On This Day

Birthdays in History on March 31

  • 250 Constantius Chlorus, Roman Emperor (305-306 AD), born in Dacia Ripensis, Northen Balkans (d. 306)
  • 1360 Philippa of Lancaster, Queen of Portugal as wife of King John I (1387-1415), born in Leicester Castle, Leicester, England (d. 1415)
  • 1425 Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan (1450-68), born in Settimo Pavese, Lombardy, Italy (d. 1468)
  • 1499 Pius IV [Gianangelo de' Medici], Italian lawyer and Pope (1559-65), born in Milan (d. 1565)
  • 1504 Guru Angad Dev, second Sikh guru, born in Matte Di Sarai, Muktsar, Panjab (d. 1552)

Person of interestHenry II

1519 Henry II, King of France (1547-59), born in Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris (d. 1559)

King of France Henry II
King of France
Henry II
  • 1536 Ashikaga Yoshiteru, Japanese 13th shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate (1546-65), born in Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan (d. 1565)
  • 1576 Louise Juliana of Nassau, Regent of Bohemia by marriage to Frederick IV, Elector Palatine, born in Delft, Netherlands (d. 1644)

Person of interestRené Descartes

1596 René Descartes, French philosopher (he thought, therefore he was), born in Descartes, Indre-et-Loire, France (d. 1650)

Philosopher René Descartes
René Descartes
  • 1621 Andrew Marvell, English poet (To His Coy Mistress), born in Winestead, England (d. 1678)
  • 1651 Karl II, Elector Palatine (d. 1685)
  • 1675 Benedict XIV [Prospero L Lambertini], Italian Pope (1740-58)
  • 1718 Marianne Victoria of Borbón, queen regent of Portugal (d. 1781)
  • 1723 Frederik V, King of Denmark/Norway (1746-66)
  • 1730 Étienne Bézout, French mathematician (d. 1783)
  • 1777 Charles Cagniard de la Tour, French physicist (d. 1859)
  • 1778 Coenraad Jacob Temminck, Dutch zoologist (d. 1858)
  • 1794 Thompson McKennan, American politician who served as the 2nd United States Secretary of the Interior (d. 1852)
  • 1809 Edward FitzGerald, England, writer (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
  • 1819 Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1901)
  • 1831 Archibald Scott, Scottish chemist
  • 1835 John La Farge, American painter
  • 1837 Robert Ross McBurney, 1st paid secretary of the YMCA
  • 1838 Leon Dierx, French poet
  • 1839 Nikolay Przhevalsky, naturalist, explorer of east central Asia (OS)
  • 1840 John Herbert Kelly, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • 1840 Benjamin Baker, English civil engineer who designed the bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland and the London underground, born in Frome, England (d. 1907)
  • 1844 Andrew Lang, Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, and anthropologist (Andrew Lang's Fairy Books), born in Selkirk, Scottish Borders, Scotland (d. 1912)
  • 1847 Yegor Ivanovich Zolotarev, Russian mathematician (d. 1878)
  • 1854 Dugald Clerk, inventor (2-stroke motorcycle engine)
  • 1855 Alfred E. Hunt, founder of Alcoa (d. 1899)
  • 1860 Isidor Traube, Hildesheim Hanover, German Chemist (founded capillary chemistry, research on liquids)
  • 1868 Karl Bonhoeffer, German psychiatrist/neurologist

Person of interestArthur Griffith

1871 Arthur Griffith, Irish writer and politician who founded Sinn Féin (President of Ireland 1922), born in Dublin, Ireland, United Kingdom (d. 1922)

