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10:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives his daily intelligence briefing
11:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with Bill Gates
11:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, and Dr. Zeke Emanuel
12:30PM THE PRESIDENT has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence
Presidential Dining Room
1:35PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
3:00PM THE PRESIDENT welcomes Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq
West Wing Lobby
In-Town Travel Pool Spray (Final Gather 2:50PM – Briefing Room Doors)
3:10PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Prime Minister al-Abadi
In-Town Travel Pool Spray (Final Gather 3:00PM – Briefing Room Doors)
3:20PM Out-of-Town Travel Pool Call Time
Joint Base Andrews
3:25PM THE PRESIDENT leads a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister al-Abadi
In-Town Travel Pool Spray (Final Gather 3:15PM – Briefing Room Doors)
5:00PM THE PRESIDENT departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
5:20PM THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews en route to Louisville Air National Guard Base
Joint Base Andrews
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
6:55PM THE PRESIDENT arrives at Louisville Air National Guard Base
Louisville Air National Guard Base
Out-of-Town Travel Pool
7:40PM THE PRESIDENT participates in a Make America Great Again Rally
Kentucky Exposition Center
9:10PM THE PRESIDENT departs Louisville Air National Guard Base en route to Joint Base Andrews
Louisville Air National Guard Base
10:55PM THE PRESIDENT arrives at the White House
2021 Daily Holidays that fall on March 20, include:
- Atheists Pride Day - March 20 and June 6
- Bed in for Peace Day
- Bibliomania Day
- Bock Beer Day
- Extraterrestrial Abductions Day
- First Day of Spring - March 20, 2021
- Great American MEAT-OUT Day
- Hufflepuff Pride Day
- International Astrology Day - March 20, 2021 (Usually either March 20 or March 21 - falls on the same day as the Northward Equinox - Spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere, Fall equinox in the Southern Hemisphere)
- International Day of Happiness
- International Earth Day - March 20, 2021 (Same day as Spring Equinox, and different thanꃪrth Day observed on April 22 each year)
- International Francophonie Day
- International Sports Car Racing Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday in March)
- Kiss Your Fiance Day
- Maple Syrup Saturday - March 20, 2021 - (Third Saturday of March)
- March Equinox (First Day of Spring) - March 20, 2021
- National Corndog Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday of March)
- National Jump Out Day
- National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
- National Quilting Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday of March)
- National Ravioli Day
- Ostara (Spring Equinox) - March 20, 2021
- Play the Recorder Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday of March)
- Proposal Day - March 20, 2021 and September 22, 2021 (First Day of Spring and the First Day of Fall)
- Save the Panther Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday in March)
- Snowman Burning Day - March 20, 2021 (First Day of Spring)
- Spring Equinox - March 20, 2021
- UN French Language Day
- Walk in the Sand Day - March 20, 2021
- Won't You Be My Neighbor Day
- World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People
- World Frog Day
- World Sparrow Day
- World Storytelling Day - March 20, 2021 (same day as Spring Equinox)
- Worldwide Quilting Day - March 20, 2021 (Third Saturday in March)
2021 Weekly Holidays that include March 20, are:
- Act Happy Week - March 15-21, 2021 (Starts on Third Monday of March)
- American Council on Education - March 20-22, 2021
- Brain Awareness Week - March 15-21, 2021
- Campfire USA Birthday Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week in March) (Founded March 17, 1910)
- International Brain Awareness Week - March 15-21, 2021
- International Listening Association Week - March 16-20, 2021
- International Teach Music Week - March 15-21, 2021 (7 days starting from Third Monday in March)
- Lent - February 17 - March 29, 2021
- Make Mine Chocolate - (Campaign kicks off annually on Feb 15, and ends onꃪster which is April 4, 2021)
- MS Awareness Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week of March)
- National Bubble Gum Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week of March)
- National Bubble Week - March 14-20, 2021 (First Week of Spring)
- National Green Week - February 7 - April 30, 2021
- National Older Workers Employment Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week of March)
- National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Third Week of March)
- National Sleep Awareness Week - March 14-20, 2021
- Orthodox Lent - March 15 - May 1, 2021
- Shakespeare Week - March 15-21, 2021
- Sherlock Holmes Weekend - March 19-21, 2021
- Sunshine Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Week of March 16th)
- Universal Women's Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week of March)
- World Glaucoma Week - March 14-20, 2021 (Second Full Week of March)
2021 Monthly Holidays that include March 20, are:
There are too many monthly holidays to include here, so please check out our March Holidays page to see all of the holidays that are celebrated the entire month of March.
