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Events, deaths, births, of 30 MAR

[For Mar 30 Julian go to Gregorian date:
1583~1699: Apr 091700s: Apr 101800s: Apr 111900~2099: Apr 12]
• Napoléon loses Paris... • Pro~slavery ruffians bloody Kansas... • Verlaine est né... • Seward's Folly... • 15th Amendment to US Constitution... • North Vietnamese invade South... • Israel violence: UN “concerned”... • Australian cruelty to refugees... • Maimonides is born... • Van Gogh is born... • Goya is born... • The Tucker car... • Wallace criticizes Truman's Cold War policies... • US President Reagan is shot.... • Author of Black Beauty is born... • Populist unrest... • Acceptance test of UNIVAC... • Clay defends protectionist tariff... • Japanese puppet regime in Nanking...
On a March 30:
2002 In Luena, capital of Moxico province, Angola, in the presence of observers from the UN, the US, Russia, and Portugal, government armed forces and UNITA rebels sign a cease-fire following upon the 15 March 2002 truce o and cease-fire talks started on 20 March. After 27 years of civil war, government troops killed UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on 22 February 2002.
2002 UN “concerned” about violence in Israel.       ^top^
      Following the violent attack begun the previous day by Israel on the Palestinian authority headquarters in Ramallah, the UN Security Council, 14-0 (with Syria abstaining), adopts Resolution 1402, drafted by Norway:
      The Security Council,
      Reaffirming its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and the Madrid principles,
      Expressing its grave concern at the further deterioration of the situation, including the recent suicide bombings in Israel and the military attack against the headquarters of the president of the Palestinian Authority,
      1. Calls upon both parties to move immediately to a meaningful cease-fire; calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah; and calls upon the parties to cooperate fully with Special Envoy Zinni, and others, to implement the Tenet security work plan as a first step towards implementation of the Mitchell Committee recommendations, with the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement;
      2. Reiterates its demand in resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;
      3. Expresses support for the efforts of the secretary-general and the special envoys to the Middle East to assist the parties to halt the violence and to resume the peace process;
      4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
2002 Protests against Australian inhumanity to refugees.       ^top^
      Violent protests at the inhumane Woomera detention center for asylum seekers, in the Western Australia desert, outside by some 1000 human rights activists and inside by the 348 detainees, 41 of which manage to escape, but are soon recaptured. The asylum seekers are mostly survivors of crossings by boat from Indonesia (others drowned when the Australian Navy interdicted them, others were diverted away from Australia). The vast majority are desperate Middle Easterners and Afghans who have spent months or in some cases years in detention. Riots, hunger strikes, and suicide attempts since January 2002 have not deterred the Australian government from its cruel policies..
     It is clear that the ten-year-old Australian policy of mandatory detention is failing. The mental health of the detainees is endangered. Hunger strikes, self-harm and attempted suicides are due to extreme desperation, because of prolonged incarceration, social isolation and increasing uncertainty about the future, with many people fearing for their lives if returned to their home countries. No other country imprisons hundreds of children, and thousands of men and women for lacking a visa under a national policy requiring their automatic and indefinite detention, without charge or review by a court. The policy of detention has not deterred asylum seekers trying to arrive without authorization. People fleeing persecution often cannot apply for visa at distant embassies and then wait months or years for approval. At the very least, families with children and those already found to meet refugee criteria should be released, pending completion of their visa approvals. Detention should be the exception, not the rule, and determined case by case.
2000 In the midst of his presidential campaign, Vice President Al Gore broke with the Clinton administration, saying he supported legislation to allow 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to remain in the US while the courts resolved his custody case.
1999 A jury in Portland, Oregon, ordered Philip Morris to pay $81 million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking Marlboros for four decades.
1998 Rolls-Royce is purchased by BMW for $570 million.
1998 Cyber Promotions pays $2 million to settle a case brought by EarthLink Network to prohibit Cyber from sending junk e-mail, or "spam," to EarthLink's users.
1996 Microsoft begins selling the Exchange Server, a groupware program for managing electronic messaging, including e-mail and scheduling, across large corporations, in competition with IBM's Lotus Notes.
1995 Pope John Paul II issues the 11th encyclical of his papacy in which he condemned abortion and euthanasia as crimes that no human laws could legitimize.
1994 Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to battle each other.
1994 El Parlamento bosnio aprueba la Constitución de la Federación croato-musulmana.
1994 Constituida en Ginebra la Organización Mundial del Comercio, que sustituye al GATT y entrará en vigor el 01 Jan 1995.
1994 Compaq Computer Corporation agreed to sell a personal computer through Wal-Mart, as already do other makers such as IBM and Dell.
1993 Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run, his first in 43 years. [picture]
Charlie Brown's home run
Comienza en Madrid el juicio contra los responsables del síndrome tóxico causado por el aceite de colza (rapeseed oil) desnaturalizado. El síndrome tóxico, que salió en las noticias por primera vez el 01 mayo 1981, causó unos 1100 (o 9000?) muertos y 200'000 afectados, 25'000 de ellos crónicos. Se atribuye al aceite de colza desnaturalizado con un 2% de anilinas, importado para uso industrial y posteriormente re-naturalizado y desviado al consumo humano, bajo forma de unos aceites sin marca que se comercializaban por canales paralelos. La primera muerte conocida fue la de Jaime Vaquero García, de 8 años, en Torrejón (Madrid), el 01 mayo 1981. Sus padres y dos hermanos también fueron hospitalizados. Se pensaba en una neumopatía aguda infecciosa, la legionaria o enfermedad del legionario. El juicio iniciado hoy terminará el 28 junio 1988 y el 20 mayo 1989 la Audiencia Nacional condenará a 13 aceiteros, entre 38 personas procesadas, no por homicidio, sino por delito contra la salud pública e imprudencia temeraria. Las mayores condenas (a años de cárcel) afectarán a Juan Miguel Bengoechea (20), de RAPSA, responsable de la importación del aceite asesino; Ramón Ferrera (12), de RAELCA (un almacén que funcionaba sin licencia en Alcorcón (Madrid)), distribuidor; Jorge Pich (10), intermediario, y Enric Salomó (4) y Ramón Alabart (4), distribuidores. El 28 Apr 1992 el Tribunal Supremo cuadruplicará las penas a los principales condenados, quienes, sin embargo, pronto quedarán en libertad..
1987 El cuadro Los Girasoles, de Vincent van Gogh, supera la marca en una subasta celebrada en Londres: 22 millones de libras. MORE ON VAN GOGH AT ART “4” MARCH
1985 El comité central del PCE considera autoexcluído del partido a su líder histórico Santiago Carrillo, quien es destituído como portavoz parlamentario.
1984 US ends participation in multinational Lebanon peace force [0126?]
1981 US President Reagan is shot.       ^top^
      President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he'd been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital. The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart.
      In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ''Honey, I forgot to duck,'' and to his surgeons, "Please tell me you're Republicans." Reagan's surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward. The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On 11 April he returned to the White House. Reagan's popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero's welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan's plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years. Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the "Brady Bill," which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.
      After being arrested on 30 March 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley's defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on 30 March 1980. The verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley's attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released.
     John Hinkley Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC, just after the President had addressed the Building and Construction Workers Union of the AFL-CIO. Hinkley, armed with a .22 revolver with exploding bullets, was only three meters away from Reagan when he began shooting. Fortunately, he was a poor shot and most of the bullets did not explode in the manner in which they were intended. Hinkley’s first shot hit press secretary James Brady in the head, causing brain damage; other shots wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent. The final shot hit Reagan’s limo and then ricocheted into the President’s chest.
