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On This Day: March 21


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March 21 is a day packed with historic action. Check out what happened here.

This day in history has seen some important events in music, entertainment, politics and human rights -- as well as the closure of one of the world's most notorious prisons. 

Annie and Alcatraz.

Annie and Alcatraz

Here's what went down:

  • The great German composer and organist, Johann Sebastian Bach, was born (1685).
  • Journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his famous expedition to Africa (1871).
  • South Australia's Suffrage Act proclaimed after being passed by Queen Victoria (1895).
  • Persia officially renamed Iran (1935).
  • US president Harry Truman signs Executive Order 9835, requiring all federal employees to have allegiance to the United States (1947).
  • Two men die in the first documented case of death by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (1947).
  • Sharpeville Massacre: Police kill 72 in South Africa and outlaw the ANC (1960).
  • Yogi the bear becomes the first living creature to be ejected at supersonic speeds by the US military as it tests its ejection seats. The bear lived (1962).
  • The infamous Alcatraz prison, on a remote, rocky island in San Francisco Bay, is closed (1963).
  • The USA announces its intention to boycott the Moscow Olympics due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan  (1980).
  • The movie Annie -- directed by John Huston and starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney and Carol Burnett -- premieres (1982).
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