- A page on each holiday will be coming soon and linked above.
- If a date is a movable holiday, that is different every year, I'll include the year as well as the date rule above. Otherwise, the holiday falls on the same date each year.
However, the start of a "contribution year" depends on whether the end of the previous contribution year falls on Saturday or Sunday. In such cases, the preceding contribution year ends on the first business day that follows that Saturday or Sunday, and the start of the current contribution year begins on the day after that first business day.
|Tax year||1 st contribution period||2 nd contribution period|
|2015||March 3rd, 2015 to December 31st, 2015||January 1st, 2016 to February 29th, 2016|
|2016||March 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2016||January 1st, 2017 to March 1st, 2017|
|2017||March 2nd, 2017 to December 31st, 2017||January 1st, 2018 to March 1st, 2018|
|2018||March 2nd, 2018 to December 31st, 2018||January 1st, 2019 to March 1st, 2019|
|2019||March 2nd, 2019 to December 31st, 2019||January 1st, 2020 to March 2nd, 2020|
|2020||March 3rd, 2020 to December 31st, 2020||January 1st, 2021 to March 1st, 2021|
For the 2020 contribution year which begins on the 61 st day of 2020 (March 3 rd ) and ends on the 60 th day of 2021 (March 1, 2021) , each record for a particular contributor to a particular plan would provide a breakdown of the total contributions made during the following periods: March 3, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021 to March 1, 2021 .
OPENING DAY HISTORY
For over a century, baseball has been hailed above all other sports as America's National Pastime. And no other game during the regular one-hundred sixty-two game season has been as eagerly anticipated as Opening Day. Just look at any die-hard baseball fan's calendar. Vacation? Holidays? Anniversaries? All are often forgotten and pale in comparison with the coveted first game of the season. Ask any fan what the "official" start of Spring is. Chances are their answer will be Opening Day. Much more than just an event, it is an experience.
Major League Baseball's first officially recognized franchise the Cincinnati Reds were historically awarded the privilege of "opening the Openers" and hosted the outings from 1876-1989. Only twice during this time (1877 and 1966) were they forced to debut on the road due to rain. Finally in 1990, the tradition was broken and the Reds were scheduled to appear as the visitors against the Houston Astros. Despite the prestige of being christened as baseball's opening act, Cincinnati has posted an average record of 50-52-1 that has been shadowed by the countless spectacles off the baseline including parades, fireworks, circus performances and the opening of new ballparks in 1884, 1894, 1912 and 2003.
A national event, Opening Day has also become a "political pitcher's" arena for U.S. Presidents to show their "stuff." On April 14, 1910, President, and baseball enthusiast, William Howard Taft attended the home opener in Washington D.C. Since then, eleven sitting U.S. presidents have tossed out the season's ceremonial first pitch. One standout, Harry S. Truman, showcased his ambidextrous talent when he threw out balls with both his right and left arm in 1950. Beyond Presidents, Opening Day has witnessed many other historical performances:
Ted Williams was a .449 hitter in openers, with three home runs and fourteen runs batted in during fourteen games. "Teddy Ballgame" also boasted at least one hit in every Opening Day game he appeared in. Williams' first Opening Day (April 20, 1939) was especially noteworthy as he faced the rival New York Yankees and Lou Gehrig, who was playing in his 2,123rd consecutive game.
Opening Day 1940 witnessed one of the most famous pitching events as Cleveland ace Bob Feller and White Sox hurler Eddie Smith went head-to-head. Smith blinked, but Feller remained in control and tossed the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League history.
