This Christian observance falls on the Sunday before Easter and is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Holy Week, Palm Sunday marks the day when Christ rode into Jerusalem a week before his death and resurrection and was greeted by its people, who strewed cloaks and tree branches along his path to honor him as their king. This event is known as the Triumphal Entry.
Nowadays, Palm Sunday service often includes the blessing of palm leaves (or substitute branches from yews, willows, or other plants) before a procession into or in the church, after which hymns are sung and readings that focus on Christ’s final week are given. In many Christian denominations, palm fronds are burned at the end of the service; the ashes are saved for use on the next Ash Wednesday.
Palm Sunday is also called Passion, Branch, Yew, Willow, Blossom, or Fig Sunday, as well as Flower Day and several other names.
Thomas Jefferson's Birthday
Traditional New Year's Day (Thailand)
Born 1743: Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. president)
Born 1866: Butch Cassidy (American Wild West outlaw)
Born 1906: Samuel Beckett (author, playwright, & Nobel Prize winner)
Died 1938: Archie "Grey Owl" Belaney (conservationist)
Died 1941: Annie Jump Cannon (astronomer)
1943: Pres. FDR dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington
1960: First navigational satellite Transit-1B launched
Born 1964: Caroline Rhea (comedian & actress)
1965: The Beatles recorded their hit song "Help!"
Born 1970: Rick Schroder (actor)
1970: An explosion occurred aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft on its way to the moon. Short of oxygen and flying a crippled ship, the crew aborted the moon landing and headed back to earth under emergency conditions
Died 1993: Wallace Stegner (writer)
2004: Barry Bonds, the San Francisco slugger, hit his 661st career home run, passing Willie Mays (also his Godfather) to take sole possession of third place on baseball's career list
2004: A dwarf mouse named Yoda celebrated his fourth birthday, making him the oldest of his kind and far beyond 100 in human years. Yoda owes his longevity to genetic modifications that affected his pituitary and thyroid glands and reduced insulin production - and which left him a third smaller than an average mouse and very sensitive to cold
Died 2009: Mark "the Bird" Fidrych (baseball pitcher)
Died 2012: Jonathan Frid (actor)