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Events, deaths, births, of 21 MAR

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• Russia's dirty war in Chechnya... • Battle of the Somme... • Hyundai founder dies... • Flag raiser dies on Iwo Jima... • Blacks massacred in South Africa... • Napoleonic Code... • Civil rights march... • Car innovator's lawsuit against prosecutors... • Reward offered for identity of pamphlet author... • Lawsuit over Internet domain names... • North Vietnam rejects peace talks offer... • Khmer Rouge shell Phnom Penh... • Another plot to kill Hitler fails... • Fourier is born... • “Mad Sheep” disease in US?...
^  On a 21 March:

2014 Asteroid 2003 QQ47, 1300 m wide, does not collide with Earth. It was first seen on 24 August 2003 and, on 02 September 2003 it was estimated to have 1 chance out of 909'000 of colliding with Earth on this date. On 03 September 2003, this was lowered to 1 out of 2.2 million.
Conquerer or liberator?
2005 In Namibia, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba [18 Aug 1935~] takes office as President, having been elected on 15 and 16 November 2004 to succeed Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma [12 May 1929~] who has completed the maximum of three 5-year terms as President, and is of the same SWAPO party as Pohamba, whom he endorsed. Nahas Gideon Angula [22 Aug 1943~] takes office as Prime Minister, and Dr. Libertine ( née Appolus) Amathila MD [10 Dec 1940~], the first Namibian woman physician, as Deputy Prime Minister.

2003 A US Marine replaces the Iraqi flag at the entrance to the new port at Umm Qasr, Iraq with the flags of the US and of its Marine Corps [photo >]. Soon afterwards someone remembers that the US claims that it is liberating, not conquering Iraq, and the US flags are removed.
[all about Iraq, especially its military]
Baghdad bombed

Government and Baath Party buildings along the Tigris River in Baghdad are bombed by the US soon after midnight. [< photo]
2001 A Bacia de Campos (Brasile) e' affondata la piattaforma petrolifera della Petrobas, la piu' grande del mondo. La dispersione in mare di un milione e mezzo di tonnellate di greggio e altrettante di gasolio, nonostante tutte le precauzioni, sembra inevitabile. E tutto cio' mentre la Francia assiste ancora una volta ad un naufragio velenoso al largo delle sue coste. E' accaduto ieri nel golfo di Biscaglia, 200 km a NordEst del porto iberico di La Coruña. La nave trasportava 8000 tonnellate di acido solforico. E' ancora impossibile valutare il danno provocato.

drug poll graph^ 2001 Poll: US drug war a failure, must be continued.
      The Pew Research Institute for the People and the Press releases the results of a poll, according to which the US's drug war is viewed as a failure by most Americans, and there is scant hope it will ever succeed. Nearly three-quarters of people in the US say that we are losing the drug war, and just as many say that insatiable demand will perpetuate the nation's drug habit. Yet this deep sense of futility has not generated more momentum for alternative anti-drug strategies, like establishing more treatment programs for drug users or decriminalizing the use of some drugs. The public still gives higher priority to traditional get-tough approaches, such as interdicting drugs at the border and arresting dealers in this country, although declining numbers regard those tactics as effective.
2001 Italian luxury sportscar maker Ferrari opens a dealership in Indonesia, one of the world's poorest countries and home to some of its most impenetrable traffic jams. Its Ferraris will sell for about $288'000 each. For the penurious there will also be Maseratis at $96'000 price tag. Indonesia's average monthly income is about $25. So the average Indonesian just has to get 364 others to agree to live on only $12.50 a month, and in a little over 5 years, between all of them, they can buy one Ferrari and each have it for one day in the year.
2001 El ex general golpista y presidente del Parlamento guatemalteco, José Efraín Ríos Montt [16 Jun 1926~], pierde su cargo al frente de la Cámara de Diputados por su presunta implicación en la manipulación de una ley.
2001 US expels Russian spy-diplomats.
      The US State Department notifies Russia that 50 Russian diplomats in the US will have to leave, four of them immediately. These four are what intelligence officers with senior FBI official Robert Hanssen, who is awaiting trial on charges of spying for the former Soviet Union and for Russia over a period of 15 years. The news of the expulsion would be made public on 22 March, and on 23 March Russia would announce that it is expelling an equal number of US diplomats.
     Two other diplomats accused in the Hanssen matter -- including Vladimir Frolov, the Russian Embassy press attaché who was Hanssen's handler -- have already precipitously left the US.
     Among other things, investigators believe Hanssen, who was in the FBI for 25 years, may have told Russians about a secret surveillance tunnel under the then-Soviet Embassy -- now the Russian Embassy -- in Washington. Hanssen is to appear at a preliminary hearing on 21 May 2001. If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.
^ 2001 US sheep seized in Mad Cow scare
     Federal officials seize a flock of sheep [< photo] feared infected with a version of mad cow disease, the first such seizure of any US. farm animals. It is in Montpelier, Vermont, Houghton Freeman's flock of 233 sheep.
      The sheep, imported from Belgium and the Netherlands in 1996, were placed under certain federal restrictions when they entered the country as part of USDA's scrapie control efforts. In 1998, USDA learned that it was likely that sheep from Europe were exposed to feed contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. At that time, the state of Vermont, at the request of USDA, imposed a quarantine on these flocks, which prohibited slaughter or sale for breeding purposes. On 10 July 2000, four sheep from the flock tested positive for a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).
mad cow sheep?
     TSE is a class of degenerative neurological diseases that is characterized by a very long incubation period and a 100% mortality rate. Two of the better known varieties of TSE are BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) in cattle and scrapie in sheep. Unlike BSE, there is no evidence that scrapie poses a risk to human health. Based on current testing methodology, there is no way to determine whether the sheep have BSE or scrapie.
     On July 14, 2000, USDA issued a declaration of extraordinary emergency to acquire the sheep. This action was contested by the flock owners. A federal district court judge ruled in favor of USDA based on the merits of the case. The flock owners appealed to the Second Circuit Court requesting a stay, which was denied. The sheep will be transported to USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, where they will be humanely euthanized. Tissue samples will be collected from the sheep for diagnostic testing. The owners will be compensated for the fair market value of the sheep.

     The second suspect flock, of 126 East Friesian milking sheep, is owned by Larry and Linda Faillace of East Warren. Those animals would to be seized two days later
      Another flock of 21 sheep from the same family of sheep was voluntarily turned over to government officials in the summer of 2000 by their Lyndonville owner. The sheep were destroyed.

      The human version of BSE, which like the animal version has a lengthy incubation period, has killed almost 100 people in Great Britain since 1995, when it nearly wiped out the British beef industry (as it was recovering, it was devastated again in 2001 by foot-and-mouth disease). Scrapie has been in the United States since at least 1947, but there are no known domestic cases of mad cow disease. Destroying the sheep would eliminate them as a possible source of BSE. BSE has been transmitted to sheep experimentally through the feeding of small amounts of infected cattle brain. Testing to determine whether the Vermont sheep have scrapie or BSE wirr take two to three years to complete.

