March in Pop Culture History

March History, Trivia and Fun Facts

About March

  • The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar.
  • Birthstone: Aquamarine
    Flower: Daffodil
  • Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
    Aries (March 21 – April 20)
  • March is worst for work productivity
  • March is also The Month of Expectations
  • March 1-7 is Will Eisner (born March 6) Week

Traditional March Information

It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.

Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC, and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year’s celebrations. Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first.

The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator (the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator) from south to north. This happens either on March 19, 20, or 21 every year, generally on the 20th.

How Easter Is Decided In The Western Churches:

In 325 AD the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox.

Easter is delayed by 1 week if the full moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. The council’s ruling is contrary to the Quartodecimans, a group of Christians who celebrated Easter on the day of the full moon, 14 days into the month.

The Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, although occasionally (7 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second full moon. The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox. The official church definition for the equinox is March 21; however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian calendar, while the Western Churches use the Gregorian calendar, both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the actual date of Easter differs. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March 22 on each calendar. The latest possible Easter date in any year is April 25.

March is…

Alport Syndrome Awareness Month
American Dietetic Association National Nutrition Month
American Red Cross Month (Red Cross Month)
Caffeine Awareness Month
National Craft Month
Employee Spirit Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Eye Donor Month
Flour Month
Fresh Celery Month
Frozen Food Month
Humorists Are Artists Month
International Ideas Month
Irish-American Month
Kidney Month
Music in our Schools Month
Noodle Month
National Nutrition Month
Optimism Month
Paws to Read Month
Peanut Month
Play-The-Recorder Month
Poison Prevention Awareness Month
Professional Social Work Month
Sauce Month
Social Work Month
Umbrella Month
Women’s History Month
Youth Art Month

March Facts

The word ‘March’ comes from the Roman ‘Martius’. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war. March was the beginning of our calendar year. We changed to the ‘New Style’ or ‘Gregorian calendar in 1752, and it is only since then when the year began on 1st January.

March Quotes

Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour. We go forth austere, dedicated, believing in the iron links of Destiny, and will not turn on our heel to save our life: but a book, or a bust, or only the sound of a name, shoots a spark through the nerves, and we suddenly believe in will.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb.”

“Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty.”
– William Shakespeare

“A dry March and a wet May – fill barns and bays with corn and hay.”

“As it rains in March so it rains in June.”

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”

“If you wed when March winds blow,
Joy and sorrow both you’ll know. . .
Married when March winds shrill and roar,
Your home will lie on a distant shore.”
-New Zealand Proverb

“March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”
– Garrison Keillor

March is the Month of Expectation.
The things we do not know –
The Persons of prognostication
Are coming now.

-Emily Dickinson, March is the Month of Expectation

“By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again.”
– Neil Gaiman

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”
– Lewis Grizzard

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

-Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time

March History</h4 >

March 2
783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy

1872 -Congress made 2,222,773 acres of public land in the area of what was later the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho as America’s first national park – Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468 .4 square miles.

1692 – In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, were accused of witchcraft, beginning the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Assuming those convicted were not practicing the dark arts, 19 innocent women and men were killed as a result of the trials.

1910 – An avalanche in Wellington, Washington took The Great Northern Railroad’s westbound Spokane Express and the Wellington Train Station. 96 people were killed.

1932 – The Lindbergh Kidnapping – Charles Lindbergh III, the 20 -month-old son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the family’s new mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

1972 – A bomb exploded in the Capitol building in Washington, DC, but hurt no one. A group called the “Weather Underground” claimed credit for the bombing, which was done in protest of the ongoing US-supported Laos invasion.

1972 – James Taylor made the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, spotlighting “The New Rock: Bittersweet and Low”

1983 Swatch watches were introduced. I’m still looking to replace my wife’s black face, black band, black hands edition.

1992 – Clarissa Explains It All debuted on Nickelodeon

1996 – The news was revealed that 2 billion households worldwide owned a television set

2007 – Chiller debuted on cable television

March 2
1807 – The US Congress passes an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”

1944 – Train #8017 stopped in a tunnel near Salerno, Italy, and more than 500 people on board suffocated and died. In the midst of WW II, the story was very much covered up by the Italian government.

1960 – Lucille Ball filed for divorce from Desi Arnaz, ending their marriage as well as the ‘Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show’ franchise on CBS.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single basketball game against the New York Knicks. Final score: 169 -147, at the Hershey Arena. Although there were only about 6,000 tickets sold, guesstimates are that almost 50 % of male sports fans born in the Philadelphia area between 1925 and 1958 claim to have been at the event.