Irish Politician and Founder of Sinn Féin Arthur Griffith
Irish Politician and Founder of Sinn Féin
Arthur Griffith
  • 1876 Borisav "Bora" Stanković, Serbian writer (d. 1927)
  • 1884 Adriaan van Maanen, Dutch-American astronomer (d. 1946)
  • 1885 Jules Pascin [Julius Pincas], Bulgarian/American painter/cartoonist
  • 1890 William Lawrence Bragg, English physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1971)
  • 1891 Ion Pillat, Romaniams poet/senator (Umbra timpului)
  • 1891 Andy Varipapa, American ten-pin bowler (BPAA All-Star champion 1947-48), born in Carfizzi, Italy (d. 1984)
  • 1892 Stanislav Wladyslaw Maczek, Polish/British general-major/commandant
  • 1895 John Jay McCloy, US lawyer and banker (Secretary of War 1941-45, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank)
  • 1895 Vardis Fisher, American author (Darkness & Deep), born in Annis, Idaho (d. 1968)
  • 1900 Henry WFA, English duke of Gloucester/earl of Ulters
  • 1909 Pieter Jongeling, Dutch author (under Piet Prins) and politician
  • 1909 Robert Brasillach, French author/nazi collaborator
  • 1912 Wilhelmus Berkelmans, civil servant/resistance fighter
  • 1914 Octavio Paz, Mexican writer/diplomat (Salamandra, Topoemas)
  • 1915 Jack Perry, businessman
  • 1915 Shoichi Yokoi, Japanese military man (d. 1997)
  • 1916 John H. Wood, Jr., American federal judge (d. 1979)
  • 1918 Ted Post, Dir (Peacemaker, Beneath the Planet of the Apes)
  • 1920 Marga Minco [Sara Menco], Dutch journalist and writer (Bitter Herb), born in Ginneken, Netherlands
  • 1920 Deborah "Debs" Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire and the Chatsworth estate, one of the Mitford sisters, born in Gloucestershire (d. 2014)
  • 1924 Leo Buscaglia, American psychologist known as "Dr Love" (Love), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1998)
  • 1926 John Fowles, British novelist (Collector, French Lieutenant's Woman), born in Leigh-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, England (d. 2005)

Person of interestCesar Chavez

1927 Cesar Chavez, American farm labor leader (United Farm Workers), born in Yuma, Arizona (d. 1993)

Civil Rights Activist Cesar Chavez
Civil Rights Activist
Cesar Chavez

Person of interestLiz Claiborne

1929 Liz Claiborne, American fashion designer, entrepreneur and founder of Liz Claiborne Inc, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 2007)

Fashion Designer Liz Claiborne
Fashion Designer
Liz Claiborne
  • 1929 Bertram Fields, American lawyer
  • 1932 John Jakes, writer (Sir Scoundrel, Great Women Reporters), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1932 Nagisa Oshima, director (Town of Love & Hope), born in Kyoto, Japan (d. 2013)
  • 1933 Nichita Stănescu, Romanian poet (d. 1983)
  • 1934 Grigori Grigoyevich Nelyubov, Russian cosmonaut (Vostok 1 backup)
  • 1934 Wim H Sinnige, Dutch alderman of finance (social democratic)
  • 1935 Judith Rossner, American writer (August)
  • 1936 Marge Piercy, author (Small Changes, Gone for Soldiers)
  • 1938 Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi
  • 1938 David Steel, Scottish politician
  • 1938 Bill Hicke, Canadian NHL right wing (3-time NHL All Star), born in Regina, Saskatchewan (d. 2005)
  • 1939 Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first President of Georgia (d. 1993)
  • 1940 Barney Frank, (Rep-D-MA, 1981- )
  • 1940 Patrick Leahy, American politician (Senator-D-Vermont, 1975- ), born in Montpelier, Vermont
  • 1942 Michael Savage [Michael A Wiener], American talk radio host and commentator, born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1942 Ulla Hoffmann, Swedish politician
  • 1944 Tomohiro Nishikado, Japanese video gamer developer (Space Invaders), born in Osaka, Japan
  • 1947 Caesar Gaviria Trujillo, president (Colombia, 1990-94)
  • 1947 Jon-Jon Poulos, rocker (Buckinghams), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestAl Gore

1948 Al Gore, American politician and environmentalist (Vice President: 1993-2001), born in Washington, D.C.

45th Vice President of the United States Al Gore
45th Vice President of the United States
Al Gore
  • 1948 David Eisenhower, author and grandson of President Eisenhower (married Julie Nixon), born in West Point, New York
  • 1950 Alison McCartney, pathologist/Breast Cancer campaigner
  • 1957 Patrick G Forrester, Army Lt Colonel and astronaut, born in El Paso, Texas
  • 1965 Jean-Christophe Lafaille, French mountaineer best known for his solo self-rescue on Annapurna with a broken arm, born in Gap, Hautes-Alpes (d. 2006)
  • 1968 Brett Deubner, American violist, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1969 Nyamko Sabuni, Swedish politician
  • 1982 Chloé Zhao, Chinese director (The Rider, Nomadland), born in Beijing, China
  • 1987 Baby M [Melissa Elizabeth Stern], American infant born to a surrogate mother but later awarded to her dad William Stern
  • 1990 Lyra McKee, Northern Irish journalist, killed by the New IRA in a terrorist attack, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 2019)