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Events, deaths, births, of MAR 20

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• Packard founder dies... • Khrushchev promoted in Soviet government... • Romanticizer of the West is born... • AOL goes public... • Impending French defeat in Vietnam alarms US... • Futility of Vietnam War... • US federal salaries are cut… • Mandalay liberated... • Mort de Chartier... • Ibsen is born... • Henry V becomes king... • Uncle Tom's Cabin is published... • GOP is founded... • Poison gas in Tokyo subway... • Globalisation néerlandaise... • Patty Hearst convicted of robbery...
Anti-war protestOn a March 20:
2004 At 10:44, demonstrators Harry Westaway (L) and Simon Westaway (R) from Greenpeace hold TIME FOR TRUTH banners below the clock face on London's Big Ben clock tower in Parliament Square. They scaled the tower to the clock face, 100 meters above London, ahead of a protest demonstration starting at 12:00 to mark the first anniversary of the launching of the war of aggression against Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein by conniving USurper “Dubya” Bush and his lapdog, British Prime Minister Blair. The two climbers rappel down from the clockface six hours later. They are arrested “on suspicion of causing criminal damage” (whatever that might be, it is insignificant compared to the thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damages caused by Bush and Blair).
     Thousands had gathered in London for a peace march, one of many taking place across Asia, Europe and the United States the war and the ensuing disartrous military occupation of Iraq. In London, protesters carried "Wanted" posters bearing the faces of Blair and Bush, and banners reading "Make tea, not war." People playing the part of weapons inspectors carried an inflatable nuclear missile to highlight the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Britain's retention of a nuclear deterrent. Hundreds of black balloons were released in memory of those who died in Iraq and (on 11 March 2004) in Madrid. The march was organized jointly by Greenpeace and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) under the motto: “No More War ! No More Lies ! End the Occupation of Iraq !”.

Lu and Chen 20 Mar 20042004 Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian “A-bian”, 53, and Vice President Annette Lu, both of the Democratic Progressive Party, are reelected with 50.1% of the votes cast by the 80% of the electorate that voted [< the two, celebrating, behind bullet-proof glass]. The previous day, at midday, the two were riding in an open Jeep in Tainan, when a bullet wounded Chen in the abdomen and another bullet wounded Lu in the knee. Whoever shot at them was not caught. The opposition Nationalist Party suggests that the attack was a fake intended to gain sympathy votes, and its presidential candidate, Lien Chan, 67, demands the annulation of the vote (of which he got 49.9%). Lien is gratified however by the success of his call to boycott as illegal a referendum conducted at the same time as the election: it ends up invalid because less than 50% (45% in fact) of eligible voters participated in it, 92% of those voting answering "yes" to both questions: Should Taiwan's defenses be strengthened if China refuses to redeploy hundreds of missiles pointed at it?; Should Taiwan seek talks with China about setting up a new "peace and stability framework."? Former political science professor Lien, who belongs to one of Taiwan's richest families, served as an ambassador, foreign minister, premier, and vice president in the former Nationalist government. Chen grew up in a poor village and graduated from Taiwan's top law school. He got into politics by defending dissidents during the Nationalists' martial law era, which ended in 1987. He has been a legislator and Taipei mayor. Neither candidate favors immediate unification with China, and both deeply distrust its Communist leadership. But Chen has been more aggressive in pushing for a Taiwanese identity separate from China, raising tensions with the Beijing regime.

NDC price chart2003 The previous evening, NDCHealth (NDC) forecast lower than expected earnings for 2003 and announced that for the quarter ended on 28 Feb 2003 it had losses of $0.11 per share (in the same quarter a year earlier they had earnings of $0.31 per share). NDC is downgraded by Bear Sterns from Peer Perform to Underperform. On the New York Stock Exchange, 7.4 million of the 35 million NDC shares are traded, dropping from their previous close of $22.48 to an intraday low of $14.47 and closing at $15.05. They had traded as low as $10.90 as recently as 07 October 2003; and as high as $38.66 on 27 August 2001. [5~year price chart >] NDC is a network-based company that provides healthcare information services to pharmacies, physicians, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

2003 Ordered, in defiance of world public opinion and of the majority of the [dis]United Nations, by the regime of US usurper-President “Dubya” Bush, a full-scale war “of liberation of the Iraqi people” against the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, starts with an attack by guided bombs from F~117A stealth fighters and some 40 US cruise missiles which explode in Baghdad starting at 05:35 (02:35 UT), targeting Hussein in a bunker where he is thought to be holding a top-level meeting. In the following days Hussein does not reappear, other than in three possibly pre-recorded or impersonated videotaped addresses on TV (20 March, 24 March, 04 April). But neither does the Iraqi military conduct a coup against his regime or surrender in large numbers.

CLTX price chart2002 The stock of Collateral Therapeutics Inc. (CLTX) rises 104% on the NASDAQ, from the previous close of $5.09 to close at $10.37, while the company is still losing money. It had traded as low as $2.81 on 21 Sep 2001, and as high as $44.38 on 21 February 2000. [< 3-year stock price graph] On 20 March 2003 CLTX, now delisted, would be at $10.77 Over-the-Counter.
2001 La mayor plataforma petrolera mundial, la P-36 brasileña, con una extensión equivalente a un campo de fútbol y una altura de 100 metros, se hunde frente a las costas de Río de Janeiro.
2001 Vatican response to allegations of sexual abuse of nuns by priests.
      The Vatican responds to the National Catholic Reporter 16 March cover story which says that sexual abuse of nuns by priests — especially in AIDS-ravaged Africa — is a serious problem, which article was taken up in La Reppublica of 20 March:
      In relazione a notizie di casi di abusi sessuali subiti da religiose da parte di sacerdoti o missionari, il Direttore della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, ha rilasciato questa mattina la seguente dichiarazione: Il problema è conosciuto, ed è ristretto ad un’area geografica delimitata. La Santa Sede sta trattando la questione in collaborazione con i Vescovi, con l’Unione Superiori Generali (USG) e con l’Unione Internazionale Superiore Generali (UISG). Si lavora sul doppio versante della formazione delle persone e della soluzione dei casi singoli. Alcune situazioni negative non possono far dimenticare la fedeltà spesso eroica della stragrande maggioranza di religiosi, religiose e sacerdoti.
     (NCR comment: The statement did not specify what geographic area is involved nor what was being done to deal with the problem.)
Flextronic stock, price graph2001 Stock of the semiconductor company Flextronics International (FLEX on NASDAQ) drops $4.38 to close at $19.00, having traded as low as $18.19 during the day, its lowest since 1999. [5-year stock price graph >]. On 20 March 2002 it would close at $16.61, after having traded as low as $12.38 on 04 April 2001, and as high as $ 33.09 on 21 May 2001. On 20 March 2003 it would close at $9.49, having traded as high as $18.98 on 01 April 2002 and as low as $5.47 on 09 October 2002.
2000 El programa europeo "Levántate y anda", encaminado a devolver la movilidad a parapléjicos, presenta sus primeros resultados con una demostración pública en la que tres minusválidos, a los que se les había implantado un mecanismo de electroestimulación, ponen en movimiento sus miembros.
2000 Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, 56, once known as H. Rap Brown, is captured in Alabama; he was wanted in the 16 March 2000 fatal shooting of sheriff's deputy Ricky Kinchen. Al-Amin maintains his innocence. Nevertheless an Atlanta jury would, on 09 March 2002, find him guilty on all 13 charges made against him in relation to the murder.
1999 Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain become the first to go around the world nonstop in a hot air balloon.
1997 The National Association of Broadcasters says that it will present a plan to make digital television available to 43% of US homes by the year 2000. Two days earlier, Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt had accused the industry of stalling on digital systems.
1997 Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by agreeing to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive and admitting the industry markets cigarettes to teen-agers.
1996 A jury in Los Angeles convicted Erik and Lyle Menendez of first-degree murder in the shotgun slayings of their millionaire parents.
1996 The British government said that a rare brain disease that had killed ten people was probably linked to so-called "mad cow disease."
1995 Los 52 países de la Organización para la Seguridad y la Cooperación en Europa (OSCE) adoptan en París el Pacto de Estabilidad.
1993 Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared emergency rule, setting a referendum on whether the people trusted him or the hard-line Congress to govern. — El presidente Boris Nikolaievich Yeltsin disuelve el Parlamento ruso y asume poderes especiales, medidas declaradas inconstitucionales tres días después.
1993 Juan Pablo II beatifica al teólogo y filósofo escocés Juan Duns Escoto, franciscano que vivió en el siglo XIV.

1992 AOL goes public.       ^top^
      America Online offers its stock to the public at $11.50 a share. Prospects for online companies seemed bright in 1992 but darkened over the next several years as the increased popularity of the Web lured many users away from online services. While many competitors disappeared or transformed themselves into Internet service providers, AOL survived, becoming the market leader with fifteen million members in January 1999. In 1998, the company purchased Netscape, positioning the company to compete directly with Microsoft in the browser and online content arenas.
1992 Noriega's wife Felicidad arrested for stealing buttons from dresses.
1991 US forgives $2 billion in loans to Poland
1991 The US Supreme Court ruled employers could not adopt "fetal protection" policies barring women of childbearing age from certain hazardous jobs.
1990 Namibia became an independent nation, after 75 years of South African rule.
1981 Jean Harris sentenced 15-to-life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Doctor.
1980 US appeals to International Court on hostages in Iran.
1980 La coalición nacionalista Convergencia i Unió (CiU) gana las elecciones al Parlamento de Cataluña.
1977 Parisians elect former PM Jacques Chirac as first mayor in a century.
1976 Patty Hearst convicted of robbery    ^top^
     In California, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is convicted of taking part in a 1974 armed robbery of a San Francisco bank, and is subsequently sentenced to seven years in prison. On 02 February 1974, Patty Hearst, the daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her Berkelely, California home by members of a small US leftist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).
      Ten days later, a ransom message was sent to the Hearst family demanding $70 in foodstuffs for every needy person in California. Randolph Hearst hesitantly obliged, giving away some $2'000'000 worth of food, but Patty Hearst was not freed. On April 3, in a tape sent to the authorities, she declared that she was joining the SLA of her own free will, and, twelve days later, a surveillance camera took a photo of her participating in an armed robbery of a San Francisco bank.
      On 17 May, Los Angeles police raided the SLA’s secret headquarters, killing six of the group’s nine known members. Among the dead was the SLA’s leader Donald DeFreeze, who called himself General Field Marshall Cinque. Patty Hearst and two other SLA members wanted for the April 15 bank robbery were not on the premises. Finally, on 18 September 1975, Hearst was captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery. She is convicted on 20 March 1976, and sentenced to seven years in prison. On 09 May 1977, she was released on probation, and returned to a more routine existence.
1968 US President Johnson signs a bill removing gold backing from US paper money
1968 Futility of Vietnam War exposed to US public.       ^top^
      Retired US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Shoup estimates that up to 800'000 men would be required just to defend South Vietnamese population centers. He further stated that the United States could only achieve military victory by invading the North, but argued that such an operation would not be worth the cost.
      Also on this day: The New York Times publishes excerpts from General Westmoreland's classified end-of-year report, which indicated that the US command did not believe the enemy capable of any action even approximating the Tet Offensive. This report, Shoup's comments, and other conflicting assessments of the situation in Vietnam contributed to the growing dissatisfaction among a large segment of American society with the Vietnam War.
      At the end of the previous year, Johnson administration officials had insisted that the United States had turned a corner in the war. The strength and scope of the Tet Offensive flew in the face of these claims, feeding a widening credibility gap. Despite administration assurances that the situation was getting better in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had launched a massive attack at 03:00 on January 31, 1968, simultaneously hitting Saigon, Da Nang, Hue, and other major cities, towns, and military bases throughout South Vietnam. One assault team got within the walls of the US Embassy in Saigon before they were destroyed. In the end, the communist forces were resoundingly defeated, but the United States suffered a fatal strategic blow. The Tet Offensive cost the government the confidence of the American people and public opinion turned against the war.
1956 Mount Bezymianny on Kamchatka Penninsula (USSR) explodes
1956 Tunisia gains independence from France.
1954 US alarmed about impending French defeat in Vietnam.       ^top^
      After a force of 60'000 Viet Minh with heavy artillery had surrounded 16'000 French soldiers, news of Dien Bien Phu's impending fall reaches Washington. French General Henri Navarre had positioned his forces 300 km behind enemy lines in a remote area adjacent to the Laotian border. He hoped to draw the communists into a set-piece battle in which he supposed superior French firepower would prevail. He underestimated the enemy. Viet Minh General Vo Nguyen Giap entrenched artillery in the surrounding mountains and massed five divisions around the French positions. The battle, which far exceeded the size and scope of anything to date in the war between the French and the Viet Minh, began with a massive Viet Minh artillery barrage and was followed by an infantry assault.
      Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and other members of the Eisenhower administration were stunned at the turn of events and discussions were held to decide on a course of action. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Arthur Radford proposed the use of nuclear strikes against the Viet Minh. Other options included massive conventional air strikes, paratrooper drops, and the mining of Haiphong Harbor. In the end, President Eisenhower decided that the situation was too far gone and ordered no action to be taken to aid the French. Fierce fighting continued at Dien Bien Phu until 07 May 1954, when the Viet Minh overran the last French positions. The shock at the fall of Dien Bien Phu led France, already plagued by public opposition to the war, to agree to grant independence to Vietnam at the Geneva Conference in 1954.
1953 Khrushchev promoted in Soviet government.       ^top^
      The Soviet government announces that Nikita Khrushchev has been selected as one of five men named to the new office of Secretariat of the Communist Party. Khrushchev's selection was a crucial first step in his rise to power in the Soviet Union-an advance that culminated in Khrushchev being named secretary of the Communist Party in September 1953, and premier in 1958.
      The death of Joseph Stalin on 05 March 1953 created a tremendous vacuum in Soviet leadership. Stalin had ruled the Soviet Union since the 1920s. With his passing, the heir apparent was Georgi Malenkov, who was named premier and first secretary of the Communist Party the day after Stalin's death. This seemingly smooth transition, however, masked a growing power struggle between Malenkov and Nikita Khruschev. Khrushchev had been active in the Russian Communist Party since joining in 1918. After Stalin took control of the Soviet Union following Lenin's death in 1924, Khrushchev became an absolutely loyal follower of the brutal dictator. This loyalty served him well, as he was one of the few old Bolsheviks who survived Stalin's devastating political purges during the 1930s.
      In the 1940s Khrushchev held a number of important positions in the Soviet government. Yet, when Stalin died in March 1953, Khrushchev was overlooked in favor of Malenkov. It did not take long for Khrushchev to take advantage of the mediocre Malenkov. First, he organized a coalition of Soviet politicians to force Malenkov to relinquish the post of first secretary-the more important post, since it controlled the party apparatus in the Soviet Union. Malenkov publicly stated that he was giving up the position to encourage the sharing of political responsibilities, but it was obvious that Khrushchev had gained a crucial victory.
