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March 20

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March 20 is the 20th day in March.


43 BCE — Ovid (43 BCE - 17) lives, Sulmona, in the Abruzzi. Banished from Rome, ostensibly for writing The Art of Love, a guide to lovemaking. [1]

1345 — A triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius occurring on this day is (later) given as the reason for the Black Death.

1727 — Sir Isaac Newton dies in London at 84. [2]

1770 — Mad poet Friedrich Holderin (1770 — 1843) lives, Laffen am Necker, Germany. One of the greatest German lyric poets, especially admired for naturalizing the forms of classical Greek verse in the German language and melding Christian and classical themes. [3]

1812 — England: Frame-Breaking Act made a capital felony, criticised by Sheridan, Whitbread, Romilly, and Lord Byron, et al, opposed by Lamb Lord Liverpool. [4] [5]

1815 — Swiss declare perpetual neutrality in all wars.

1815 — France: Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, declaring "No man is an island," begins 100-day rule.

1828 — Norway: Playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828 — 1906) lives, Skien. [6] Ibsen [7]

1828 — Scotland: Black Rain falls in the Clyde Valley. .. A correspondent to Knowledge, 5-190, writes of a black rain that fell in the Clyde Valley, March 1, 1884: of another black rain that fell two days later. According to the correspondent, a black rain had fallen in the Clyde Valley, March 20, 1828: then again March 22, 1828. [8] [9]

1848 — Italy: The Milanese populace storms the garrison of the Austrian occupiers of their city and declare themselves a republic. Source: 'Calendar Riots'

1852 — Harriet Beecher Stoweʼs Uncle Tomʼs Cabin published, provoking a wave of hatred against slavery, as well as the publication of 30 books defending the peculiar institution. The first novel to sell a million copies. Stoweʼs novel would have aroused condemnation in our century for its patronizing view of African Americans, but at this time the controversy concerns Stoweʼs depiction of slaves as human beings. By the end of 1853, more than 300,000 copies sell, an astronomical figure these days. Within three years, however, enlightened Southerners respond with 30 anti-Tom novels aimed at reversing public sympathies.

1863 — L.E. Chittendon, Registrar of the U.S. Treasury, signed 12,500 bonds in 48 hours so that they could be placed aboard a ship scheduled to leave for England. Chittendon suffered years of pain as a result of his heroic effort; the bonds were never used.

1871 — France: Declaration of Emile Duval, former police commander: "Paris, depuis le 18 mars, n'a d'autre gouvernement que celui du peuple: c'est le meilleur. Jamais révolution ne s'est accomplie dans des conditions pareilles à celle où nous sommes. Paris est devenu ville libre. Sa puissante centralisation n'existe plus. La monarchie est morte de cette constatation d'impuissance. (…)." — Extracted the Official Journal of the Paris Commune. [10]

1889 — Jean de Boe lives, Anderlecht, Belgium. Militant anarchist, syndicalist and cooperativist. [11]

1896 — Nicaragua: US Marines invade this country for the first of many times.

1898 — United States of America: In Chicago, Emma Goldman, (March 20—26, during her speaking tour of February/June, addressing 66 meetings) is aided by Josef Peukert, who secures for her several speaking engagements before labor unions. "Red" Emma also visits Max Baginski, Moses Harman, and visits Michael Schwab (one of the pardoned anarchists imprisoned for charges relating to the Haymarket affair.

1899 — Martha Place, is the first woman to be executed by electrocution. Tried to kill her 17-yr. old stepdaughter with acid and an ax, but wound up smothering her with a pillow. Sing Sing Prison, New York. [12]

1903 — England: Arbeter Fraint begins republishing under the administration of the Arbeter Fraint group and editorship of Rudolf Rocker, but now as the organ of the "Federation of Yiddish-Speaking Anarchist Groups in Great Britain and Paris".

1904 — B.F. Skinner, psychologist, pioneer in Behaviorism lives.

1905 — Vera (Fëdorovna) Panova lives (1905 — 1973). Soviet novelist/journalist, who chose her subjects from the life of ordinary people and adhered faithfully to socialist realism. Won the Stalin Prize three times. [13]

1907 — Hugh MacLennan, novelist/essayist whose books offer an incisive critique of Canadian life, lives, Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His first novel, Barometer Rising (1941), is based upon an actual explosion of a munitions ship that partly destroyed the city of Halifax in 1917. [14]

1916 — Private Aby Harris, no. 111799, shot by firing squad for desertion in 1916. Abraham Beverstein Private Abraham Beverstein was a Jewish soldier from the East End of London. Due to some people viewing it as dishonourable for a Jewish person to enlist as a soldier, Beverstein enlisted under the false name of Harris….

1920 — F. Scott Fitzgerald inscribes a copy of This Side of Paradise for H. L. Mencken: "This is a bad book full of good things." The novel is published six days later. [15] [16]

1921 — United States of America: On or about this date: The Pig Stand, a Dallas restaurant specializing in pork sandwiches, decides to serve customers in their cars, creating the first drive-in. Source: VanessaCollection

1921 — Germany: On or about this date, some Roman Catholic priests begin spreading rumors about Jehovah's Witnesses, charging that they are financed by the Jews and are working to overthrow the state. — Religion, p 77. Source: VanessaCollection

1922 — American comedy writers Ray Goulding and Carl Reiner live.

1924 — Walter Morrison MBE, Scottish community activist in Glasgow, born.