Backgrounder on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (PDF)
Related Material
The "Dirty War" in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture, and Summary Executions
Human Rights Watch report, March 2001
Urge the U.N. To Censure Russia
HRW Chechnya Action Page
Recent HRW Press Releases and Reports on Chechnya
^ 2001 “Disappearances” widespread in Chechnya
Mass graves a hallmark of Russia's "Dirty War"

"Russia's war in Chechnya is certainly a 'dirty war.' The Russians have had plenty of time to investigate and prosecute these cases, but they haven't done so. It's time for the international community to act."  
  Human Rights Watch releases a new report on Chechnya.
      The 40-page report, "The 'Dirty War' in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture and Summary Executions," details the cases of fifty-two "disappeared" individuals who were last seen in the custody of Russian federal forces. The actual number of "disappeared" is believed to be much higher. The mutilated bodies of some of the "disappeared" were later found in unmarked graves in Chechnya, most bearing unmistakable signs of torture.
      The term "dirty war" was coined to describe the campaigns of forced "disappearances" perpetrated by Latin American governments in the 1970s and 80s.
      In a typical "disappearance," federal agents-from the Russian military, police, or security forces-take someone into custody during "sweep" operations or at a checkpoint. But Russian authorities later deny any knowledge of the individual who has "disappeared."
      Family members may visit detention centers all over the northern Caucasus to glean information about their loved ones. Often they are compelled to bribe prison guards to scan prisoners' lists for the name of the "disappeared," or to pay middlemen who claim to have connections to authorities.
      Russian legal authorities offer little help. The civilian procuracy charged with investigating such cases cannot compel the military authorities to cooperate. The thirty-four criminal investigations into "disappearances" that the civilian procuracy has opened so far have not resulted in the discovery of the whereabouts of any "disappeared," or in any indictments of perpetrators.
      The Human Rights Watch report documents eight mass graves and eight other makeshift burials, where corpses of the "disappeared" and others have been found.
Among the victims whose cases are detailed in the report:
  • Akhmed Zaurbekov and Khamzad Khasarov, who were detained on 14 January 2001. Local authorities denied all knowledge of their whereabouts. Two weeks later, their corpses were found in a rock quarry.
  • Nina Lulueva and her two cousins, who were detained on 03 June 2000, were selling strawberries at a market in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, when they were detained by masked armed men. Her husband, a judge, searched for information on her whereabouts among all levels of law enforcement. Her corpse was found early this month in a mass grave near the Khankala military base.
  • Two minors, Islam Dombaev and Murat Lyanov were detained, together with eighteen-year-old Timur Tabzhanov on 28 June 2000. Although police documents record their initial detention, their relations, after an exhaustive search, have been unable to obtain information about their whereabouts.
  • 2000 Pope John Paul II began the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.
    2000 A divided US Supreme Court rules that the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative.
    1998 The European Union imposes economic sanctions and an arms embargo on Yugoslavia (in fact Serbia) because of its violent repression in Kosovo.
    1998 La policía española y la guardia civil se incautan de 590 kilos de explosivos, uno de los mayores alijos apresados a ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasusa), y desarticulan el "comando Andalucía", al detener en Sevilla a sus tres miembros liberados y a dos colaboradores franceses.
    ^ 1997 PGP sues Network Solutions for domain name practices.
          PGP Media of Manhattan files an antitrust lawsuit against Network Solutions, the administrator of domain names, alleging that Network Solutions' control over Internet domain registration is illegal and monopolistic. PGP challenged Network Solutions' authority to control the registration of Internet domain names, seeking to compel the company to make technical changes that would allow PGP to compete in domain name registration. PGP wanted to add hundreds of additional domains to the existing categories like ".com," ".org," and ".edu." In February, Internet-standards authorities had announced they would create seven new domain name categories and allow twenty-eight different companies to act as registrars. However, PGP said Network Solutions' monopoly continued to limit artificially the number of Internet addresses available.
    1996 General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a settlement in a 17-day brake-factory strike that idled more than 177'000 employees and brought the automaker to a near standstill.
    1994 IBM and Apple's joint software venture, Taligent (formed in 1991), demonstrates a new operating system able to run on any kind of machine-from a Macintosh to a PC to a mainframe.
    1990 Namibia becomes independent of South Africa.
    1989 Randall Dale Adams, whose conviction for killing a police officer was overturned after the documentary ''The Thin Blue Line'' challenged evidence, is released from a Texas prison.
    1988 El presidente del Gobierno español, Felipe González Márquez, presenta el Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica y Desarrollo Tecnológico.
    1986 199.22 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange.
    1980 US President Jimmy Carter announces that, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan started in December 1979, the US will boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. It is the only time that the US has boycotted the Olympics. It does not stop the Russians in Afghanistan and it hurts the Olympics.
    1979 Primera condena a muerte por inyección letal en Estados Unidos, en la persona de Lynda May Burnett, quien en 1978 secuestró y asesinó a un niño.
    1972 The US Supreme Court ruled states may not require at least a year's residency for voting eligibility.
    ^ 1967 North Vietnam rejects peace talks offer.
          The North Vietnamese press agency reports that an exchange of notes took place in February between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Ho Chi Minh. The agency said that Ho rejected a proposal made by Johnson for direct talks between the United States and North Vietnam on ending the war. The North Vietnamese demanded that the United States "stop definitely and unconditionally its bombing raids and all other acts of war against North Vietnam." The US. State Department confirmed the exchange of letters and expressed regret that Hanoi had divulged this information, since the secret letters were intended as a serious diplomatic attempt to end the conflict. Nothing of any consequence came from Johnson's initiative. Meanwhile, in South Vietnam, Operation Junction City produced what General Westmoreland described as "one of the most successful single actions of the year." In the effort, US. forces killed 606 Viet Cong in Tay Ninh Province and surrounding areas along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon. The purpose of Operation Junction City was to drive the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops away from populated areas and into the open where superior American firepower could be more effectively used against them.
    ^ 1965 Selma to Montgomery march begins
         A five-day civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, the Alabama state capital, is begun by some 3200 marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace.
          Alabama was a center of the Black civil rights movement, and, in early 1965, King’s civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), planned a march from Selma to the state capitol to protest racial violence in Alabama. A first attempt was made on 07 March, but the march ended on the outskirts of Selma when mounted police using tear gas and clubs attacked and arrested the demonstrators. Two days later, another attempt was made, but the marchers were again blocked by the police. The same evening, Reverend James Reeb, a white minister, was fatally beaten by a group of Selma whites, leading to a national outcry and widespread publicity of the planned march.
          Under pressure from US. President Lyndon B. Johnson, an Alabama court finally gave the marchers permission to proceed. On 21 March, the march began, and ended after minimal violence on 26 March in Montgomery, where King and his marchers were joined by some 20'000 demonstrators in front of the Alabama state capitol building. Soon after, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gave federal agencies the right to enforce equal voting rights in the South.
          In the name of Black voting rights, 3200 civil rights demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King Jr., begin a historic march from Selma, Alabama, to the State Capitol at Montgomery. US. Army and National Guard troops were on hand to provide safe passage for the "Alabama Freedom March," which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. In 1965, King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) decided to make the small town of Selma the focus of their drive to win voting rights for Black US citizens in the South. Alabama's governor, George Wallace, was a vocal opponent of the Black civil rights movement, and local authorities in Selma had consistently thwarted efforts by the Dallas County Voters League and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to register local blacks. King had won the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace, and the world's eyes turned to Selma after his arrival there in January 1965. He launched a series of peaceful protests, and by mid-February thousands of protesters in the Selma area had spent time in jail, including King himself.
          On 18 February, a group of White segregationists attacked some peaceful marchers in the nearby town of Marion. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a Black demonstrator, was fatally wounded in the melee. After he died, King and the SCLC planned a massive march from Selma to Montgomery. Although Governor Wallace promised to prevent it from going forward, on 07 March some 500 demonstrators, led by SCLC leader Hosea Williams and SNCC leader John Lewis, began the 87-kilometer march to the state capital. After crossing Pettus Bridge, they were met by Alabama state troopers and posse men who attacked them with nightsticks, tear gas, and whips after they refused to turn back. Several of the protesters were severely beaten, and others ran for their lives. The incident was captured on national television and outraged many Americans. Hundreds of ministers, priests, and rabbis headed to Selma to join the voting rights campaign. King, who was in Atlanta at the time, promised to return to Selma immediately and lead another attempt.
          On 09 March, King led 1500 marchers, black and white, across Edmund Pettus Bridge but found Highway 80 blocked again by state troopers. King paused the marchers and led them in prayer, whereupon the troopers stepped aside. King then turned the protesters around, believing that the troopers were trying to create an opportunity that would allow them to enforce a federal injunction prohibiting the march. This decision led to criticism from some marchers who called King cowardly. In Selma that night, James Reeb, a white minister from Boston, was fatally beaten by a group of segregationists.