      Hinkley’s plan leading up to the assassination attempt began in 1976 when he saw the movie Taxi Driver. Robert DeNiro’s character, Travis Bickle, stalks a presidential candidate in the hopes that he will somehow impress and rescue a young prostitute played by Jodie Foster. Hinkley, who spent seven years in college without earning a degree, added Foster to his list of obsessions, which also included Nazis, the Beatles, and assassins. In May 1980, Hinkley wrote to Foster while she attended Yale University, traveling there to see her, and talking to her on the phone a couple of times. Soon after, he began following President Jimmy Carter. In October, he was arrested at an airport near a Carter campaign stop for carrying guns but the Secret Service was not notified. Hinkley simply went to a pawnshop in Dallas and bought more guns.
      For the next several months, Hinkley’s plans changed daily. He pondered kidnapping Foster, considered killing Senator Edward Kennedy, and began stalking newly elected President Reagan. He kept abreast of the president’s schedule by reading the newspaper. After the attack, he wrote a letter to Foster explaining that his attempt on Reagan’s life was for her. Hinkley was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental institution.
1980 Se constituye el Parlamento Vasco, en Guernica.
1979 Adolfo Suárez González es investido presidente del Gobierno español, tras obtener el voto de confianza del Congreso.
1972 Eastertide offensive begins in Vietnam       ^top^
      During the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of North Vietnamese troops cross the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and rapidly overrun the northern portion of South Vietnam. Expanding to four fronts, the Eastertide Offensive eventually involves 150'000 North Vietnamese troops, thousands of Viet Cong guerillas, and hundreds of Communist tanks.
      The US and South Vietnamese respond with a heavy air bombardment of the North, and, after initials losses, manage to turn back the North Vietnamese. The Eastertide Offensive is the largest coordinated North Vietnamese military action since 1968’s Tet Offensive, and its high cost in American lives and resources helps to turn American opinion further against the war in Vietnam.
      The offensive also disrupts peace talks being held in Paris, France, which resume on 27 April. Nine months later, on 27 January 1973, representatives from the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong sign the Vietnam peace agreement. Its key provisions include a cease-fire throughout North and South Vietnam, the withdrawal of US forces and dismantling of US installations within sixty days, the release of North Vietnamese, Vietcong, and US prisoners of war within sixty days, and the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government is to remain in place until new elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South are not to be reinforced or to advance further into the South.
      Two years later, the last US citizens and personnel are evacuated from Saigon as Communist forces launch their final triumphant offensive into South Vietnam, despite the terms of the treaty signed in 1973. The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in US history, and cost fifty-eight thousand US lives.
     A major coordinated communist offensive opens with the heaviest military action since the sieges of Allied bases at Con Thien and Khe Sanh in 1968. Committing almost their entire army to the offensive, the North Vietnamese launched a massive three-pronged attack into South Vietnam. Four North Vietnamese divisions attacked directly across the Demilitarized Zone in Quang Tri province. Thirty-five South Vietnamese soldiers died in the initial attack and hundreds of civilians and soldiers were wounded. Following the initial assault in Quang Tri province, the North Vietnamese launched two more major attacks: at An Loc in Binh Long Province, 100 km north of Saigon; and at Kontum in the Central Highlands. With the three attacks, the North Vietnamese committed 500 tanks and 150'000 men, as well as thousands of Viet Cong, supported by heavy rocket and artillery fire. After initial successes, especially against the newly formed South Vietnamese 3rd Division in Quang Tri, the North Vietnamese attack was stopped cold by the combination of defending South Vietnamese divisions (along with their US advisers) and massive US airpower. Estimates placed the North Vietnamese losses at more than 100'000 and at least one-half of their tanks and large caliber artillery.
1968 El protectorado británico Estados de la Tregua, Qatar y Bahrein se unen para formar una nación llamada Federación de Emiratos del Golfo Pérsico.
1953 Einstein announces revised unified field theory.
1951 Acceptance test of UNIVAC computer.       ^top^
      Presper Eckert and John Mauchly formed one of the first two computer start-ups, Electronic Control Company, in 1946 (Engineering Research Associates, the other early start-up, was founded the same year), to manufacture the first commercial computer, UNIVAC. Mauchly and Eckert had developed ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) at the University of Pennsylvania. Eckert and Mauchly received their first order in the spring of 1946 from the Census Bureau. Unfortunately, they priced the machine below $300'000, a price that proved ludicrously low, given what the machine cost to develop. The new machine, UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), took five years to develop. Along the way, the company ran out of funding and sold itself to Remington Rand in 1950.
      On 30 March 1951, UNIVAC runs seventeen hours of rigorous acceptance tests and is accepted by the US Census Department. The government ordered five more the following year. UNIVAC was popularized on election night, 1952, when the computer's election picks, based on early returns and statistical analysis of previous patterns, were televised. Contradicting opinion polls by Gallup and Roper, the computer predicted a landslide for Eisenhower. For a time, UNIVAC became the generic term for "computer."
1948 US's Cold War criticized by Progressive candidate.       ^top^
      Henry Wallace, former vice-president and current Progressive Party presidential candidate, lashes out at the Cold War policies of President Harry S. Truman. Wallace and his supporters were among the few people in the US who actively voiced criticisms of the US's Cold War mindset during the late-1940s and 1950s.
      Widely admired for his intelligence and integrity, Henry Wallace had served as vice president to Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1941 to 1945. After Harry S. Truman succeeded to the presidency upon Roosevelt's death in April 1945, Wallace was named secretary of commerce, but Wallace did not get along with Truman. A true liberal, Wallace was harshly critical of what he perceived as Truman's backtracking from the social welfare legislation of the New Deal era. Wallace was also disturbed about US policy toward the Soviet Union. During World War II, he came to admire the Soviet people for their tenacity and sacrifice. Like Roosevelt, he believed that the United States could work with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the postwar world.
      After Roosevelt's death, the new Truman administration adopted a much tougher stance toward the Russians. In March 1948, Wallace appeared as a witness before the Senate Armed Services Committee to criticize Truman's call for universal military training, a program designed to provide military training for all male US citizens of draft age. Dismissing Truman's alarming statements about meeting the Communist threat as part of a "deliberately created crisis," Wallace denounced the universal military training program as one that would lead to "death and taxes for the many and very handsome profits for the few." He implored the Senate and US government to strive for a "peaceful foreign policy." "If we are to compete with Communism," he declared, "we had better get on the side of the people."
      Wallace's arguments found only a limited audience in the Cold War US of the late-1940s. In the 1948 presidential election, running as the Progressive Party candidate, he garnered less than 3% of the vote. Two years later, Wallace left the Progressive Party after it condemned his statement in support of the United States and United Nations intervention in Korea. In 1952, he wrote an article, "Why I Was Wrong," in which he declared that his earlier stance in defense of Soviet policies had been mistaken. Nevertheless, his criticism of US Cold War policies kept the spirit of debate and dissent alive in the oppressive atmosphere of Red Scare in the US. In fact, many of his arguments — particularly the point that the US's massive military spending was crippling its social welfare programs — were raised with renewed vigor during the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
Tucker car1947 Tucker car concept announced.       ^top^
      Preston Tucker announces his concept for a new automobile to be named "the Tucker". Having built a reputation as an engineer during WWII when he served as general manager of his company, Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Company, Tucker looked to capitalize on the high demand for cars that post-war conditions offered. No new car model had been released since 1942, and so the end of the war would bring four years worth of car-buyers back to the market.
      Tucker intended to meet the demand with a revolutionary automobile design. His 1945 plans called for an automobile that would be equipped with a rear-mounted engine as powerful as an aircraft engine, an hydraulic torque converter that would eliminate the necessity of a transmission, two revolving headlights at either side of the car’s fender, one stationary "cyclops" headlight in the middle, and a steering wheel placed in the center of the car and flanked by two passenger seats.