1978 – Charlie Chaplin’s body was stolen from a cemetery in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey, near Lausanne, Switzerland. The grave robbers (and the re-buried body) were found a few weeks later.

1985 – Sheena Easton the first and still only recording artist to score top-10 singles on all five major Billboard singles charts: Pop, Country, Dance, Adult Contemporary, and R&B with her hit Sugar Walls.

2009 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon premiered on NBC

March 3
1873 – US Congress passed the ‘Comstock Law’, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail.

1915 – ‘Birth Of a Nation’ made its east coast debut in NYC.

1932 – President Herbert Hoover made Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States.

1952 – Watch Mr. Wizard debuted on NBC

1952 – In a 6 -3 decision, the US Supreme Court upheld a New York state law that prohibited communists from teaching in public schools.

1985 – Moonlighting premiered on ABC

1992 – Rodney King was severely beaten by police officers in Los Angeles, CA. The footage was filmed by observers and then broadcast on television in the U.S. The incident led to massive riots by African-Americans in the city of Los Angeles.

1997 – Daria premiered on MTV

March 4
1789 – The federal government under the US Constitution began, replacing the Articles of Confederation.

1944 – Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the head of Murder, Inc., was executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York.

1966 – John Lennon was quoted as saying ” “Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink… We’re more popular than Jesus now,” in reference to religion fading in the western world.

1975 – The first People’s Choice Awards was shown on CBS

1982 – Police Squad! premiered on ABC, lasting 6 episodes, but the concept was made into several very successful “Naked Gun” feature films

1985 – Robotech premiered, in syndication

March 5
1955 – Elvis Presley appeared on Louisiana Hayride on local television (Shreveport, Louisiana)

1963 – Invented in 1958 by Arthur K. Melin and Richard Knerr, the Hula Hoop was patented (#3,079,728 )

1969 – In Florida, the Dade County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison charging him with a single felony count and three misdemeanors for his performance at a Miami concert a few days earlier. Specifically, “lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure, profanity, and drunkenness”

2002 – The Osbournes debuted on MTV

March 6
857 – The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case. It stated that anyone brought into the United States as a slave, or their descendants could never be a United States citizen. The court of public opinion disagreed very vocally a few years later.

899 – Bayer registered Aspirin as a trademark. Asperin is considered by many to be the first wonder drug.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo took place

1964 – Nation of Islam’s Elijah Muhammad officially gave boxing champion Cassius Clay the name of Muhammad Ali.

1982 – Walter Cronkite resigned as the main anchorman of The CBS Evening News

1983 – Country Music Television (CMT) began

1994 – Liquid Television on MTV ended

2000 – Mobile Suit Gundam Wing debuted on The Cartoon Network

2002 – Napster began to block the transfer of copyrighted material over its peer-to-peer network. In July 2002, Napster shut down its entire network

March 7
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received his patent for (#174,465 ) the telephone.

1987 – Mike Tyson defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith to unify the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles.

2012 – Charlie Sheen was officially fired from Two and a Half Men.

March 8
1669 – Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, began erupting and over the next several weeks killed over 20,000 people.

1950 – The ‘Volkswagen Type 2 ‘, known as the VW Bus, was produced for the first time.

1968 – Bill Graham’s Fillmore East opened in New York City.

1972 – Muhammad Ali lost to Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1993 – Beavis and Butt-Head premiered on MTV

2006 – Top Chef debuted on Bravo

March 9
1842 The US Supreme Court ruled that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus were free under American law.

1957 (Earthquake) Andreanof Islands, Alaska

1959 – Barbie debuted. Barbie’s appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, which was based on a racy German comic strip character.

1985 – The Tyler Civitan Club were the first to partake in the Adopt-a-Highway Sign Program, erected on Texas’s Highway 69 .

1989 – A Geomagnetic Storm affected Quebec’s electricity transmission system

1997 – Christopher Wallace, AKA Biggie Smalls, AKA the Notorious B.I.G., was shot to death at a stoplight in Los Angeles. Rapper Suge Knight has been eyed as the killer. Suge was also accused of running over (and killing) Terry Carter in January, 2015 .

2009 – Castle premiered on ABC

March 10
1906 – An underground fire sparked a massive explosion that virtually destroyed a vast maze of mines in Courrieres, France, that killed over 2,000 workers.

1926 – Lolly Willowes, or ‘The Loving Huntsman’, was the first Book-of-the-Month Club selection, published by Viking Press.

1978 – The Incredible Hulk premiered on CBS

1983 – MTV broadcasted the video of Michael Jackson’s song “Billie Jean” for the first time

1997 – Buffy, The Vampire Slayer premiered on The WB, based on the 1992 movie.

