March

21 March…

Tonight in 1951, over 20,000 thousand music fans showed up to Cleveland Arena, Ohio, for the first ever rock and roll concert.

The Moondog Coronation Ball began life as a local radio show hosted by Alan Freed. When his friend and music store owner Leo Mintz suggested that Freed should make his show’s format showcase more rhythm and blues music- neither could foretell the popularity they would begin.

With the popularity of the show increasing with every day, they decided to hold a live event featuring some of the bands whose records they played on the radio. Despite the venues having only a capacity of 10,000, over selling the tickets and massive counterfeiting lead to a huge crowd trying to get into the show. The police shut the rock and roll dance down after the opening song by Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams.

40 years later in 1992, the radio station was able to hold a 40th anniversary concert named Moondog Coronation Ball ’92. Bringing old rock and roll acts to the stage, the event was so successful that they have held a show every year since. This year the Moondog Coronation Ball will return again to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

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March

20 March…

Spring is officially here!

Tonight at 9.58pm (GMT) the Sun will cross over from the south equator to the north. Formally known as the Spring Equinox, what this means is that from tomorrow the days will been to get longer and the nights shorter.

During an equinox (aka today), the light of the day and darkness of the night will be around the same length.

But tonight also marks the final supermoon of the year; which you should be able to see at full light at 1.58am. On the bright side, summer’s nearly here.

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March

19 March…

Tonight in 1953, for the first time the Oscar’s (or the Academy Awards) is transmitted onto TV screens in America.

Originally the winners of the Academy Awards, which began in 1929, were given to the newspapers to publish at 11pm on the night of the ceremony. However one paper broke this agreement and published the results before the ceremony began. Since then the envelopes containing the winner’s name are sealed and not opened until the award is given.

Public interest was always high in the Oscars, the second ceremony was even broadcast over the radio, it wouldn’t be until tonight in 1953 that the audience could see the awards.

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March

18 March…

Today at 8:15am, in 1990, two guards were found handcuffed and wrapped in duct tape in the basement of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

In the early hours of the morning, two men dressed in police uniform entered the museum and handcuffed the two security guards. What happened next was the largest art theft in US history, with 13 works of art valued at a total of $500 million, stolen.

Included in the pieces stolen was artist Rembrandt’s only known seascape painting The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Despite the $10 million reward, offered in 2017 for information, and the involvement of the FBI; no arrests have been made and no paintings have been recovered.

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March

17 March…

Happy Saint Patricks Day!

Did you know the Christian Irish saint was actually born in Great Britain? Having been captured by Irish raiders at age 16, St Patrick was taken to Ireland as a slave and worked on the farm lands for the next six years.

Having escaped capture, Patrick returned to Britain and entered into the church. Like his father and grandfather, St Patrick became a missionary and returned back to Ireland to preach for next 28 years.

St Patrick died on 17 March 461, in Ireland near the first church he built.

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March

16 March…

A big step towards space travel happened today in 1926. Robert H Goddard successfully launched the worlds first liquid fuelled rocket in Auburn Massachusetts.

Travelling at a speed of 60mph and reaching heights of 41 feet, the rocket, which was constructed out of thin pipes and stood at 10 feet tall, was the first rocket to be fuelled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.

As a child, Goddard was fascinated with the possibility of space travel after reading War of the Worlds’ novel, written by H.G Wells. After becoming a physics professor at Clark University, he was able to prove that rockets can move forwards in space.

Goddard died in 1945, and whilst he did not live long enough to see man land on the moon, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre is named in his honour.

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March

15 March…

The famous Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, the two biggest universities in the UK takes place on an irregular basis since 10 June 1829. But today in 1927, is the first Women’s Boat Race.

Originally the two female crews were not allowed on the river at the same time and so were judge on their time and style. It wouldn’t be until 1935 when the races became similar to the mens contest, racing over a 1/2 mile on the Cam or the Isis in Oxford.

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