      However, a series of financial difficulties forced Tucker to tone down his own expectations for the cars. Production costs rose above his projections and investors became more cautious as the Big Three continued their astounding post-war success. To raise money for his project, Tucker sold franchises to individual car dealers who put up $50 in cash for every car they expected to sell during their first two years as a Tucker agent. The deposit was to be applied to the purchase price of the car upon delivery.
      The SEC objected to Tucker’s strategy on the grounds that he was selling unapproved securities. It was just one intervention in a continuous battle between Tucker and federal regulatory bodies. Tucker loyalists espouse the theory that Tucker was the victim of a conspiracy planned by the Big Three to sabotage independent manufacturers. More likely, though, Tucker was the victim of an unfriendly market and his own recklessness. Unfortunately for his investors, the SEC indicted Tucker before he could begin mass production of his cars. He was acquitted on all counts, but his business was ruined. In the end, only fifty-one Tuckers were produced and none of them were equipped with the technological breakthroughs he promised. Still, the Tucker was a remarkable car for its price tag. Whether as an innovator silenced by the complacent authorities or a charlatan better fit to build visions than cars, Preston Tucker made a personal impact in a post-war industry dominated by faceless goliaths.
1945 The USSR's World War II advance reaches Austria.
1945 II Guerra mundial: los rusos toman la ciudad de Danzig.
1940 Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking.       ^top^
      Japan establishes its own government in conquered Nanking, the former capital of Nationalist China. In 1937, Japan drummed up a rationale for war against Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist China (claiming Chinese troops attacked Japanese troops on maneuvers in a so-called "autonomous" region of China) and invaded northeastern China, bombing Shanghai and carving out a new state, Manchukuo. Money and supplies poured into Free China from the United States, Britain, and France, until the Burma Road, which permitted free passage of goods into China from the West, was closed after a Japanese invasion of Indochina. Making matters more difficult, Chiang was forced to fight on two fronts: one against the Japanese (with US help in the person of Gen. Joseph Stillwell, Chiang's chief of staff), and another against his ongoing political nemesis, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung. (Although the United States advised concentrating on the Japanese first as the pre-eminent threat, Chiang was slow to listen.) The Japanese proceeded to prosecute a war of terror in Manchukuo. With the capture of Nanking (formerly the Nationalist Chinese capital, which was now relocated to Chungking) by the Central China Front Army in December 1937, atrocities virtually unparalleled commenced. The army, under orders of its commander, Gen. Matsui Iwane, carried out the mass execution of more than 50'000 civilians, as well as tens of thousands of rapes. Nanking and surrounding areas were burned and looted, with one-third of its buildings utterly destroyed. The "Rape of Nanking" galvanized Western animus against the Japanese. On 30 March 1940, Nanking is declared by the Japanese to be the center of a new Chinese government, a regime controlled by Wang Ching-wei, a defector from the Nationalist cause and now a Japanese puppet.
1939 Guerra Civil española: Las tropas nacionales ocupan Valencia.
1935 Newfoundland changes time to 3 hrs W of Greenwich, repeats 44 sec.
1917 All imperial lands, as well as lands belonging to monasteries, were confiscated by the Russian provisional government.
1912 French protectorate in Morocco established. — Tratado franco-marroquí por el que se establece el Protectorado de Francia sobre una parte de Marruecos.
1891 “Sockless” Simpson rallies populist farmers.       ^top^
     "Sockless" Jerry Simpson calls on the Kansas Farmers' Alliance to work for a takeover of the state government. Simpson was one of the most popular and influential leaders among Populist-minded western and mid-western farmers of the late 19th century. Angered over low crop prices, crippling bank loans, and high shipping rates, farmers began to unite in self-help groups like the Grange and the Farmers' Alliances. Initially, these groups primarily provided mutual assistance to members while agitating for the regulation of railroads and grain elevators. Increasingly, though, they became centers of support for more sweeping political change by uniting to help form the new nationwide third-party movement known as the Populists. Simpson understood the West and the challenges of making a living in that difficult land. Since 1878, he had operated a ranch in southwest Kansas, where he first became involved in Republican politics.
      During the economic downturn of the 1890s, he became disgusted with the Republican's timid and ineffective efforts to help farmers and ranchers. Like many other men and women who worked the land for a living, he abandoned the major parties to try to achieve more fundamental change through the Populists. Simpson became one of the most influential Populist leaders, thanks in part to his extraordinary wit and talent for cagey publicity stunts. Running for the US Congress in 1890, Simpson's opponents sarcastically accused the Populist candidate of being a backcountry rube who did not even wear socks. Simpson quickly turned the insult to his advantage, proudly calling himself "Sockless Jerry" or the "Sockless Socrates of the Plains."
      Simpson's down-home manner and humor won him wide support, and he served in Congress three times during the 1890s. Had he not been Canadian by birth, he would likely have been nominated as the Populist's presidential candidate. As with most third party movements in the history of the US, the Populist Party was short-lived. By 1898, Simpson was out of the Congress and Populism was all but dead. Still, Simpson and the Populists did succeed in pushing elite Americans to adopt some of their ideas. The Progressive-minded politicians of the early 20th century achieved at least some of the Populist goals, such as regulation of the railways. Shortly before he died in Wichita in 1905, Simpson noted that the Progressive politicians of the day were "just learning now what the farmers . . . knew fourteen years ago."
1881 Francia invade Túnez.
1870 Fifteenth Amendment to US Constitution is adopted       ^top^
      Following its ratification by the requisite three fourths of the states, the Fifteenth Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, is adopted into the US Constitution.
      The amendment, passed by Congress the year before, reads, "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
      The next day, Thomas Peterson-Mundy of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, becomes the first African American to vote under the authority of the Fifteenth Amendment.
      Three years earlier, the Republican-dominated Congress passed the First Reconstruction Act over President Andrew Johnson’s veto, dividing the South into five military districts and outlining how new governments based on universal manhood suffrage were to be established.
      With the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican party to power, which in turn brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been re-admitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.
      In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American to ever sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and some fifteen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, over six hundred served in state legislatures, and hundreds of African Americans held local offices.
      However, by 1877, the Southern Republican Party had virtually vanished and Southern state governments effectively nullified the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, stripping southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to restore the political agenda of Reconstruction, and establish equal rights for all the people of the South.
1870 Texas becomes last Confederate state readmitted to Union
1867 Seward’s Folly       ^top^
      US Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for seven million dollars.
      Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward’s folly," "Seward’s icebox," and President Andrew Johnson’s "polar bear garden."
      The czarist government of Russia, which had established a presence in Alaska in the mid-eighteenth century, first approached the US about selling the territory during the administration of President James Buchanan, but negotiations were stalled by the outbreak of the Civil War.
      After the war, Seward, a supporter of territorial expansion, was eager to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States. He had some difficulty, however, making the case for the purchase of Alaska before the Senate, which ratified the treaty by a margin of just one vote on 09 April 1867.
      Six months later, Alaska was formally handed over from Russia to the United States, and at Sitka, the US flag was raised over the new territory for the first time. Despite a slow start in US settlement, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory, and Alaska, rich in natural resources, has contributed to American prosperity ever since.
     The US government puts the finishing touches on the deal to purchase that "large stump of ice," better known as Alaska. The acquisition, brokered in absolute secrecy by Secretary of State William Seward, saw the US pay Alaska's owner, Russia $7.2 million, or roughly two cents per acre of land. Though Alaska was the first bit of property ever relinquished by Russia, some American officials sneered at the seemingly barren new state. In certain circles, the deal was derisively known as "Seward's Folly." However, Alaska promised a few bright benefits for the US Along with freeing another piece of the continent from the grip of monarchy, the US's newest territory was flush with furs and fish. Rather than establishing a formal government in the territory, President Andrew Johnson reasoned that Alaska's economic activities placed it under the charge of the Treasury Department, which regulated the fur and fish trades. In effect, Johnson’s decision created a government monopoly and planted the seeds for conflict in Alaska's not too distant future.