Hammerin' Hank Aaron ignited the crowd at Riverfront Stadium on his first swing of the 1974 season when he tagged Cincinnati Reds for his 714th career home run to tie Babe Ruth on the all-time list.
Unfortunately, Opening Day has also been marred by riots and civil disobedience. At the start of the 1907 season, the New York Giants opened against the Phillies following a heavy snowstorm. In preparation for the game, groundskeepers were forced to shovel large drifts of snow onto the outer edges of the field in foul territory. After falling behind 3-0, the disappointed fans at the Polo Grounds began hurling snowballs onto the playing field, disrupting play. As the melee progressed, chaos ensued and fans began rushing onto the field to continue the snowball fight. After being pelted, Home plate umpire Bill Klem had enough and called a forfeit in favor of the Phillies.
Statistically speaking, how important is Opening Day to a team in regards to a championship season? The answer is not that much. The record for most consecutive Opening Day wins by a team is nine, set by the Cincinnati Red (1983-1991). The Detroit Tigers, who won every Opening Day from 2009 through 2017, tied the Big Red Machine, but lost number ten in 2018.
Individual Opening Day stats however, speak volumes on the career accomplishments of a player. On the mound, Greg Maddux was a sure thing with a perfect 6-0 record in seven career starts. Jimmy Key holds the record for most wins on Opening Day without a loss, with seven and other perfect Opening Day hurlers include Wes Ferrell at 6-0, and Lon Warneke and Rip Sewell with 5-0 scorecards.
At the plate, Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson, future Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. and 2x All-Star Adam Dunn each hit eight career / record setting home runs on the first day of the season, while Willie Mays and Eddie Mathews each belted seven Opening Day round-trippers.
Above all others Walter Johnson was perhaps the greatest ballplayer ever to don a uniform on Opening Day. In fourteen season openers for the Washington Senators, Johnson hurled a record nine shutouts with a nine and five (9-5) overall record. His two most famous starts include a 3-0 masterpiece against the A's in 1910 and a 1-0 marathon victory while battling fifteen innings against Philadelphia's Eddie Rommel.
Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn, who played for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, summed up the essence of Opening Day when he said, "An opener is not like any other game. There's that little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. You have that anxiety to get off to a good start, for yourself and for the team. You know that when you win the first one, you can't lose 'em all."
Regardless of the outcome, Opening Day still remains as the number one date in the hearts, minds (and on the calendars) of baseball fans everywhere. The official countdown begins after the last pitch of the World Series when we can't wait to hear those two magic words again, "Play Ball!"
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Opening Day game data presented below is each specific team's Opening Day game &mdash played in their ballpark. Every team, every year, must get an Opening Day game, so when they play their first game at home, that home opener is the data being provided for Opening Day research.
"There is no sports event like Opening Day of baseball, the sense of beating back the forces of darkness and the National Football League." - Vecsey, George. A Year in the Sun. Crown Publishing. 4 March 1989. Page 133.
Mush! Mush! First Woman Wins Iditarod
On Wednesday, March 20, 1985, at 9:00 a.m., Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the dog-pulling sled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Riddles checked into Safety, the last checkpoint before the finish line, many hours ahead of her nearest competitor. She raced with a thirteen-dog team through debilitating blizzards in 18 days, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, and won $50,000. Riddles put the Iditarod on the map with her storybook win and her photo on the magazine covers and front pages of many newspapers. The next three Iditarods also were won by a woman, Susan Butcher, who in 1987, had a then record-breaking time of 11 days, 2 hours, and 5 minutes.
Huskies along the trail during start day, March 1998. Jeff Schultz, photographer. Explore the States: Alaska. America’s Story
The trail first began as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby, and beyond and to the west coast communities including Unalakleet, White Mountain, and Nome. In 1925, part of the trail became the route for transporting emergency medical supplies to Nome, which was stricken by a diphtheria epidemic.