          Six days later, on 15 March, President Lyndon Johnson went on national television to pledge his support to the Selma protesters and call for the passage of a new voting rights bill that he was introducing in Congress. "There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem," he said, "And we shall overcome." On 21 March, US. Army troops and federalized Alabama National Guardsmen escorted the marchers across Edmund Pettus Bridge and down Highway 80. When the highway narrowed to two lanes, only 300 marchers were permitted, but thousands more rejoined the Alabama Freedom March as it came into Montgomery on 25 March. On the steps of Alabama State Capitol, King addressed live television cameras and a crowd of 25'000, just a few hundred feet from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where he got his start as a minister in 1954. That August, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed African Americans the right to vote. By 1967, African-American registered voters in Alabama had nearly tripled.
    1962 A bear becomes the first creature to be ejected at supersonic speeds
    1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of espionage
    ^ 1950 Car innovator's lawsuit against persecutor prosecutors.
          Preston Tucker files suit against his former prosecutors. Tucker, (later made famous by the 1988 film Tucker starring Jeff Bridges in the title role), was one of the car industry’s most spectacular post-war failures. Having built a reputation as an engineer during WWII, when he served as general manager of his company Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Company, Tucker looked to capitalize on the high demand that the post-war conditions offered. No new car model had been released since 1942, so the end of the war would bring four years worth of car buyers back to the market.
          Tucker intended to meet the new demand with a revolutionary automobile design. His 1945 plans called for an automobile that would be equipped with a rear-mounted engine as powerful as an aircraft engine, an hydraulic torque converter that would eliminate the necessity of a transmission, two revolving headlights at either side of the car’s fender along with one stationary "cyclops" headlight in the middle, and a steering wheel placed in the center of the car and flanked by two passenger seats.
          In the end, only fifty-one Tuckers were produced and none of them were equipped with the features Tucker had initially advertised. Still, loyal fans of Tucker claim that Tucker was the victim of industrial sabotage carried out by the Big Three. Tucker was indicted by the SEC before he could begin to mass-produce his automobiles. He was eventually acquitted of all charges. Emboldened by his acquittal Tucker filed suit against his prosecutors.
          Historians who argue against the conspiracy theory maintain that post-war manufacturing conditions left small manufacturers little room for success. They suggest that, if anything, Tucker’s acquittal was merciful. Tucker failed to meet the requirements for capital and production capability that his project demanded. After raising almost $15 million from stockholders, Tucker defaulted on federal deadlines for the production of car prototypes. When he finally did produce the cars, none of them were equipped with the technological breakthroughs he promised. Still, the Tucker was a remarkable car for its price tag. Whether as an innovator silenced by the complacent authorities or a charlatan better fit to build visions than cars, Preston Tucker made an personal impact in a post-war industry dominated by faceless goliaths.
    1946 The United Nations set up temporary headquarters at Hunter College in New York City.
    1945 During WW II Allied bombers begin 4 days of raids on Germany.
    ^ 1943 Another plot to kill Hitler fails.
          The second military conspiracy plan to assassinate Hitler in a week fails to come off. Back in the summer of 1941, Maj. Gen. Henning von Tresckow, a member of Gen. Fedor von Bock's Army Group Center, was the leader of one of many conspiracies against Adolf Hitler. Along with his staff officer, Lt. Fabian von Schlabrendorff, and two other conspirators, both of old German families who also believed Hitler was leading Germany to humiliation, Tresckow had planned to arrest the Fuhrer when he visited the Army Group's headquarters at Borisov, in the Soviet Union. But their naiveté in such matters became evident when Hitler showed up-surrounded by SS bodyguards and driven in one of a fleet of cars. They never got near him.
          Tresckow would try again on March 13, 1943, in a plot called Operation Flash. This time, Tresckow, Schlabrendorff, et al., were stationed in Smolensk, still in the USSR. Hitler was planning to fly back to Rastenburg, Germany, from Vinnitsa, in the USSR. A stopover was planned at Smolensk, during which the Fuhrer was to be handed a parcel bomb by an unwitting officer thinking it was a gift of liquor for two senior officers at Rastenburg. All went according to plan and Hitler's plane took off--the bomb was set to go off somewhere over Minsk. At that point, co-conspirators in Berlin were ready to take control of the central government at the mention of the code word "Flash." Unfortunately, the bomb never went off at all-the detonator was defective.
          A week later, on 21 March, on Heroes' Memorial Day, (a holiday honoring German World War I dead), Tresckow selected Col. Freiherr von Gersdorff to act as a suicide bomber at the Zeughaus Museum in Berlin, where Hitler was to attend the annual memorial dedication. With a bomb planted in each of his two coat pockets, Gersdorff was to sidle up to Hitler as he reviewed the memorials and ignite the bombs, taking the dictator out-along with himself and everyone in the immediate vicinity. Schlabrendorff supplied Gersdorff with bombs-each with a 10-minute fuse. Once at the exhibition hall, Gersdorff was informed that the Fuhrer was to inspect the exhibits for only eight minutes-not enough time for the fuses to melt down.
    1940 Formation du cabinet Paul Reynaud (Daladier est ministre de la Défense nationale, de Gaulle sous-secrétaire d'état)
    1935 Persia becomes Iran. — Irán, deformación del nombre Airana o tierra de los arios.
    1933 Desaparece la República de Weimar, en Alemania, y comienza el Tercer Reich.
    1925 Iran adopts Khorshidi solar Hijrah calendar.
    1925 El Gobierno de Miguel Primo de Rivera ordena la disolución de la mancomunidad catalana.
    1919 Bela Kun se adueña del poder en Hungría y proclama la dictadura del proletariado.
    1918 During WW I Germany launches Somme offensive, hoping to break through the Allied line before US reinforcements could arrive.
    1918 Formación de un Gobierno nacional español, presidido por Antonio Maura y Montaner, para hacer frente a la grave situación creada por las Juntas de Defensa.
    1907 US invades Honduras.
    1907 Louis Blériot ensaya su primer modelo de monoplano, con el que atravesaría el Canal de la Mancha el 25 de julio de 1909.
    1891 A Hatfield marries a McCoy, ends long feud in West Virginia.
    1871 El Emperador Guillermo I de Alemania inaugura el primer Parlamento alemán y concede a Bismarck el título de Príncipe Imperial.
    1865 Battle of Bentonville ends, last Confederate effort to stop Sherman.
    1864 Nevada and Colorado territories admitted into the Union.
    1847 Guatemala se independiza de las provincias Unidas de Centroamérica.
    1843 Preacher William Miller of Massachusetts predicts the world will end today (it doesn't).
    1829 Un terremoto ocasiona graves daños materiales en la ciudad de Orihuela (Alicante) y en los caseríos de su huerta.
    1808 El rey de España  Carlos IV, en un documento dirigido a Napoleón Bonaparte, le indica que debe considerar nula su abdicación al trono español.
    ^ 1804 Napoleonic Code is approved in France.
    after four years of debate and planning.
         The civil code gives post-revolutionary France its first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights.
          In 1800, general Napoléon Bonaparte became French dictator with the support of the army, and, in the same year, he began the arduous task of revising France’s outdated and muddled legal system. A special commission established by Napoleon and led by J. J. Cambaceres met over eighty times to discuss the revolutionary legal revisions, and Napoleon presided over nearly half of these sessions.
          On 21 March 1804, the Napoleonic Code was finally approved. It codified several branches of law, including commercial and criminal law, and divided civil law into categories of property and family. The Napoleonic Code made the authority of men over their family stronger, deprived women of any individual rights, and reduced the rights of illegitimate children. All male citizens were also granted equal rights under the law and the right to religious dissent, but colonial slavery was reintroduced. The laws were applied to all territories under Napoléon’s control and were influential in several other European countries and in South America.
    1800 Coronación del Papa Pío VII.
    1790 Thomas Jefferson reported to US President Washington in New York City as the new secretary of state.
    1788 Gustavus Vassa petitions Queen Charlotte, to free enslaved Africans.
    1788 Fire destroyed 856 buildings in New Orleans Louisiana
    ^ 1678 Reward offered for identity of pamphlet author.
          The London Gazette offers a reward to anyone revealing the author of a pamphlet called An Account of the Growth of Popery. The pamphlet, it was later revealed, had been published anonymously by Andrew Marvell in 1677. Although today Marvell is best remembered as the gifted metaphysical poet who composed witty works like To His Coy Mistress (1681), during his own time he was known as a political figure and pamphleteer. Educated at Cambridge, Marvell supported himself as a tutor both abroad and at home in England for many years. After tutoring the ward of Sir Oliver Cromwell, head of the English government after the overthrow and execution of King Charles I, Marvell went to work as assistant to John Milton, a secretary to the government. Milton, who had recently gone blind, would not write his masterpiece Paradise Lost until 1667.
          While Marvell had been skeptical of Cromwell, his admiration for the man grew until Cromwell's death in 1659. After his death, however, Marvell became a supporter of the Restoration movement that brought Charles II to the throne. In 1659, Marvell ran for Parliament from his hometown of Hull and won the position, which he held for the rest of his life. Marvell wrote several political pamphlets in the 1870s, including the anonymous Account of the Growth of Popery. Three years after his death in 1878, Marvell's housekeeper, claiming to be his widow, published Miscellaneous Poems, the only collection of Marvell's poetic works.
    1421 Battle of Beauge — French beat British.
    1344 Alfonso XI, rey de Castilla, toma Algeciras.
    1146 King Louis VII of France took up the cause of the Second Crusade, in response to Bernard of Clairvaux's preaching, and became leader of the ill-fated mission.
    < 20 Mar 22 Mar >
    ^  Deaths which occurred on a 21 March:

    2007 Paul McCann [25 Dec 1974–] and Anthony Huntrod [07 Oct 1986–], killed by the sudden 04:20 UT explosion of a back-up oxygen generator on British submarine HMS Tireless, aboard which they were respectively Leading Operator Mechanic and Operator Maintainer (Weapons Submariner). Another sailor is injured by smoke inhalation. The submarine was participating in a wargame exercise beneath the Arctic ice cap. —(070325)
    2006 At least 20 Maoist rebels, killed during an army attack near the village of Dharechown, Nepal. —(060321)
    2006 A policeman, in a police post in Dharan, Nepal, during an early morning attack by Maoist rebels who arrived on motorcycles. —(060321)
    2006 Nine policemen and 3 of the Maoist rebels who, early in the morning, attack a police station in Birtamod, Nepal, after arriving in buses and trucks. —(060321)
    2005 Daryl Allen “Dash” Lussier [03 Sep 1946–] and his mate Michelle Leigh Sigana [10 Nov 1972–]; security guard Derrick Brun, 28; teacher Neva Winnecoup Rogers, 62; and six students: the three girls Thurlene Stillday, 15; Chanelle Rosebear, 15; and Alicia Spike, 14; and the three boys Dwayne Lewis, 15; Chase Lussier, 15; and Jeff Weise [08 Aug 1988–], who first shoots Sigana and Daryl Lussier, who is his grandfather with whom he was having an argument, on the Red Lake Chippewa Reservation in Minnesota, then, taking a bulletproof vest, a shotgun and two handguns belonging to his grandfather, a tribal policeman, drives his grandfather's police car to the high school , where he is a student, and, at 14:55 shoots an unarmed security guard, and then , in one classroom into which he pursues them, students and the teacher (a non-Amerindian), exchanges shots with an arriving policeman, and finally shoots himself, at 15:10. He had also wounded another 7 students who survive. Several victims were shot in the head. Jeff Wiese's father committed suicide in 2000 and his mother has been in a Minneapolis nursing home since sustaining brain injuries in a car accident. That is why the boy was living in Red Lake with his grandmother, Lussier's ex-wife Shelda Rose (née Gurno) Lussier [22 Jul 1950–]. He was not in school because he had been placed in the Homebound program because of a serious violation of school rules.
    2004 Jose Geraldo Soares, 43, of a heart attack in the afternoon, half way through the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ, which he was watching in one of the two movie theaters at a Belo Horizonte, Brazil, shopping mall which he, a Presbyterian pastor, had booked for the congregations of two local churches.
    Waters-Bey2004 Two Iraqi civilians by two rockets which miss their target, the US-led occupation headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Five Iraqi civilians are wounded. One US soldier is wounded by a third rocket which hits the headquarters compound.
    2004 A 1st Armored Division soldier and an Iraqi interpreter, in Baghdad's western Abu Ghraib district, by a bomb exploding near a US patrol. Three US soldiers are wounded.
    2004 Ibrahim Homan, 26, an Islamic Jihad fighter, of wounds from Israeli army gunfire sustained near the Netzarim enclave settlement in the Gaza Strip, at the beginning of March 2004.

    2003:: 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers, 30; Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, US Marines killed in action as the US invades southern Iraq and their units advance on the Rumeila oilfield.

    2003:: 8 British Marines: Color Sgt. John Cecil; Lance Bombardier Llewelyn Karl “Welly” Evans; Capt. Philip Stuart Guy; Sholto Hedenskog; Sgt. Les Hehir; Operator Mechanic Second Class Ian Seymour; Warrant Officer Second Class Mark Stratford; Major Jason Ward ; and 4 US Marines: Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, 29 [photo >], Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36; Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25,and Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, pilot of their 2-rotor CH-46 Sea Knight transport helicopter which crashes at 03:37 (00:37 UT) in Kuwait, 15 km from the border of Iraq attacked by the US and UK.

    2003 Two Indian Special Forces jawans, Koushal Chandra and Subash Chandra; and two Kashmiri patriots of those who ambushed the Indian patrol at Pindi Jamola in Kalalkas area in Rajouri district of Jammu (Indian-occupied Kashmir).

    2002 Yitzhak Cohen, of Modi'in, and Tzipi Shemesh and Gad Shemesh, of Pisgat Ze'ev; and Mohammed Hashaika, 22, suicide bomber of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, from the West Bank village of Talooza, north of Nablus. The explosion occurs at 16:15 in the Jerusalem downtown shopping area on King George Street outside the Aroma café. 86 are injured. — The Bank of Israel estimates that the al-Aqsa intifada, has cost Israel $2.4 billion in revenue from October 2000 to December 2001, including a $2.1 billion decrease in revenue from tourism.

    2002 Herman Talmadge, 88, Democrat, Georgia's governor (1948-1954) and US senator (1957-1981), who was a segregationist until about 1970. He was born on 09 August 1913.