1865 Cavalry skirmish at Montevallo, Alabama during Wilson's Raid
1865 Siege at Spanish Fort, Alabama continues.
1863 La Asamblea Nacional griega aprueba el nombramiento como rey de Grecia del segundo hijo del príncipe heredero de Dinamarca, que ocupó el trono con el nombre de Jorge I.
1855 Violence disrupts first Kansas election       ^top^
      In territorial Kansas’s first election, some 5000 so-called "Border Ruffians" invade the territory from western Missouri and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. Although the number of votes cast exceeds the number of eligible voters in the territory, Kansas Governor Andrew Reeder reluctantly approves the election to prevent further bloodshed.
      Trouble in territorial Kansas began with the signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. The act stipulated that settlers in the newly created territories of Nebraska and Kansas would decide by popular vote whether their territory would be free or slave.
      A few months after pro-slavery forces defrauded Kansas’s first election, the Kansas Free State forces were formed, armed by supporters in the North and featuring the leadership of militant abolitionist John Brown.
      In May 1857, Border Ruffians sacked the abolitionist town of Lawrence and in retaliation, a small Free State force under John Brown massacred a number of pro-slavery Kansans along the Pottawatomie Creek.
      Over the next four years, raids, skirmishes, and massacres continued in "Bleeding Kansas," as it became popularly known. In 1861, the irrepressible differences in Kansas were swallowed up by the outbreak of full-scale civil war in America.
1842 Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, becomes first to use ether as an anesthetic (in a minor operation).
1824 Long-winded Clay defends protectionist tariff       ^top^
      Congressman Henry Clay took to the House floor to extol the virtues of the proposed Tariff of 1824. During his speech, which stretched over two days, the lawyer-turned-legislator argued that the Tariff's blend of protectionist measures and domestic trade initiatives, including proposed improvements to America's transit routes, would wean the nation from its heavy diet of foreign goods. Though Clay branded this mixture the essence of the "American system," a host of high-profile figures, including Daniel Webster, vociferously begged to differ. Indeed, Webster hit the House floor in early April to deliver his own two-day take on the tariff. Trumpeting the cause of free trade, Webster argued against the tariff, but ultimately failed to persuade the House. On May 22, Congress passed the Tariff of 1824, which effectively raised various rates and also imposed duties on linen, silk, and other goods.
1822 Territory of Florida organized
1814 Napoléon loses Paris       ^top^
      Forces of the European nations allied against Napoléonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the continent. Corsica-born Napoléon Bonaparte, one of the greatest strategists in military history, became the first modern emperor of France in 1804, and, by 1807, controlled an empire which stretched from the Elbe River in the north down through the whole of Italy, and from the Pyrenees Mountains to the Dalmation coast. Beginning in 1812, Napoléon began to encounter the first significant defeats of his military career, suffering through a disastrous invasion of Russia, losing Spain to the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsula War, and enduring defeat against Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden in early 1814. On March 30, the allies captured Paris, and, on April 11, Emperor Napoléon was forced to abdicate his throne. Exiled to the island of Elba, Napoléon escaped to France in early 1815, and raised a new Grand Army that enjoyed temporary success before its crushing defeat at Waterloo against an allied force under the Duke of Wellington. Napoléon was subsequently exiled to the remote island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, where he died six years later, possibly of stomach cancer. In 1840, his body was returned to Paris, where it was interred in the Hotel des Invalides.
1806 José Bonaparte es nombrado rey de Nápoles.
1615 Se otorga a Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra autorización real para la impresión de la segunda parte de El Quijote.
1544 El padre dominico Bartolomé de las Casas es consagrado en Sevilla obispo de Las Chiapas.
1533 Henry VIII divorces his first wife, Catherine of Aragon (creating the Church of England for that purpose). He would have five more, all, except the last one who survived him, decapitated or repudiated. .
1492 The Jews were expelled from Spain by Inquisitor_General Tom's Torquemada (Spanish Inquisition). King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella sign the decree.
Danilov ^ Deaths which occurred on a March 30:
2003 Lance Cpl. Michael J. Williams, 31, and 9 other US Marines, in a surprise attack by Iraqi tanks, soldiers, and guerrillas on roads near Nasiriya, Iraq.
2002 UK's Queen Mother, Elizabeth, in her sleep in the afternoon, widow of George VI (14 Dec 1895 – 06 Feb 1952, king from 11 Dec 1936), born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon on 04 August 1900. She had married on 26 April 1923 and gave birth to future queen Elizabeth II on 21 April 1926..
2002 (Saturday) Muhaned Parhat, 21, suicide bomber of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, from Nablus, in the “My Coffee Shop” café on corner of Allenby and Bialik Streets in Jerusalem's Old City, at about 21:30, after the end of Sabbath. Some 30 Israelis are wounded, none killed.
2002 Two Palestinians of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fathi Abed el Gawad, 21, and Majdi al-Ameiri, 18, and Israeli First Sergeant Major Konstantin Danilov, 23, from Or Akiva, border policeman [photo >], in Baka al-Garbiyeh, on the Green Line border. A Border Police patrol ordered the Palestinian's vehicle to stop, it did, a Palestinian emerged from the car and began firing at them, and was wounded and then killed in the gunfight; the second Palestinian died when gunfire detonated his explosive belt.
2002:: 5 worshippers, 3 Indian soldiers, and 2 independentist attackers of the 150-year-old Raghunath temple complex in the city of Jammu, Indian-occupied Kashmir.
2001: 10th grader, shot by 17-year old former student who walked up to him and put the gun to his head, outside Lew Wallace High School, Gary, Indiana, at 08:15 while students were waiting to enter.
2001 Six Palestinian Day of Rage demonstrators, by Israeli gunfire against rock-throwing crowds.
2001 José Luis Verdes de la Riva, pintor español de obras emblemáticas como El mito de la caverna, fallece en Madrid, su ciudad natal, a los 67 años. [adivine cuales colores preferaba]
1995 Synge, mathematician.
1988 Orpha Nusbaum, of the US, who was born on 13 August 1875.
1982 Walter Hallstein, político y profesor alemán, impulsor de la CECA y de la CEE.
1979 José María Velasco Ibarra, político ecuatoriano.
Killed on 30 March 1976.1976 Mohson Taha, 14, Raja Abu Rya, Khader Khalalieh, Kheir Yassein, Khadijeh Shawahneh, Israeli Arabs killed by Israeli police.
     To protest expropriation of their land in favor of Jews, Israeli Arabs, most of them living in Galilee, declared a general strike for this day, on which new expropriation laws (Yehud Ha-Galil, or the Judaization of Galilee) became effective..
     To preempt the strike, units from the Israeli army and border police, including armored units, were dispatched to the region, where they killed six protesters, wounded dozens and arrested hundreds. This date would be thereafter be commemorated by Palestinians as Day of the Land.
      The general strike erupted into clashes with Israeli forces who came to the dozen or so towns and villages where the protests were taking place. The demonstrators set up roadblocks and fought policemen and soldiers with stones and molotov bombs.
      The confrontations had begun on the night of 29 March, in three Palestinian villages in Galilee — Sakhnin, Deir Hanna and Arabe — between Haifa and Tiberias. Several hundred demonstrators blocked a highway with burning tires, and showered passing army and police vehicles with stones. At one point, soldiers in a truck fired on the crowd. One man — the first among six — was killed, and seven wounded.
      Though a curfew was imposed, the confrontations between demonstrators and soldiers continued in the villages during the night.