      To replace Malenkov, the party announced the establishment of a new position, a five-man Secretariat. Even Western journalists noted that in announcing the five-person position, Khrushchev's name was always listed first, while the others were in alphabetical order. It was soon apparent that Khrushchev was the driving power in the Secretariat, and in September 1953, he secured enough backing to be named secretary of the Communist Party. In February 1955, he and his supporters pushed Malenkov out of the premiership and replaced him with a Khrushchev puppet, Nikolai Bulganin. In March 1958, Khrushchev consolidated his power by taking the office of premier himself.
      Officials in the United States, including Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, badly underestimated Khrushchev. Initially, they considered him a lackey of Malenkov, but soon came to learn that the blunt and unsophisticated Khrushchev was a force to be reckoned with in Soviet politics. Despite their concern, Khrushchev's rise to power did initiate a period in which tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union began slightly to ease, as he called for "peaceful coexistence" between the two superpowers.
1952 Final ratification of peace treaty restoring sovereignty to Japan
1947 180-metric ton blue whale (record) caught in South Atlantic.
1945 II Guerra Mundial. La isla de Iwo Jima, defendida por japoneses, queda en poder de los estadounidenses tras un mes de lucha feroz, en la que murieron 20'000 soldados por cada bando.
1945 British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.       ^top^
      The 14th Army, under British Gen. William J. Slim, captures the Burmese city of Mandalay from the Japanese, bringing the Allies one step closer to liberating all of Burma. Mandalay, a city on the Irrawaddy River in central Burma (now Myanmar), was the center of the communications in Burma, as well as of rail, road, and river travel. The British conquered Mandalay, the second-largest city in Burma, in 1885. Burma as a whole was detached from India by the British in the Government of India Act of 1935 and made a Crown Colony with its own constitution and parliament. Burmese nationalists plotted with the Japanese in the late 1930s to wrest Burma from the British Empire and bring the nation within the Japanese Empire. Attempts by the nationalists to undermine the building of the Burmese Road (which would create an overland link between the West and China) and incite riots failed, and Burma remained a British colony.
      On 08 December 1941, the Japanese took matters into their own hands and invaded Burma. Troops landed at Victoria Point, at the southern tip of the peninsula. Moving north, the Japanese troops, composed mostly of disgruntled Burmese nationals who fashioned themselves an army of liberation, determined to expel the Brits from their homeland, advanced on Rangoon, Lashio (the Burmese end of the Burma Road into China), and Mandalay, which fell on 02 May 1942. With the Japanese holding central Burma, China was cut off from the West-and Western supplies. In early 1944, British Gen. William J. Slim, commander of the 14th Army, led an offensive against the Japanese that broke a siege at Imphal. By mid-December, buoyed by his success, Slim launched an offensive against Meiktila, east of the Irrawaddy River and a key communication post between Rangoon and Mangalay. A strategy of misdirection was employed, with one corps headed toward Mandalay even as Slim's immediate objective was Meiktila. With the Japanese preoccupied with the first corps, a second corps took Meiktila on 03 March 1945, and Mandalay fell on the 20th. The 14th Army now controlled a significant swath of central Burma. Rangoon, the capital, would fall in May, returning Burma to British hands.
1942 General MacArthur vows, "I shall return"
1939 7000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania
1933 Economy Act cuts US federal salaries and benefits.       ^top^
      Mere moments after taking the oath of office, newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt had set about pulling America out of the depths of the Depression. He temporarily closed the nation's banks, passed emergency legislation aimed at stabilizing financial institutions, and hit the airwaves to give the country a much-needed pep talk. And, on this day in 1933, Roosevelt continued his aggressive first month in office, signing the Economy Act into law. Another strike against the Depression, the Economy Act slashed the salaries of federal employees in the name of preserving the nation's fiscal resources. It also forced veterans to forgo part of their war benefits in the name of the economy. Along with these austerity measures, the Economy Act also forced the federal government to shuffle various agencies in hopes of maximizing their cost efficiency.
1932 Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Region in RSFSR becomes Kara-Kalpak ASSR.
1931 Consejo de guerra contra los dirigentes de la revuelta de Jaca. Una mujer, Victoria Kent Siano, interviene por primera vez en un suceso de esta índole, como defensora de uno de los acusados.
1896 Marines land in Nicaragua “to protect US citizens” in the wake of a revolution.
1865 Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina continues.
1864 Confederate raider CSS Alabama arrives at Capetown, South Africa.
1833 US and Siam conclude commercial treaty.
1816 The US Supreme Court affirmed its right to review state court decisions.
1815 Napoléon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule.
1807 Los ingleses se apoderan de Alejandría, tras la llegada del ejército de Napoleón a Egipto.
1800 Gran victoria de los franceses, dirigidos por Jean-Baptiste Kléber, sobre los turcos en la llanura de Heliópolis (Egipto).
1760 Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
1565 Felipe II encarga a Pedro Menéndez de Avilés la conquista y conversión a la fe católica de los indígenas de las provincias de la Florida.
1686 The Holy Office of the Holy See condemns the abuses of the Atlantic slave trade. The violent and fraudulent enslavement of "Negroes and other natives" is forbidden, and owners are to emancipate and compensate innocent slaves.
1413 King Henry V ascends to the throne    ^top^
     King Henry IV, the first English monarch from the Lancastrian dynasty, dies after years of illness, and his eldest son, Henry, ascends to the English throne. In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned King Henry IV of England following the forced abdication of King Richard II, who was greatly weakened by internal conflicts stemming from his quarrels with Parliament. In later years, Henry IV was a chronic invalid, and his son Henry presided over the King’s royal council. Young Henry also led armies against Owen Glendower and the Welsh rebels, and figured largely in the English victory over the Welsh at the Battle of Shrewdsbury. After his ascendance to the throne, the main effort of King Henry V’s reign was his claim, through his great-grandfather Edward III, to the French crown. In 1415, Henry invaded France and won a stunning victory against great odds at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France. By 1419, Normandy was again under English control, and in the next year, the Perpetual Peace of Troyes was concluded, under which Henry married Catherine of Valois, the daughter of King Charles VI of France, and was recognized as regent of France and heir to the French throne.
1179 Alfonso VIII y Alfonso II, reyes de Castilla y Aragón, respectivamente, firman el Tratado de Cazorla, por el que ambos reinos se reparten las zonas de conquista en al-Andalus: Valencia, Denia y Játiva para Aragón y el resto de territorios musulmanes para Castilla.
0141 6th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
Ju/ianaDeaths which occurred on a March 20:
Juliana2004 Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina of the Netherlands [< photos >], of pneumonia (also apparently Alzheimer since at least 2001), born on 30 April 1909, former queen (04 Sep 1948 - 30 Apr 1980) who took the title of Princess after abdicating in favor of her daughter Beatrix [31 Jan 1938~]. Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard [29 Jun 1911~], a German, and their two oldest daughters, then infants, were forced to flee in a truck, then by ship, to England after the Nazi army treacherously invaded The Netherlands on 10 May 1940, when her mother Wilhelmina [31 Aug 1880 – 28 Nov 1962; queen 23 Nov 1890 - 04 Sep 1948] was still queen. The family spent much of the war in Canada and returned to a devastated, impoverished country at the end of the war. Among her first acts as a young queen was not only overseeing reconstruction at home, but also dealing with conflicts in the Dutch colony of Indonesia. She handed back sovereignty to the Indonesians on 27 December 1949. On 18 February 1947, Marijke Christina, her youngest daughter, was born almost blind. Juliana blamed herself because she had contracted German measles just before giving birth. With doctors saying they could do little, she turned to a faith healer. Her close relationship with Greet Hofmans [23 Jun 1894 – 16 Nov 1968], the healer — who was a militant pacifist and had a penchant for the occult — became a scandal and nearly led to the breakup of the royal marriage. The prince contended that the healer had a dangerous influence on his wife and, after a political furor, ensured that all contacts between the two women were broken. Queen Juliana, in turn, stood by her husband during several scandals in which he was involved. Prince Bernhard was often linked to extramarital relationships, which were treated as a public secret within the royal family and in some of the Dutch and European press. But the greater upset to her reign occurred in 1976, when the government disclosed that Prince Bernhard was involved in a bribery scandal and had accepted "dishonorable offers and favors" from the Lockheed Corp., which was eager to sell aircraft to the Dutch military. The prince, by many accounts, was spared criminal prosecution because of public sympathy for Queen Juliana's plight. The distraught queen privately told the government she would abdicate. Fearing a constitutional crisis and a public outcry, the government merely stripped the prince of his military, charitable and diplomatic tasks. [brief illustrated biography] [06 Sep 1948 Time cover]

2004 Fatma al-Jaled, 8, Palestinian girl, of wounds sustained from alleged “warning shots” fired by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip refugee camp of Khan Yunis a day earlier.
