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Calendar for March 5th, 2014

Ash Wednesday

The Christian season of Lent begins today, 40 days before Easter (not counting Sundays). Many Christians attend church services on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on their foreheads in the sign of the cross. (Ashes are a symbol of penance in the Old Testament and in pagan antiquity.) In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting. In the sixth century, Christians who had committed grave faults were obliged to do public penance. On Ash Wednesday, they donned a hair shirt (which they wore for 40 days), and the local bishop blessed them and sprinkled them with ashes. Then, while others recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the holy place. They could not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), when they received absolution.


  • Died 1770: Crispus Attucks (first casualty of Boston Massacre)

  • 1770: Boston Massacre. Five American rioters killed in skirmish with British troops

  • 1830s

  • Born 1835: William Steinway (piano manufacturer)

  • 1840s

  • 1849: Zachary Taylor was inaugurated as the 12th U.S. President; Millard Fillmore became Vice President

  • 1850s

  • Born 1853: Howard Pyle (illustrator)

  • 1860s

  • 1868: Impeachment proceedings of President Andrew Johnson began

  • 1870s

  • Born 1870: Benjamin Franklin Norris (novelist)

  • 1890s

  • Born 1893: Emmett J. Culligan (founder of the world's largest water treatment organization)

  • Born 1898: Misao Okawa (Japanese woman who would later be recognized as the world's oldest person of her time. She died on April 1, 2015, and lived to be 117 years old.)

  • 1900s

  • 1907: First radio broadcast of a musical composition took place when Lee De Forest transmitted a performance of Rossini's William Tell Overture from Telharmonic Hall in NY to the Brooklyn Navy Yard

  • Born 1908: Rex Harrison (actor)

  • 1920s

  • 1923: Montana and Nevada enacted the first old age pensions in the U.S.

  • Born 1927: Jack Cassidy (actor)

  • 1929: Fire destroyed more than 320 cars at an auto show in Los Angeles, California

  • 1930s

  • 1931: The Gandhi-Irwin Pact between Mahatma Gandhi and Viceroy Edward Wood, Lord Irwin, brought a halt to the civil disobedience campaign with Gandhi accepting the federal constitution plan adopted by the conference in return for British efforts to lessen repression

  • Born 1936: Dean Stockwell (actor)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1941: Paul Sand (actor)

  • 1946: In a speech at Missouri's Westminster College, Winston Churchill introduced the phrase "iron curtain" to describe the repression of Soviet-dominated Europe

  • Born 1946: Robert Patrick "Rocky" Bleier (football player)

  • 1950s

  • Died 1953: Joseph Stalin (Russian leader)

  • Born 1958: Andy Gibb (musician)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1962: Elise Burgin (tennis player)

  • Died 1963: Patsy Cline (singer)

  • 1970s

  • 1977: "Ask President Carter," the first presidential phone-in radio show was broadcast on CBS

  • 1979: Voyager I relayed data from Jupiter, including photographs of its four largest moons

  • 1980s

  • Died 1982: John Belushi (actor)

  • 1984: Standard Oil Co. of California and Gulf Corp. agreed to merge in a $13.3 billion transaction

  • Born 1989: Jake Lloyd (actor)

  • 2000s

  • 2004: Martha Stewart was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements in her trial determining if she and her ex-broker lied to the government about her sale of ImClone Systems stock in December 2001

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