      In a second face-off early in the morning of 30 March, a group of Zionist soldiers fired on a crowd in Sakhnin, killing three men and wounding several. After dawn the troubles spread to many of the Palestinian villages. The fifth fatality occurred in Tira, northeast of Jaffa, close to the 1967 borders, in the West Bank, when four policemen opened fire, killing one man and wounding several.
      Later on during the afternoon, a 14-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during a riot in the Galilean village of Can'a.
      Here In Nazareth a group of Israeli border guards appeared to panic when stones were hurled at them from roofs in the eastern quarter of the town. Shouting and waving their sticks, they charged through the streets beating any Arab they could find. At one point, the guards attacked the home of the mayor of the town, smashing windows and doors and beating several members of his family and friends who had gathered there.
      All over the West Bank, a general strike was observed by Palestinians in a display of solidarity with the protest in Galilee. In Nablus, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers went from shop to shop forcing owners to open their doors and resume business—and, if the owners were not there, the soldiers would pry open the doors.
1965 22 persons, by bomb which explodes in a car parked in front of the US Embassy in Saigon, virtually destroying the building and killing 19 Vietnamese, 2 Americans, and 1 Filipino; 183 others were injured. Congress quickly appropriated $1 million to reconstruct the embassy. Although some US military leaders advocated special retaliatory raids on North Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson refused.
1950 León Blum, político socialista francés..
1944 Boys, mathematician.
1929 Henry Scott Tuke, British painter born on 12 June 1858. — LINKSThe PromiseThe Rowing Party
1912 Karl May, novelista de aventuras alemán.
1894 Anton Winterlin (or Winterle), Swiss artist born on 15 June 1805.
1894 Mary Jane (Goodwin) Austin, born on 25 February 1831. US author of Fairy Dreams: or, Wanderings in Elf-Land (1859) — Kinah's Curse! A Story of Love, Intrigue, Revenge and War (1864) — The Tailor Boy (1865) — Dora Darling: The Daughter of the Regiment (1865) — The Novice...A Tale of the Great Earthquake in 1755 (1865) — The Outcast...An American Story (1865) — Cipher: A Romance (1869) — The Shadow of Moloch Mountain (1870) — Moonfolk, A True Account of the Home of the Fairy Tales (1874) — Mrs. Beauchamp Brown (1880) — The Nameless Nobleman (1881) — The Desmond Hundred (1882) — Nantucket Scraps: Being the Experience of an Off-Islander (1883) — The Story of a Storm (1886) — Standish of Standish (1889) — Dr Le Baron and his Daughters: A Story of the Old Colony (1890) — Dolores, A Novel (1890) — Queen Tempest (1890) — Betty Alden: The First Born Daughter of Pilgrims (1891) — David Alden's Daughter and Other Stories of Colonial Times (1892) — The Twelve Great Diamonds (1892) — It Never Did Run Smooth (1892) — The Cedar Swamp Mystery (1901) — AUSTIN ONLINE: Outpost, or Dora Darling and Little Sunshine (1867)
1882 Ramón de Mesonero Romanos, escritor español.
1842 Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, French Neoclassical painter specialized in Portraits, born on 16 April 1755. MORE ON VIGÉE~LEBRUN AT ART “4” MARCH LINKSHyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, Marchioness WellesleyBacchantePrince Henri LubomirskiLa Reine Marie-AntoinetteSelf-Portrait in a Straw Hat — another Self-Portrait — yet another Self-PortraitMadame PerregauxWoman's Head
1794 GILLETTE Bernard, âgé de 37 ans, né et demeurant à Bruxelles, ingénieur employé dans les armées françaises, condamné à mort à Arras le 10 germinal an II
1794 ROCHETTE Louis, âgé de 44 ans, né à Nanteuil, chef de bataillon; commandant temporaire d'Avesnes, y demeurant, époux de Françoise Grattie, condamné à mort à Arras le 10 germinal an II.
1781 Diego Corriente Mateos, famoso bandolero, es ejecutado.
1559 Ries, mathematician.
1202 Gioacchino da Fiore, místico y religioso cisterciense italiano.
^ Births which occurred on a March 30:
1986 Quintillizos le nacen a Linda Jacobsen, sometida en Londres a fecundación in vitro.
1970 Secretariat race horse, triple crown (1973)
1946 Manuel Camacho Solís, político y economista mexicano.
1928 Tom Sharpe, escritor británico.
1927 La Antología poética en honor de Luis de Góngora y Argote, recopilada por Gerardo Diego, en la que se presenta el nuevo grupo de poetas conocido por generación del 27, se publica en Madrid.
1926 Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, escritor y periodista colombiano
1926 John Fowles, escritor británico.
1924 José María Martínez Cachero, catedrático y escritor español.
1921 Rényi, mathematician.
1919 McGeorge Bundy (president of the Ford Foundation; Special Assistant for National Security Affairs under US Presidents Kennedy and Johnson)
1913 Richard Helms, CIA director.
1892 Banach, mathematician.
1891 Arthur Herrington, US engineer and manufacturer; developed the World War II jeep. He died on 06 September 1970.
1886 Leshniewski, mathematician.
1886 Edmund Blampied, British painter who died in 1966. — LINKS58 prints at FAMSF
1885 Bertha Flathers, in the US, who would die on 21 November 1997.
1880 Sean O'Casey, Irish playwright, who died on 18 September 1964.
1868 Koloman Moser, Austrian painter who died on 18 October 1918.
1866 Peter Philippi, German artist who died in 1958.
1853 Vincent van Gogh, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who died on 29 July 1890, generally considered one of the two greatest Dutch painters (along with Rembrandt). — MORE ON VAN GOGH AT ART “4” MARCH LINKSLandscape with the Cloister at Montmajour of ArlesSelf PortraitMany more van Gogh self-portraits Starry NightAbris à MontmartreWheatfield with CrowsPremiers Pas — 14 Sunflowers in a Vase Still LifePath between Garden Walls (Auvers Landscape)The Potato EatersPortrait of Père TanguyThe Night CaféWoman with a BroomFishing Boats at Les Saintes-MariesBretonnes, after Emile BernardMan Cutting Grass with a Sickle33 images at Webshots30 more images at Webshots // The most complete Van Gogh web site
Verlaine1844 Paul Verlaine, French lyric poet.       ^top^
Il meurt le 8 janvier 1896.
[Verlaine, 1891, par Eugène Carrière (1849-1906) >]
1844 Le 30 mars, à Metz, naît Paul-Marie Verlaine. Sa mère, Elisa Dehée, vient du Pas-de-Calais, alors que son père, le capitaine Nicolas-Auguste Verlaine, est né au Luxembourg belge.
1851 La famille Verlaine vient s'installer à Paris.
1853 En octobre, Verlaine devient interne à l'Institution Landry, rue Chapsal, à Paris.
1855 Tout en demeurant pensionnaire à l'Institution Landry, Verlaine suit les cours du Lycée Condorcet, alors appelé Lycée Bonaparte.
1863 En avril, une œuvre de Verlaine, Monsieur Prud'homme qui sera plus tard repris dans les Poèmes saturniens, est publié dans La Revue du progrès moral, littéraire, scientifique et artistique. À cette occasion, Verlaine connaît quelques poètes parnassiens. Pendant cet été-là, il passe ses vacances à Lécluse, chez sa cousine, Élisa Moncomble, dont il tombe amoureux.
1865 Le 1er janvier, Verlaine occupe un poste d'expéditionnaire à la préfecture de la Seine. Cette année-là, il publie de nouveaux poèmes, notamment Nevermore.
1866 En avril, Le Parnasse contemporain publie sept poèmes de Verlaine et, en novembre, Les Poèmes saturniens sont annoncés.
1867 À la fin de l'année, Poulet-Malassis, l'éditeur de Baudelaire, publie, à Bruxelles, les poèmes des Amies.
