In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for something he called the “telephone” – and our lives have never been the same. In 1900 the German liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse became the first ship to send a wireless signal to shore. And in 1941 Gunther Prein and the crew of the German submarine U-47, one of the most successful U-boats of WWII disappeared without a trace.
In 1965 the day was Bloody Sunday when a group of 600 civil rights protesters was brutally attacked by state and local police on the Edmond Pettis bridge in Selma, Alabama. In 1971 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the political leader of what was then East Pakistan, delivered his 7th March speech, igniting the Bangladesh war for independence from Pakistan. And in 1987 the Lieyu Massacre occurred when Tawainess military forces murdered 19 unarmed Vietnamese refugees.
The above notations remind us that on any given day both good and bad things can happen. Or they can be in-between – like when the English House of Commons voted to make the membership of the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords, 100% elected in 2007. Previously the House of Lords membership was hereditary – past down from father to son.
In 1671 the legendary Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor burst upon the scene. In 1938 race car driver Janet Guthrie, the first woman driver to both qualify for and race in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 began her quest for fame. And this was also the birthday for a couple of standout Hall of Fame football players (had to root against them both since they both played for the Pittsburgh Steelers) Franco Harris (1950) and Lynn Swann (1952).
And a couple of very creative and productive inventors were born this day. French inventor Nicephore Niepce, who is credited with the invention of photography (1765), and John Herschel (1792) who has been called a polymath – active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint. He had good genes as his father was also an astronomer, William Herschel – the discoverer of the planet Uranus.
This is also the birthday in 1998 of our newest poet laureate – Amanda Gorman, whose poem The Hill We Climb, was enjoyed by all who watched the inauguration of President Joe Biden last year.
On this date we also mourned the lost of Saint Thoms Aquinas (1274), American Revolutionary spy Robert Townsend, and legendary movie producer and director Stanley Kubrick – 2001 A Space Odyssey and Dr Strangelove, to name just two.