There were two short races on parts of the trail in 1967 and 1969 the annual race to Nome was first run officially in 1973. Called the “Last Great Race on Earth,” the Iditarod (pronounced eye-DIT-a-rod) to some extent follows the Knik to Nome dogsled mail and supply route of 1910.
The race consists of teams of twelve to sixteen dogs pulling a sled driven by a man or woman, called a “musher.” The trail involves treacherous climbs through the rugged Alaskan wilderness, and the race lasts for eight to twenty days in subzero temperatures, much of it in darkness and blinding winds. The musher might be able to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis this is the most “daylight” in some arctic regions and northern plains.
Aurora Borie Alice External . By Samuel K. Stinger Jr., music Walter Pierson Jr., lyrics Philadelphia: Welch and Wilsky, 1909. Historic American Sheet Music External . Duke University Libraries
The route is alternated every other year. The 1,112-mile northern route, run in even years, has twenty-six checkpoints. The 1,131-mile southern route, run in odd years, has twenty-seven checkpoints. The Iditarod begins on the first Saturday in March. Since 1983, teams have left the start line in downtown Anchorage at the corner of 4th and “D” streets, many aiming just to complete the race. Congress named the original Iditarod Trail a National Historic Trail in 1976.
The current journey along the National Millennium Trail takes the mushers over mountains (the Kuskokwim and Alaska ranges), through dense forests, and across frozen rivers (the Yukon for 150 miles), the Norton Sound pack ice, and desolate tundra. Mount McKinley (or “Denali,” meaning “The High One,” in the native Athapascan language), located in the Alaska Range, is North America’s highest peak at 20,320 feet. Glaciers External are also a unique part of Alaska’s topography.
Tagish Indian known as Tagish Charley with dogsled, Alaska External , Eric A. Hegg, photographer, ca 1898. American Indians of the Pacific Northwest External . University of Washington Libraries
The challenges presented by these harsh conditions reflect Alaska’s heritage of survival in the midst of wild, untamed nature. The Eskimos External (native Indians of Alaska and other arctic regions) are part of this rich heritage and were conditioned to live on this tough land. Mushing dogsleds were their primary mode of transportation. Eskimos rely on many animals for their survival, including the walrus, seal, reindeer, whale, and polar bear. They use the entire animal — for food, clothing, and shelter.
Many Americans studied the Eskimos in the 19th century, including naturalist E. W. Nelson, United States Special Indian Commissioner Vincent Colyer, and Knud Rasmussen, who was of Danish-Eskimo heritage. Most of these and other explorations occurred after U.S. Secretary of State William Seward brokered a deal to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7 million in 1867. Map of the Alaskan Gold Fields, T. S. Lee, 1897.Transportation and Communication. Geography & Map Division
Ultimately, buying Alaska proved to be a very good move. Major discoveries of gold were made there in the 1880s and 1890s in the Klondike territory, east of the midsection of the Iditarod race route. The lure of gold was strong it brought attention and people to Alaska. Further, it also was an invaluable strategic land asset during World War II.
Alaskans approved a referendum favoring statehood in 1946, ratified a state constitution in 1956, and President Eisenhower signed the proclamation admitting Alaska into the Union as the forty-ninth state on January 3, 1959. Today, petroleum transported across the state through a pipeline is Alaska’s richest mineral resource. In addition, military bases provide a major source of revenue for Alaska, as does the fishing industry major catches include five species of salmon and three types of crab.
Online Games at PrimaryGames.com
Guess the Spring word by choosing one of the letters. Find the correct letters to complete the word. Find all of the letters before the entire picture is faded.
Need to know the exact date of of the First Day of Spring this year?
On the equinoxes the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal – but not quite. The March or Vernal Equinox is when the Sun crosses the celestial equator, moving from south to north. This date is considered to be the first day of Spring.
Here's a chart that shows what day of the week the First Day of Spring is celebrated in Northern Hemisphere from 2016 - 2050:
5. The Temperance Movement, 1800s-1920
Though the Temperance Movement seems ridiculous today, it was actually quite a powerful and historically significant movement. The idea behind the movement was that by prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol, societal crime rates would go down and overall health would improve.