1869 Les Fêtes galantes sont mises en vente. En juin, Verlaine rencontre Mathilde Mauté et cette aventure amoureuse le hante toute l'année. En juillet, le poète tente de tuer sa mère.
1870 La Bonne Chanson, le recueil qui relate l'évolution des sentiments de Verlaine pour Mathilde Mauté, est publié en juin. Le mariage tant attendu a lieu, à l'église Notre-Dame de Clignancourt, le 11 Aug.
1871 Verlaine commence l'année à Paris, malgré la Commune et l'ordre de Thiers de quitter la capitale, puis de juin à août il se replie vers Fampoux avec son épouse. En septembre, Verlaine fait venir Rimbaud à Paris. Les poètes affichent des relations qu'on trouve scandaleuses. À la même époque, Verlaine bat sa femme et la menace de mort. Le 30 octobre, Mathilde accouche d'un garçon, Georges.
1872 L'année est marquée par de nombreux allers et retours de Verlaine entre Rimbaud et Mathilde Mauté. Pour Verlaine, l'année se termine à Londres, alors que Rimbaud vient de retourner en France. Mathilde Mauté, elle, entreprend des procédures de séparation. Sur le plan de sa production poétique, l'année est marquée, pour Verlaine, par la composition des Romances sans paroles, sans doute son plus beau recueil.
1873 Le début de l'année est marqué par de nouvelles démêlées entre Verlaine, Rimbaud et Mathilde Mauté. Verlaine menace de se tuer si Mathilde ne reprend pas la vie commune. C'est le 10 Jul de cette année-là que Verlaine tire deux balles de revolver sur Rimbaud. Le 08 Aug, le poète est condamné à deux ans de prison. Il commence à purger sa peine à Bruxelles puis, en octobre, il est transféré à la prison de Mons.
1874 En mars, Les Romances sans paroles sont enfin publiées. Le 24 Apr, Verlaine apprend que la demande de séparation de Mathilde Mauté a été accordée. En juin, Verlaine se dit converti. Vers cette date, il commence la composition de Sagesse.
1875 En janvier, Verlaine est libéré. Il fréquente Rimbaud pendant quelques jours à Stuttgart puis, au début d'avril, il trouve un emploi de professeur de latin, de grec, de dessin et de français à la grammar school de Stickney. 1876 Verlaine enseigne maintenant au Collège Saint-Aloysius de Bournemouth. 1877-78 Verlaine achève une première version de Sagesse. En octobre 1877, il devient professeur à l'Institution Notre-Dame de Rethel où, en 1878, il s'éprend de Lucien Létinois, l'un de ses élèves. 1879 Verlaine est congédié de l'Institution Notre-Dame. Il part alors vers l'Angleterre avec Lucien Létinois. Celui-ci enseigne à Stickney, alors que Verlaine travaille au Solent collegiate school de l'île de Wight.
1880 Au début de l'année, Verlaine achète une ferme à Juniville où il s'installe avec Lucien Létinois. En novembre, Sagesse est publié à compte d'auteur. 1882 Verlaine vend sa ferme de Juniville et reprend contact, après dix ans d'absence, avec les milieux littéraires parisiens.
1883 Lucien Létinois meurt de la typhoïde en avril. En juillet, Verlaine s'installe avec sa mère à Coulombes, dans une ferme qu'ils achèteront aux parents de Lucien Létinois. La vie qu'y mène Verlaine apparaît scandaleuse au voisinage.
1884 En mars, Verlaine publie Les Poètes maudits, plaquette qu'il consacre à Rimbaud, Mallarmé et Tristan Corbière. La même année, en novembre, il publie Jadis et Naguère.
1885 En mars, Verlaine est condamné à un mois de prison suite aux coups et aux menaces de mort commis sur sa mère. En juin, après une période de vagabondage, il s'installe à Paris, dans un taudis, l'Hôtel du Midi.
1886-87 Le 21 janvier 1886, la mère de Verlaine meurt. Le poète est sans le sou. Il passe la plus grande partie de cette année-là à l'hôpital, suite à des ulcères qu'il a à la jambe. En 1887, les séjours de Verlaine à l'hôpital sont de plus en plus nombreux et de plus en plus longs.
1888 Le 20 mars, Amour est mis en vente.
1889 Mise en vente, en juin, de Parallèlement.
1890-95 Cette période est marquée par de fréquents séjours à l'hôpital. Verlaine publie anonymement Hombres (1890), un recueil sur les amours homosexuels. Bonheur (1891) et Mes Prisons (1892) sont également publiés. Le poète prononce d'assez nombreuses conférences, notamment en Hollande (1892) et en Belgique (1893).
1896 Le 08 janvier, Verlaine meurt. Le 10 janvier, son cortège funèbre est accompagné de milliers de personnes. Au cimetière des Batignolles, des discours sont prononcés, notamment par Barrès, Coppée, Mallarmé et Moréas.

POÈMES SATURNIENS Le premier recueil de Verlaine est aussi, cela n'a rien de surprenant, celui où l'imitation de ses maîtres - Baudelaire, Hugo, Banville, Leconte de Lisle — est la plus visible. Par exemple, la thématique urbaine du créateur du Spleen de Paris transparaît dans Nocturne parisien, alors que les rimes rares et le goût pour l'Orient caractéristiques de Banville se retrouvent dans un poème comme Résignation. D'ailleurs, à l'époque de la rédaction des Poèmes saturniens, soit vers 1865, Verlaine se réclamait de l'art rigoureux et peu sentimental des Parnassiens. Cependant, ces sont les pièces qui échappent le plus au credo parnassien qu'on retient d'abord des Poèmes saturniens. Les demi-teintes de Nevermore, le bégaiement d'Un rêve familier, les vers brefs de Chanson d'automne, voilà ce qui, dans ce recueil de jeunesse, annonce le mieux ce que sera la voix de Verlaine. Ajoutons enfin que l'allusion que le titre fait à Saturne renvoie à l'influence fatale et au poids de la mélancolie que les astrologues associaient jadis à cette planète.

FÊTES GALANTES En février 1869, quand Verlaine publie les 22 pièces qui composent Les Fêtes galantes, l'idée de se laisser inspirer par Fragonard, Boucher, Watteau et, plus généralement, par les plaisirs qu'on associe au monde de Louis XV n'est pas du tout neuve. De fait, Hugo, Gautier et Banville avaient déjà, tout au long des années cinquante et soixante du XIXe siècle, favorisé un regain d'intérêt pour une société et des artistes longtemps jugés artificiels et superficiels. Dans La Gazette rimée et L'Artiste, deux revues où Verlaine fait paraître en 1867 et 1868 quelques-uns des poèmes qu'il réunira bientôt en recueil, la mode de Watteau et des personnages de la Commedia dell'arte avait déjà été lancée, et cela bien avant que le poète des Romances sans paroles n'y cède à son tour.
      Dans l'ensemble, les fêtes auxquelles nous convie Verlaine mettent en valeur le plaisir dans ce qu'il a de plus sensuel: des pièces comme Sur l'herbe ou En bateau où les messieurs n'attendent que la noirceur pour se laisser aller à leurs désirs le montrent bien, de même que les rêveries érotiques de L'Allée ou ces promesses que pressentent les Ingénus. La mélancolie n'a pas ici la lourdeur qu'elle prendra chez les Romantiques, et quand on parle de mort, comme dans les Indolents, il s'agit d'habitude de la petite mort qui suit la jouissance. Cependant, la fantaisie qui domine l'ensemble du recueil prend nettement l'allure, dans les pièces qui ferment Les Fêtes galantes, d'une tristesse de plus en plus désespérée. En ce sens, le chant du rossignol qui termine En sourdine relève d'une sensibilité et d'une esthétique (car, ici, la douleur est à la fois poignante et belle) fort différentes de ce qu'on retrouvait plus tôt dans le recueil.
