Celebrations Today – March 1
Holidays and observances
- Beer Day, marked the end of beer prohibition in 1989 (Iceland)
- Christian feast day:
- Commemoration of Mustafa Barzani’s Death (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Earliest day on which Casimir Pulaski Day can fall, while March 7 is the latest; celebrated on the first Monday in March. (Illinois)
- Earliest day on which Children’s Day can fall, while March 7 is the latest; celebrated on the first Sunday in March. (New Zealand)
- Earliest day on which Grandmother’s Day can fall, while March 7 is the latest; celebrated on the first Monday in March. (France)
- Earliest day on which Laetare Sunday can fall, while April 4 is the latest; celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. (Western Christianity), and its related observances:
- Heroes’ Day (Paraguay)
- Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.
- National “Cursed Soldiers” Remembrance Day (Poland)
- National Pig Day (United States)
- Remembrance Day (Marshall Islands)
- Saint David’s Day or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant (Wales and Welsh communities)
- Samiljeol (South Korea)
- Self-injury Awareness Day
- Southeastern Europe celebration of the beginning of spring:
- The final day (fourth or fifth) of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í Faith)
- World Civil Defence Day
- Yap Day (Yap State)
Celebrations Today – USA: March 1
National Dadgum That’s Good Day
National Fruit Compote Day
National Horse Protection Day
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
National Pig Day
National Bachelor’s Day
International Underlings Day
National Leap Day
National Surf and Turf Day
Today in US History: March 1
Witchcraft in Salem
On March 1, 1692, Salem, Massachusetts authorities interrogated Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and an Indian slave, Tituba, to determine if they indeed practiced witchcraft. So began the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Over the following months, more than 150 men and women in and around Salem were jailed on charges of exercising “Certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcrafts & Sorceryes.” Nineteen people, including five men, were eventually convicted and hanged on Gallows Hill; and an additional male suspect was pressed to death. Others died in prison. Today they are seen as victims of a tragic mistake.
Cousins Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris, ages eleven and nine, respectively, began to enter trance-like states and to suffer from convulsive seizures in January 1692. By late February, prayer, fasting, and medical treatment had failed to relieve their symptoms, or to quiet the blasphemous shouting that accompanied their fits. Pressured to explain, the girls accused the three above-named women of afflicting them.
A recent epidemic of small pox, heightened threats of Indian attack, economic uncertainties, and small town rivalries may have all primed the people of Salem and its surrounding areas for the mass hysteria that fueled the witchcraft trials. Although social status and gender offered little protection from accusations, historians note that single women particularly were vulnerable to charges of practicing witchcraft, while pre-adolescent girls were likewise most vulnerable to affliction. Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, for example, all lacked male protectors, while three of the signatories to the bail petition pictured above are widows.
An act to reverse the attainders of George Burroughs and others of witchcraft. Boston: Printed by B. Green, Printer to His Excellency the Governour and council 1713.
An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
Acting on the recommendation of the clergy, civil authorities created a special Court of Oyer and Terminer to try the accused witches. As the number of imprisoned people approached 150, however, public opinion shifted against the proceedings. On October 29, 1692, Massachusetts Governor William Phips dissolved the special court, releasing many suspects and preventing further arrests. When the remaining witchcraft cases were heard in May 1693, the Superior Court failed to convict anyone else. Legislation passed in 1711 restored the rights and good names of those who had been accused.
In the 1950s, Arthur Miller‘s play, The Crucible, explored the Salem witchcraft trials. Written during a period when concern about “subversive activities” ran high, Miller used his play to protest the red scares of the postwar era. Once again, Miller implied, innocent people were sacrificed to public hysteria. Called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, Miller refused to supply names of people he met years before at an alleged communist writers’ meeting. The resulting contempt conviction was overturned on appeal.
- American Treasures of the Library of Congress includes several items highlighting the early history of Massachusetts, including America’s First Book, printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the First Complete Bible Printed in America, published in Cambridge in 1663; The “General Fundamentals” of the Plymouth Colony; and the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley.
- Explore more primary source documents relating to the trials through the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project Web site at the University of Virginia.
- See the Library of Congress exhibition Religion and the Founding of the American Republic to learn about the history of religion’s influence on early American life.
- Learn about nineteenth-century attitudes toward the Salem witch trials by viewing articles and images from the time. Search Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals and Touring Turn-of-the-Century America using Salem, witch, or witchcraft as a search term.
Today in History – March 1-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia