Marc talks about what happened on this day in history, including the day the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, DC, the day a referendum to end apartheid in South Africa was passed, and the day Saint Patrick, Irish missionary and bishop, died.
Children’s Day (Bangladesh)
Evacuation Day (Suffolk County, Massachusetts)
Liberalia, in honor of Liber Pater. Considered by some to be part of Agonalia. (Ancient Rome)
National Muay Thai Day
Saint Patrick’s Day, a public holiday in Ireland, Montserrat and the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, widely celebrated elsewhere in North America and worldwide.
180: Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
624: Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeat the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.
1776: American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city.
1865: Aaron Anderson wins the Navy’s Medal of Honor for his heroic actions aboard the USS Wyandank during the Civil War.
1931: Nevada Senate voted to legalize all forms of gambling in the state providing the impetus for the growth of Las Vegas.
1939: Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan begins,
1941: In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1942: Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lvov Ghetto are gassed at the Belzec death camp in what is today eastern Poland.
1946: Jackie Roosevelt Robinson made his professional debut as a member of the Montreal Royals in the Daytona Beach ballpark that now bears his name. One year later, Robinson would break Major League Baseball’s color barrier and earn the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1949: The first car with a Porsche badge is shown at International Automobile Show in Geneva, Switzerland on a Porsche 356.
1960: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
1965: Word was out that the United States had invaded communist regions of Laos. The U.S. had dropped more than 20 tons of bombs in this location.
1968: As a result of nerve gas testing in Skull Valley, Utah, US, over 6,000 sheep are found dead.
1968: 10,000 Anti Vietnam war demonstrators rally at Trafalgar square peacefully but when the demonstration moves outside the United States embassy in London, the demonstration turns violent with 130 injured, fifty taken to hospital including up to 25 police officers.
1969: Golda Meir becomes first female Prime Minister of Israel, she had been born in Russia but the family had emigrated to the United States and she had gone to school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was one of twenty-four signatories (two of them women) of the Israeli declaration of independence on May 14th, 1948.
1970: My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
1970: Jacob Lawrence was the first artist to receive the Spingarn Medal in 1970 for “emience among American painter”
1979: Gloria Gaynor started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Will Survive.’ The song was originally released as the B-side to a song first recorded by The Righteous Brothers called ‘Substitute.’
1992: A referendum to end apartheid in South Africa is passed 68.7% to 31.2%.
1999: First Black Grandmaster – Maurice Ashley, an immigrant from Jamaica, was 14 and living in Brooklyn, when he feel in love with the game of chess after reading a book about Paul Morphy, a 19th-century Louisianian who was America’s first great chess player. Ever since, Ashley has focused his life on the game.
2001: The Eden Project opens , It is the world’s largest greenhouse and is designed to help save the worlds largest number of plant species from around the world, with a number of domes each emulating a natural climate and geographical area of ecologically , the project has over 100,000 plants and is now one of the UK’s most important tourist attractions.
2003: Two days prior to the US invasion of Iraq President George W. Bush gave a final ultimatum to Saddam Hussein that he had 48 hours for him and his sons to leave Iraq.
2003: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2007: Thousands of demonstrators have marched to the Pentagon to mark the fourth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq and the fortieth anniversary of the march that occurred during the Vietnam War. This has coincided with demonstrations in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and elsewhere. The liberal group MoveOn.org is holding many small protest vigils around the country, and Saturday’s march is organized by the Answer Coalition, which uses the letters for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, and is associated with the Workers World Party.
2008: Kosovo’s parliament has declared independence from Serbia. The Kosovan Prime Minister has promised a democracy that respects the rights of all ethnic communities, and the Serbian Prime Minister has denounced the United States for its help there. The U.N. Security Council was split on the issue, with Russia saying that there was no need to change the 1999 resolution that handed Kosovo to the U.N. European Union foreign ministers have ended talks on Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, with its member states being divided in their recognition of it. France has said that it would recognize its independence, but several other states, especially Spain, were unhappy about the legal ramifications if held. President Bush has said that Kosovo’s people were ‘independent,’ but stopped short of a formal recognition of the country. Russia has backed Serbia in its refusal to recognize the succession.
1777: Roger B. Taney, American politician and jurist, 5th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1864)
1862: Martha Platt Falconer born: social reformer, especially working with delinquent girls
1863: Anna Wessels Williams born: bacteriologist, worked on antitoxin for diphtheria
1884: Alcide Nunez, American clarinet player (d. 1934)
1912: Bayard Rustin, American activist (d. 1987)
1919: Nat King Cole, American singer, pianist, and television host (d. 1965)
1930: Betty Allen born: singer; executive director, Harlem School of the Arts
1933: Myrlie Evers-Williams, American journalist and activist
1937: Adam Wade, American singer, drummer, and actor
1938: Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters) (d. 2007)
1941: Born on this day, Clarence Collins, Little Anthony and The Imperials, (1958 US No.4 single ‘Tears On My Pillow’), song gave Kylie Minogue a UK No.1 in 1990.
1943: Don Mitchell, American actor (d. 2013)
1946: Harold Brown, American drummer (War and Lowrider Band)
1951: Kurt Russell, American actor
1955: Cynthia McKinney, American educator and politician
1955: Gary Sinise, American actor, director, and bass player (Lt. Dan Band)
1957: Michael Kelly, American journalist and author (d. 2003)
1961: Dana Reeve, American actress, singer, and activist (d. 2006)
1964: Rob Lowe, American actor and producer
1972: Mia Hamm, American soccer player
460: Saint Patrick, Irish missionary and bishop (b. 387)
1956: Fred Allen, American actor (b. 1894)
1961: Susanna M. Salter, American politician (b. 1860)
1992: Grace Stafford, American actress (b. 1903)
1997: US singer Jermaine Stewart died of cancer. (1986 UK No.2 single ‘We Don’t Have To…Take Our Clothes Off’). Also worked with Shalamar, The Temptations and Boy George.
2007: John Backus, American computer scientist, designed Fortran (b. 1924)
Sources: The People History; This Day in Labor History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; This Day in Women’s History; This Day in African History;History.com; History Orb; Yenoba; Selected Black Facts; Phil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music