      Le style de Verlaine est, dans Les Fêtes galantes, beaucoup plus souple que dans Les Poèmes saturniens. Les vers sont parfois très brefs (cf. Colombine, À Clymène), la langue orale domine des poèmes comme Sur L'herbe ou Les Indolents et, surtout, de nombreuses tournures familières (Verlaine parle de culotte, de vertigo et emploie l'expression se pendant) et quelques archaïsmes (faquins, céans, pensers) donnent une allure vive au recueil, vivacité particulièrement bien adaptée au sujet. Davantage encore que dans Les Poèmes saturniens, Verlaine se révèle ici un artiste qui maîtrise parfaitement bien son outil, la langue française.

ROMANCES SANS PAROLES Les quatre parties des Romances sans paroles ont été, selon toute vraisemblance, composées entre le mois de mai 1872 et d'avril 1873. Les Ariettes oubliées, probablement écrites en mai et juin 1872, révèlent, malgré les accents légers de la sixième ariette, des sentiments tristes sans doute explicables par la situation de Verlaine, déchiré entre son amour pour Rimbaud et l'attachement qu'il éprouve encore pour sa femme, Mathilde Mauté, dont il venait tout juste d'avoir un enfant. Les Paysages belges, avec l'insistance qui y a été mise sur les couleurs, les jeux de lumière et les décors fugaces, laissent percevoir l'influence de l'Impressionnisme. Dans Birds in the night, c'est du mariage de Verlaine avec Mathilde Mauté, de l'échec de cette union surtout, qu'il est question. Enfin, les Aquarelles peignent parfois des paysages londoniens, ce qui n'empêche pas leur créateur — dans Green et Child Wife notamment- de rappeler encore une fois le souvenir de Mathilde. Dans les Romances sans paroles, en particulier dans ses Ariettes oubliées et Paysages belges, Verlaine se dégage de façon bien plus radicale que dans ses recueils précédents de la tradition poétique. De fait, dans ces deux sections, Verlaine a souvent recours aux vers impairs et, au contraire de ce qu'exigent les règles de la prosodie, l'alternance des rimnes masculines et féminines n'est pas systématiquement appliquée. Dans les Paysages belges, d'ailleurs, Verlaine tord le cou à l'éloquence et se concentre à capter l'instant dans ce qu'il a de plus fugitif, alors que dans Beams c'est l'exaltation devant la beauté que le poète exprime de la manière la plus directe possible. Verlaine a longtemps voulu dédier ses Romances sans paroles à Arthur Rimbaud. Il va de soi que cela n'aurait été que justice, tant l'influence du poète d'Une Saison en enfer a été déterminante, et ce tout autant sur les sentiments et les événements évoqués par Verlaine dans son recueil que sur la conception de la poésie qui s'y est fait jour

LA BONNE CHANSON La Bonne Chanson a été publié en juin 1870, soit deux mois après le mariage de Paul Verlaine avec Mathilde Mauté. Toutes les pièces du recueil ont d'abord été envoyées à la fiancée, ce qui fait de ce petit livre la chronique romancée d'un amour qui finira, on le sait, par sombrer dans la méchanceté et la mesquinerie. Les poèmes de La Bonne Chanson - Verlaine les jugeait d'ailleurs ainsi - se caractérisent par leur simplicité. Il ne faut pas, à ce propos, oublier que la première lectrice de ces pièces n'avait que seize ans. Ainsi le style du recueil est bien moins recherché que celui des Poèmes saturniens ou des Fêtes galantes: l'emploi fréquent des rimes plates, d'alexandrins ou même de rimes telles amour/jour (Verlaine a recours à cette rime à trois reprises) fait que la forme poétique frôle parfois ici la banalité. Constamment dans le recueil, Verlaine vante la sainteté (cf. VII) et la sagesse (II, III, VIII, IX, XVIII) de sa fiancée. Bien plus que la passion, c'est la raison et la rédemption que le poète cherche. L'univers nocturne des Fêtes galantes est d'ailleurs remplacé, dans La Bonne Chanson, par une atmosphère presque toujours lumineuse. Verlaine a voulu aller contre sa nature la plus profonde et, en ce sens, il n'est pas difficile de lire dans La Bonne Chanson le récit d'un cruel malentendu dont à la fois Mathilde Mauté et Verlaine lui-même seront les victimes.

SAGESSE Ce recueil fut composé entre 1873 et 1880. Sa création fut, on le sait, marquée par le séjour de Verlaine à la prison de Bruxelles (où il composa notamment Le ciel est par-dessus le toit... ), puis à celle de Mons. C'est de cette époque que date le retour de Verlaine à la foi catholique. Cependant, bien plus qu'un livre religieux, Sagesse exprime la difficulté de Verlaine de s'extraire de ses vices (Les faux beaux jours...), la soif de pardon (Les chères mains...) et l'aspiration au calme (Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit...). Par ailleurs, la confession à laquelle se livre Verlaine ne doit pas nous faire négliger des pièces qui, comme L'échelonnement des haies, renvoient au style épuré des Romances sans paroles. Dans des poèmes comme ceux-là, Verlaine ne veut pas nous convaincre, il n'essaie pas même de se confier: il suggère, simplement.

JADIS ET NAGUÈRE Ce recueil, publié en 1884, est composé d'œuvres écrites, pour la plupart, bien avant cette date, quelques-unes même ayant été créées vers 1870. Ce livre rappelle donc parfois la veine des Fêtes galantes, mais aussi l'aventure vécue avec Rimbaud (certains commentateurs rapprochent ainsi Crimen amoris d'Une saison en enfer) ou les paysages hallucinés des Romances sans paroles (cf. Kaléidoscope). C'est aussi dans ce recueil qu'a été repris le poème de 1874, Art poétique, où Verlaine exprime le plus explicitement ce qui fait la beauté de son écriture. La rétrospective que constitue Jadis et Naguère a été publiée à une époque où Verlaine, renié par les Parnassiens de sa génération, est devenu l'un des hérauts du groupe qu'on appellera les Symbolistes. Il est dommage seulement que ce livre qui aurait pu constituer l'un des plus beaux du poète (des pièces comme Crimen amoris et Kaléidoscope sont en effet superbes) ait été gonflé par des pièces plus insipides, comme Les Uns et les Autres, comédie en vers qui a été assez artificiellement intercalée à l'intérieur du recueil.

AMOUR À l'origine, ce recueil devait compléter Sagesse, en équilibrant le thème de la foi par celui de la charité chrétienne. Mais, peu à peu, d'autres poèmes sont venus grossir le livre, l'éloignant de plus en plus de son plan d'origine. De fait, à côté de pièces étroitement religieuses comme Bournemouth, on retrouve des poèmes patriotes tels Gais et contents ou d'inspiration populaire comme There. Mais c'est surtout les vingt-quatre poèmes consacrés à la mémoire de Lucien Lutinois, jeune paysan que Verlaine connut alors qu'il était professeur et avec qui il habita pendant de nombreuses années, qui donnent une couleur particulière à Amour. Il est vrai que certains poèmes, comme celui où Verlaine absout Lucien Létinois d'avoir péché avec une jeune Anglaise, sont involontairement loufoques, mais d'autres, tels J'ai la fureur d'aimer ou L'affreux Ivry, expriment une douleur authentique.

