This week in history

Cat Madish, Lode Writer

  • On March 16, 461 A.D. Saint Patrick dies after a life of hardships. He was abducted by Irish pirates at 16 and escaped 6 years later by following the voices in his dreams. He is held as the patron saint of Ireland and converted thousands of people to Christianity. 
  • On March 21, 1943, Henning von Tresckow and Rudolf von Gertsdorff failed to kill Hitler for the second time. Hilter was scheduled to take a tour of an exhibition of captured Soviet flags and weaponry and the plan was to plant a bomb within that would explode when Hitler was near. Rudolf von Gertsdorff volunteered to become a suicide bomber when he realized that security was too tight to plant a bomb that would kill Hitler. However, after being glued to Hitler’s side for the tour, the short 10-minute fuse wasn’t long enough and Hitler had slipped out the door before the bomb could explode. Von Gertsdorff had to defuse the bomb in the restroom, where it is said he diffused it with only seconds to spare. 
  • On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz closed after transferring its last prisoners. Alcatraz was in operation for 29 years but eventually closed because the cost of operation was too expensive. 
  • On March 15, 1965, President Lydon B. Johson urges Congress to pass legislation that would guarantee equal voting rights for all. This speech was delivered eight days after Martin Luther King Jr. and over 400 followers were attacked when marching from Selma to Montgomery to register to vote.  
  • On March 20, 1995, a terrorist organization called Aum Shinrikyo (supreme truth), a Japanese doomsday cult, killed 12 people and injured more than 5,500 when they secretly released a dangerous nerve gas called Sarin gas at the height of Tokyo morning rush hour. Most of the survivors recovered fully, but many were left with permanent damage to their lungs, eyes, and digestive systems.