On This Day

What Happened in March 1944

Historical Events

  • Mar 1 Massive strikes in northern Italian towns
  • Mar 1 U-358 sinks in Atlantic
  • Mar 2 Fumes from locomotive stalled in a tunnel suffocate 521 in Italy

Music Premiere

Mar 3 1st performance of corporal Samuel Barber's 2nd Symphony

  • Mar 4 1st US bombing of Berlin
  • Mar 4 Anti-Germany strikes in North Italy

Music Premiere

Mar 5 1st performance of Walter Piston's 2nd Symphony by the National Symphony, in Washington, D.C.

  • Mar 6 USAAF begins daylight bombing of Berlin
  • Mar 7 Japan begins offensive in Burma
  • Mar 8 US resumes bombing Berlin
  • Mar 10 U-575 sinks British corvette HMS Asphodel in the Atlantic Ocean killing 92 of the 97 men aboard
  • Mar 11 Dutch resistance fighter Joop Westerweel arrested
  • Mar 13 USSR recognizes Italian government of Pietro Badoglio
  • Mar 15 Italian town of Cassino destroyed by Allied bombing
  • Mar 16 French Vichy Internal minister Pierre Pucheu sentenced to death for treason
  • Mar 17 Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupts after months of volcanic unrest, destroying several towns near the volcano
  • Mar 18 Nazi Germany occupies Hungary
  • Mar 19 Tippett's oratorium "Child of Our Time" premieres in London
  • Mar 20 2,500 women trample guards and floorwalkers to purchase 1,500 alarm clocks announced for sale in a Chicago Illinois department store
  • Mar 20 Bus falls off bridge into Passaic River NJ, killing 16

Historic Event

Mar 21 General Eisenhower postpones invasion of the south of France until after Normandy

  • Mar 22 600+ 8th Air Force bombers attack Berlin

Film & TV History

Mar 22 American movie star Jimmy Stewart flies his 12th combat mission, leading the 2nd Bomb Wing in an attack on Berlin

  • Mar 23 Italian resistance group bombs occupying German police at Via Rasella, Rome; killing 33 and wounding 110 of the 156 man force; retaliation kills 335 civilians
  • Mar 24 76 Allied officers escape Stalag Luft 3 (Great Escape)
  • Mar 24 811 British bombers attack Berlin
  • Mar 24 In occupied Rome, Nazis execute 335 civilians in retaliation for the previous day's Via Rassela bombing that killed 33 Germans
  • Mar 24 RAF rear gunner Nicholas Alkemade survives a jump from his Lancaster bomber 18,000 feet over Germany without a parachute; his fall broken by pine trees and soft snow, suffers only a sprained leg
  • Mar 25 Germany troop executes 335 residents of Rome
  • Mar 26 705 British bombers attack Essen, Germany

Historic Event

Mar 27 1,000 Jews leave Drancy, France, for Auschwitz concentration camp

  • Mar 27 2,000 Jews are murdered in Kaunas Lithuania
  • Mar 27 40 Jewish policemen in Riga, Latvia, ghetto are shot by the Gestapo
  • Mar 27 Children's Aktion-Nazis collect all the Jewish children of Lovno
  • Mar 28 6th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Utah defeats Dartmouth, 42-40; Utes' first title; small forward Arnie Ferrin is named tournament MOP
  • Mar 28 Astrid Lindgren sprains ankle and begins writing "Pippi Longstocking"
  • Mar 30 781 British bombers attack Nuremberg
  • Mar 31 Hungary orders all Jews to wear yellow stars

