Today's Holidays for March 21
Feast Day of St. Benedict patriarch of Western monks, founded the Benedictine order, patron saint of cave explorers.
Today's History Trivia for March 21
Last Recorded Lynching in the U.S.
Members of the KKK beat and kill 19-year-old African-American Michael Donald and hung his body from a tree. A mistrial had been declared in the trial of a black man charged with killing a policeman in Birmingham, Alabama while committing a robbery. Frustrated at the outcome, KKK members burned a three-foot cross on the Mobile, Alabama County courthouse lawn. They then went in search of a black victim. They kidnapped Michael Donald at random. When he tried to escape, they beat him, strangled him with a rope, and slit his throat. They then hanged his body from a tree across from a house owned by Klan leader Bennie Jack Hays, the father of Henry Hays, one of the attackers. Henry Hays would be executed in 1997 for the crime. It was the only execution of a KKK member during the 20th century for the murder of an African American. James Knowles testified against Hays and was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Knowles claimed the slaying was done "to show Klan strength in Alabama." Benjamin Franklin Cox, Jr. was also convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
1965 March to Montgomery Under the protection of federal troops, Martin Luther King, Jr. and 3,000 marchers begin a five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. More than 25,000 demonstrators gathered at the capitol in Montgomery. At the Montgomery Capitol Building, King delivered his famous lines, "How long will it take? I come to say to you this afternoon however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long."
1963 Boxing - Why Four Ropes? Sugar Ramos knocks down defending World Featherweight Champion Davey Moore, with Moore hitting his head on the bottom ring. He died four days later from the injuries he received. As a result, the bottom ring was loosened and a fourth rope was added to boxing rings to help catch the fighters. The event is memorialized in the Bob Dylan song Who Killed Davey Moore.
The American Indian is buried after dying during her trip to England. She is famous for the story told by Captain John Smith of how she risked her life to save his after his capture. After being falsely told that Smith had died, she married Capt. John Rolfe (1614) and traveled to England with him. Her exact cause of death is unknown, but theories range from pneumonia, smallpox, tuberculosis, or even to her having been poisoned.
2003 Iraq War "Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly… All this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes." Statement by White House spokesman Ari Fleisher.
1989 Fast Food Popeye's Chicken (the third-largest chicken chain) buys Church's Fried Chicken (the second-largest chicken chain) resulting in a combined 2000+ stores. This eventually drove the company into bankruptcy in 1991.
1973 Watergate Pres. Nixon and his council, John Dean, discuss offering clemency and hush money as part of the cover-up.
1963 Alcatraz Closes The San Francisco prison had been built in the 1830s. The federal prison, known as the Rock, housed such famous prisoners as, Al Capone, Robert Stroud, known as The Birdman of Alcatraz, and George "Machine Gun" Kelly.
1958 First Sylvanus Thayer Award is presented, to American physicist Ernest O. Lawrence.
1935 Iran The Shah of Persia issues a decree requesting the use of the name "Iran" instead of the current name "Persia."
1925 Evolution The teaching of evolution in public schools is outlawed by the state of Tennessee. John T. Scopes was later convicted of violating this law, in the celebrated "monkey" trial.
1924 Daily reading of the Bible becomes mandatory in Kentucky public schools.
Today's Birthdays for March 21
1962 Matthew Broderick American Tony-winning actor. Stage: Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983, Tony). Film: WarGames (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985), and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
1958 Gary Oldman English actor. Film: Sid and Nancy (1986, Sid Vicious), JFK (1991, Oswald), and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993, Dracula on a bad hair day).
1946 Timothy Dalton British actor, 4th James Bond for United Artists. Film: The Living Daylights (1987) and License to Kill (1989).
1934 Al Freeman Jr d. 2012 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: One Life to Live (Capt. Ed Hall, 1972-88), for which he became the first African American to win a Daytime Emmy Award for acting (1979).
1904 Forrest Edward Mars d. 1999 Sr., American candy maker. Inventor of M&M's. They were designed so that soldiers would not get their trigger fingers sticky.
1880 G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson d. 1971 (Max Aronson), western actor and director. He became the first male movie star with The Great Train Robbery (1903). In 1957 he received a special Oscar "for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment."
1867 Florenz Ziegfeld d. 1932 American theatrical producer. Creator of Ziegfeld Follies (1907).
1856 Henry Ossian Flipper d. 1940 American soldier. First black to graduate from West Point (1877). He was the first nonwhite officer to lead buffalo soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. He was court martialed and discharged from the Army (1882). His descendants applied for a review of Flipper's court martial which led to a pardon from President Bill Clinton (1999).
1768 Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier d. 1830 French mathematician. He developed the Fourier Series, one of the landmarks of mathematics.
1713 Francis Lewis d. 1802 American patriot, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Deaths for March 21
2017 Chuck Barris b. 1929 American producer. TV: The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and the Gong Show.
1994 Macdonald Carey b. 1913 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Days of Our Lives (Dr. Horton and narrator for the opening, "Like sands through the hourglass…") and Roots (1977, Squire James).
1994 Dack Rambo b. 1941 (Norman Rambeau), American actor. TV: All My Children (Steve Jacobi) and Dallas (Jack Ewing).
1992 John Ireland b. 1914 Canadian-born actor. Film: My Darling Clementine (1946) and All the King's Men (1949).
American lynching victim. He was the last recorded lynching in the United States. Members of the KKK beat and kill the 19-year-old African-American and hung his body from a tree. A mistrial had been declared in the trial of a black man charged with killing a policeman in Birmingham, Alabama while committing a robbery. Frustrated at the outcome, KKK members burned a three-foot cross on the Mobile, Alabama County courthouse lawn. They then went in search of a black victim. They kidnapped Michael Donald at random. When he tried to escape, they beat him, strangled him with a rope, and slit his throat. They then hanged his body from a tree across from a house owned by Klan leader Bennie Jack Hays, the father of Henry Hays, one of the attackers. Henry Hays would be executed in 1997 for the crime. It was the only execution of a KKK member during the 20th century for the murder of an African American. James Knowles testified against Hays and was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Knowles claimed the slaying was done "to show Klan strength in Alabama." Benjamin Franklin Cox, Jr. was also convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
1949 Samuel Sidney McClure b. 1857 American publisher. Founder of McClure syndicate (1884) and McClure's Magazine (1893, which he ran from 1893-1911).
1915 Frederick Winslow Taylor b. 1856 America's first efficiency expert, called the father of scientific management.
1864 Luke Howard b. 1772 British chemist, meteorologist, Father of Meteorology. He created the naming system for clouds (1802) which included: cumulus, stratus, and cirrus.
1830 Johann Rudolf Wyss b. 1781 Swiss author. Writings: The Swiss Family Robinson (1813). He also wrote the Swiss national anthem.
543 Saint Benedict of Nursia b. circa 480 Italian monk, founder of Western monasticism, known for his gift of prophecy, he correctly predicted the day and time of his own death.