Wednesday, March 21, 2012

21st of March

Today is the 80th day of the year, with only 285 days remaining until the end of the year.

It is also the most common date of the March equinox, although astronomically the equinox is more likely to fall on the day before in all but the most easterly longitudes.  In astrology, the day of the equinox is the first full day of the sign of Aries.  It is also the traditional beginning of the astrological year.

1857 - An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000 people.

1871 - Otto von Bismarck is appointed Chancellor of the German Empire.

1918 - The first phase of the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, begins.

1928 - Charles Lindbergh is presented with the Medal of Honor for the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

1933 - Construction of Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed.

1943 - Wehrmacht officer Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler by using a suicide bomb, but the plan falls through.  Von Gersdorff is able to defuse the bomb in time and avoid suspicion.

1945 - Operation Carthage commences, when British planes bomb Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.  They also hit a school and 125 civilians are killed.

1946 - The Los Angeles Rams sign Kenny Washington, making him the first African-American player in American football since 1933.

1952 - Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio.

1963 - Alcatraz, a federal penitentiary on an island in San Francisco Bay, closes.

1965 - Martin Luther King Jr., leads 3200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1970 - The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by Mayor of San Francisco, Joseph Alioto.

1980 - President Jimmy Carter announces a boycott on the Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Arghanistan.

1980 - On the season finale of the soap opera Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing is shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase "Who shot J.R.?"

1989 - Sports Illustrated reports allegations tying baseball player Pete Rose to baseball gambling.

1999 - Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, becomes the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air baloon.

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