Famous Birthdays

  • Mar 1 John B Breaux, (Rep-D-LA, 1972-88)
  • Mar 1 John Napier, English set designer (Royal Shakespeare Company), born in London, England
  • Mar 1 Mike D'Abo, British rock vocalist (Manfred Mann - "Mighty Quinn"; Jesus Christ Superstar - "Herod"), and songwriter ("Handbags and Gladrags"), born in Betchworth, Surrey, England
  • Mar 1 Roger Daltrey, English singer and founder of the rock band "The Who", born in East Acton, London, England
  • Mar 2 Katherine Crawford, actress (Captains & Kings, Gemini Man)
  • Mar 2 Leif Segerstam, Finnish violinist, conductor, and composer of 342 symphonies (...and counting!), born in Vaasa, Finland
  • Mar 2 Uschi Glas, German actress
  • Mar 3 Janice Garfat, rocker (Dr Hook)
  • Mar 4 Bobby Womack, American R&B singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer ("It's All Over Now"; "Woman's Got to Have It"; "Across 110th Street"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2014)
  • Mar 5 Paul Sands, comedian and actor (SCTV, Story Theater, St Elsewhere), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 5 Roy Gutman, American journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Mar 6 Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand operatic soprano (Don Giovanni), born in Gisborne, New Zealand
  • Mar 6 Mary Wilson, American pop vocalist (Supremes - "Where Did Our Love Go?"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2021) [1]
  • Mar 7 Elton Gallegly, American politician (Rep-R-California 1987-2013), born in Huntington Park, California
  • Mar 7 Jürgen Theobaldy, German writer, born in Strasberg, France
  • Mar 7 Townes Van Zandt, American singer-songwriter ("Kathleen"; "Loretta"), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 1997)
  • Mar 7 Stanley Schmidt, American science fiction writer and editor, born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Mar 7 Michael Rosbash, American geneticist (Nobel Prize 2017, Drosophila period gene), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mar 8 Buzz Hargrove, Canadian labour leader
  • Mar 8 Sergey Nikitin, Russian composer
  • Mar 8 Palito Ortega, Argentine singer and actor
  • Mar 9 Geoff Arnold, English cricketer (England medium-pacer in 34 Tests 1967-75), born in Earlsfield, Surrey, England
  • Mar 9 Lee Irvine, South African cricketer (batsman, only Tests in 1970), born in Durban, Natal
  • Mar 9 Trevor Burton, English guitarist and rocker (The Move), born in Aston, Birmingham
  • Mar 10 David Friedman, American jazz and session percussionist, vibraphone and marimba player (Double Image), born in New York City
  • Mar 11 Ric Rothwell, British rock drummer (Mindbenders - "The Game of Love"), born in Reddish, Cheshire, England
  • Mar 11 Graham Lyle, Scottish singer-songwriter ("What's Love Got to Do with It"), born in Bellshill, Scotland
  • Mar 11 Robert "Bobby" Lyle, American jazz pianist, born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Mar 14 Clyde Lee, American NBA player, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Mar 14 Peter Paul Zahl, writer
  • Mar 15 Gordon "Jazz" Summers, British music manager (Wham, Snow Patrol), born in Winchester, Hampshire (d. 2015)
  • Mar 15 Chi Cheng, Taiwan, sprinter/80m hurdler (Olympic bronze 1968)
  • Mar 15 David Costell, American rock bassist (Gary Lewis and The Playboys - "This Diamond Ring"), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 15 Jacques Doillon director/writer (La Fille de Quinze Ans)
  • Mar 15 Ralph MacDonald, Trinbagonian-American jazz and R&B percussionist and songwriter ("Just the Two of Us"; "Where Is The Love"), born in Harlem, New York City (d. 2011)
  • Mar 17 Cito Gaston, MLB manager (Toronto Blue Jays)
  • Mar 17 John Sebastian, American singer (Loving Spoonful - "Summer In The City"; solo - "Welcome Back"), born in NYC, New York
  • Mar 17 Pat McCauley, Northern Irish rock keyboardist and drummer (Them - "Here Comes The Night") (d. 1984)
  • Mar 17 Pattie Boyd, English model, photographer and author who married both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, born in Taunton, England
  • Mar 18 Dick Smith, Australian Adventurer and Businessman
  • Mar 18 Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Israeli military leader and politician, (d. 2012)
  • Mar 19 Joseph Celli, composer
  • Mar 19 Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, LBJ's daughter
  • Mar 19 Myung-Wha Chung, Korean concert cellist (Chung Trio), and educator, born in Seoul, Japanese Korea (now South Korea)
  • Mar 19 Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize
  • Mar 19 Sirhan Sirhan, Palestinian-born assassin
  • Mar 19 Tom Constanten, American rock keyboardist (Grateful Dead, 1968-70 - Aoxomoxoa), born in Long Branch, New Jersey
  • Mar 21 Charles Edward Greene, Pine Bluff Ark, 4x100m runner (Olympic gold 1968)
  • Mar 21 Henrik Colding-Jorgensen, composer
  • Mar 21 Jamary Oliveira, composer
  • Mar 21 Marie-Christine Barrault, actress (Stardust Memories), born in Paris, France
  • Mar 21 David Lindley, American musician (The Kaleidoscope), born in San Marino, California
  • Mar 21 Gaye Adegbalola [Todd], American blues singer and guitarist (Sapphire, The Uppity Blues Women - "Middle Age Blues Boogie"), teacher, and activist, born in Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Mar 22 Tony McPhee, English rocker (The Groundhogs), born in Humberston, England
  • Mar 22 Chris Stainton, English session and touring bass and keyboard player (Joe Cocker; The Who), born in Woodseats, England
  • Mar 23 Michael Nyman, British pianist and composer (Mesmer; Carrington; The Piano), born in Stratford, London
  • Mar 23 Salim Altaf, cricketer (Pakistan medium-pacer in 21 Tests 1967-78)
  • Mar 23 Ric Ocasek [Otcasek], American songwriter, guitarist, singer, and producer (The Cars - "Best Friend's Girl"; "Shake It Up"; "You Are The Girl"), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2019)
  • Mar 23 George Scott, MLB first baseman, 1966-79 (Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and 2 other teams), born in Greenville, Mississippi, (d. 2013)
  • Mar 24 R. Lee Ermey, American actor (Full Metal Jacket- Gunnery Sergeant Hartman), born in Emporia, Kansas (d. 2018)
  • Mar 24 Vojislav Koštunica, Serbian Prime Minister
  • Mar 25 Terry L Bruce, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1985-93), born in Olney, Illinois
  • Mar 25 Kelly Garrett, American actress and singer (The Night That Made America Famous), born in Chester, Pennsylvania (d. 2013)

Diana Ross

Mar 26 Diana Ross [Earle], American singer (The Supremes - "Stop! In The Name Of Love"; "You Can't Hurry Love"; "I Hear A Symphony"), and actress (Lady Sings Blues; Mahogany), born in Detroit, Michigan

  • Mar 27 Khosrow Shakibai, Iranian actor (Hamoun), born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2008)
  • Mar 28 Ken Howard, American actor (Ken - The White Shadow), born in El Centro California (d. 2016)

Rick Barry

Mar 28 Rick Barry, Basketball forward (NY Nets, Golden State Warriors), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Denny McLain

Mar 29 Denny McLain, American baseball pitcher (AL Cy Young Award 1968-69; AL MVP 1968; MLB All-Star 66, 68, 69; Detroit Tigers), born in Markham, Illinois

  • Mar 29 James Diggle, British classicist, born in Rochadale
  • Mar 29 John Suchet, British TV journalist (Independent TV News), born in London
  • Mar 29 Nana Akufo-Addo [William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo], Ghanaian politician, President of Ghana (2017-), born in Accra, Gold Coast
  • Mar 29 Terrence "Terry" Jacks, Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer ("Seasons In The Sun"), and environmentalist, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Mar 30 Gerrit Komrij, Dutch poet/essayist (Happy Schizo)
  • Mar 31 Rod Allen [Bainbridge] British pop-rock singer and bassist (Fortunes - "You've Got Your Troubles"; "Here It Comes Again"), born in Leicester, England (d. 2008)
  • Mar 31 Mick Ralphs, British rock guitarist (Mott the Hoople - "All The Young Dudes"; Bad Company - "Can't Get Enough"), born in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, England
  • Mar 31 Tomohiro Nishikado, Japanese video gamer developer (Space Invaders), born in Osaka, Japan

Famous Weddings

Charlton Heston

Mar 17 American actor Charlton Heston (20) weds American actress and photographer Lydia Clarke (20)

Famous Deaths

  • Mar 4 Louis Capone, New York organized crime figure (b. 1896) (executed)
  • Mar 4 Emanuel Weiss, American hitman (b. 1906) (executed)
  • Mar 4 Fannie Barrier Williams, American educator and political activist (b. 1855)
  • Mar 5 Max Jacob, French poet and writer, dies in nazi concentration camp at 67
  • Mar 6 Ernst Cohen, Dutch chemist, gassed at Auschwitz concentration camp at 74
  • Mar 10 David Vogel, Ukrainian author, dies in Auschwitz at 52
  • Mar 11 Hendrik W van Loon, Neth/US radio commentator/writer, dies at 62
  • Mar 12 Artur Gavazzi, Croatian geographer, dies at 82
  • Mar 14 Pavel Chesnokov, Russian-Soviet composer, dies at 66
  • Mar 15 Otto von Below, German commandant (WWI), dies at 86
  • Mar 18 Benjamin Delmonte, theater director and actor (Black Haired Whore), dies at 79
  • Mar 19 William Hale Thompson, American mayor of Chicago (b. 1869)
  • Mar 20 Felix Woyrsch, German composer, dies at 83
  • Mar 22 Pierre Pucheu, French Internal minister to Vichy government, executed by firing squad at 44
  • Mar 23 O.C. Wingate, British General-Major (Burma), dies in air crash in India at 41
  • Mar 28 Chayyim Most, Rabbi/Maggid of Kovono, killed by Nazis
  • Mar 28 Stephen Butler Leacock, writer/economist (Literary Lapses), dies at 75
  • Mar 31 Mineichi Koga, admiral of Japanese fleet, dies