March 11, 2004 -
In Madrid, Spain, a series of 10 bombs hidden in backpacks exploded in quick succession at 3 stations, blowing apart four commuter trains. 191 people were killed and over 1,450 wounded. Spanish leaders were quick to accuse Basque terrorists but a shadowy group claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaeda.
On October 31, 2007, 3 lead defendants were convicted of murder. Four other top suspects were acquitted of murder but convicted of lesser charges. In all 21 of the 28 defendants were convicted. On July 17, 2008, a Spanish court cleared four of the 21 people charged for crimes related to the train bombings. In 2009, 7 people were indicted for helping the bombers flee.
March 11, 1811 -
Ned Ludd led a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization. Members of the organized bands of craftsmen who rioted against automation in 19th century England were known as Luddites and also "Ludds." The movement, began near Nottingham as craftsman destroyed textile machinery that was eliminating their jobs. By the following year, Luddites were active in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire.
Although the Luddites opposed violence towards people (a position which allowed for a modicum of public support), government crackdowns included mass shootings, hangings and deportation to the colonies. It took 14,000 British soldiers to quell the rebellion. The movement effectively died in 1813 apart from a brief resurgence of Luddite sentiment in 1816 following the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
I'm still waiting for the anti-tweeting movement - Smash the Blackberries!
March 11, 1950 -
Homeless Hare, a very funny Bugs Bunny cartoon, was released on this date.
After all, a man's home is his castle.
March 11, 1969 -
Federico Fellini's take on ancient Rome, Fellini - Satyricon (Another movie havd registered the title Satyricon first. Federico Fellini fought to use the title for his movie but lost the case. Subsequently the title was changed to Fellini - Satyricon) premiered in the US on this date.
You know what - It's a good film, doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense.
Once again, shuffling about the house on the way to what I joking call 'work', I heard this song on the radio
Now unfortunately it's stuck in my head. At least, it's a song that I like.
Today in History -
March 11, 1302 -
This is Romeo & Juliet's wedding day, according to Shakespeare
I've seen all of these websites that can offer to help you plan a romantic wedding 'just like Romeo and Juliet', does that mean you have to kill yourself shortly after the honeymoon?
March 11, 1669 -
After a series of premonitional earthquakes near Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe spectacularly erupts, destroying the Sicilian town of Nicolosi and killing 20,000 people.
Again, can you explain to me why you live next to an active volcano?
March 11, 1818 -
Frankenstein, "The Modern Prometheus," was published on this date. The book started out as basically a scary story told on a rainy night. That is, if you are telling scary stories to England's greatest romantic poet and his best friend, Europe's most notorious clubfooted, bisexual poet.
The book, by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is frequently called the world's first science fiction novel .
More on the Wacky Russian Revolution
On March 11, 1917 the Russian Cabinet finally became indignant and tried to dissolve the Duma, but the Duma refused to dissolve. The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies also refused to dissolve, even though the Cabinet had not asked them to dissolve.
(The Cabinet could not ask them to, because the Cabinet had determined that The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies did not exist.)
March 11, 1927 -
Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened The Roxy Theatre in New York City, a 6,214 seat movie theater at 153 West 50th Street at 7th Avenue, on this date. It was designed by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager.
The opening night film was The Love of Sunya produced by and starring Gloria Swanson. The Roxy was overshadowed by the opening of Radio City Music Hall in the Rockefeller Center in NYC in 1932.
The Roxy closed and was demolished in 1960, and Swanson was famously photographed on October 14, 1960 by Time-Life photographer Eliot Elisofon in the midst of the ruins during the theater's demolition.
March 11, 1931 -
F. W. Murnau, one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, was out for a relaxing drive with his fourteen-year old Filipino valet Garcia Stevenson, when Mr. Murnau failed to heed one of the basic tenets of auto safety - it was rumored that Murnau decided to perform fellatio on the young driver.
Mr. Murnau and Mr Stevenson were involved in a car crash and both died on this date.
Kids, let this be a lesson to us all - for heaven's sake, please pull over if you decide to fellate the driver of your automobile.
March 11, 1957 -
Charles Van Doren, darling of the American public, loses to Vivienne Nearing on the rigged TV quiz show Twenty One when both are asked to name the kings of Norway (Olav V) , Denmark (Frederick IX) , Sweden (Gustaf VI Adolf), Jordan (Hussein) , Iraq (Faisal II) , and Belgium (Baudouin).
Doren "missed" - the king of Belgium.
March 11, 1958 -
A B-47 bomber drops a nuclear bomb in the town of Mars Bluff in South Carolina. While it did not detonate a nuclear explosion, conventional explosives within the bomb left a 75 foot crater, destroying one house and damaging five others.
The government has to send out hundreds of 'oops' letters to the town's residents.
And so it goes