2003 Keith Bernard Clay, 35, by lethal injection in Texas, for killing convenience store clerk Melathethil Tom Varughese during a 04 January 1994 robbery in Baytown, near Houston. He is the 300th executed in Texas since it resumed the death penalty in 1983.
2003 Muhammad Ali Nassir, 54, from Yemen where he has 2 wives and 12 children, shot in the head from half-a-meter away by a Black, at 10:15 (15:15 UT) as Nassir was sitting in his place of work, the Stop II Food Market in Brooklyn's Crown Heights at 1291 Eastern Parkway. The gunman then fires repeatedly through a slot in the Plexiglas security window at the counter, critically injuring with 3 bullets another worker, Yakoob Aldailam, 20, nephew of the owner. The gunman leaves without trying to rob the store, whose security cameras had stopped working a month earlier. After Larme Price, 30, admits on the phone to the police that he committed this and 3 previous similar murders (John Freddy and Sukhjit Khajala on 08 February 2003, and Albert Kotlyar on 10 March 2003) out of anger about the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, he is arrested on 29 March 2003.
2002 Elizabeth “Betty” Wettermark Carlson, 87. A lifelong resident of El Paso, Texas, Betty is survived by her husband of 44 years (his 2nd marriage, after the death of his first wife), Edward E. Carlson, 86 (3021 Harrison Avenue, phone 566-0332); son, David E. Carlson, of Houston, TX; daughter, Sylvia Evans of El Paso, TX; granddaughter, Michelle Evans of Dallas, TX; grandson, Jon Michael Evans and wife, Genna Evans, of Houston, TX: several nieces and nephews including Frank Wesster of Peoria, AZ; and many grandnieces and nephews, not to mention her blind dog, and a number of alley cats which come through the cat-door in her garage to eat the food she and her husband put out for them.
2002 Rafael Jaimes Torra, tesorero de la Unión Sindical Obrera, asesinado en la noche cuando salía de su residencia ubicada en el Barrio Galán en la ciudad de Barrancabermeja, Colombia. En el atentado resulta gravemente herido Germán Augusto Corzo García, sobrino del sindicalista.
2002 Four Israeli soldiers: Warrant Officer Meir Fahima, 40, from Hadera; Staff Sergeant Shimon Edrei, 20, from Pardes Hannah; Sergeant Michael Altfiro, 19, from Pardes Hannah; Corporal Aharon Revivo, 19, from Afula; two Israeli civilians: Alon Goldenberg, 27, from Tel Aviv, Maharto Mogus, 75; an unidentified because disfigured victim; and Ra'afat Tahsin Salim Diab, 20, Islamic Jihad suicide bomber from Jenin, West Bank, at about 07:05, in Egged 823 line bus on Highway 65 at Musmus junction, near Umm al Fahm, Arab village south of Afula, Israel. 18 passengers are wounded seriously enough to remain hospitalized overnight. This brings the al-Aqsa intifada body count to 1218 Palestinians and 359 Israelis.
2001 Vera Lawrence, 53, from breathing difficulties suffered after an attempt, at her home, by a fly-by-night operator to enlarge her buttocks by injecting either silicon or collagen. She was an employee in Miami-Dade County's community development division.
2001 E.C. Mullins, sheriff of Simpson County, Mississippi.
     Sheriff Mullins died at about 07:30 after being overpowered by a man he was attempting to question. He had responded to a disturbance call when the suspect apparently overpowered him, causing him to suffer a massive heart attack. The suspect then stole his cruiser, with Sheriff Mullins still inside drove to a service station, stole two cases of beer, and then returned home. After locating the suspect a SWAT team was able to take him into custody. Sheriff Mullins' death was ruled a homicide. Sheriff Mullins is the second sheriff killed in Simpson County. in the past 10 years. Mullins was elected sheriff in January 2000, but he had served the county for many years.
2001 Un concejal socialista de Lasarte (España) es asesinado por la banda terrorista ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna).
1998 Agustín Gómez Arcos, escritor y dramaturgo español.
1995 Twelve die from poison gas attack in Tokyo subway    ^top^
     In Tokyo, Japan, at the height of the morning rush hour, five two-man terrorist teams from the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult, riding on separate subway trains, converge at the Kasumigaseki station and secretly release lethal sarin gas into the air. The well-dressed terrorists hastily exit the station, take sarin antidotes, and disperse to Aum safe houses. As they escape, commuters are blinded and rush to the exits vomiting and gasping for air. Twelve people eventually die, and over five thousand people are treated in hospitals, many still in a coma state. Most eventually recover, but some suffer permanent damage to their eyes, lungs and digestive systems.
      A US Senate subcommittee later estimated that if the sarin gas had been used and disseminated more effectively at Kasumigaseki station, a hub of the Tokyo system, tens of thousands might have been killed.
     The Aum Shinri Kyo, or "Supreme Truth," cult had thousands of followers all over Japan who believed in its doomsday prophecies. Taking over the personal assets of new cult members, the Supreme Truth had well over $1 billion stashed away. Shoko Asahara, a 40-year-old blind man, was the leader of the cult. His books included claims that he was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and that he had the ability to travel through time.
      Japanese authorities raided Supreme Truth compounds across the country, but could not find Asahara. At one camp at the base of Mt. Fuji, police found tons of the chemicals used to produce Sarin gas. They also found plans to buy nuclear weapons from the Russians. The police eventually located Hideo Murai, another of the cult’s top leaders, but when he was being taken into custody he was stabbed to death by an assassin who blamed Murai for the poison gas attack. Shortly after, the police found a hidden basement at the Mt. Fuji compound where other cult leaders were holed up, including Masami Tsuchiya, a chemist who admitted to making the Sarin gas. Still, Asahara remained at large and the Supreme Truth carried out four additional gas attacks on subways, injuring hundreds more. Another potentially deadly chemical bomb was defused in a subway restroom. A taped video message from Asahara claimed that US troops had sprayed Mt. Fuji with nerve gas. And, to add to the unrest in Japan, the nation’s top police officer was shot by a masked terrorist.
      Two days after the gas attack, Japanese police and soldiers raid Aum Shinrikyo headquarters and hundreds of Aum members are arrested, including the cult’s blind leader, Matsumoto Chizuo, 40, who is known as Shoko Asahara to his followers.
      During the 1980s, Chizuo, a self-styled Buddhist monk, begin winning numerous converts to his Aum Shinrikyo cult, a Japanese name that translated to the "True Teachings of Om." In 1989, Aum was recognized as a religious body and corporation in Japan, and, by 1995, had a worldwide following of 50'000 people and assets in excess of one billion dollars.
      In the early 1990s, Chizuo adapted Christian Apocalyptic beliefs to his Buddhist teachings, and proclaimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. During this time, Aum became militant, stockpiling weapons and biological weapons for the coming Armageddon, and over a dozen political opponents to the cult were murdered.
