Tom's Book of Days
      March 21-30  

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March 21


Claudine Longet

OSTARA: Ostara celebrates the spring or vernal equinox.

1806: Benito Pablo Juárez, reformer president of Mexico from 1858 to 72, is born in Oaxaca, Mexico.

1907: The US invades Honduras.

1935: Persia is officially renamed Iran.

1965: The March on Selma for civil rights begins.

1976: Claudine Longet, ex-wife of Andy Williams, shoots and kills her boyfriend, champion skier Vladimir "Spider" Sabich, then spends the night at John Denver's house.


March 22



1832: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe dies at 82, in Weimar. His last words: "More light!"

1954: US Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announces that "the French are going to win" in Indochina.

1956: Carl Perkins is injured in car accident on the way to an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. While he is recuperating, Elvis Presley covers his hit Blue Suede Shoes, and so it goes.

1976: Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter tells the National Association of Record Merchandisers that Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and Led Zeppelin werre among those who inspired him when he worked late as Governor of Georgia; he quotes lines from Yesterday and Blowin' in the Wind.


March 23


tristan tzara


1699: American botanist John Bartram is born. A few hundred years later, I would review his work in Terra Nova.

1872: Emperor Joshua Norton I decrees that a suspension bridge be built as soon as convenient from Oakland Point to Goat Island, and from there to San Francisco.

1918: Tristan Tzara (pictured) issues the Dada Manifesto in Switzerland.


March 24


private 53310761


1900: Work begins on the New York subway system.

1958: Private 53310761 (E. Presley) joins the army.

1972: Great Britain imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland.

1976: Argentine military leaders overthrow Isabel Peron.

1989: The Exxon Valdez tanker spills more than 11 million gallons of oil in King William Sound off the Alaskan coast.


March 25


Archangel Gabriel

THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION: Working back nine months from Christmas, the wise men of the Church concluded that March 25 must have been the day on which the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin. Called Lady Day, it was the beginning of the new year in England until the middle of the 18th century.

1811: Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from Oxford when he refuses to admit writing The Necessity of Atheism.

1955: U.S. Customs Department officials confiscate 520 copies of Allen Ginsberg's Howl as they enter the U.S. City Lights subsequent publication of the poem will result in a notorious court case.


March 26


bed friends (two gurus in drag)

1874: Robert Frost is born in San Francisco. Not my favorite poet, but hey, he seems to be family (a distant cousin).

1892: In Camden, New Jersey, Walt Whitman, 72, receives the ninth edition of his much revised Leaves of Grass, and dies.

1937: In Texas's "Winter Garden," the citizens of Dilley, Texas, during their second Spinach Festival, erect a statue of Popeye.

1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin their seven day bed-in against the Vietnam War.


March 27



1897: Gloria Swanson is born in Chicago.

1925: Dial magazine rejects Ernest Hemingway's story "The Undefeated."

2006: Google accidentally deletes its own blog.The first post this notice:

The Google Blog was unavailable for a short time tonight. We quickly learned from our initial investigation that there was no systemwide vulnerability for Blogger. We'll let you know more about what did happen once we finish looking into it.

That is followed with this one:

Update: We've determined the cause of tonight's outage. The blog was mistakenly deleted by us (d'oh!) which allowed the blog address to be temporarily claimed by another user. This was not a hack, and nobody guessed our password. Our bad.

2006: Bouquets to Art posted. (Check it out here.)


March 28


Patrick Henry


1513: Juan Ponce de Leon "discovers" (blunders into) Florida.

1775: Patrick Henry makes a speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses, demanding "Give me liberty or give me death!" He will die in 1799. The image at left is a detail of an oil painting, approx. 1891, by George Bagby Matthews.

1939: The Fascist forces of Generalissimo Francisco Franco enter Madrid.


March 29


Mary Shelley

1797: Mary Wollstonecraft marries novelist and political theorist William Godwin. She dies 10 or 11 days after the birth of her daughter Mary (who will marry Percy Bysshe Shelley and write the novel Frankenstein) some five months later.

1886: Coca-Cola is created in an Atlanta backyard by Dr. John Pemberton, who is looking for a hangover cure. The drink, promoted as a "brain tonic and intellectual beverage," quickly becomes popular, thanks in part to its special ingredient, cocaine.

1943: Eric Idle is born.

1971: In a big day for jurisprudence, Charles Manson is sentenced to life imprisonment, and Lt. William Calley is convicted of the premeditated murder of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai 4.

1980: A human fingernail is transplanted for the first time in Strasbourg, France. The recipient is a twelve-year-old boy who had lost the original nail following a hangnail problem. The source for the transplant is one of the boy’s toenails.


March 30


Francisco Goya


1699: Guru Gobind Singh institutes the Khalsa (Order of the Pure) in a ceremony at Anandpur in Punjab.

1746: Francisco Goya is born.

1844: Paul Verlain is born in Metz, France.

1858: Vincent Van Gogh is born.


March 31



1836: The first installment of Charles Dickens' Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, is published in an edition of 400 copies. By the 15th installment, the print run will have grown to 40,000 copies.

1889: The Eiffel Tower is completed.

1995: Latino star Selena is shot and killed by her former personal assistant and fan club president, who had been fired for embezzlement.

2004: Ian McEwan, who won a National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel Atonement, begins an address in Seattle by thanking the Department of Homeland Security "for protecting the American public from British novelists." McEwan had been denied access to the U.S. for thirty-six hours. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said that McEwan had been detained because he was being paid for lecturing but did not have a work or journalism visa. During his interrogation, McEwan reported, one official asked, "What kind of novels do you write: fiction or nonfiction?" Upon finally relenting, an interrogator said, "We still don't want to let you in, but this is attracting a lot of unfavorable publicity." (The previous November McEwan had lunched in London with first lady Laura Bush.)

continue to April 1


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