Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountain man, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman- father of Randy Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 63, Rob Lowe is 50
1762- in New York City, Irish militiamen against orders marched down Broadway to Hull's Tavern to a St. Patrick's Day breakfast. The first recorded St. Patty's Day parade. In 1848 several Irish-American organizations marched together and the parade became large enough to bring out the Mayor to preside.
1845- Rubber Bands invented.
1898- First test of a practical submarine. Americans had experimented with underwater travel since 1776 with Bushnells "Turtle" then the Civil War CSS Hunley. In the ocean off Staten Island a diesel-electric battery powered sub built by the John A. Holland Electric Boat Company of Georgia ran underwater for an hour and forty minutes then resurfaced. As a child Holland was inspired by Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea".
1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.
1965- Chicago began the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green.
1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award.
As a result Ed Asner’s hit t.v. show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar section that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.