated in South Africa as a public holiday for the first time, on the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre (see 1960 entry)

1999 – World Poetry Day * is declared by UNESCO

2000 – U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration overstepped its regulatory authority when it attempted to restrict marketing of cigarettes to minors, based on tobacco being an addictive drug

2002 – In Paris, French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce’s 1825 print of a man leading a horse sells for $443,220; it is one of the earliest recorded photographic images

2006 – Twitter is founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams

2012 – World Down Syndrome Day * is officially recognized by the UN

2016 –Kepler space telescope captures visible light of a “shock breakout” when star KSN 2011a explodes, first time an exploding star’s brilliant flash shockwave is captured

2016 – The first UN International Day of Forests *


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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