Many different groups lobbied and rallied under the name of the Temperance Movement until the 18th Amendment was passed in January of 1920. The Prohibition lasted for about 23 years until it was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933- which you can thank Anti-Prohibition protestors for.
60 Interesting Facts of the Day
You might want to read over number 9 I think your wording is a little confusing.
May in this year is ahead of us, so it wasn’t this year in #3
Why not mention the title of the show you are talking about. It’s like trying to have a conversation with my wife. Something happened in season 6 of something? Good to know.
With Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars properties, Emperor Palpatine retroactively has the highest kill count of any Disney character, since it was presumably him who gave the order to destroy Alderaan.
Thank you for your posting on the random facts. I too love random facts.
Here is one fact that occurred to me and my friend Rigo and our lady friend Smupa.
We were on a journey of the mind, body, and soul in a small vessel adrift on the vast ocean.
At some point along the way, a series of humongous bubbles surfaced just beneath our tiny vessel, nearly capsizing us in the process.
A sharply foul odor was soon realized, causing in us an unusual sequence of events.
Rigo began to leap like a spider monkey from starboard to port at various intervals!
Smupa faded into a most relaxed state and began smiling in a most uncontrollable manner.
As for me, I began to vomit all of the frustrations that I had brought aboard our voyage, casting my eyes upon a visual collage of swirling colors and existences.
Smupa then passed gas from the bottom.
It was then that the eureka moment struck! I then posed the question:
Upon our safe return from our voyage, Smupa and I did some research into this potentiality. Following are our findings.
The short answer is yes, whales do indeed fart, flatus or pass gas depending on how you like to phrase it.
In fact whales, dolphins and porpoises are all marine mammals belonging to the cetacean species and they are all known to fart.
Today there are around 80 – 90 known species of cetacea currently in existence and they encompass all of the worlds major oceans from the tropics to the coldest of the northern and southern polar hemispheres.
When it comes to passing gas, farting is a common characteristic that most land and marine mammals have in common with one another.
Passing gas allows animals to release air that is trapped inside their stomach, which could lead to digestive problems, stomach cramps or other complications if not removed from the body.
When an animal passes gas or farts the air that comes out of the body comes primarily from two main sources.
The first source comes from oxygen that is pulled in through the air either while breathing (inhaling and exhaling) or when consuming food or drinking water and since all mammals eat food and require oxygen to survive they all take in air.
The second source of air or gas comes from food that is broken down by enzymes, stomach acids and bacteria in the stomach, which creates toxic gasses that need to be removed from the body to prevent it from doing harm to the individuals digestive system.
In order to release these gases animals need a way to expel them from the body and for most mammals this means that the toxic gas has to exit through either the mouth, which causes burping or through the an*l tract which causes farting.
The gases that are expelled from a fart are mostly composed of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane.
The reason some gasses smell worse than others is because of the breakdown of the foods involved.
Certain foods can cause obnoxious orders when released as gas while others do not.
From some of the statements researchers have made about whales farting they have concluded that yes, it stinks when a whale farts.
When a whale farts or passes gas underwater the sound is believed to be suppressed by the surrounding water making it silent or at least quite compared to the gas that is expelled from land based animals.
In some cases bubbles or clouds can be seen rising to the surface of the water when a whale passes gas.
Those most likely to experience whales farting are likely to be researchers involved in following whales and researching their dung or gathering information about their gestation period, habitat, social structure and other important factors.
In some cases this may also be observed by tourists and whale watchers that are hoping to get a glance of these marine mammals in their natural habitat.
Unfortunately not much research has been done on this topic, however there have been researchers who have experienced and confirmed that yes whales do indeed fart.
The Route of the March
The first event of the day was a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, with a lectern set in the same spot where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others had spoken during the March on Washington four years earlier. Meanwhile, soldiers, Defense Department civilians and reporters gathered across the river and waited to see if the tens of thousands of people massed on the Mall would in fact march on the Pentagon.
