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March 18

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March 18 is the 18th day in March.


1314 — Jacques de Molay of Knights Templar fame burned at stake.

1721 — Tobias Smollett (The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker) lives, Dalquhurn, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.

1728 — John Gay writes to Jonathan Swift of reaction to his Beggar's Opera, which opened January 29: "For writing in the cause of Virtue, and against the fashionable vices, I am looked upon at present as the most obnoxious person almost in England."

1766 — English Parliament repeals Stamp Act. [1]

1768 — British author Reverend Laurence Sterne dies, 54, in London. In 1741, following his marriage to Elizabeth Lumley, Sterne shocked his parishioners by discoursing upon the fifth verse of the fifth chapter of Luke: "we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing."

1842 — Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 — 1898) lives. French poet and leader of the Symbolist movement with Paul Verlaine. Translator of Edgar Allan Poe. [2]

1871 — France: Paris Commune begins. Starts as resistance to occupying German troops and betrayal by big bourgeois. [3]

1873 — David Belasco makes his stage debut at the Metropolitan Theatre playing Emperor Norton in the play “The Gold Demon.” [4] [5]

1877 — United States of America: Non-reservation Spokane Indians agree to give up their land claims and move to Coeur d'Alene and Flathead reservations. "Maybe we should not have humored them when they asked to live on reservations. Maybe we should have said, No, come join us. Be citizens along with the rest of us." — Acting President Ronald Reagan during a trip to Moscow, when a student asked about US treatment of Native Americans

1877 — Edgar Cayce (1877 — 1945) lives. Americaʼs "sleeping prophet," clairvoyant, psychic diagnostician, never went beyond grammar school or studied medicine, but gained fame as a trance healer prescribing drugs and treatments. [6]

1877 — Switzerland: Workers celebration in Bern, organized by the anarchists Peter Kropotkin and Paul Brousse, leads to clashes with the police when the latter try to seize their red flags.

1888 — Argentina: Errico Malatesta is in Bueno Aires doing active propaganda; "Meetings were held today, on the occasion of the first local strikes, etc., and it is probably that the movement "El Perseguido" was first issued (publishing until 1897 January 31), the first of the rapidly developing active and numerous anarchist press, culminating in the (1897 June 13), followed by the (daily) "Protesta") (1904 April 5), which for so many years weathers all storms." — Max Nettlau, Errico Malatesta

1894 — Egypt: The newspaper, Al-Hilal, reports the arrest of a Greek worker in Alexandria for distributing "anarchist leaflets." The leaflets call for workers to celebrate the anniversary of the Paris Commune. [7]

1900 — John Luther Jones, veteran engineer of the Chicago and New Orleans Limited, dies at the throttle in an effort to slow down the hurtling express. [8]

1904 — Outsider lives. Real name: Aarne Viktor Laitinen. Known as Aarne Haapakoski. Other pseudonyms: Henrik Horna, Viktor Mario, William B. Harrow, Rigor Morton. Writer, journalist. One of the most productive thriller authors in Finland from the 30's to the 60's. He wrote nearly 3000 stories.

1910 — United States of America: A celebration of the fifth anniversary of the anarchist journal "Mother Earth" takes place in New York City. Also beginning mid-March, despite an absence of press coverage, Emma Goldman conducts four lectures in Minneapolis. She also lectures for the first time in Sioux City, Iowa. and, organized on short notice, Goldmanʼs lecture in Omaha is well received.

1915 — American novelist/playwright/crime writer Richard Condon lives; best known for his thrillers The Manchurian Candidate and Prizzi's Honor — both adapted to screen. "Politics is a form of high entertainment and low comedy. It has everything: itʼs melodramatic, itʼs sinister and it has wonderful villains." [9]

1915 — United States of America: Emma Goldman, Harry Kelly, Italian Carlo Tresca, Pedro Esteve, Russian William Shatoff, and physician / anarchist Michael Cohn share the platform for an international celebration of the anniversary of the Paris Commune. A poor turnout is attributed by Emma to the divided stance among radicals on the war.

1917 — Switzerland: Hugo Ball: "Together with Tzara I took over the rooms of gallery Corray and yesterday we opened the gallery DADA …" The Dada Manifesto appears on the March 23rd. [10]

1918 — First governmental plan for a 'League of Nations' proposed by United Kingdom.

