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🗓️ On This Day - March 21st

Are you celebrating a birthday today? If not, there are still plenty of great reasons why March 21st is well worth marking in your calendar. Let’s take a look at some of the most important events to have fallen on this date in years gone by.

On this day

New Orleans Architecture

New Orleans fell to fire.

On March 21st, 1788, the City of New Orleans in Louisiana succumbed to a devastating fire. Of 1,100 buildings, 856 fell completely. These included the Town Hall, a church, army barracks and jail. Records state it only took five hours for the city to be almost completely destroyed.

facts about Elvis Presley

Long live rock and roll!

Rock and roll’s origins are fairly disparate, but the first-ever rock concert took place on March 21st all the way back in 1952. The event, hosted by legendary DJ and radio host Alan Freed, was eventually evacuated after a single performance - as the crowds got too heavy!

Alcatraz prison cells

Alcatraz closed its doors for good.

While it's still a popular tourist attraction for history buffs today, Alcatraz - the infamous prison island - was officially shut down on March 21st, 1963. Robert Kennedy, then-Attorney General in the US, gave the order for the prison to cease. Alcatraz was well-known for being one of the US' most secure prisons.


Who shot JR?

For TV viewers across the US and even elsewhere, time stood still between seasons of popular soap Dallas - as the infamous JR Ewing, portrayed by Larry Hagman, was shot. But who was the assailant? The gap between seasons three and four led to a nationwide sleuthing - who shot JR?

twitter on ipad

The world’s first tweet!

Social network Twitter took its first flutter into the world on this day back in 2006, as then-CEO Jack Dorsey sent the first-ever tweet. In the time since, millions of tweets have been sent each day, and entrepreneur Elon Musk famously took over the brand in 2022.

Special Days Falling on March 21st

Not got much to celebrate or shout about today? Here are a few special events unfolding on March 21st you may wish to pay attention to.

California Strawberry Day

Traditionally, as the first day of spring, March 21st also marks the start of the highly popular strawberry season in California. Believe it or not, CA is responsible for the production of up to a billion pounds of the fruit each and every year - it really is the US’ strawberry capital!

Planck map

National Big Bang Day

March 21st is a great day for looking up to the skies! Today we celebrate the creation of the all-sky map, on behalf of the Planck Collaboration. This map has helped us to understand the finer points of cosmology, and how our complex and mysterious universe may have come into being.

Tropical forest

International Day of Forests

This global holiday, again falling on the first day of spring, gives us all pause to think about how important our global greenery is to the continued survival of species. The day was first set up and celebrated back in 2012, as a result of a UN initiative. Now’s the time to plant your own tree, perhaps, to mark the occasion.

This page was last modified on August 3, 2023. Suggest an edit