UPI Almanac for Saturday, March 21, 2015

Catastrophic earthquake strikes Tokyo, Alcatraz prison closes, thousands begin main Selma-to-Montgomery march ... on this date in history.

By United Press International
UPI Almanac for Saturday, March 21, 2015
The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closed March 21, 1963. The island became a national recreation area and historic landmark. This is a Sept, 14, 2013, view of Alcatraz, with a large crowd of visitors.. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Today is Saturday, March 21, the 80th day of 2015 with 285 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and Venus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include composer Johann Sebastian Bach in 1685; Mexican revolutionary and president Benito Juarez in 1806; Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1839; theatrical impresario Florenz Ziegfeld in 1867; English theatrical director Peter Brook in 1925 (age 90); actor James Coco in 1930; actor Al Freeman Jr. in 1934; actor Timothy Dalton in 1946 (age 69); musician Eddie Money in 1949 (age 66); actor Gary Oldman in 1958 (age 57); actor Matthew Broderick in 1962 (age 53); actor Rosie O'Donnell in 1962 (age 53).

On this date in history:

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In 1413, Henry V was crowned king of England.

In 1617, Pocahontas died in England at about age 22. Three years earlier, she converted to Christianity, took the name Rebecca and married Englishman John Rolfe.


In 1790, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia became the first U.S. secretary of state.

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In 1857, 100,000 people were killed in an earthquake in Tokyo.

In 1918, U.S. and German soldiers fought the World War I battle of the Somme.

In 1945, 7,000 Allied planes dropped more than 12,000 tons of explosives on Germany during a single World War II daytime bombing raid.

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In 1952, Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed organized the first rock 'n' roll concert -- the Moondog Coronation Ball.

In 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pledged that Russia would cooperate with the United States in peaceful exploration of space.

In 1963, the U.S. prison on San Francisco Bay's Alcatraz Island was closed.

In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and protected by Army and federalized National Guard troops, began a four-day march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama to demand federal protection of voting rights. This was the main Selma-Montgomery march. Two previous attempts had stopped in Selma -- one blocked by state troopers on March 7 ("Bloody Sunday"); the oher halted voluntarily on March 9.)

In 1984, a nuclear-powered Soviet submarine collided with the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan but no significant damage was reported.


In 1999, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones landed near Cairo after becoming the first people to circle the globe by balloon.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II, referring to the sexual abuse scandal that had shaken the Roman Catholic clergy, wrote that "a dark shadow of suspicion" had fallen over all priests because of the behavior of those who had succumbed to "the most grievous forms" of evil.

In 2005, a 17-year-old boy at the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota killed nine people, wounded several others and then put a shotgun barrel to his chin, pulled the trigger and killed himself.

In 2010, the first eruption of a volcano in southern Iceland since the 1820s forced the evacuation of 450 people but there were no reports of injuries or major property damage.

In 2011, surgeons at a Boston hospital said they had performed the first full-face transplant in the United States on a Texas man burned in a 2008 electrical accident.

In 2013, the United States is the top destination for people who want to leave their home countries and move somewhere else permanently, a Gallup poll found.

In 2014, Jack Fleck, a former municipal course pro whose U.S. Open playoff win over Ben Hogan in 1955 was considered one of golf's biggest upsets, died at the age of 92 in Fort Smith, Ark.


A thought for the day: "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." -- C.S. Lewis

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