1933 — Germany: Nazis open their first concentration camp in Dachau.

1937 — United States of America: Detroit police evict labor strikers from the Newton Packing Company; three hours later 150 police attack sitdowners at a tobacco plant. [17]

1944 — United States of America: School bus plunges off a bridge into New Jerseyʼs Passaic River, killing 15 children and the driver.

1944 — United States of America: Forty-three Japanese American soldiers are arrested for refusing to participate in combat training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Eventually, 106 are arrested for their refusal, undertaken to protest the treatment of their families in United States concentration camps. Twenty-one are convicted and serve prison time before being paroled in 1946. The records of 11 are cleared by the Army Board of Corrections of Military Records in 1983. (The other 10 did not apply for clearance.)

1946 — United States of America: Tule Lake internment camp closes, culminating "an incrediblle mass evacuation in reverse."

1951 — Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmy Vaughn and Carl Palmer, drummer with Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia, live.

1960 — Cuba: Anarchist-syndicalist workers' papers — including Solidaridad Gastronomico — forced to cease publishing.

1964 — Irish writer, bad boy, political rebel Brendan Behan dies. Wrote Borstal Boy; The Quare Fellow; The Hostage. [18]

1968 — Eric Clapton and three members of the Buffalo Springfield — Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Mesina — arrested in Los Angeles for "being at a place where it is suspected marijuana is being used." Itʼs a misdemeanor for which Clapton will later be found innocent, the others paying small fines. [19]

1969 — John and Yoko fly to Gibraltar and get married then fly to Amsterdam for one week "lie-in" for peace.

1969 — Janis Joplin and Her Band opens at Winterland, Frisco. Source: [Frisco History Archive]

1969 — United States of America: A federal grand jury indicts the Chicago 8. [20] [21] [22]

1970 — United States of America: General Motors announces all Fisher Body 2 workers will be permanently laid off and the plant turned over to Chevrolet for building light trucks. The future of the workers and the Local union is uncertain, and this action appears an obvious retaliation for the 1969 strike. See John Zerzanʼs "Organized Labor versus 'The Revolt Against Work'", [23] [24]

1970 — Sweden: Collision involving the tanker Othello, in Tralhavet Bay, results in a 60,000 - 100,000 ton oil spill.

1976 — United States of America: Patricia "Tania" Hearst convicted of bank robbery. "I wasnʼt with a bunch of Cub Scouts."

1982 — France: Pierre Lentengre (aka Pierre Lentente) (1890 — 1982) dies, in Var. Militant and founder of a Parisian anarchist group. Administrator of "La voix libertaire" (1928 — 1939) and active in "The Friends of Sebastien Faure". [25]

1983 — Australia: 150,000 (1% of population) demonstrate in anti-nuclear rallies.

1985 — Bolivia: Army crushes General Strike. Siles resigns as president in its wake and an attempted coup. [26]

1985 — United States of America: Benefit for anarchist Stan Iverson (1927 — 1985), at Seattleʼs Left Bank Books. One of many fund raising efforts to aid Stan in his fight against cancer. [27]

1990 — Namibia: Independence!

1991 — Eric Claptonʼs 4 year old son, Conor, falls to his death from a 53rd story New York City apartment window. The tragedy inspires Claptonʼs song "Tears in Heaven."

1991 — England: British Government announces abandonment of the Poll Tax. All hail the Council Tax. [Source: Calendar Riots]

1995 — Japan: Scores die, thousands injured when an obscure religious cult releases nerve gas into the Tokyo subway system.

1995 — United States of America: Last words of Thomas J. Grasso, executed in Oklahoma by lethal injection: "I did not get my Spaghetti-Oʼs, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this." Source: 'Today in Rotten History'

1996 — United States of America: 25 arrested at Department of Justice in Washington D.C., 27 others in San Francisco, during protests demanding freedom for Leonard Peltier.

1997 — United States of America: Union Local 252 organizes Courtesy Bus. (Philadelphia?)

1998 — France: Agustin Gomez-Arcos (1939 — 1998) dies from cancer, Paris. Spanish anarchist, gay dramatist/novelist. Wrote many novels about pro-Franco Spain: L'agneau carnivore (1975), Maria Republica (1976), Ana non (1977), L'enfant pain (1983), Un oiseau brûlé vif (1984). Often in winter the end of the day is like the final metaphor in a poem celebrating death: there is no way out. — Agustin Gomez-Arcos, A Bird Burned Alive, 1988 [28] [29]

2002 — Uganda: Police say a woman bit off her husbandʼs penis and testicles during an argument. He wonʼt make that mistake again. You win some, you lose some. Source=Robert Braunwart

2003 — Iraq: Bush and Blair attack, in violation of international law and the UN mandate (Iraq time); why Bush wants war crimes impunity for Americans. Bush and Blair rationalize their war by noting Iraq violations of UN mandates, but conveniently fail to cite their own violations. [30] [31]

2003 — United States of America: Among the thousands of demonstations world wide, anti-war Direct Action shuts down Market Street in Frisco, California. [32]

2004 — United States of America: United States of America: Global Day of Action Against War and Occupation. Over 575 protest around the world mark the one-year anniversary of the Bush Bumble-Crewʼs war on Iraq. London, England, Big Ben protesters scale the tower of time, insisting it is "Time to Tell the Truth". Olympia, Washington: Say No to War! [33] [34] [35]

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