March

1st March 1969 Jim Morrison’s Miami Mischief Night

"See it? Did you see it?"

Forty-five years ago today, in his hometown of Miami, Florida, controversial Doors singer Jim Morrison finally abandoned all notions of changing society through his role as a pop singer and entertainer. Instead, profoundly inspired by three successive viewings of the … Continue reading

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2nd March 1997  the Death of Judi Bari

Judi Bari: "Mother Earth, Earth First!"

A tribute to the eco-revolutionary Judi Bari – who died on this day in 1997 – will appear here shortly.

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3rd March 1985 The End of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike

Before the Dream Faded. NUM leader Arthur Scargill at Orgreave

Twenty-nine years ago today, the UK Miners’ Strike of 1984-85 ended in defeat for Arthur Scargill and the National Union of Mineworkers when miners reluctantly and bitterly voted to return to work. The strike, lasting just two days short of … Continue reading

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4th March 1888 the Death of Amos Bronson Alcott

A. Bronson Alcott

Henry David Thoreau declared him: “A true friend of man; almost the only friend of human progress.” In his quest for human ascendency, he was more Emersonian than Ralph Waldo Emerson himself. Today we recall one of the nineteenth century’s … Continue reading

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5th March 1953 the Death of Joseph Stalin

“Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.” - J. Stalin

Sixty-one years ago today, the people of the Soviet Union were finally shown cosmic mercy for their long sufferance, freedom at last from their quarter-century endurance test at the hands of a peripheral mad man. Peripheral? J. Stalin hailed from … Continue reading

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6th March 1857 the Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott v Sandford (1857 pg. 2)

On this day in 1857, African-Americans were delivered a conclusive and seemingly fatal blow to their prospects for freedom. It was official. The United States Supreme Court – the highest bastion of law and morality – ruled that ‘Negroes’ were not … Continue reading

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7th March 1942  the Death of Lucy Parsons

"Of all the modern delusions, the ballot has certainly been the greatest. The fact is money and not votes is what rules people." - Lucy Parsons

As a Native-, African- and Mexican-American woman born into slavery, raised in poverty and terrorised in the hate-fuelled KKK milieu of post-Civil War Texas, Lucy Eldine Gonzales Parsons probably had more reasons than most to dedicate her life to radical … Continue reading

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8th March International Women’s Day

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.”
- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.” – UN Secretary General Kofi Annan” Continue reading

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9th March 1947 the Death of Carrie Chapman Catt

Carrie Chapman Catt

When Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton first drafted the 19th Amendment in 1878, never could they have imagined it would be another forty-two gruelling years before American women would win the right to vote. Why, even black men … Continue reading

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10th March 1913  the Death of Harriet Tubman

Harriet "Moses" Tubman

“Excepting John Brown – of sacred memory – I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people,” wrote Frederick Douglass of the abolitionist and freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman – who we honour … Continue reading

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11th March 1941 The Commencement of Lend-Lease

The ultimate symbol of Lend Lease was America’s Bell P-39 Airacobra. Rejected by the RAF for its dangerous engine layout and poor altitude, these duds fetched up as slow-moving tankbusters with the Red Army.

Today marks the anniversary of the commencement of Lend-Lease, the controversial programme through which America gave aid to Great Britain’s war effort as she struggled alone against Hitler’s Nazi Germany in those dark days after the fall of France. Cajoled, … Continue reading

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12th March 1945 the Death of Anne Frank

Anne Frank: "I live in a crazy time."

Today is the date attributed to the death of Anne Frank. But the exact date is of course unknown, for the 15-year-old Jewish diarist was just one of some 18,000 to die from the typhus epidemic that spread like wildfire … Continue reading

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13th March 1906 the Death of Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony: "Failure is impossible"

Today we pay tribute to a woman whose very name is synonymous with women’s suffrage – the legendary Susan B. Anthony. Although there are several other luminaries whose pioneering efforts heralded that extraordinary first wave of female emancipation,  it is Susan … Continue reading

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14th March 1883 the Death of Karl Marx

Karl_Marx

“On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think.” Those were the words of Friedrich Engels at the funeral of his close friend and creative collaborator, Karl Marx. The … Continue reading

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15th March 44B.C. the Assassination of Julius Caesar

Beware the Ides of March

Today we put our hands together and give a round of applause to the Libertores, those forty Roman senators who off’d that despicable cad, Julius Caesar – his death foretold (“Beware the Ides of March”) by a soothsayer earlier that … Continue reading

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16th March 1968 the My Lai Massacre

South Vietnamese victims of the My Lai Massacre

On March 16th 1968, the American combat soldiers of Charlie Company, First Battalion, 20th Infantry Division swept into the South Vietnamese village of My Lai and massacred 504 unarmed, unresisting women, children and elderly men. Babies were shot at point-blank … Continue reading

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17th March 1921 the Kronstadt Tragedy