March 12
1818 – Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by 22 -year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, was published. It is recognized as the world’s first science fiction novel.

888 – Great Blizzard of 1888, east coast, USA

1918 – The influenza epidemic of 1918 began in Fort Riley, Kansas. 20 million people worldwide died from the disease.

1974 – The children’s special ‘Free to Be… You and Me’, produced by Marlo Thomas, aired on ABC.

1989 – COPS debuted on FOX. It was one of the earliest ‘reality TV” shows.

1997 – ‘Sir’ Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.”

2012 (Earthquake) Coastal Honshu, Japan

2012 – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, Japan

March 12
1928 – St. Francis Dam collapsed San Francisquito Canyon, California

1933 – New resident Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first national radio address or “fireside chat,” from the White House.

1993 – ’93 Superstorm stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the northeastern US. 318 were killed.

2003 – 15 -year-old Elizabeth Smart was found in Sandy, Utah, nine months after being abducted from her Salt Lake City home.

2003 – The Dixie Chicks’ lead singer, Natalie Maines said, in an interview with The Guardian “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” That lead to a firestorm revolt from many of their fans.

2008 – Hulu opened online

March 13
1782 – German-born English astronomer William Hershel discovered Uranus.

868 – Impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson began. He was found ‘not guilty.’

1969 – Disney’s ‘The Love Bug’ opened in theaters.

March 14
1950 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation instituted the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list (1950 -2009 list http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/ten-most-wanted-fugitives-60th-anniversary-1950 -2010 /chronological_listing)

1958 – The Recording Industry Association of America awarded the first Gold Record (500 ,000 sold) to Perry Como for ‘Catch A Falling Star.’

2012 – Aflac fired Gilbert Gottfried for an offensive online tweet about the Japan earthquake

March 15
44 BC – Gaius Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house, by 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.

1806 – A chondrite meteorite, carrying carbon-based, organic chemicals, was identified for the first time. Found outside Alais, France, the organic chemicals it carried suggested the possibility of life on whatever body was the source, somewhere out in space.

1977 – Eight Is Enough & Three’s Company debuted on ABC

March 16
1850 – Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’ was published.

1926 – American Robert H. Goddard launched the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusett. It reached a height of 42 feet.

1945 – Tsutomu Yamaguchi was the only individual who witnessed and survived both atom bombs in Japan, Hiroshima on August 6th, and Nagasaki on August 9.

1978 – The Amoco Cadiz wrecked off the coast of Portsall, France, spilling 68 million gallons of oil.

2005 – Robert Blake, star of the 1970s television detective show Baretta, was acquitted of the murder of his 44 -year-old wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.

March 17
462 – Saint Patrick died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.

1762 – The first parade Saint Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland) was held by Irish soldiers serving in the British army in New York City.

1902 – 12 years after his suicide, 72 paintings by Vincent van Gogh were shown at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris.

March 18
1852 – Henry Wells and William G. Fargo founded Wells, Fargo and Company.

1912 – Irving Berlin copyrighted the first mega-pop hit, ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band.’

1925 – Tri-State Tornado (Missouri–Illinois–Indiana) killed 695 people.

1975 – McLean Stevenson’s character (Lt. Colonel Henry Blake ) died in the M*A*S*H episode “Abyssinia, Henry”, its third season finale

1982 – The Greatest American Hero debuted on NBC

1984 – Miss America, Vanessa Williams became even more well known when she becomes the first Miss America to resign after old nude photos of her appeared in “Penthouse” magazine. She has gone on to prove herself as a first-class actress and singer. That particular issue is also noted for being the first issue with a man on the cover (George Burns), and an underage Traci Lords is the nude centerfold. It is illegal to own, or even look inside, this issue in most countries, including the United States.

2005 – The Suite Life of Zack & Cody premiered on The Disney Channel

March 19
1842 – French writer Honore de Balzac’s play Les Ressources de Quinola opened to an empty house due to a publicity stunt. He had earlier announced that the show had sold out, so nobody actually bought any tickets.

1932 – The Nevada state legislature votes to legalize gambling

1957 – Graceland was on 13 .8 acre estate, and sold for $102 ,500 to Elvis Presley.

1979 – C-Span was launched

1983 – First Lady Nancy Reagan made an appearance on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes, beginning her Just Say No anti-drug campaign

1987 – Televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as the host of The PTL Club after involvement in a sex scandal

March 20
1345 – According to scholars at the University of Paris, the Black Death was created today, from what they called “a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 20th of March 1345 .” Actually, the bubonic plague came from infected fleas from sickened and dead rats.

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published.

1854 – In Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig Party formed the Republican Party.

1982 – Rock Guitarist Randy Rhodes died in a plane crash.