      On 27 June 1994, in Matsumoto, west of Tokyo, Aum members released sarin gas in a parking lot across the street from a rest house where judges who were hearing a case against them were staying. Seven people died and 150 persons were injured. However, Japan’s authorities, hindered by constitutional protection of religious organizations, failed to arrest Chizuo or suppress his cult.
      In early 1995, he told his followers that World War III had begun, and a second sarin attack was planned for the Tokyo subway system, which carries four million riders a day.
     In the years since the 1995 attack, five Aum members have been sentenced to die for the murderous acts committed by the cult at Kasumigaseki station and elsewhere, and others have been sentenced to varying prison terms. The trial of Shoko Asahara, who faces 17 counts of murder and attempted murder, continues today and may drag on for another 15 years due to the slow pace of Japan's judicial system.
      Aum Shinrikyo was stripped of its legal status and tax privileges as a religious organization, but the Japanese government concluded it was no longer a threat and stopped short of using an anti-subversion law to ban it. Aum has changed its name to Aleph, which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and meant to signify renewal, and maintains an impressive following.
1991 Conor Clapton, 5, son of Eric Clapton, falls out of 53rd floor window.
1990 Victor Rothschild, financiero francés.
1983 Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov, Russian mathematician born on 14 September 1891. He used trigonometric series to attack deep problems in analytic number theory.
1978 Barbara Williams, stabbed, in El Paso, Texas. The murderer is not discovered, at least during the next 26 years.
1974 Chet Huntley, 62, newscaster (NBC Huntley-Brinkley Report)
1933 Giuseppe “Joe” Zangara, executed by electrocution for assassination attempt on US President F. D. Roosevelt.
1929 Ferdinand Foch, mariscal francés.
1928 James Ward Packard, 64, founder of the Ohio Automobile Company and the Packard Motor Car Company, in Cleveland, Ohio.       ^top^
      A native of Warren, Ohio, James Packard and his brother, William, started their industrial careers manufacturing electric lamps. They entered the automobile business after James Packard purchased a Winton Motor Carriage. He was so dissatisfied with Winton’s machine that he decided to build his own. Using the shops of a Packard Electric Company subsidiary, J.W. Packard completed his first automobile in 1899, driving through the streets of his hometown of Warren. Wishing to keep their automotive and electrical interests separate, the Packard brothers, along with fellow engineer George Weiss, started the Ohio Automobile Company in September 1900. That year the Packards boosted their company’s profile by selling two cars to William D. Rockefeller. In 1901, an Ohio Automobile Company employee was arrested for speeding through the streets of Warren at 40 MPH. The nationally publicized speeding arrest also raised the company’s profile. A shrewd promoter, Packard developed one of the car industry’s first widely recognized slogans. Responding to a customer’s inquiry about the performance of his car, Packard said, "Ask the man who owns one." Packard’s deft promotion left the company with more customers than cars. A Detroit financier named Henry Joy volunteered his services to raise capital in order to raise the company’s production capabilities. In 1902, the reorganized Ohio Automobile Company was incorporated as the Packard Motor Car Company. Packard cars would be the first to carry a steering wheel in the place of a tiller and the first to utilize the H gear-shift configuration.
1925 Percy Thomas Marquoid, British artist born in 1852.
1903 Carl Anton Bjerknes, Christiana (now Oslo) Norwegian mathematician born on 24 October 1825..
1899 Martha M. Place of Brooklyn, becomes first woman to be executed by electrocution (for the murder of her stepdaughter).
1895 Ludwig Schläfli, mathematician.
1894 Lajos Kossuth Hungarian nationalist.
1865 Constant Troyon, French artist born on 28 August 1810. MORE ON TROYON AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
1859 Jozef T.L. Geirnaert, Belgian artist born on 27 August 1791.
1840 Jan Frans van Dael, Flemish artist born on 25 May 1764. — MORE ON VAN DAEL AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
1830 Nicolas Antoine Taunay, French artist born on 10 February 1755. — more with links to images.
1781 Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, estadista francés.
1771 Louis Michel van Loo, French artist born in 1707. — more with links to images.
1746 Nicolas de Largillière
, French painter born on 10 October 1656. — MORE ON DE LARGILLIÈRE AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
1727 Sir Isaac Newton, 84, in London, physicist, mathematician and astronomer.
1681 Gaspar de Witte, Flemish artist born in 1624. — Relative? of Peter De Witte
1668 Nicolas Mignard d'Avignon, French painter born on 07 February 1606. — more with links to images.
1430 Alain Chartier, escritor francés.
1430 Alain Chartier, poète, écrivain, diplomate.
     Alain Chartier est né à Bayeux vers 1385, il étudia à l'université de Paris, fut secrétaire de Charles VI et de Charles VII, et exerça comme ambassadeur en Allemagne, à Venise et en Écosse.
      L'oeuvre de ce grand poète de la fin du Moyen Âge reste injustement négligée: il a pourtant laissé une marque profonde et subtile dans la littérature française. Clément Marot dit de ses vers qu’ils étaient un honneur pour toute la Normandie et sa province natale. Le grand humaniste Étienne Pasquier (1529-1615) prolongea cet éloge, nommant Chartier le «grand poète de son temps».
click for full picture      Un grand événement historique influença plus particulièrement son oeuvre: la bataille d’Azincourt (1415), qui engendra l’un de ses plus longs poèmes (3600 vers): Le Livre des Quatre Dames (1416), poème octosyllabique dont le thème principal en est les malheurs de quatre femmes qui s’interrogent sur leurs destins respectifs et se demandent lequel est le plus douloureux: l’amant de la première dame est mort, celui de la deuxième dame fut capturé, le suivant disparaît et le dernier a déserté le champ de bataille par lâcheté. Cette oeuvre remporta un vif succès et influença la littérature du XVIe siècle, notamment Marguerite d’Angoulême qui s’en inspira dans La Coche.
      Reprenant les thèmes du lyrisme courtois, il publie ensuite la Belle Dame sans mercy, 1424, son poème le plus célèbre, qui est en fait un pamphlet humoristique sur la trop grande sévérité des femmes et qui retrace les paroles d’un soupirant mal aimé à sa dame dont la froideur inspire des vers parmi les plus célèbres de la poésie française. S’il s’agit d’un thème conventionnel de l’amour courtois à la fin du Moyen Âge, la dextérité de la forme distingue Alain Chartier des écrivains de son temps et a fait de ce poème l’un des plus connus à l’étranger de la littérature française. Souvent imitée au Moyen Âge, cette oeuvre renforça encore la notoriété de Chartier, au point qu'elle inspira le poète anglais John Keats, qui composa, quatre siècles plus tard, un poème portant le même titre. Le poète anglais qui avait pris ce titre d’un poème attribué par erreur à Chaucer et sa «Belle Dame sans merci» se révèle assez différent du poème de Chartier qui fit de ce dernier le maître du huitain.
      Mais, Alain Chartier n'est pas seulement poète: on l’admire aussi pour sa prose soignée, écrite en français et en latin, à tel point que Pasquier lui donna le titre de «Sénèque de la France». La perfection de sa prose est telle, qu’au XVIIe siècle un maître de la langue française, Charles Sorel, déclarera qu’il la préfére à ses poèmes.
      On lui doit le fameux Quadrilogue invectif (1422), allégorie politique en prose dans laquelle la France supplie ses trois enfants (le Peuple, le Chevalier et le Clergé) de se réconcilier pour son propre salut et qui n'est autre qu'un vibrant appel à l'unité de la nation française. Chartier est également l'auteur d'une lettre en latin envoyée en 1429 à un prince étranger, dans laquelle il célèbre les mérites et la gloire de Jeanne d'Arc. Ses deux formes d’expression, prose et poésie, ont en tout cas profondément influencé la création littéraire du XVe siècle, notamment l’art des rhétoriqueurs qui le considéraient comme le père de l’élégance française: «noble poète et orateur», comme le précise Jean Lemaire de Belges.