The Red Army charge on Kronstadt

On this day in 1921 after two weeks of siege, a rebellion at the Kronstadt naval base fell to Soviet government forces. Anarchist and sometime Bolshevik-ally Victor Serge described the events as, ‘Seventeen dreadful days, more dreadful than anything I … Continue reading

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18th March 1871 the Paris Commune Begins

"Storming Heaven" The barricades of Montmartre, 18 March 1871

Today marks the anniversary of the formation of the Paris Commune – the first successful seizure of power by the working class. Facing Prussian invasion forces on one side and French troops mobilised against its own citizens on the other, … Continue reading

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19th March 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom

operation iraqi freedom emblem

On March 19th 2003 US President George W. Bush announced that US and UK armed forces had launched strikes against “targets of military opportunity” in Iraq. It marked the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom; a disastrous conflict that would drag … Continue reading

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20th March 1852 the Publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

LE-SpecUncleTomsCabinLarge300res

Today we commemorate the anniversary of the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly – one of the few works of fiction that can lay genuine claim to changing history. A literary incendiary, Beecher … Continue reading

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21st March 1991 the Death of Leo Fender

Leo with Fenders

Today we pay tribute to the sustained visionary genius of Leo Fender, whose extraordinary deployment of Edisonian technology catapulted the previously minstrels-only 6-string guitar to the forefront of the post-war rock ‘n’ roll revolution. Yes, it must be understood that … Continue reading

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22nd March 1638 Anne Hutchinson Banished

"A woman of haughty and fierce carriage, a nimble wit and active spirit, a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man." Governor J Winthrop condemns Anne Hutchinson

On this day in 1638, Anne Hutchinson – religious radical and “first feminist of the New World” – was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A recollection of this momentous event will appear here shortly.

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23rd March 1931 the Martyrdom of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh photographed in prison

We in the West tend to recall only the great Mahatma Gandhi when we think of India’s long and gruelling fight for freedom from the British Raj. But today we pay tribute to another extraordinary Indian Independence revolutionary – Bhagat … Continue reading

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24th March 1989 the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

dead whale

At four minutes past midnight on March 24th 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Despite not even being in the top 50 global oil spills by volume, the Exxon Valdez disaster … Continue reading

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24th March 1976 Argentina’s Dirty War

VIctims of the Dirty War – “Los desaparecidos” or “the disappeared.

38 years ago today, power was seized in a coup d’etat by a military junta that would rule Argentina between 1976 and 1983. Throughout those seven grueling years, Argentines endured a repressive regime of indiscriminate violence, persecution, torture, kidnappings, theft … Continue reading

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25th March 1969  John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace

The newspeople said, "Say, what you're doing in bed?" I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace"

On 25th March 1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon staged their first ‘bed-in’ for peace. Married five days earlier in Gibraltar, the Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton – inviting the world’s press to come and interview them about … Continue reading

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26th March 1892 the Death of Walt Whitman

The portrait Whitman chose to represent himself in the first edition of 'Leaves of Grass' - abandoning the traditional "head an shoulders" pose of the intellectual, here – for the first time – was a poet of and for the people.

In the middle of the 19th century, the barely-United States of America was in grave trouble. Stymied by its inability to reconcile a mandate for economic growth that depended largely on that “peculiar institution” of slavery, the so-called “Land of … Continue reading

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27th March 1968 the Death of Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

Today we acknowledge the anniversary of the death of Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, the first hero in space, the first human in space. How ironic then it was that such a hero could be dispatched not on a space flight but … Continue reading

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28th March 1941  the Death of Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

On 28th March 1941, 59-year-old visionary feminist writer Virginia Woolf walked into the river Ouse with stones in her pockets and drowned herself. A note to her husband Leonard said: “Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. … Continue reading

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29th March 1772 the Death of Emanuel Swedenborg

The Young Swedenborg

Today we celebrate the extraordinary scholar, philosopher, mystic and prophet, Emanuel Swedenborg, who left this world – just as he had predicted – two hundred and forty-two years ago today. Prophecy it was that brought greatest fame to Swedenborg, probably his … Continue reading

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29th March 1912 the Death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott

Captain Robert Falcon Scott 100th Anniversary of his Death

In the 1960s space was the final frontier. But just half a century earlier, the final frontier was the South Pole. And one hundred years ago today – his two companions lying frozen to death next to him – 43-year-old … Continue reading

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30th March

Nothing revolutionary to report today. So I thought I’d sling this through your window… “In all times and in all places, whatever may be the name that the government takes, whatever has been its origin, or its organization, its essential … Continue reading

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31st March 1970  The Yodo-Go Hijack

The infamous JAL hijack gave its name to one of the Japanese underground's most legendary albums, "Yodo-go-a-go-go"

Forty-four years ago today occurred the all-time single-most revolutionary political act in rock’n’roll, when Moriaki Wakabayashi – bass player of Tokyo’s notorious underground legends Les Rallizes Denudés – accompanied several other members of the Japanese Red Army Faction in the armed hijack … Continue reading

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