    ^ 2001 Chung Ju-yung, 86, Hyundai founder.
          Chung Ju-yung helped forge South Korea's economic miracle but personified the cronyism that accompanied it. Chung has been in and out of the hospital since August 2000, suffering from fatigue and loss of weight. Despite his once-mythical status in South Korea's corporate world, Chung's reputation was tarnished by the failure of his troubled Hyundai conglomerate to aggressively pursue reforms. Chung had retired from management of the 170'000-employee group — South Korea's largest conglomerate — but until a few months before his death retained significant influence over businesses that include the world's leading shipyard and computer memory chipmaker.
          Once a symbol of commercial might, Hyundai has been plagued by liquidity problems, inner-circle strife and criticism from the government that it has failed to move swiftly enough to slim down its overstretched, family-controlled portfolio. Still, Chung remained a widely respected figure in South Korea for his central role in the revival of an economy that had been shattered by the 1950-53 Korean War. He was also a key player in Seoul's efforts to engage communist North Korea, launching a $942 million tourism project at a scenic mountain in the North in late 1998. However, that project is now in financial trouble. On several occasions, Chung traveled to the North to discuss business ventures with the North's leader, Kim Jong Il.
          Chung's career mirrors South Korea's transformation from an impoverished land to one of the biggest economies in the world. Born into a poor farming family in what is now North Korea in 1915, Chung got his start in business by selling his father's cow, running away with the money and selling rice from a bicycle in Seoul at age 16. Soon afterwards, he started a car repair shop which later grew into a major construction company doing business in Korea and abroad. Money earned went into other businesses, including the shipyard. Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, now sits on what was once a barren rural seashore. It is one of about 50 subsidaries of Hyundai, whose combined sales reached $70 billion in 1999.
          Chung's empire included Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest auto firm, and Hyundai Electronics Co., a major global memory chipmaker. His business also included oil refining, banking, shipping and construction.
          Despite his business achievements, Chung's longtime collusion with South Korea's former authoritarian rulers was a source of controversy. In 1991, he sought a political career but ended up a distant third in a presidential race. After the election, Chung was forced to stand trial for election law violations. He was found guilty of diverting $81 million in Hyundai money to his campaign and sentenced to three years in prison. Because of his advanced age, the jail sentence was suspended but two dozen Hyundai officials were jailed for involvement in the tycoon's illegal campaigning. Chung's efforts to get a business foothold in North Korea matched President Kim Dae-jung's policy of pursuing contacts with the North, for which Kim won a Nobel Peace Prize last year. But none of the projects were profitable and they depleted Hyundai's limited financial resources in the midst of Asia's 1997-98 currency crisis.
    1988 Darío Morales, pintor, grabador y escultor colombiano.
    1985 At least 21 demonstrators marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, as police in Langa, South Africa, shoots at them.
    1981 Michael Donald, a black teen-ager in Mobile, Ala., abducted, tortured and killed in a Ku Klux Klan plot. A lawsuit brought by Donald's mother, Beulah Mae Donald, later would result in a landmark judgment that bankrupts one Klan organization.
    1972 Some 130 civilians in Phnom Penh area shelled by Khmer Rouge.
          In Cambodia, more than 100 civilians are killed and 280 wounded as communist artillery and rockets strike Phnom Penh and outlying areas in the heaviest attack since the beginning of the war in 1970. Following the shelling, a communist force of 500 troops attacked and entered Takh Mau, ten kilometers southeast of Pnom Penh, killing at least 25 civilians.
    1960 Macintyre, mathematician.
    ^ 1960 The 69 victims of the Sharpeville massacre.
         In the Black township of Sharpeville in Transvaal, South Africa, Afrikaner police open fire on a group of peaceful black demonstrators, killing sixty-nine people and wounding nearly two hundred in a hail of sub-machine gunfire.
          The demonstrators were protesting against the South African white minority government’s restriction of non-white travel and requirement that all non-whites carry special identification passes. The protests had been called by the African National Congress (ANC)--a black South African political organization that advocated nonviolent resistance to South Africa’s institutionalized system of white supremacy and racial segregation, known as apartheid.
          After the Sharpeville Massacre, Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders temporarily abandon their nonviolent stance and help organize a paramilitary branch of the ANC to engage in guerrilla warfare against the white minority government. In 1961, Nelson is arrested for treason, and, although acquitted, he is arrested again in 1964 for sabotage and is convicted along with several other ANC leaders at the Rivonia Trial.
          Sentenced to life in prison, he becomes a symbol of the South African and international movement to end apartheid. In 1989, F. W. de Klerk becomes South African president, and sets about dismantling apartheid. De Klerk lifts the ban on the ANC, suspends executions, and, in February of 1990, orders the release of Nelson Mandela.
          Mandela subsequently leads the ANC in its negotiations with the minority government for an end to apartheid and the establishment of a multiracial government. In 1993, Mandela and de Klerk are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and, in 1994, the ANC wins an electoral majority in the country’s first free elections. Mandela is elected South African president.
    Franklin Sousley
    ^ 1945 Franklin Sousley
    [photo >], in the battle for Iwo Jima.  

         He was one of the six who, on 23 February 1945, had raised the famous flag on top of Mount Suribachi (he was the second one from the left among the four in front).

          Franklin was a red-haired, freckle-faced kid raised on a tobacco farm. His favorite hobbies were hunting and dancing. Fatherless at 9, Franklin became the main man in his mother's life. Franklin enlisted at 17 and sailed for the Pacific on his 18th Birthday. All that's left of Franklin is a few pictures and two letters Franklin wrote home to his mother:

    ------------July 1944, Letter from Training Camp:
    "Mother, you said you were sick. I want you to stay in out of that field and look real pretty when I come home. You can grow a crop of tobacco every summer, but I sure as hell can't grow another mother like you."

    ------------Feb. 27, 1945 Letter from Iwo Jima:
    "My regiment took the hill with our company on the front line. The hill was hard, and I sure never expected war to be like it was those first 4 days. Mother, you can never imagine how a battlefield looks. It sure looks horrible. Look for my picture because I helped put up the flag. Please don't worry and write."
    1937 Nineteen Puerto Rican nationalists in parade, killed by police.
    1934 Muir, mathematician.
    1933 D'Ovidio, mathematician.
    ^ 1918 The first casualties of the Second Battle of the Somme, as it begins.
         It is the first major German offensive in over a year. After five hours of bombardment from more than nine thousand pieces of German artillery, the poorly prepared British Fifth Army is rapidly forced into retreat in the Somme River region of France. For a week, the Germans push towards Paris, shelling the city from a distance of some 120 km with their "Big Bertha" cannons.
          However, the poorly supplied German troops soon become exhausted and the Allies manage to halt their advance as French artillery knocks out the German guns besieging Paris. By the time the Somme Offensive ends on April 4, the Germans have advanced almost 60 km, inflicted some 200'000 casualties, and captured 70'000 prisoners and over one thousand Allied guns.
          However, the Germans suffered nearly as many casualties as their enemies, and lacked the fresh reserves and supplies enjoyed by the Allies following the American entrance into the war. During the Second Battle of the Somme, several thousand American troops fought along side the British and French in the defense of Paris
    1915 Frederick Winslow Taylor, US inventor who helped industries worldwide become more efficient. He was born on 20 March 1856. — ingeniero estadounidense, creador del sistema de organización del trabajo que lleva su nombre.
    1912 Homer Burk Howell, Black, lynched in Georgia, accused of the murder of a White.
    1889 August Xaver Karl Pettenkofen, Austrian painter baptized (soon after birth) on 10 May 1822. . MORE ON PETTENKOFEN AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
    1888:: 80 personas en un incendio que destruye por completo el teatro Baquet, de Oporto (Portugal).
    1880 José Ignacio Márquez Barreto, político colombiano.
    1864 Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin, French Neoclassical painter and lithographer born on 23 March 1809.MORE ON FLANDRIN AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
    1863 Adolf Carl Senff, German artist born on 17 March 1785.
    1822 Tinseau, mathematician.
    1805 Jean-Baptiste Greuze, French painter born on 21 August 1725. MORE ON GREUZE AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
    1698 Antoon Goubau, Dutch artist born on 27 May 1616. — more with an image.
    1656 Armagh James Ussher, 76, Anglican Archbishop (said world began 4004 BC)
    1644 (or 14 July 1643) Hans Jordaens III “le long Jean”, Flemish artist born in 1595.
    1608 Blessed Matthew Flathers, Catholic priest, dies a martyr at York, England. —(080107)
    1487 Nicholas of Flue
    , Saint, Swiss hermit and folk hero dies on his 70th birthday.
    < 20 Mar 22 Mar >
    ^  Births which occurred on a 21 March:

    1936 Jannis Kounellis, Greek installation and performance so-called-artist, not much of a sculptor or painter, active in Italy. — more with link to images.
    1932 Walter Gilbert, US molecular biologist who, for his development of a method for determining the sequence of nucleotide links in the chainlike molecules of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Paul Berg [30 Jun 1926~] and Frederick Sanger [13 Aug 1918~].
    1927 Hans-Dietrich Genscher, chairman (1974–1985) of the West German Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) and foreign minister (1974–1792) in both Social Democratic Party and Christian Democratic Union–Christian Social Union ministries, before and after German reunification on 03 October 1990.
    1923 Nizar Qabbani, Syrian diplomat and poet who died on 30 April 1998.
    1919 Alberto Marvelli [–05 Oct 1946], Italian Catholic marvel of charity. —(080311)
    1906 John D Rockefeller III, US billionaire philanthropist who died on 10 July 1978.
    1905 Phyllis McGinley, US poet, writer and author of juvenile books who died on 22 February 1978.
    1905 Joan Coromines i Vigneaux, Catalan philologist who died on 02 January 1997. Author of Diccionario crítico etimológico de la lengua castellana — Diccionari etimològic i complementari de la llengua catalana — Onomasticon Cataloniae. (His name is sometimes misspellde “Corominas”.)
    1884 Birkhoff, mathematician.
    1880 Hans Hofmann, US artist who died on 17 February 1966. MORE ON HOFMANN AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
    1877 Maurice Farman, French aircraft designer and manufacturer who died on 25 February 1964.
    1869 Florenz Ziegfeld of Follies fame.
    1860 Johan Nepomuk Geller, Austrian artist who died in 1954.
    1848 Benes Knupfer, Czech artist who died on 20 November 1910.
    1839 Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer (Boris Gudunov, Night on Bald Mountain)
    1824 William Morris Hunt, US painter, printmaker, sculptor, who died on 08 September 1879. MORE ON HUNT AT ART “4” SEPTEMBER with links to images.
    1819 Pieter Gerardus Vertin, Dutch artist who died on 14 September 1893.
    ^ 1806 Benito Pablo Juárez , in Oaxaca, Mexico's first Amerindian president, (1861-1872). He died on 18 July 1872. He is a national hero of Mexico. For three years (1864–1867), he led the fight against foreign occupation under the emperor Maximilian [06 Jul 1832 – 19 Jun 1867]. Then Juárez sought constitutional reforms to create a democratic federal republic.
         Juárez was born of Amerindian parents, both of whom died when he was three years old. When he was 12 he left the uncle who was caring for him and joined his sister in the city of Oaxaca, where he began his formal education.
          He originally studied for the priesthood, but in 1829 he entered the Oaxaca Institute of Arts and Sciences to study law and science. In 1831 he received his law degree and also won his first public office, a seat on the municipal council. Impeccably honest, he never used public office for personal gain, and his modest way of life reflected his simple tastes even after his marriage in 1843 to Margarita Maza, from Oaxaca, who was 17 years younger than he. Politics soon became his life's work: he was a member of both the state and national legislatures, he became a judge in 1841, and he served as governor of his state, a post that brought him into national prominence.
          During these years in politics Juárez began to formulate solutions for his country's many problems. The road to economic health, he concluded, lay in substituting capitalism for the stifling economic monopoly held by the Roman Catholic church and the landed aristocracy. He also believed that political stability could be achieved only through the adoption of a constitutional form of government based on a federal system.
          But the return of the conservatives to power in the elections of 1853 doomed imminent reform in Mexico. Many prominent liberals were exiled, including Juárez. From December 1853 until June 1855 he lived in New Orleans in the United States in semipoverty, occupying himself by exchanging ideas with other Mexicans and laying plans to return home. The opportunity to put his ideas into action finally came in 1855 when the liberals took control of the national government, and Juárez left the United States to join the new administration as minister of justice and public instruction.
          The liberals carried out three major reforms, all supported by Juárez. As minister of justice he was responsible for the law bearing his name that abolished special courts for the clergy and military, for he felt that juridical equality would help promote social equality. On 25 June 1856 the government published the Ley Lerdo (so called after the minister of finance, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada [06 Jul 1812 – 22 Mar 1861]), which, although it forced the church to sell its property, contained no threat of confiscation. By breaking up large landed estates, the government hoped that many Mexicans would be able to acquire property and thus create the middle class that it believed was essential for a strong and stable Mexico. The climax of the reform was the liberal constitution promulgated in February 1857.
          In the same year, Ignacio Comonfort [10 Mar 1812 – 13 Nov 1863] was elected president, and the new Congress chose Juárez to preside over the Supreme Court and therefore, according to the constitution, also to serve as the effective vice president of Mexico. The court position was critical in determining his future career, for when the conservatives revolted and ousted Comonfort in January 1858, Juárez had a legal claim to the presidency. Lacking troops to control the area around Mexico City, however, he retired to the eastern port city of Veracruz.
          At Veracruz Juárez faced serious difficulties, for he had to create a government and hold it together through quarrels, betrayals, and defeat; to enforce and implement the constitution; to maintain armies in the field and defeat the conservative forces. But he was an extraordinarily tenacious and self-sufficient man, able to concentrate his energy and interest, and he proved himself the master of his government.
          Because the clergy was supporting the conservatives against the legal government, Juárez enacted several laws to curb ecclesiastical power. He nationalized all church property, exempting only those buildings actually used for worship and instruction. To weaken clerical influence still further, he also nationalized the cemeteries and put birth registrations and marriages under the civil authority. Finally, the government separated church and state and guaranteed religious liberty to all citizens.
          By late 1860 the conservatives were faltering, and in January 1861 Juárez was able to return to Mexico City and was constitutionally elected president. He was, however, faced with many serious problems: the opposition's forces still remained intact, the new Congress distrusted its president, and the treasury was virtually empty. As a solution to this latter problem Juárez decided in July 1861 to suspend payment on all foreign debts for two years. To safeguard their investments, England, Spain, and France decided to intervene, and by January 1862 the three countries had landed troops at Veracruz. But when Britain and Spain realized that Napoleon III [20 Apr 1808 – 09 Jan 1873] intended to conquer Mexico and control it through a puppet, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, they withdrew their forces. Despite a temporary defeat at Puebla on 05 May 1862, reinforcements enabled the French to occupy Mexico City in June 1863, and Maximilian soon followed to take control of the government.
          Forced to leave the capital again, Juárez kept himself and his government alive by a long series of retreats that ended only at Ciudad Juárez at the Mexican-US border. Early in 1867, as a result of continued Mexican resistance, increased U.S. pressure, and criticism at home, Napoleon decided to withdraw his troops. Soon afterward, Mexican forces captured Maximilian and executed him by firing squad.
         Juárez then made the greatest mistake of his political career. In August 1867, shortly after his return to Mexico City, he issued a call for national elections and for a referendum on whether Congress should make five amendments to the constitution. Public opinion did not object to the president's running for reelection, but the constitutional changes aroused immediate and violent reaction in many quarters, including those sympathetic to Juárez. His proposed changes came under fire because amendments enacted by Congress alone were unconstitutional, and the changes would strengthen the executive power. Juárez was reelected, but the controversy had created such a crisis of confidence that the administration did not even bother to count the votes on the amendments.
          Despite illness and personal loss (in October 1870 Juárez suffered a stroke and three months later his wife died) he decided to run again in 1871. After a bitter campaign he was reelected, but many of his countrymen, refusing to accept the result as final, took up arms against him. Juárez spent the last few months of his life trying to restore peace. He died of a heart attack.
         Juárez' political rise was a continual struggle to transform his liberal ideas into a permanent political reality and to overcome the prevalent social attitudes toward his Amerindian background. Only in the 20th century did some Mexicans come to admire and respect their Amerindian heritage; the prejudices of the 19th century serve to emphasize and enhance Juárez' extraordinary qualities and achievements. His domestic reforms, which freed Mexico from the most flagrant remnants of neocolonialism, and his leadership against the French earned Juárez his place in the national pantheon.

