On This Day

What Happened in March 1981

Historical Events

Music Premiere

Mar 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" opens at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC; runs for 767 performances

  • Mar 1 Houston Rockets guard Calvin Murphy misses a free throw in a 102-86 loss in San Antonio, ending his NBA record consecutive free throw streak at 78
  • Mar 1 Republican prisoners in the Maze began a second hunger strike; among them is Bobby Sands
  • Mar 2 Aircraft hijacked by 3 Pakistani terrorists
  • Mar 2 Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WWDC in Washington, D.C.

Scientific Discovery

Mar 2 Discovery of minor planet 5020 Asimov, named after sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov

Sports History

Mar 3 Isle's Mike Bossy 9th & final hat trick of season-4 goals

  • Mar 3 NY Islanders & Edmonton Oilers play to an 8-8 tie
  • Mar 5 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC for 4 performances

Sports History

Mar 5 Ice Dance Championship at Hartford won by Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (GRB)

  • Mar 5 Ice Pairs Champ at Hartford won by Irina Vorobieva & I Lisovski (URS)

Sports History

Mar 5 Men's Figure Skating Champions in Hartford won by Scott Hamilton (USA)

  • Mar 5 US government grants Atlanta $1 million to search for black boy murderer
  • Mar 6 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Mar 6 Soyuz 39 returns to Earth

Film & TV History

Mar 6 Walter Cronkite signs off as anchorman of "CBS Evening News"

  • Mar 6 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Hartford won by Denise Biellmann
  • Mar 7 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • Mar 7 1st homicide at Disneyland, 18 year old is stabbed to death
  • Mar 7 28th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Maryland, 61-60
  • Mar 7 22nd SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Ole Miss beats Georgia, 66-62
  • Mar 8 "Shakespeare's Cabaret" closes at Bijou Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • Mar 8 Dennis Lillee ct by Qld 12th man Dennis Lillie in Shield game
  • Mar 9 Dan Rather becomes primary anchorman of CBS-TV News

Film and TV Awards

Mar 9 7th People's Choice Awards: Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda & Goldie Hawn win (Motion Picture) and Alan Alda & Carol Burnett win (TV)

  • Mar 10 "Bette Davis Eyes" single released by Kim Carnes (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)

Historic Event

Mar 11 Chile constitution takes effect, Augusto Pinochet's second term begins

  • Mar 11 Johnny Mize and Rube Foster are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mar 12 Soyuz T-4 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station

Music Premiere

Mar 12 Stephen Sondheim's musical revue "Marry Me a Little," premieres in NYC

  • Mar 12 Walter R T Witschey installs world's largest sundial in Richmond, Virginia
  • Mar 14 NCAA St Joseph's upsets top seed DePaul 49-48
  • Mar 15 "Broadway Follies" opens/closes at Nederlander Theater NYC
  • Mar 15 Suriname failed coup under sgt-mjr Wilfred Hawker
  • Mar 17 FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team forms
  • Mar 18 Buffalo Sabres sets NHL record of 9 goals in 1 period (vs Toronto)
  • Mar 19 2 workers killed in space shuttle Columbia accident
  • Mar 19 Buffalo Sabres beat Toronto Maple Leafs 14-4
  • Mar 20 Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron sentenced to 8 years
  • Mar 20 Jean Harris sentenced 15-to-life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Dr
  • Mar 21 France beats England 16-12 at Twickenham, London for it's 7th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship and 3rd Grand Slam title
  • Mar 21 9-time World Grand Prix motor cycle champion Mike Hailwood along with his 9-year old daughter Michelle are killed when his Rover SD1 collides with a truck near their home in Tanworth-in-Arden in England
  • Mar 22 US 1st class postage raised to 18 cents from 15 cents
  • Mar 22 Soyuz 39 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Mongolian) to Salyut 6
  • Mar 22 Toshihiko Seko runs world record 25k (1:13:55.8)/30k (1:29:18.8)
  • Mar 23 US Supreme Court upholds law making statutory rape a crime only for men
  • Mar 23 US Supreme Court rules states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls sought abortions

PGA Players Championship

Mar 23 PGA Tournament Players Championship, Sawgrass CC: Raymond Floyd beats Barry Jaeckel and Curtis Strange on the first hole of a sudden death playoff in a rain affected Monday finish

  • Mar 24 "Nightline with Ted Koppel" premieres on ABC
  • Mar 24 Bombay beat Delhi by innings & 46 to win Ranji Cricket Trophy
  • Mar 24 Colombia drops diplomatic relations with Cuba
  • Mar 26 Police & Albanian demonstrators battle in Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Mar 26 Soviet space mission Soyuz T-4 lands

Music Single

Mar 27 John Lennon single "Watching the Wheels" released posthumously in UK

Album Release

Mar 27 "Blizzard of Ozz", the debut solo album by English rock musician Ozzy Osbourne, is released in the United States

  • Mar 28 East German Christa Rothenburger skates ladies' world record 500 m (40.18 sec); she later breaks her own record twice
  • Mar 28 France performs nuclear test
  • Mar 28 Gabi Schonbrunn skates ladies world record 3 km (4:21.70)