      Alain Chartier ne se contentera pas de marquer la littérature française par ses écrits, il le fit également par le mythe qui entoura sa vie. Ce mythe – l’histoire du fameux baiser qu’aurait laissé Marguerite d’Écosse sur les lèvres de Chartier, faisant jaillir ainsi toute la création poétique de sa bouche – est repris au XIXe siècle par de grands écrivains tels Gérard de Nerval et Alfred de Musset.
     Bien qu'elle soit apocryphe, la célèbre anecdote de Jean Bouchet sert à indiquer la renommée dont jouissait Chartier à l'époque. D'après celui-là, la dauphine Marguerite d'Écosse aurait un jour embrassé Alain Chartier qui dormait sur un banc. Elle s'expliqua en disant : « Je n'ay pas baisé l'homme, mais la precieuse bouche de laquelle sont yssuz et sortis tant de bons mots et vertueuses parolles ». Mots à retenir, même si Marguerite n'arriva en France qu'en 1436, six ans après la mort du poète.
La Belle Dame sans mercy (début)
Naguère, chevauchant, pensaie
Comme homme triste et douloureux,
Au deuil où il faut que je soie
Le plus dolent des amoureux,
Puisque, par son dard rigoureux,
La mort me tollit ma maîtresse
Et me laissa seul, langoureux
En la conduite de Tristesse.
Si disais : « Il faut que je cesse
De dicter et de rimoyer,
Et que j'abandonne et délaisse
Le rire pour le larmoyer.
Là me faut le temps employer,
Car plus n'ai sentiment ni aise,
Soit d'écrire, soit d'envoyer
Chose qu'à moi ni autre plaise.
Qui voudrait mon vouloir contraindre
À joyeuses choses écrire,
Ma plume n'y saurait atteindre,
Non ferait ma langue à les dire.
Je n'ai bouche qui puisse rire
Que les yeux ne la démentissent,
Car le coeur l'envoirait dédire
Par les larmes qui des yeux issent.
Je laisse aux amoureux malades
Qui ont espoir d'allégement
Faire chansons, dits et ballades,
Chacun à son entendement,
Car ma dame en son testament
Prit à la mort, Dieu en ait l'âme,
Et emporta mon sentiment
Qui gît o elle sous la lame.
Désormais est temps de moi taire,
Car de dire suis-je lassé.
Je veux laisser aux autres faire :
Leur temps est ; le mien est passé.
Fortune a le forcier cassé
Où j'épargnaie ma richesse
Et le bien que j'ai amassé
Au meilleur temps de ma jeunesse.
Amour a gouverné mon sens :
Si faute y a, Dieu me pardonne ;
Si j'ai bien fait, plus ne m'en sens,
Cela ne me toult ni me donne,
Car au trépas de la très-bonne
Tout mon bienfait se trépassa.
La mort m'assit illec la borne
Qu'oncques plus mon coeur ne passa. »
En ce penser et en ce soin
Chevauchai toute matinée,
Tant que je ne fus guère loin
Du lieu où était la dînée ;
Et quand j'eus ma voie finée
Et que je cuidai héberger,
J'ouïs par droite destinée
Les ménétriers en un verger.
Si me retrahis volontiers
En un lieu tout coi et privé,
Mais quand mes bons amis entiers
Surent que je fus arrivé,
Ils vinrent. Tant ont étrivé,
Moitié force, moitié requête,
Que je n'ai oncques esquivé
Qu'ils ne me mènent à la fête.
À l'entrer fus bien recueilli
Des dames et des demoiselles,
Et de celles bien accueilli
Qui toutes sont bonnes et belles ;
Et de la courtoisie d'elles
Me tinrent illec tout le jour
En plaisant paroles nouvelles
Et en très-gracieux séjour.
Dîner fut prêt et tables mises.
Les dames à table s'assirent
Et quand elles furent assises,
Les plus gracieux les servirent.
Tels y eut qui à ce jour virent
En la compagnie liens
Leurs juges, dont semblant ne firent,
Qui les tiennent en leurs liens.
Un entre les autres y vis,
Qui souvent allait et venait,
Et pensais comme homme ravi
Et guère de bruit ne menait.
Son semblant fort contretenait ;
Mais Désir passait la raison,
Qui souvent son regard menait
Tel fois qu'il n'était pas saison.
De faire chère s'efforçait
Et menait une joie feinte,
Et à chanter son coeur forçait
Non pas pour plaisir mais pour crainte,
Car toujours un relais de plainte
S'enlaçait au son de sa voix ;
Et revenait à son atteinte
Comme l'oisel au chant du bois.
Des autres y eut pleine salle,
Mais celui trop bien me semblait
Ennuyé, maigre, blême et pâle,
Et la parole lui tremblait.
Guères aux autres n'assemblait ;
Le noir portait et sans devise,
Et trop bien homme ressemblait
Qui n'a pas son coeur en franchise.
De toutes festoyer feignait,
Bien le fit et bien lui seyait ;
Mais à la fois le contraignait
Amour qui son coeur hardoyait
Pour sa maîtresse qu'il voyait,
Que je choisis lors clairement
À son regard qu'il assoyait
Sur elle si piteusement.
Assez sa face détournait
Pour regarder en autres lieux,
Mais au travers l'oeil retournait
Au lieu qui lui plaisait le mieux.
J'aperçus le trait de ses yeux,
Tout empenné d'humbles requêtes ;
Si dis à part moi : « Si m'aid' Dieux,
Autel fumes comme vous êtes ».
À la fois à part se tirait
Pour raffermir sa contenance,
Et très-tendrement soupirait
Par douloureuse souvenance.
Puis reprenait son ordonnance
Et venait pour servir les mets,
Mais à bien juger sa semblance,
C'était un piteux entremets.
Après dîner on s'avança
De danser, chacun et chacune,
Et le triste amoureux dansa
Adès o l'autre, adès o l'une.
À toutes fit chère commune,
Ô chacune à son tour allait ;
Mais toujours retournait à une
Dont sur toutes plus lui chalait.


1413 Henry IV, king of England. He is succeded by his eldest son, Henry V.
1191  Clemente III, papa.
Births which occurred on a March 20:
1988 Brittanie Cecil, who would die on 18 March 2002, 2 days after being hit in the head by an errant puck at a hockey game she was watching in Columbus, Ohio.
1947 Horacio Vázquez Rial, escritor y periodista español nacido en Argentina.
1944 Erwin Neher, físico alemán, Premio Nobel de Medicina 1991.
1939 Martin Brian Mulroney, Canadian prime minister.
1938 Sergi Novikov, mathematician.
1928 Fred “Mister” Rogers, American Presbyterian clergyman and--since its premiere in 1965--host of public television's longest running children's program: "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
1927 Josep Guinovart, pintor español.
1925 John Ehrlichman Watergate conspirator as assistant to US president Nixon. Ehrlichman died on 14 February 1999.
1922 USS Langley, US Navy's first aircraft carrier, is commissioned.
1911 Alfonso García Robles, Mexican Nobel Peace Prize-winning diplomat and advocate of nuclear disarmament. He died on 02 September 1991.