    Fourier^ 1768 Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier, mathematician, Egyptologist.
         French mathematician, known also as an Egyptologist and administrator, who exerted strong influence on mathematical physics through his Théorie analytique de la chaleur (1822). He showed how the conduction of heat in solid bodies may be analyzed in terms of infinite mathematical series now called by his name, the Fourier series. Far transcending the particular subject of heat conduction, his work stimulated research in mathematical physics, which has since been often identified with the solution of boundary-value problems, encompassing many natural occurrences such as sunspots, tides, and the weather. His work also had a great influence on the theory of functions of a real variable, one of the main branches of modern mathematics. 
             Joseph Fourier's father was a tailor in Auxerre. After the death of his first wife, with whom he had three children, he remarried and Joseph was the ninth of the twelve children of this second marriage. Joseph's mother died went he was nine years old and his father died the following year.
          His first schooling was at Pallais's school, run by the music master from the cathedral. There Joseph studied Latin and French and showed great promise. He proceeded in 1780 to the Ecole Royale Militaire of Auxerre where at first he showed talents for literature but very soon, by the age of thirteen, mathematics became his real interest. By the age of 14 he had completed a study of the six volumes of Bézout's Cours de mathématique. In 1783 he received the first prize for his study of Bossut's Mécanique en général.
          In 1787 Fourier decided to train for the priesthood and entered the Benedictine abbey of St Benoit-sur-Loire. His interest in mathematics continued, however, and he corresponded with C L Bonard, the professor of mathematics at Auxerre. Fourier was unsure if he was making the right decision in training for the priesthood. He submitted a paper on algebra to Montucla in Paris and his letters to Bonard suggest that he really wanted to make a major impact in mathematics. In one letter Fourier wrote
          Yesterday was my 21st birthday, at that age Newton and Pascal had already acquired many claims to immortality.
          Fourier did not take his religious vows. Having left St Benoit in 1789, he visited Paris and read a paper on algebraic equations at the Académie Royale des Sciences. In 1790 he became a teacher at the Benedictine college, Ecole Royale Militaire of Auxerre, where he had studied. Up until this time there had been a conflict inside Fourier about whether he should follow a religious life or one of mathematical research. However in 1793 a third element was added to this conflict when he became involved in politics and joined the local Revolutionary Committee. As he wrote:—
          As the natural ideas of equality developed it was possible to conceive the sublime hope of establishing among us a free government exempt from kings and priests, and to free from this double yoke the long-usurped soil of Europe. I readily became enamored of this cause, in my opinion the greatest and most beautiful which any nation has ever undertaken.
          Certainly Fourier was unhappy about the Terror which resulted from the French Revolution and he attempted to resign from the committee. However this proved impossible and Fourier was now firmly entangled with the Revolution and unable to withdraw. The revolution was a complicated affair with many factions, with broadly similar aims, violently opposed to each other. Fourier defended members of one faction while in Orléans. A letter describing events relates:—
          Citizen Fourier, a young man full of intelligence, eloquence and zeal, was sent to Loiret. ... It seems that Fourier ... got up on certain popular platforms. He can talk very well and if he put forward the views of the Society of Auxerre he has done nothing blameworthy...
          This incident was to have serious consequences but after it Fourier returned to Auxerre and continued to work on the revolutionary committee and continued to teach at the College. In July 1794 he was arrested, the charges relating to the Orléans incident, and he was imprisoned. Fourier feared the he would go to the guillotine but, after Robespierre himself went to the guillotine, political changes resulted in Fourier being freed.
          Later in 1794 Fourier was nominated to study at the Ecole Normale in Paris. This institution had been set up for training teachers and it was intended to serve as a model for other teacher-training schools. The school opened in January 1795 and Fourier was certainly the most able of the pupils whose abilities ranged widely. He was taught by Lagrange, whom Fourier described as the first among European men of science, and also by Laplace, whom Fourier rated less highly, and by Monge whom Fourier described as having a loud voice and is active, ingenious and very learned.
          Fourier began teaching at the Collège de France and, having excellent relations with Lagrange, Laplace and Monge, began further mathematical research. He was appointed to a position at the Ecole Centrale Des Travaux Publiques, the school being under the direction of Lazare Carnot and Gaspard Monge, which was soon to be renamed Ecole Polytechnique. However, repercussions of his earlier arrest remained and he was arrested again imprisoned. His release has been put down to a variety of different causes, pleas by his pupils, pleas by Lagrange, Laplace or Monge or a change in the political climate. In fact all three may have played a part.
          By 1 September 1795 Fourier was back teaching at the Ecole Polytechnique. In 1797 he succeeded Lagrange in being appointed to the chair of analysis and mechanics. He was renowned as an outstanding lecturer but he does not appear to have undertaken original research during this time.
          In 1798 Fourier joined Napoléon's army in its invasion of Egypt as scientific adviser. Monge and Malus were also part of the expeditionary force. The expedition was at first a great success. Malta was occupied on 10 June 1798, Alexandria taken by storm on 1 July, and the delta of the Nile quickly taken. However, on 1 August 1798 the French fleet was completely destroyed by Nelson's fleet in the Battle of the Nile, so that Napoléon found himself confined to the land that he was occupying. Fourier acted as an administrator as French type political institutions and administration was set up. In particular he helped establish educational facilities in Egypt and carried out archaeological explorations.
          While in Cairo Fourier helped found the Cairo Institute and was one of the twelve members of the mathematics division, the others included Monge, Malus and Napoléon Bonaparte. Fourier was elected secretary to the Institute, a position he continued to hold during the entire French occupation of Egypt. Fourier was also put in charge of collating the scientific and literary discoveries made during the time in Egypt.
          Napoléon abandoned his army and returned to Paris in 1799, he soon held absolute power in France. Fourier returned to France in 1801 with the remains of the expeditionary force and resumed his post as Professor of Analysis at the Ecole Polytechnique. However Napoléon had other ideas about how Fourier might serve him and wrote:—
          ... the Prefect of the Department of Isère having recently died, I would like to express my confidence in citizen Fourier by appointing him to this place.      Fourier was not happy at the prospect of leaving the academic world and Paris but could not refuse Napoléon's request. He went to Grenoble where his duties as Prefect were many and varied. His two greatest achievements in this administrative position was overseeing the operation to drain the swamps of Bourgoin and to oversee the construction of a new highway from Grenoble to Turin. He also spent much time working on the Description of Egypt which was not completed until 1810 when Napoléon made changes, rewriting history in places, to it before publication. By the time a second edition appeared every reference to Napoléon would have been removed.
          It was during his time in Grenoble that Fourier did his important mathematical work on the theory of heat. His work on the topic began around 1804 and by 1807 he had completed his important memoir On the Propagation of Heat in Solid Bodies. The memoir was read to the Paris Institute on 21 December 1807 and a committee consisting of Lagrange, Laplace, Monge and Lacroix was set up to report on the work. Now this memoir is very highly regarded but at the time it caused controversy.
          There were two reasons for the committee to feel unhappy with the work. The first objection, made by Lagrange and Laplace in 1808, was to Fourier's expansions of functions as trigonometric series, what we now call Fourier series. Further clarification by Fourier still failed to convince them. As is pointed out in :—
          All these are written with such exemplary clarity - from a logical as opposed to calligraphic point of view - that their inability to persuade Laplace and Lagrange ... provides a good index of the originality of Fourier's views.
          The second objection was made by Biot against Fourier's derivation of the equations of transfer of heat. Fourier had not made reference to Biot's 1804 paper on this topic but Biot's paper is certainly incorrect. Laplace, and later Poisson, had similar objections.
          The Institute set as a prize competition subject the propagation of heat in solid bodies for the 1811 mathematics prize. Fourier submitted his 1807 memoir together with additional work on the cooling of infinite solids and terrestrial and radiant heat. Only one other entry was received and the committee set up to decide on the award of the prize, Lagrange, Laplace, Malus, Haüy and Legendre, awarded Fourier the prize. The report was not however completely favorable and states:—
          ... the manner in which the author arrives at these equations is not exempt of difficulties and that his analysis to integrate them still leaves something to be desired on the score of generality and even rigor.      With this rather mixed report there was no move in Paris to publish Fourier's work.
          When Napoléon was defeated and on his way to exile in Elba, his route should have been through Grenoble. Fourier managed to avoid this difficult confrontation by sending word that it would be dangerous for Napoléon. When he learnt of Napoléon's escape from Elba and that he was marching towards Grenoble with an army, Fourier was extremely worried. He tried to persuade the people of Grenoble to oppose Napoléon and give their allegiance to the King. However as Napoléon marched into the town Fourier left in haste.
          Napoléon was angry with Fourier who he had hoped would welcome his return. Fourier was able to talk his way into favor with both sides and Napoléon made him Prefect of the Rhône. However Fourier soon resigned on receiving orders, possibly from Carnot, that the was to remove all administrators with royalist sympathies. He could not have completely fallen out with Napoléon and Carnot, however, for on 10 June 1815, Napoléon awarded him a pension of 6000 francs, payable from 01 July. However Napoléon was defeated on 01 July and Fourier did not receive any money. He returned to Paris.
          Fourier was elected to the Académie des Sciences in 1817. In 1822 Delambre, who was the Secretary to the mathematical section of the Académie Des Sciences, died and Fourier together with Biot and Arago applied for the post. After Arago withdrew the election gave Fourier an easy win. Shortly after Fourier became Secretary, the Academy published his prize winning essay Théorie analytique de la chaleur in 1822. This was not a piece of political maneuvering by Fourier however since Delambre had arranged for the printing before he died on 16 May 1830.
          During Fourier's eight last years in Paris he resumed his mathematical researches and published a number of papers, some in pure mathematics while some were on applied mathematical topics. His life was not without problems however since his theory of heat still provoked controversy. Biot claimed priority over Fourier, a claim which Fourier had little difficulty showing to be false. Poisson, however, attacked both Fourier's mathematical techniques and also claimed to have an alternative theory. Fourier wrote Historical Précis as a reply to these claims but, although the work was shown to various mathematicians, it was never published.
          Fourier's views on the claims of Biot and Poisson are given in the following:—
          Having contested the various results [Biot and Poisson] now recognize that they are exact but they protest that they have invented another method of expounding them and that this method is excellent and the true one. If they had illuminated this branch of physics by important and general views and had greatly perfected the analysis of partial differential equations, if they had established a principal element of the theory of heat by fine experiments ... they would have the right to judge my work and to correct it. I would submit with much pleasure .. But one does not extend the bounds of science by presenting, in a form said to be different, results which one has not found oneself and, above all, by forestalling the true author in publication. Fourier's work provided the impetus for later work on trigonometric series and the theory of functions of a real variable.