Jack Walker Then: Marine captain. Now: Retired lawyer.
I slept on my friend’s couch Friday night, and rose early to run. As I ran, I witnessed the morning preparations of both the march organizers and the government defenders. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It looked like prep for battle. Armed soldiers were building barricades, filling sandbags, raising fences, digging trenches, rolling out communication wire, positioning troops. Armored vehicles were everywhere.
Jane Ophoff Then: College student. Now: Retired musician.
Four of us drove to the rally all night long from Gerald Ford’s conservative city of Grand Rapids in a peach-colored VW Beetle on loan from a favorite college professor. We wolfed down coffee and doughnuts and headed straight to the Lincoln Memorial. We joined a large group of good people: parents with young children, disabled vets and a very special 80-year-old woman wearing high silver boots.
Albert Ihde Then: High school teacher. Now: Theater director.
As I rounded the hill beneath the Washington Monument, the breathtaking view before me brought to mind the exodus scene from Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.” Even wide-screen Panavision couldn’t capture this massive expanse of humanity, stretched as far as I could see.
My friend Jeannie and I arrived at the Washington Monument and wandered west along the reflecting pool. The streets were closed off and helmeted police clustered near vehicles with flashing lights, visible but out of the way. A tall, naked man was wading in the pool, waving a big American flag, trailed by skinny, hooting boys.
Don Berges Then: Radio reporter at the Pentagon and part-time college student. Now: Retired construction manager.
The press parking area behind the Pentagon that morning was nearly deserted, presided over by a dour Air Force major who examined my news media credentials and directed me to the press office entrance on the other side of the huge five-sided building. He denied my request to shortcut through the building. I would have to walk all the way around. This enabled me to see squads of helmeted, rifle-toting military policeman moving into positions around the building. To my untrained eye it looked like the Army was overdoing it, erring on the side of caution with all these troops. Most looked anxious and younger than me.
The formal portion of the day began at 11 a.m. with music by Peter, Paul and Mary and Phil Ochs, and speeches from organizer David Dellinger, Spock, the comedian Dick Gregory and others.
We found a spot near the Lincoln Memorial and sat, listening to the music and trying to follow the speeches. The snatches I heard were full of thunder against the government.
We chanted “Hell, no we won’t go.” I had a piccolo in my pocket and led a group who followed me as I played “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.”
Bill Ramsey Then: College student. Now: Peace and social justice activist.
When a member of the British Labour Party took the stage to announce his opposition to the war, members of the American Nazi Party rushed the stage and turned over the lectern.
I walked down the long stretch of the Pentagon’s broad ceremonial entrance stairs toward its vista of the Potomac River and the Memorial Bridge. Beyond was the Lincoln Memorial and the Mall. From that distance, I couldn’t see how many people were gathered at the feet of the Great Emancipator. The day’s big story would probably be coverage of fiery speeches over there and the whole Pentagon angle would turn out to be a waste of time.
As the speeches wound down after 1:30, people in the crowd began to watch for signs of movement toward the Memorial Bridge, which would take them to the Pentagon. They didn’t have to wait long.
A trumpet blew and the crowd began to drift toward the Potomac. Press photographers rushed to get ahead of the flow, and antiwar banners and signs sprouted up. Some people started chanting. It had become a political parade.
Another large contingent soon moved toward the bridge holding aloft several 25-foot banners and a host of colorful signs. They were veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Americans who had volunteered to fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s. As these aging heroes passed, thousands first cheered and then joined them, eager to pick up the torch they had carried. Soon the march stretched all the way from the Memorial to the Pentagon, 50,000 people.
It was a pleasant fall day, a good day for a short walk in the company of friends. We formed a very earnest group, mostly young, mostly students, all committed.
Maurice Isserman Then: High school student. Now: Professor of history at Hamilton College
Helicopters, already as much the icon of the Vietnam War as jeeps and Sherman tanks had been for the Second World War, whop-whop-whopped overhead, doubtless keeping close tabs for the authorities on the progress of the march, while reminding us of why we were there.