1918 — United States of America: Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón is arrested for the final time on 1918 March 18 under the Espionage Act. He is charged with hindering the American war effort with his ideas, and imprisoned in the federal penitentiary of Leavenworth, causing outrage at the time among both Mexicans and even US liberals. Ricardo Flores Magon died in prison under highly suspicious circumstances, supposedly of a "heart attack," but at the hands of prison guards, according to Chicano inmates who rioted and killed his principal "murderer," (Gómez Quiñones, pp. 68-69). Ten years after the student riots and their massacre in 1968 and five years after the appearance of Gómez Quiñones' influential book in 1978, Carlos Cortez produced his linocut of Ricardo Flores Magón which commemorates this rehabilitated figure (he now has a city named after him) both in Mexico and among Chicanos. [11] [12]

1918 — United States of America: Dr. Ben Reitman begins his six-month prison sentence in Cleveland for his 1917 January conviction for distributing birth control information. Just one of many visits to jail he endures over the years for practising "free speech" in America. [13] [14] [15]

1921 — Russia: Kronstadt fell yesterday. Thousands of sailors and workers lie dead in the streets. Summary execution of prisoners and hostages continues. Today the victorious Bolsheviks are celebrating the anniversary of the Paris Commune of 1871. Trotsky and Zinoviev, without shame, denounce Thiers and Gallifet for the slaughter of the Paris rebels.

1921 — Steamer "Hong Kong" runs aground off Swatow China killing 1,000.

1925 — United States of America: Tornado in the south-central US leaves 689 dead and 13,000 injured, plus $16-18 million in damage, rendering this the worst tornado on record.

1932 — John Updike lives, Shillington, Pennsylvania. Novelist, short story writer, poet. [16]

1937 — United States of America: Police evict striking retail clerks occupying NY Woolworthʼs for the 40-hour week.

1937 — Spain: Battles in Guadalajara (March 8 through 18) end in victory for the Republican forces (the International Brigades and a division controlled by the anarchist Cipriano Mera) over the fascist nationalist camp composed of Italian, Moroccan troops and strongly armed and motorized Carlists attempting to seize Madrid.

1937 — United States of America: A natural gas explosion in London, Texas (now New London) kills over 300 students, teachers and parents in the worst public school disaster in American history. This event had world wide response. Even Adolph Hitler sent a telegram of condolences. At least two books have been written about it. New London is on Texass highway 42 between Kilgore and Henderson. A museum located directly across the highway from the site honors the victims. — Bleedster Jim R

1938 — Mexico: Lázaro Cárdenas expropriates oil companies. [17]

1938 — Spain: Lincolns are in reserve at Batea, about 40 kilometers southeast of Caspe; joined by more than 100 new recruits as well as stragglers finding their way back, the battalion strength is back to around 400, after being overrun and decimated by fascist forces in the past week. [18]

1942 — United States of America: The War Relocation Authority with Milton Eisenhower as director is created, as Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9102. It is allocated $5.5 million. The first of 108 "Civilian Exclusion Orders" is issued on the 24th. [19] [20]

1947 — Mikhael Guerdjikov (1877 — 1947) dies. Bulgarian militant involved in the Macedonian liberation movement, influenced by Mihail Bakuninʼs ideas; editor of numerous papers (and starting Bulgariaʼs first anarchist periodical, "Free Society"). His burial is the last gathering of Bulgarian anarchists for many years.

1953 — United States of America: In response to an investigation by Senator Joseph McCarthy, the State Department barred from its overseas information libraries the works of all authors whose loyalty to the US was "suspect." Books by such writers as Franklin P. Adams, John Dewey, Edna Ferber, Dashiell Hammett, Theodore White, Edmund Wilson, and even Secretary Dulles' own cousin Foster were thus withdrawn; some were publicly burned. See also tomorrow when the fun continues.

1956 — Louis Bromfield, author of Early Autumn, dies. Received 1927 Pulitzer. [21]

1957 — Bill Haley and the Comets return from 11week tour of Australia, Europe and the British Isles. They played for a half-million fans.

1959 — United States of America: On or about March 18 Big Table, Incorporated, 1316 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, the Mailer in this proceeding, deposited for mailing in the Chicago Post Office several hundred copies of its publication Big Table 1. At the same time the Mailer filed application on Post Office Department Form No. 3501 for second-class mailing privileges for its publication. The postmaster at Chicago entertained doubt as to the mailability of the publication … The Director of the Postal Services Division referred the copy of the publication to the General Counsel April 30, 1959, with a request for the legal opinion of the latter official as to its mailability. The notice of hearing specified that the hearing was to be held on June 4, 1959, in Washington, D. C. [22]

1962 — Algeria: Civil war ends in independence from France.

1963 — United States of America: Supreme Court rules that states must provide free legal counsel for indigents.

1964 — Peru: Several Cocama tribal villages in Amazon Basin strafed and napalmed by government planes.

1965 — Outer Space: First space float, by Alexi Leonov of USSR. First human to "walk" in space when he spent ten minutes outside his Voshod II spacecraft.

1965 — Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman arrested for "insulting behavior" in London — for urinating on the wall of the Francis Garage, a gas station where they sought use of the menʼs room; when the owner refused, and told them to go, they went.

1967 — England: The first big oil spill: US supertanker "Torrey Canyon" runs aground off Landʼs End, releasing 119,000 tons of oil. 90,000 tons wash up on Devon, Cornwall. Their heating problems are solved for next millenium.

1968 — United States of America: At 3 a.m., the staff of San Franciscoʼs "progressive" rock station KMPX-FM walks out on strike citing a lack of control over programming and "hassles over the whole long-hair riff." Performers like the Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead request the station not play their music as long as the station is run by strikebreakers.

1969 — U.S. begins secret bombing of neutral Cambodia, escalating war in Southeast Asia.

1969 — San Francisco — The MC5 have blasted their way out of the grease pits of FoMoCo city, resolved their feud with the Motherfuckers of New Yorkʼs lower east side, and wound up in the San Francisco jailhouse after a near street fight with a squad of TACs. "In the early hours of March 18 the Five were rolling along San Franciscoʼs Bayshore Freeway in a borrowed station wagon with eleven other friends of the Berkeley White Panthers, doin' their usual thing, when the forces of Legitimate Violence tried to run them off the skyway. "The pigs busted the Five for speeding, drunk driving, overloading a station wagon, possession of marijuana and other dangerous drugs, contributing to the delinquency of, fucking, and otherwise violating minors and resisting arrest." Text from the Fifth Estate, April 1969, [23] [24]

1970 — United States of America: The first mass work stoppage in the 195-year history of the Post Office Department began with a walkout of letter carriers in Brooklyn and Manhattan, soon involving 210,000 of the nationʼs 750,000 postal employees. With mail service virtually paralyzed in New York, Detroit, and Philadelphia, President Dick'M Nixon declares a state of national emergency and assigns military units to New York City post offices. The stand-off culminates in two weeks.

1970 — United States of America: Country Joe McDonald is convicted for obscenity and find $500 for leading a crowd in his infamous Fish Cheer ("Gimmie an F..!") at a concert in Massachusetts. [25]

1970 — Trying to reclaim music from the (quote) "filthy, capitalist" record companies, a radical Madison newspaper called Kaleidoscope releases a bootleg album. Features Beatles cuts excluded from the album "Get Back" and Bob Dylanʼs "Isle of Wight" concert. Sells for three dollars, and all profits go to a local activist bail fund. The cover features a photo of John Sinclair, who founded the White Panthers and is doing 10-years for handing two joints to an undercover agent. [26]

1972 — United States of America: Congressional study announces that the income gap in the US between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% has doubled in the past 20 years (since 1952).

1976 — Italy: Police brutally attack students at the University of Padua where they have been holding a sit-in; five wounded by bullets.

1976 — United States of America: New trial ordered for Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and John Artis (for '67 triple murder N.J.).

1986 — United States of America: William F. Buckley Jr. suggests in the New York Times that everyone found to have AIDS "should be tattooed in the upper forearm to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals. This really gets me hot!" [27]

1990 — East Germany: First free elections in its 41-year history.

1990 — United States of America: A Tampa little leaguer, dies, after being struck by a pitch.

1994 — Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain has 4 guns and 25 boxes of ammo confiscated after his wife, Courtney Love, calls police fearing he would commit suicide. He does in about three weeks. [28]

1996 — The Sex Pistols announce they are reuniting for a 20th anniversary tour. [29] [30]

2003 — United States of America: While some bums paint the town red, George Bush paints the nation Democracy Orange. [31] [32]

2006 — San Francisco: Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair.

2006 — France: Youth riots in the streets of Paris, cop cars burn, bricks fly.

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