    The Fourier series of the function f(x)

    a(0) / 2 + (sum)(k=1..inf) (a(k) cos kx + b(k) sin kx)
    a(k) = 1/ (integral)(-PI to PI) f(x) cos kx dx        b(k) = 1/ (integral)(-PI to PI) f(x) sin kx dx
          The Fourier transform, in essence, decomposes or separates a waveform or function into sinusoids of different frequency which sum to the original waveform. It identifies or distinguishes the different frequency sinusoids and their respective amplitudes.
    J. S. Bach     Linear transforms, especially Fourier and Laplace transforms, are widely used in solving problems in science and engineering. The Fourier transform is used in linear systems analysis, antenna studies, optics, random process modeling, probability theory, quantum physics, and boundary-value problems and has been very successfully applied to restoration of astronomical data. The Fourier transform, a pervasive and versatile tool, is used in many fields of science as a mathematical or physical tool to alter a problem into one that can be more easily solved. Some scientists understand Fourier theory as a physical phenomenon, not simply as a mathematical tool. In some branches of science, the Fourier transform of one function may yield another physical function.
    The Fourier Theorem: A simple statement of it is:. Any physical function that varies periodically with time with a frequency f can be expressed as a superposition of sinusoidal components of frequencies: f, 2f, 3f, 4f, ... etc

    ^ 1685 Johann Sebastian Bach  Eisenach, Germany, composer
         The very thought of a majestic old church and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach leaps gloriously to mind. The German-born "J. S." is the most famous member of the illustrious Bach family, which gave the world seven generations of distinguished musicians and composers. Bach began his keyboard studies at the age of 10 and sought and got important posts through the years.
          By 1708 he has secured himself a position as court organist and chamber musician to the reigning Duke, with plenty of opportunity to compose music for the organ. He later became "Kapellmeister" for the court of Prince Leopold. At age 38 he became "Cantor" of the St. Thomas School in Leipzig and stayed there until his death on 28 July 1750.
          Bach was one of the finest organists and ablest contrapuntists of his time and the noblest writer of fugues who ever lived. Little of his music was published during his lifetime and it was not until 1829 when Mendelssohn performed the St. Matthew Passion that the general public realized his genius and the music of Bach was "reborn."
          Memorable works out of thousands of compositions include the Magnificat in D Major, the Orchestral Suites, Violin Concerto in A Minor, the 48 Preludes and Fugues, Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra, the Brandenburg Concertos, Goldberg Variations, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Passion of St. Matthew and Passion of St. John, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B Minor.
    1546 Bartholomaeus Spranger van den Schilde, Flemish artist who died in August 1661.
    1417 Nicholas of Flue, Saint, Swiss hermit and folk hero who died on his 70th birthday.
    1098 The monastery in Citeaux, France, is founded by Saint Robert, a Benedictine monk and abbot of Molesme. It is the beginning of the Roman Catholic Cistercian religious order.
    Feasts which occur on a 21 March:
    2297 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2286 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2224 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2213 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2202 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2156 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2145 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2134 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2123 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2117 Third Sunday of Lent
    2100 Palm Sunday
    2106 Third Sunday of Lent
    2094 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    2088 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2083 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    2077 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    2060 Third Sunday of Lent
    2055 Third Sunday of Lent
    2049 Third Sunday of Lent
    2032 Palm Sunday
    2027 Palm Sunday
    2021 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    2010 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    2006 Arba'in al Husayn
    2004 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1999 4 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    1993 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1982 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1976 Third Sunday of Lent
    1971 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1965 Third Sunday of Lent
    1954 Third Sunday of Lent
    1948 Palm Sunday
    1940 Holy Thursday
    1937 Palm Sunday
    1926 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    1920 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    1915 Fifth Sunday of Lent
    1909 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1897 Third Sunday of Lent
    1880 Palm Sunday
    1875 Palm Sunday
    1852 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1841 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1830 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1819 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1784 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1773 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1762 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1751 Fourth Sunday of Lent
    1700 Fourth Sunday of Lent

    Feasts of every 21 March:
    — Saint Benedict, abbot
    — Saint Nicholas von Flüe
    — Thomas Ken, Anglican bishop of Bath and Wells
    — San Benito
    — San Filemón
    — San Nicolás de Flue
    — Saint Serapion of Arsinoe, Abbot (4th century?) He was one of the most famous of the desert fathers and ruled over 10'000 monks scattered throughout the desert and monastery near Arsinoe in Upper Egypt. These monks hired themselves as laborers to the farmers in order to join prayer and labor. Palladius says that each man received a wage of twelve artabes, or about forty Roman bushels or modii--all which they handed over to their abbot. These men of great austerity were given enough to subsist throughout the rest of the year and the rest was distributed among the poor, which met the needs of all the indigent nearby as well as many in Alexandria, to which several barges of grain were shipped each year. Serapion, although a priest in active ministry, joined his monks in their penitential labor, so that he could partake in their charity. In art, he is depicted as a field laborer with a sickle. — Not to be confused with Saint Serapion bishop of Antioch [—211] (conmemorated on 30 October) nor with the Mercederian Saint Serapion [–1240] whose martyrdom is the subject of the monochrome brown painting Saint Serapion (1108x924pix, 187kb _ ZOOM to 2409x2024pix, 373kb) by Zurbarán [07 Nov 1598 – 27 Aug 1664].
    — In Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq: Nawroz (Persian New Year)
    — Iowa Bird Day
    — In Mexico: Benito Juarez' Birthday (1806)
    — Namibia Independence Day (1990)
    — US National Agriculture Day (1981)
    — World International Day For Elimination of Racial Discrimination
    If you have been watching this space for the last few days, you know that GHOUGHPHTHEIGHTTEEAU, though mispelled, can be considered phonetically correct since GH can stand for P as in Hiccough, OUGH for O as in Dough, PHTH for T as in Phthisis, EIGH for A as in Neighbor, TTE for T as in Gazette, and EAU for O as in Plateau. So, in its standard spelling, the word is POTATO. (Hint for the bonus question: the self-contradictory word in the original question has here been modified so as not to be self-contradictory any more.)
    click click

    Thoughts for the day:
    “An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.”
    “El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.” —
    Benito Juárez [21 Mar 1806 – 18 Jul 1872]
    “El desprecio al pertrecho ajeno es rapaz.” —
    “Tony B. Arjuze”
    updated Saturday 22-Mar-2008 18:21 UT
    principal updates:
    v.7.21 Sunday 25-Mar-2007 15:44 UT
    v.6.20 Friday 24-Mar-2006 18:47 UT
    Monday 28-Mar-2005 22:08 UT
    Tuesday 23-Mar-2004 22:55 UT

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