On this date in history, 2 very tragic events happened but a season of remembrance is begun. In 1948 Mahatma Gandhi, Indian activist who helped bring about Indian independence was assassinated and in 1958 the home of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr was bombed in retaliation for the successful Montgomery bus boycott. This day begins the season of nonviolence which stretches from the date of Gandhi’s assassination to April 4th, the date of MLK’s assassination.
There were a couple of other life attempts, one successful and the other not. in 1649 Charles I of England was executed -convicted of treason by the English Parliament. And in 1835 there was the first assassination attempt on a US President – Andrew Jackson.
In 1862 the first American ironclad warship -the Monitor was launched. In 1920 Japanese automaker Mazda was founded – initially, as a cork-producing company – the first car would come in 1931. And in a “what did they not learn?” moment the MS Hans Hedtoft, a Danish freighter specifically designed to operate in ice-bound waters and described by some as “unsinkable” struck an iceberg and sank, killing all 95 aboard. Only a lifebuoy has been found to this day.
In 1982 the first PC virus was written and in 1970 the last Beatles in-person performance was held on the roof of Apple Records in London.
Four political leaders were born on this date in history, 2 of them ended well, the other two not so much. Franklin D Roosevelt was born in 1882, Dick Cheney (46th US VP) was born in 1941, John Profumo, British member of Parliament and member of Prime Minister Harold McMillians cabinet -was born in 1915, brought down by a sex scandal in 1963. And Olaf Palme, the 26th Swedish Prime Minister, was born in 1927 and was later assassinated in 1986.
Three actors or actresses were born on this date: Gene Hackman(1930), Vanessa Redgrave (1937) and Christian Bale (1974) as well as Russian chess grandmaster Boris Spasky (1937). There were also a couple of historical figures -Barbara Tuchman (1912) who wrote about it, and Fred Korematsu (1919) who lived it as a Japanese American who was resisted internment during WWII and who lost a case challenging the internment in the 1942 Korematsu v US, one of a number of wrongly decided Supreme Court decisions which later needed to be renounced.
On this date in history we lost 3 standout American icons- flight pioneer Orville Wright in 1948, Betsy Ross of flag design fame in 1836, and civil rights hero Coretta Scott King – wife of Martin Luther King Jr, ,in 2006.
This is martyr’s day in India and the start of the season of nonviolence.