PARALLÈLEMENT Comme Verlaine l'a lui-même écrit dans la préface de ce livre, ce recueil a été écrit «parallèlement» à Sagesse et à Amour. De fait, alors que Sagesse exprimait la foi de Verlaine et que plusieurs poèmes d'Amour ont été écrits sous l'effet de la morale chrétienne, les pièces de Parallèlement abordent des sujets parfois scabreux. De fait, la vertu bourgeoise — que Verlaine respectait encore dans Amour — est mise à mal dans Les Amies (voir là-dessus Printemps), section où on retrouve un éloge des amours lesbiens, ou dans ces poèmes de Filles (la seconde partie du recueil) dans lesquels Verlaine se complaît dans le récit d'amours de bordels (voir Auburn). Un poème comme Mains évoque même l'image d'un assassin tant Verlaine sent son sens moral et son goût pour la violence gonfler en lui. Il faut savoir là-dessus qu'entre 1885 et 1887, à l'époque où le poète prépare Parallèlement, il est réduit au vagabondage ou, pire, il vit à l'hôpital. Parallèlement est donc une composition née d'une des périodes les plus troubles de l'existence de Verlaine. C'est aussi l'époque où il se désignait lui-même comme le pauvre Lélian.
Chanson d'automne
(Poèmes saturniens)

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l'heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.
 (Sagesse, 1881)

Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit,
            Si bleu, si calme !
Un arbre, par-dessus le toit,
            Berce sa palme.
La cloche, dans le ciel qu'on voit,
            Doucement tinte.
Un oiseau sur l'arbre qu'on voit
            Chante sa plainte.
Mon Dieu, mon Dieu, la vie est là,
            Simple et tranquille.
Cette paisible rumeur-là
            Vient de la ville.
— Qu'as-tu fait, ô toi que voilà
            Pleurant sans cesse,
Dis, qu'as-tu fait, toi que voilà,
            De ta jeunesse ?
(Poèmes Saturniens, 1866)

Souvenir, souvenir, que me veux-tu ? L'automne
Faisait voler la grive à travers l'air atone,
Et le soleil dardait un rayon monotone
Sur le bois jaunissant où la bise détone.
Nous étions seul à seule et marchions en rêvant,
Elle et moi, les cheveux et la pensée au vent.
Soudain, tournant vers moi son regard émouvant :
« Quel fut ton plus beau jour ? » fit sa voix d'or vivant,
Sa voix douce et sonore, au frais timbre angélique.
Un sourire discret lui donna la réplique,
Et je baisai sa main blanche, dévotement.
— Ah ! les premières fleurs, qu'elles sont parfumées !
Et qu'il bruit avec un murmure charmant
Le premier « oui » qui sort de lèvres bien-aimées !

Il pleut doucement sur la ville
(Romances sans paroles, 1874)
Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville ;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon coeur ?
Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits !
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie
Ô le chant de la pluie !
Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s'écoeure.
Quoi ! Nulle trahison ?...
Ce deuil est sans raison.
C'est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon coeur a tant de peine !
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  • 1833 Charles Victor Thirion, French artist who died on 27 April 1878.
    1828 François Louis David Bocion, Swiss artist who died on 13 December 1890.
    1820 Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, in Norfolk, England.       ^top^
          The daughter of a successful children's book writer, she helped edit her mother's manuscripts from an early age but was not published herself until she was 57. Black Beauty, the first significant children's story in the English language to focus on animal characters, established the precedent for countless other works. Appalled by the cruel treatment of horses by some masters during her day, Sewell wrote the book "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses." The story, narrated by the horse, showed Black Beauty's progression through a series of increasingly cruel owners until the exhausted, ill-treated animal collapses. In the end, the horse is saved by a kind owner. Sewell wrote the book during the last seven years of her life, when she became an invalid confined to her home. The book was published shortly before her 25 April 1878 death and became one of the best-loved children's classics of all time. The book was made into a movie three times, in 1946, 1971, and 1994.
    SEWELL ONLINE: Black Beauty, Black Beauty
    1793 Juan Manuel de Rosas, Argentine military and political leader and governor of Buenos Aires (1835-52). He died on 14 March 1877.
    1746 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish painter who died on 16 April 1828. . MORE ON GOYA AT ART “4” MARCH LINKS
    — Paintings: 3 de Mayo de 1808Maja With Masked MenInquisitionCarlos IIIFamilia de Carlos IVAutoretratoSelf-Portrait With DoctorHoly NameQueen of MartyrsHoly FamilyThe Great He-Goat or Witches SabbathMarquesa de Pontejos Fight at the Cock InnThe ParasolLa CometaCharles III in Hunting CostumeThe Second of May, 1808: The Charge of Mamelukes.The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid — an equestrian portrait of the Duke of WellingtonThe Last Communion of St. Joseph of Calasanz — Etchings: Que Se Rompe la CuerdaEs PeorDesgraciaContra el Bien General252 prints at FAMSF
    1744 Louis d'Ussieux, escritor francés.
    1681 Peeter Snyers “le Saint”, Flemish artist who died on 04 May 1752.
    1664 Julio Alberoni, cardenal y ministro de Felipe V.
    1468 Diego García de Paredes, valiente caballero extremeño.
    Maimonides1135 “Maimonides” Moses Ben Maimon, Córdoba, Spain.       ^top^
          Philosopher, physician, medieval Jewish scholar. Considered the foremost Talmudist of the Middle Ages, his most important writing was Guide to the Perplexed (1190), in which he tried to harmonize Rabbinic Judaism with the increasingly popular Aristotelianism of his day.
         Moses Maimonides (1135-1204). The foremost intellectual figure of medieval Judaism, Maimonides was a prolific writer whose ideas about philosophy, religion, and medicine had vast influence. He is best known for three works: his commentary on the Mishna, his code of Jewish law, and his Guide of the Perplexed. Moses Maimonides was born Moses ben Maimon in Cordoba, Spain, to an educated, distinguished family. In 1159 the family left Spain for Fez, Morocco, because of the persecution of the Jews of Cordoba at the hands of a fanatical Islamic sect. In Fez, Maimonides began his study of medicine, but again his family fled persecution and moved to Palestine.
          They finally settled in the 1160s in Fostat, Egypt, near Cairo. Here they were free to practice Judaism. Soon after their arrival Maimonides' father and brother died, and Maimonides began to practice medicine to support his family. His fame as a physician spread, and he soon became the court physician for Sultan Saladin and his family. Maimonides also lectured at the local hospital, maintained a private practice, and was a leader in the Jewish community. Maimonides' writings are varied and vast. He believed that reason should guide all things but only as long as the Bible's absolute doctrines are not sacrificed.
          When he was 23 he began to write a commentary on the Mishna, an authoritative collection of oral laws containing all of the decisions in Jewish law that were compiled from the earliest times to the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Maimonides clarified certain terms and phrases and wrote several introductory essays. One of these essays, Maimonides' Thirteen Articles of Faith, summarizes the teachings of Judaism. When he finished this project, he began one of his masterworks, Mishne Torah. This is a code of Jewish law, or Halakah, written in Hebrew. His Guide of the Perplexed, written originally in Arabic, took Maimonides 15 years. In it he urges the search for a rational philosophy of Judaism. It is this work that stimulated philosophers and religious scholars for generations afterward. Many of his minor works including several concerning medicine, astronomy, and physics are still read and studied. Maimonides died on 13 December 1204, and was buried in Tiberias near the Sea of Galilee.
    Religious Observances RC : St Leonard Murialdo, Italian priest/educator / Santos Juan Clímaco, Quirino, Víctor y Domingo.
    Good Friday in 1877, 1888, 1923, 1934, 1945, 1956, 2018, 2029, 2040, 2108.
    Easter Sunday in 1902, 1975, 1986, 1997, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2092.

    Thought for the day: “God is the sum of all possibilities.” — Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American Nobel Prize-winning author (1904-1991).
    “God is the multiplication of all possibilities.”
    “God is the negation of all impossibilities.”
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