Sports History

Mar 28 Viv Richards scores century in the 1st Test at his home Antigua

  • Mar 28 Yevgeni Kulikov skates world record 500m (36.91 secs)

Sports History

Mar 28 Martina Navratilova beats 16 year old American tennis prodigy Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 7-6 in the final of the WTA Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden, NYC

  • Mar 29 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 770 performances
  • Mar 29 Tiina Lehtola ski jumps female record 110m
  • Mar 29 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Historic Event

Mar 29 Jorge Rafael Videla resigns as President and dictator of Argentina, handing the reins to Roberto Viola

  • Mar 29 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee 79-59 in Eugene

Sports History

Mar 30 43rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats North Carolina, 63-50; Hoosiers' future Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas is named Tournament Most Outstanding Player

Ronald Reagan is Shot

Mar 30 US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded

  • Mar 30 "Chariots of Fire" directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson premieres at a Royal Command Film Performance (Best Picture 1982)
  • Mar 31 1st Golden Raspberry Awards: "Can't Stop the Music" wins

Famous Birthdays

  • Mar 1 Ana Hickmann, Brazilian supermodel
  • Mar 1 Adam LaVorgna, American actor
  • Mar 1 Will Power, Australian auto racer (Indianapolis 500 2018), born in Toowoomba, Queensland
  • Mar 2 Bryce Dallas Howard, American actress (Lady In The Water; The Help; Jurassic World), and director, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 3 Dusty Dvoracek, American football player
  • Mar 3 Kim Yoo-Jin (Eugene), South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Emmanuel Pappoe, Ghanaian footballer
  • Mar 3 Sung Yu Ri, South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Tobias Forge, Swedish heavy metal singer (Ghost), born in Linköping, Sweden
  • Mar 4 Carol Banawa, Filipino singer and celebrity
  • Mar 4 Donny Tourette [Patrick Brannan], British punk rock singer (Towers of London), born in Liverpool, England
  • Mar 5 Andreas Wiig, Norwegian snowboarder
  • Mar 5 Paul Martin, American ice hockey player
  • Mar 5 Shugo Oshinari, Japanese actor
  • Mar 5 Zach Williams, American Christian rock musician (There was Jesus), born in Pensacola, Florida
  • Mar 6 Ellen Muth, American actress
  • Mar 8 Michael Beauchamp, Australian footballer
  • Mar 9 Antonio Bryant, American football player, born in Miami, Florida
  • Mar 9 Anders Nøhr, Danish footballer, born in Ikast, Denmark
  • Mar 9 Clay Rapada, American baseball player, born in Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Mar 10 Samuel Eto'o, Cameroonian footballer
  • Mar 10 Efthimios Kouloucheris, Greek footballer
  • Mar 10 Steven Reid, English-born footballer
  • Mar 11 David Anders, American actor
  • Mar 11 Lee Evans, American football player
  • Mar 11 Russell Lissack, English musician (Bloc Party)
  • Mar 11 LeToya Luckett, American R&B and pop singer (Destiny's Child, 1997-2000 - Bills, Bills, Bills), and actress, born in Houston, Texas
  • Mar 11 Paul Wall, American rapper
  • Mar 13 Stephen Maguire, Scottish snooker player, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Mar 14 Bobby Jenks, American baseball player
  • Mar 14 Mei-Ting Sun, Chinese concert pianist, born in Shanghai, China
  • Mar 15 Mikael Forssell, Finnish footballer
  • Mar 15 Young Buck [David Brown] American rapper, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Mar 16 Curtis Granderson, American baseball player
  • Mar 16 Yoav Ziv, Israeli footballer
  • Mar 16 Andrew Bree, Irish swimmer
  • Mar 16 Danny Brown [Sewell], American rapper, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mar 17 Kyle Korver, American Basketball Player
  • Mar 17 Servet Çetin, Turkish Football Player
  • Mar 17 Nicky Jam [Nick Caminero], American rapper, singer and actor (Travesuras), born in Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Mar 18 Jang Nara, Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 18 Tora Berger, Norwegian biathlete
  • Mar 18 Kasib Powell, American basketball player
  • Mar 18 Fabian Cancellara, Swiss cyclist (Olympic Gold 2008, 2016), born in Wohlen bei Bern, Switzerland
  • Mar 19 Kim Rae Won, South Korean actor and model
  • Mar 19 Kolo Touré, Ivorian footballer
  • Mar 20 BeBe Zahara Benet [Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa], Cameroonian male model and drag queen (S1 winner: America's Next Drag Superstar), born in Cameroon
  • Mar 22 (Shawn) Mims, American rapper (This Is Why I'm Hot), born in Manhattan, New York
  • Mar 23 Luciana Carro, Canadian actress
  • Mar 23 Erin Crocker, American NASCAR driver
  • Mar 23 Tony Peña, Jr., Dominican baseball player
  • Mar 24 Ron Hainsey, American ice hockey player
  • Mar 26 Baruch Dego, Israeli football player, born in Addis Ababa., Ethiopia
  • Mar 26 Jay Sean [Kamaljit Singh Jhooti], British pop, Bhaṅgṛā, and R&B singer, born in London, England
  • Mar 26 Josh Wilson, American baseball player, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 26 Anaïs Mitchell, American singer-songwriter and playwright (Hadestown - 2019 Tony for Best Musical), born in Vermont
  • Mar 27 JJ Lin, Chinese singer (Music Voyager), born in Singapore
  • Mar 27 Terry McFlynn, Northern Irish footballer, born in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland
  • Mar 27 Carey Davis, American National Football League fullback, born in St. Louis, Missouri

Julia Stiles

Mar 28 Julia Stiles, American actress (Bourne series; Save the Last Dance; The Prince And Me), born in New York City

  • Mar 28 Gareth David-Lloyd, Welsh actor (Torchwood), born in Bettws, Newport, Wales
  • Mar 28 Edwar Ramirez, American baseball player
  • Mar 28 Lindsay Frimodt, American model
  • Mar 29 Megan Hilty, American actress and singer (Wicked), born in Bellevue, Washington
  • Mar 29 Jlloyd Samuel, West Indian-born English footballer (Aston Villa), born on San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Mar 29 P.J. Morton, American singer-songwriter and musician (Maroon 5; Gospel According to PJ), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Mar 29 Edewede Oriwoh, Nigerian classical and liturgical composer, mostly for chorus (Baba, Ese; Play), born in Edo, Nigeria
  • Mar 31 Maarten van der Weijden, Dutch distance swimmer (Olympic gold 10k open water 2008), born in Alkmaar, Netherlands

Famous Weddings

  • Mar 10 14th Prince of Ligne Michel Charles Eugène Marie Lamoral (29) weds Princess of Ligne Eleanora (27) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Famous Deaths

  • Mar 2 Janear Hines, American actress (Julia - "Roberta"), dies of Bright's disease at 30
  • Mar 2 Tony Gulotta, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1927 3rd), dies at 78
  • Mar 4 Torin Thatcher, British actor (Houdini, Isranbul, Lady Godiva), dies of cancer at 76
  • Mar 5 Brenda De Banzie, actress (39 Steps, Hobson's Choice), dies at 64
  • Mar 5 Paul Horbiger, actor (3rd Man), dies at 86
  • Mar 5 Yip Harburg [Isidore Hochberg], American lyricist ("Over The Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"), dies in a car crash at 84
  • Mar 5 (Theodore) "Red" Saunders, American jazz drummer and bandleader, based in Chicago, dies at 69
  • Mar 6 George Geary, English cricket fast bowler (14 Tests, 46 wickets), dies at 87
  • Mar 6 Klaus Grabowski, German alleged murderer and convicted sex offender, shot and killed in Lübeck District Court by Marianne Bachmeier the mother of the daughter he was accused of murdering
  • Mar 7 John Gnagy, artist (Learn to Draw), dies at 73
  • Mar 7 Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor (Bolshoi Theatre, 1943-56; Moscow Philharmonic, 1960-75; Concertgebouw, 1978-81), dies at 67
  • Mar 7 Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling, German tennis player (Wimbledon 1931, 1936 runner-up), dies at 72
  • Mar 9 Max Delbrück, German-American biologist and molecular geneticist (bacteriophage, Nobel Prize 1969), dies at 74
  • Mar 10 Bill Hopkins, English composer, dies of a heart attack at 37
  • Mar 14 Ken Barrington, English cricketer (82 Tests for England, 6806 runs), dies of a heart attack at 50
  • Mar 15 René Clair, French film director (I Married a Witch, It Happened Tomorrow), dies at 82
  • Mar 17 Paul Dean, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals), dies at 68
  • Mar 19 Frank Lane, American MLB executive (GM Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, KC Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers), dies at 85
  • Mar 21 Mark Donskoy, Soviet-Ukrainian film director (Rainbow, A Mother's Heart) and screenwriter, dies at 80
  • Mar 22 James "Jumbo" Elliott, American track coach (b. 1915)
  • Mar 23 Mike Hailwood, MBE GM, British motorcycle road racer (World C'ships: 250cc – 1961, 66, 67; 350cc – 1966, 67; 500cc –1962, 63, 64, 65; 76 Grand Prix wins), dies in a car accident at 40
  • Mar 25 Felix de Nobel, Dutch orchestra leader and pianist, dies at 73
  • Mar 26 Cyril Dean Darlington, English biologist and geneticist who discovered the mechanics of chromosomal crossover and its role in inheritance and evolution, dies at 77
  • Mar 26 Tim Wall, Australian cricketer (SA v NSW 1933 is Sheffield Shield record), dies at 76
  • Mar 27 Mao Dun [Shen Dehong], Chinese writer (Midnight), dies at 84
  • Mar 29 Eric Williams, 1st Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (People's National Movement: 1962-81), dies at 79 [1]
  • Mar 30 Dewitt Wallace, American founder of Reader's Digest, dies at 91
  • Mar 30 Noel Harford, New Zealand cricketer (8 Tests for NZ 1955-58), dies at 50
  • Mar 31 Enid Bagnold, British novelist (Chalk Garden, 1956 Award of Merit), dies at 91