If this post doesn't give you a big enough dose of my blogging, check out my guest blog in two days, April 2, at:
My data comes from a couple books in my shop and some very good online sites, namely historyorb and on-this-day one specifically for music, musicians and composer listings. Fascinating stuff!
On March 31st in the year:
1492 - Queen Isabella & King Ferdinand of Aragon issue Alhambra Decree expelling Jews from Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon
1499 - Pope Pius IV is born
1596 - Rene Descartes, French mathematician and philosopher is born
1685 - Johann Sebastian Bach, German organist and
composer is born
1814 - Forces allied against Napoleon capture Paris
What? Not this Napoleon? Okay. Fine. But it's so much prettier!!
1841 - Robert Schumann's 1st Symphony in B flat Major, Opus 30, "Spring" is performed for the first time. (Below is the audio of the symphony - give you something to listen to for the rest of the blog but beware, it begins with the entire brass section at f)
I stalled out here for a bit because this statistic made me curious about the current population of the US and other countries and the world at large. I acquired the info from the US Census Bureau. Ready?
1861 - The Confederacy takes over the mint at New Orleans
(US Civil War)
1880 - Wabash, Indiana is the first town in the US to be completely illuminated by electric lighting
1889 - 300m high Eiffel Tower officially opens in Paris to
commemorate the French Revolution
1909 - Baseball rules players who jump contracts are
suspended for 5 years (has this changed much?)
1917 - The US purchases the Danish West Indies for $25M and renames them the Virgin Islands (anyone know
what inspired that change?!)
1918 - 1st daylight savings time in US goes into effect
(BOO:-((( 97 years has been long enough!!)
1921 - The Royal Australian Air Force is formed
1932 - Ford publicly unveils its V-8 engine
1939 - "The Hound of Baskervilles", starring Basil Rathbone
as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson is released.
1943 - The musical "Oklahoma!" debuts on Broadway. Originally titled "Away We Go."
1949 - Newfoundland becomes Canada's tenth province
1954 - The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, is established (Hi Uncle John!)
1959 - The Dalai Lama fled China and was granted political
asylum in India
1960 - Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" premiered in NYC
(terrific play – saw it on Broadway three summers ago. Included in the cast: Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, John Larroquette, Candace Bergen and Eric McCormack….55 years after its premiere, still popular)
1966 - USSR launches Luna 10, the first lunar orbiter
1977 - Michael Cristofer's "Shadow Box" premieres in NYC
(included this because the MOTH BNTB has directed this play - superbly, of course)
There's a big gap in March 31st goings-on. All the way to...
2007 - In Sydney, Australia, 2.2 million people take part in the first Earth Hour. Held every year since, on the last Saturday in March, Earth Hour encourages individuals, communities and businesses to turn off non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Did you get the memo?
Any March 31st events to report, or some of the above that you knew of or remember? (not to suggest that you're old enough to remember most of what I've got listed:-)