1911 Angélico Melotto Mazzardo, in Sarego (Veneto), Italy. He would be ordained an OFM priest on 19 July 1939, serve as a missionary in China until the Communist take-over, later be sent to Guatemala, where, on 19 July 1959, he would be consecrated as the first bishop of the diocese of Sololá. On 28 July 1963 he would ordain the first priest of the diocese, US-French Juan-Francisco Canu [27 Feb 1930~]. Bishop Melotto would retire on 05 April 1986, being succeeded by his native Guatemalan coadjutor, Eduardo Ernesto Fuentes Duarte [20 Aug 1941 – 20 Jul 1997], after whose death Bishop Melotto would be, on 20 March 1999 a co-consecrator of the next Bishop of the diocese (by then renamed Sololá-Chimaltenango), Raúl Antonio Martínez Paredes [09 May 1943~], who had been ordained a priest of the diocese on 17 October 1987. Bishop Melotto would die on 11 May 1999.
1904 B(urrhus) F(rederic) Skinner, Pennsylvania, psychologist, Behaviorism pioneer (Skinner box) He died on 18 August 1990.
1886 First AC power plant in US begins commercial operation, Massachusetts
1884 Frank, mathematician.
1882 René Coty Le Harve France, president (France)
1877 Jean Dunand, Swiss Art Deco designer who died on 07 June 1942. — more with links to images.
1872 Robert Brough, Scottish painter who died on 22 January 1905. — a bit more with link to an image.
1856 Frederick Winslow Taylor, father of scientific managemente. He died on 21 March 1915.
1854 US Republican Party is founded    ^top^
     In Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig political party meet to establish a new political party that would oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. With the successful introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, an act to dissolve the terms of the Missouri Compromise and allow slave or free status to be decided in the territories by popular sovereignty, the Whig party, which could not adequately cope with the issue of slavery, disintegrated. By February 1854, anti-slavery factions of the former Whig party had begun meeting in the upper mid-western states to discuss the formation of a new party. One such meeting, at Ripon, Wisconsin, on March 20, 1954, is generally remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican party.
      The Republicans rapidly gained supporters in the North, and, in 1856, their first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, won eleven of the sixteen northern states. By 1860, the majority of the Southern slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans won the presidency.
      On 06 November 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected president over a divided Democratic Party, and six weeks later, South Carolina formally seceded from the Union. Within six more weeks, five other Southern states had followed South Carolina’s lead and, on 12 April 1861, the Civil War began when Confederate shore batteries under General P. G. T. Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay.
      The Civil War firmly identified the Republican party as the party of the victorious North, and after the war, the Republican-dominated Congress forced a "Radical Reconstruction" policy on the South, which saw the passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and the granting of equal rights to all Southern citizens. By 1876, the Republican Party had lost control of the South, but it continued to dominate the presidency until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.
1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin's is published.       ^top^
       American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, 40, publishes her classic antislavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The controversy it kindled helped lead to the American Civil War, nine years later.   
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher was born on 14 June 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut, the seventh child of Congregationalist minister Lyman Beecher. Stowe studied at private schools in Connecticut and worked as a teacher in Hartford for five years until her father moved to Cincinnati in 1832. She accompanied him and continued to teach while writing stories and essays. In 1836, she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, with whom she had seven children. In 1843 she published her first book, The Mayflower; or, Sketches of Scenes and Characters Among the Descendants of the Pilgrims. While living in Cincinnati, Stowe encountered fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad.
     In reaction to recently tightened fugitive laws, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly
which, on 5 June 1851, began to appear in serial form in the Washington National Era, an abolitionist weekly. Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery story would be published in forty installments over the next ten months. For her story Mrs. Stowe was paid $300.
      Although the weekly had a limited circulation, its audience increased as reader after reader passed their copy along to another. In March 1852, a Boston publisher decided to issue Uncle Tom's Cabin as a book and it became an instant best-seller. Three hundred thousand copies were sold the first year, and about two million copies were sold worldwide by 1857. For one three-month period Stowe reportedly received $10'000 in royalties. Across the nation people discussed the novel and hotly debated the most pressing socio-political issue dramatized in its narrative, slavery.
     Stowe traveled to England in 1853, where she was welcomed as a literary hero. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, she became one of the original contributors to The Atlantic, which launched in November 1857.
     In 1863, when Lincoln announced the end of slavery (though in the rebel states only), she danced in the streets. Stowe continued to write throughout her life. In 1853, she published The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, a compilation of documents and testimonies in support of disputed details of her indictment of slavery. In 1856 she published Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, in which she depicted the deterioration of a society resting on a slave basis. Later she wrote novels, of which The Minister's Wooing (1859) is the best known.
      Stowe died on 01 July 1896.
  • Read Documentary History of Slavery in the United States from the collection African American Perspectives, 1818-1907 for a concise review of slavery in the US between 1774 and 1850, when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed.
  • Search American Memory on the term Uncle Tom's Cabin to find a wide variety of material concerning the book, subsequent theatrical adaptations, and related music. See, for example, the musical pieces "Eliza's Flight," published in 1852 and "Eva to Her Papa."
  • Search on the term Harriet Beecher Stowe in The 19th Century in Print: Books to find material written by and concerning Mrs. Stowe. Among these items is a review of Uncle Tom's Cabin, entitled "Uncle Tom in England" from the London Times of Friday, September 3, 1852.
  • A search on the term slavery in Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920 will reveal many non-fiction accounts of slavery. Tupelo, by John Hill Aughey, describes the plight of abolitionists living in the South at the time of secession while quoting a Southern perspective on slavery.
  • From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909 presents 397 pamphlets published from 1824 through 1909 by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics. Search the Subject Index to find a wide variety of materials including personal accounts, orations, reports, and speeches.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Queer Little Folks (1897)
  • House and Home Papers
  • Poganuc People: Their Loves and Lives
  • Woman in Sacred History: A Series of Sketches Drawn from Scriptural, Historical and Legendary Sources
  • The Christian Slave: A Drama Founded Upon a Portion of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1855)
  • The Christian Slave: A Drama Founded Upon a Portion of Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Stage versions co-authored by others:
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly: A Domestic Drama in Six Acts (1858)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin (New Version): A Melodrama in Five Acts (1889)
    Her husband, Calvin Stowe, is co-author of
  • Discourses by Rev. Samuel T. Seclye, and Rev. Calvin E. Stowe, Delivered ... Before the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education at the West
  • 1840 Mertens, mathematician.
    1836 Sir Edward John James Poynter, English Classicist painter who died on 26 July 1919. — MORE ON POYNTER AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
    1828 Henrik Ibsen, playwright       ^top^
          Ibsen was born in Norway in a small logging town. The eldest of five siblings, the young Ibsen showed an early interest in drama, performing puppet shows and magic tricks for his family and neighbors. His merchant father went bankrupt in 1835. When Ibsen was 15, he went to work as an apothecary's assistant in Oslo while studying to enter the university. However, his childhood interest in the theater overpowered his academic endeavors. He wrote his first play, Cataline, at the age of 22 and at age 23 was hired as stage manager of a theater, where he soon became director and playwright, expected to write one play a year.
          Ibsen went to Italy in 1864 and continued to live abroad for 27 years in Rome, Dresden, and Munich. His long dramatic poem Brand (1866) and his play Peer Gynt (1867) both met with great success in Norway.
          In 1879, Ibsen wrote A Doll's House, which portrayed a bleak view of a woman's disillusionment with her marriage and upset critics with its unhappy ending.
         Ibsen wrote his play Ghosts in 1881. The play, which dealt with syphilis, was swiftly and universally reviled by conventionally minded critics. However, Ibsen's works had caught on with progressive theater companies across Europe. A decade after it was written, the play opens in London, where it continued to be treated harshly by critics. Today, however, the play is one of Ibsen's most commonly performed works.
          Ibsen increasingly gained momentum with such plays as An Enemy of the People (1882) and The Wild Duck (1884). The plays he wrote during this period established his reputation as a world-class writer and playwright. In 1891, he returned to Norway, where he suffered a series of strokes and died on 23 May 1906.
