31 MARCH
   
 

Born On This Day:

  • Pope Pius IV, 1499
  • René Descartes, 1596
  • Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732
  • R.W. von Bunsen, 1811
  • Sergei Diaghilev, 1872
  • Jack Johnson, 1878
  • Sean O'Casey, 1884
  • Henry Morgan, 1915
  • Richard Kiley, 1922
  • John Fowles, 1926
  • Sydney Chaplin, 1926
  • Cesar Chavez, 1927
  • William Daniels, 1927
  • Gordie Howe, 1928
  • Lefty Frizzell, 1928
  • Liz Claiborne, 1929
  • Shirley Jones, 1934
  • Richard Chamberlain, 1935
  • Herb Alpert, 1935
  • Christopher Walken, 1943
  • Gabe Kaplan, 1945
  • Rhea Perlman, 1946
  • Al Gore, 1946
  • Robbie Coltrane, 1950
  • Ewan McGregor, 1971

Died On This Day:

  • King Francis I France, 1547
  • King Philip III Spain, 1621
  • John Donne, 1631
  • Sir Isaac Newton, 1727
  • John Constable, 1837
  • John Calhoun, 1850
  • Charlotte Brontë, 1855
  • Edward Noyes Westcott, 1898
  • J. Pierpont Morgan, 1913
  • Christian Morgenstern, 1914
  • Lord (Nathan Mayer) Rothschild, 1915
  • Jesse Owens, 1980
  • Enid Bagnold, 1981
  • Selena, 1995
  • Jules Dassin, 2008

Today's Events:

  • 1282 - Sicilians begin massacre of French in Sicily (The Sicilian Vespers); Sicilians protest French (Angevin) rule.
  • 1492 - King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella sign edict expelling all Jews from Spain; 200,000 leave by 7/31.
  • 1808 - Beethoven and others in all-star gala concert in Vienna honoring Joseph Haydn's 76th birthday.
  • 1814 - French Army surrenders to the British as allies enter Paris.
  • 1848 - Fox sisters Katie and Margaret first hear mysterious raps in farmhouse in Hydesville, NY; spiritualism is born.
  • 1854 - U.S. makes first treaty with Japan negotiated by Commodore Perry; ports of Shimoda and Hakodate open to Americans.
  • 1889 - The Eiffel Tower officially opens in Paris, built for the Paris Exhibition by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
  • 1905 - Crisis in Morocco. William II Germany lands in Tangier but fails to break Anglo-French agreement.
  • 1913 - Record day for immigrants to America - 6,745 people arrive at Ellis Island, NY.
  • 1917 - US buys Danish West Indies for $25 million - renamed Virgin Islands.
  • 1918 - Daylight savings time begins in America to conserve fuel; clocks set one hour ahead.
  • 1921 - Independence of Mongolia.
  • 1932 - Ford introduces the V8 engine.
  • 1943 - Rogers and Hammerstein's landmark 'Oklahoma' starts 2,212 performance run in New York.
  • 1945 - Tennessee Williams first play, 'The Glass Menagerie,' opens on Broadway.
  • 1960 - Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' opens on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre.
  • 1966 - Luna 10 Soviet space probe is launched and becomes first to enter orbit around the Moon.
  • 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson announces he will decline to run for re-election.
  • 1990 - 200,000 take to London Streets: Poll tax riots against Margaret Thatcher's government converge in Trafalgar Square.

Feast Day of Saint:

  • Balbina
  • Guy of Pomposa
  • Benjamin
  • Acius or Achatius

Holiday:

  • Transfer Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Non-Specific Holiday:

  • SHROVE TUESDAY. Day before Ash Wednesday. Also called Fastnacht (eve of the fast) in Germany, Carnival (farewell to meat) in Italy, Mardi Gras in Brazil and U.S. & Pancake Tuesday in Britain.
  • ASH WEDNESDAY, moveable feast day celebrated 40 days (ex-Sundays) before Easter.
  • PURIM or Feast of Lots (Jewish), celebrated on 14th or 15th of lunar month Adar.
  • HOLI (Hindu festival of Spring), celebrated early March
  • LENT, called Careme in France, Quaresima in Italy and the Great Fast in Eastern Orthodoxy. (between Feb and April)
  • SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FIRES, first Sunday in Lent.
  • CARLING SUNDAY, fifth Sunday in Lent celebrated in Britain
  • TENG CHIEH, Feast of lanterns in China (Fifteenth day of the First Moon)
  • PESACH or Passover (Jewish), begins 15th day of lunar month Nisan thru 22nd
  • PALM SUNDAY, Sunday before Easter and first day of Holy Week.
  • MAUNDY THURSDAY, Thursday before Easter
  • GOOD FRIDAY, Friday before Easter
  • LAILAT AL-QADR, I'D AL-FITR & IDU'L FITAR, Muslim Festivals
  • EASTER (SUNDAY) (March to May) the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 22-April 25) in Western churches
  • CHING MING FESTIVAL & QING MING (Singapore), All Souls Day in Far East
  • NOTE; EASTER is also called Ostern in Germany and Switzerland, Pasqua in Italy, Pascua Florida or Domingo de Gloria in Spain, Pâques in France, Velykos in Lithuania, Wielkanoc in Polish, Pasha in Greece, Påske in Norway, Påskdagen in Sweden, Zadig in Armenia, Paschen in The Netherlands, Paschoa in Portugal,
  • EASTER MONDAY, Monday after Easter.
  • RAMA-NAVAMI, Hindu Festival of Rama, celebrated at the end of March
  • CH'ING MING, Festival of Pure Brightness in China (Beginning of second moon (about March 21)
  • NAEFELSERFAHRT, Swiss pilgrimage the first Thursday in April to Näfels
  • COMMONWEALTH DAY in Britain Second Monday in March
  • MOTHERING SUNDAY - fourth Sunday of Lent celebrated in England

 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
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