1995 – The Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) cult released sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system, killing a dozen people and sickening thousands.

March 22
1952 – Hosted by Alan Freed, the first major rock-and-roll show, the Moondog Coronation Ball, was held in Cleveland, Ohio.

1963 – Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed and transferred its remaining prisoners.

1965 – Martin Luther King Jr., and 3200 civil rights demonstrators began a historic March from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol at Montgomery.

1980 – “Who shot J.R.? On the season finale of Dallas, J. R. Ewing was shot by an unseen assailant. The following season we found out that it was Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s mistress

1980 – President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would boycott the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Moscow that summer.

March 22
1894 – the first championship series for Lord Stanley’s Cup was played in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal HC (Montreal Hockey Club) won the first cup.

1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act, putting a federal tax on all alcoholic beverages, although prohibition was still in effect until December 1933.

1972 – The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification. It never gained the 38 states necessary to become part of the US Constitution.

1978 – The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash aired on NBC

March 23
893 (Earthquake) Iran

1839 – The initials “O.K.” were first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for “oll correct,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time.

1913 (Tornado) Omaha, Nebraska

1982 – Joanie Loves Chachi premiered on ABC

1983 – President Ronald Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) now called “star wars” to the American discussion.

1998 – James Cameron’s Titanic won 12 Academy Awards

March 24
1955 – Tennessee Williams’ play ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ opens in New York,

1958 – Elvis Presley (serial number 53 310 762 ) was inducted into the U.S. Army

1989 – The Exxon Valdez, captained by Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood, hit Prince William Sound, spilling 12,000,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil.

1993 – Doogie Howser, M.D. aired its final episode

2005 – The Office premiered on NBC

2006 – Hannah Montana premiered on The Disney Channel

March 25
1912 – The Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City, killing 145 workers. The disaster helped bring forth more laws and regulations protecting employees.

1982 – Cagney & Lacey premiered on CBS

1984 – Television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever introduced Micheal Jackson’s ‘moonwalk’ during his performance of “Billie Jean.”

2002 – Bjork wore her now-famous ‘swn dress’ to the Oscars.

2002 – The Bachelor premiered on ABC

March 26
1872 (Earthquake) Owens Valley, California killed 30 people.

1920 – ‘This Side of Paradise’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published.

1953 – Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes polio.

1993 – The last new episode of The Family Feud with host Ray Combs aired

1997 – After the 1995 discovery of the comet Hale-Bopp, 39 members of the ‘Heaven’s Gate’ cult committed suicide to more quickly join the aliens on the ‘other side’ of the comet.

March 27
1973 – Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather went to the podium for Marlon Brando to decline his “Best Actor” Oscar for his performance in ‘The Godfather.’

1983 – The Thornbirds miniseries ran March 27 -30 on ABC

1998 – The FDA approved Viagra. It seems like the commercials were running a lot longer than that.

March 28
1783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy

1920 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford got married; it was the first high profile celebrity wedding.

1960 – Stanley Kramer was the first to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1964 (Earthquake) Alaska – the 8 .4 on the Richter scale quake killed 125 people.

1979 – Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster happened when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island failed to close.

2005 (Earthquake) Nothern Sumatra, Indonesia

March 29
1998 – BBC America made its debut on digital cable

2009 – In a very unusual political/business situation, Rick Wagoner, the chairman and chief executive of General Motors, resigned at the request of President Obama’s administration.

2006 Queen Elizabeth II pronounced the singer ‘Sir’ Tom Jones a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

2010 – Fox Reality Channel was replaced with Nat Geo Wild on cable television

March 30
1966 – The special Color Me Barbra, with Barbra Streisand, aired on CBS.

1982 – President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley Jr. He later told his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck.”

1990 – in Belgium, several UFOs were seen on radar and were chased by two Belgian Air Force F-16 ‘s

2002 – The Fairly Odd Parents and Invader Zim premiered on Nickelodeon

March 31
1836 – The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, by Charles Dickens, was published under his pseudonym, Boz.

1943 – Formally called ‘Away We Go’ in the initial tryout runs, ‘Oklahoma!’ opened on Broadway.

1957 – Julie Andrews starred in Cinderalla, on CBS

1959 – The Dalai Lama, fled the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet and crossed the border into India, where he is granted political asylum.

1987 – Max Headroom premiered on ABC

1994 – Madonna appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and stirred up controversy by going on a profanity-laden tirade. It marked the most censored event in television talk show history with 13 swear words being censored.

1995 – Latina singer Selena was murdered and the live coverage of the crime drew in over 3 .2 million views to CBS.

More Pop Culture History Resources</h4 >