    IBSEN ONLINE: (in English translations)
  • A Doll's House
  • A Doll's House
  • An Enemy of the People
  • Ghosts: A Domestic Tragedy in Three Acts
  • The Lady From the Sea
  • Peer Gynt
  • Pillars of Society
  • Rosmersholm
  • The Wild Duck
  • Buntline1823 Edward Zane Carroll Judson “Ned Buntline”, romanticizer of the US West.       ^top^
          Perhaps more than any single writer, Ned Buntline was responsible for creating a highly romanticized and somewhat misleading image of the American West as the setting for great adventure and excitement. Born Edward Zane Carroll Judson, in 1845 he founded a sensationalistic magazine, called Ned Buntline's Own, in Nashville, Tennessee-Ned Buntline became the best known of several pseudonyms he used during his career.
          Buntline's goal in life was straightforward: he wanted to make as much money as possible writing stories that the public would pay to read. He filled the pages of Ned Buntline's Own with all manner of outrageous stories, having a particular affinity for nautical adventures. An incorrigible womanizer (he married seven times), in 1846 he killed a jealous husband who suspected him of seducing his wife. Although Buntline had acted in self-defense, townspeople sympathetic to the dead man hanged Buntline from an awning post in the public square. Luckily, Buntline's friends cut the rope before he strangled and he was spirited out of town.
          Buntline relocated to New York, where he resumed publishing his magazine. Though he had once dreamed of becoming a serious writer, he was desperate to make a living so he began to write more for a mass audience. Buntline's popular adventures were wildly successful, and he churned out dozens of melodramatic "shocking" stories over the course of only a few years. By the time he was in his late 20s, Buntline had earned the title "King of the Dime Novels" and was making an excellent living.
          After traveling to San Francisco in 1869, Buntline realized he could easily adapt his stock adventure plots to a setting in the American West. At about the same time he met a handsome young scout and buffalo hunter named William Frederick Cody. Buntline claimed to have given Cody the nickname "Buffalo Bill," though Cody said he earned the name years before as a hunter for the railroads.
          Buntline's decision to write a dime novel starring Buffalo Bill Cody made the relatively unknown scout into a national media star. Buntline's book The Scout of the Plains grossly exaggerated Cody's western adventures, but the public loved the thrilling tale. Always the promoter, Buntline turned the novel into a play that he staged in Chicago. In 1872, Buntline convinced Cody to travel to the city and play himself in the production. Cody was a poor actor, but his participation brought in people and money.
          Cody broke with Buntline after a year, but the national fame he gained because of Buntline's work eventually allowed "Buffalo Bill" to create his famous Wild West show. Buntline churned out other western dime novels, and he eventually became the nation's top literary money earner, surpassing the income of writers like Walt Whitman and Mark Twain. Buntline prized his wealth, but he remained scornful of his own work. "I found that to make a living I must write 'trash' for the masses, for he who endeavors to write for the critical few, and do his genius justice, will go hungry if he has no other means of support." Buntline died at his home in Stamford, New York, on 16 July 1886. He had written more than 400 novels and countless other short stories and articles. Typical of his novels are: The Mysteries and Miseries of New York — Navigator Ned; or, He Would Be Captain — Stella Delorme; or, The Comanche's Dream — The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main; or, The Fiend of Blood.
    1811 Napoléon II king of Rome.
    1811 George Caleb Bingham, US frontier politician and painter.who died on 07 July 1879.
    1811 Prosper Georges Antoine Marilhat, French painter specialized in portraits and orientalism, who died insane on 13 September 1847. — MORE ON MARILHAT AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
    1809 Jan Tavenraat, Dutch artist who died in 1881.
    1781 Joseph Paelinck, Belgian painter who died on 19 June 1839. — more with links to images.
    1780 Joseph Moessmer, Austrian artist who died on 22 June 1845.
    1741 Jean-Antoine Houdon, at Versailles, French sculptor in the 18th century Rococo style. He died on 15 July 1828.
    1735 Torbern Olof Bergman, Swedish chemist and naturalist who died on 08 July 1784.
    1608 Jean Tassel, French artist who died on 06 April 1667
    1602 Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC) est créée.    ^top^
         La Compagnie des Indes Orientales, société d'Amsterdam, se destine au commerce des épices avec les pays de l'océan Indien et de l'océan Pacifique. C'est le début d'une extraordinaire entreprise qui va donner naissance au deuxième empire colonial du monde après l'empire britannique.
          Quelques années plus tôt, dans les Provinces-Unies qui viennent tout juste de gagner leur indépendance, un jeune homme raconte ses voyages dans les établissements portugais de l'océan Indien. Des marchands hollandais financent aussitôt des expéditions maritimes en vue de concurrencer les Portugais. Les navires ramènent dans leurs cales les précieuses épices des Indes orientales: poivre, clous de girofle, noix de muscade.
          En regroupant leurs moyens au sein de la VOC, les marchands donnent un coup d'accélérateur à leurs expéditions. Ils prennent de vitesse leurs rivaux de Saint-Malo et de Londres et ne tardent pas à s'approprier le monopole du commerce des épices.
          Mais c'est au prix d'une férocité inouïe, tant à l'égard de leurs sujets indigènes que de leurs rivaux européens. Cette férocité contraste avec la civilité de leur pays d'origine.
          Dès 1605, les Hollandais prennent possession de l'archipel des Moluques. Dix ans plus tard, un agent de la VOC, Jan Pieterzoom Cohen, débarque à Djakarta, un village de l'île de Java. Au prix d'extrêmes violences, les Hollandais s'emparent de la future capitale de l'Indonésie et la rebaptisent Batavia (d'après le nom latin des Pays-Bas).
          Poursuivant leur avance, ils s'emparent de l'île de Ceylan (aujourd'hui Sri Lanka) et chassent les Portugais de la plupart de leurs établissements de l'océan Indien. Ils occupent en Extrême-Orient l'île de Formose (aujourd'hui Taiwan) et commencent à commercer avec le Japon. Sur la route des Indes, à la pointe de l'Afrique, ils fondent la colonie du Cap. Amsterdam devient la plaque tournante du commerce des épices. L'une des premières Bourses des valeurs, à l'origine du capitalisme moderne, y est ouverte en 1602, l'année même de la création de la VOC. .
    . 1577 Alessandro Tiarini, Italian painter who died on 08 February 1668. — more with links to images.
    --43 BC:: Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid), Roman poet known for his Metamorphoses. He died in 17 AD.in exile in Tomis (now Constanta, Romania) where the emperor Augustus, who hated him, had banished him. — OVID ONLINE: Metamorphoses MetamorphosesAmoresHeroidesArs AmatoriaRemedia AmorisIbisTristiaex PontoFasti — (In English translations): MetamorphosesMetamorphosesElegies Baur's 150 illustrations of 1703 for Metamorphoses — — 15 illustrations of 1640 for Metamorphoses
    Spring Equinox  
    Holidays    Iran : Oil Nationalization Day     Tunisia : Independence Day (1956)
    Religious Observances:: Ang : Commemoration of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne / Santos Cirilo, Nicetas y Wulfrano; santas Eufemia y Claudia. / Saint Wulfran:: Évêque de Sens au VIIe siècle, à l'époque des rois mérovingiens, Wulfran renonça à son siège prestigieux pour évangéliser les sauvages tribus de la Frise, au nord des Pays-Bas actuels. Il lutta contre les sacrifices humains. Mission accomplie, il revint mourir à Saint-Wandrille, sur les bords de la Seine, dans un charmant monastère que l'on peut encore visiter.
    Thoughts for the day: “Cui peccare licet peccat minus.” — Ovid
    “Fas est et ab hoste doceri.” — Ovid
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