Nancy Kurshan Then: March organizer. Now: Social justice activist.
At some point, the police blocked us from marching toward our preferred route. In response we sat down on the bridge, tens of thousands of us as far as you could see, forcing the government to yield.
There was no plan about what to do when we got to the building. Some wanted to simply stand in silent protest and defiance. Others were determined to get inside and ransack it. A few planned to deface its outer walls. The more whimsical spoke of “levitating” the building and “exorcising” the evil spirits inside.
Leslie H. Gelb Then: Director of policy planning at the Pentagon. Now: President emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
It was already late in the afternoon, and the building had few of us, mostly military, doing our usual Saturday labors.
After an hour or so of hanging around exchanging wisecracks with other reporters, I walked back north for another view at the story that was probably unfolding without me across the river. I was brought up short by what I saw. Advancing slowly toward me was a broad deep wave of people, tens of thousands of people tightly packed the full length and breadth of both sides of the approach highways and back across the bridge.
Though the march was not an official part of the day, its details had been painstakingly negotiated between organizers and the Pentagon. The marchers asked to be allowed to encircle the building they were refused, and told they had to stay in the North Parking Lot, several hundred feet from the Pentagon and across the Jefferson Davis Highway.
Finally, we reached the Pentagon, or that is to say, an adjoining parking lot. Here was where the officially choreographed “resistance” was supposed to take place. Protesters would have the option of crossing a police line, and then submitting to arrest in orderly fashion. Everyone else would content themselves staying within shouting (or levitating) distance.
Joanne Seay Byrd
The Pentagon area was amazing. To my young mind there was a massive crowd chanting and marching.
Some were of an older generation, neatly dressed and smiling, advancing arm in arm with new friends, content and secure in their beliefs, occasionally chanting in unison polite slogans urging an immediate end to the conflict. Others were young, loud and angry a few wielded crude signs with words so profane I would not dare repeat on the air.
By 4 p.m. the bulk of the marchers had arrived. Between them and the building stood a line of military police, and behind them federal marshals. Several prominent marchers mounted a flatbed truck and gave speeches. Off to the sides were temporary chain-link fences. Almost immediately, tensions among the crowd began to rise.
I was with a group of somewhat older people, suits and ties. While gathering near the Pentagon, facing a line of soldiers, we took turns with the mike.
Noam Chomsky, third from left, marches with others including Norman Mailer, Robert Lowell, Sidney Lens, Dagmar Wilson and Dr. Benjamin Spock. Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images
Jim Laurie Then: College student and part-time radioreporter. Now: Media consultant.
Standing on a flatbed [press] truck positioned near Corridor 7 at the Pentagon’s mall entrance, microphone attached to my two-way, I looked out over a vast sea of people. Helmeted military police, bayonets affixed to their rifles, and federal marshals faced thousands of protesters.
Stan Roberts Army Security Agency staff member.
I was allowed to walk up to the roof and move to the flat part over the main entrance where the protest march ended. There were a number of snipers on the roof along with a few civilians whom I assumed were F.B.I., since they were using binoculars to search the crowd and identify known “subversives.” I heard them call out a few names, so they did locate some people of interest to their group.
A young woman plucked a flower from her hair and stepped forward, placing it in the barrel of a soldier’s rifle. I heard the click of a camera’s shutter. The young soldier looked confused, his eyes riveted on the flower. His face seemed to mirror the same fear that I felt. I wondered, did he also feel trapped?
I was saddened, though not surprised, to come face-to-face with weapons-toting military men. Some girls pushed daisies into their rifle barrels. I wondered if the soldiers wished they could fire on us, or secretly applauded our efforts to protect them from being sent off to die for a bunch of greedy rich old men.
Several demonstrators, apparently expecting what was to come and having arrived prepared, put on football helmets.
Every so often a demonstrator wormed past the line of soldiers and ran in arm-waving triumph toward the building until roughly tackled and hauled off by the authorities.
Michael Kazin Then: College student. Now: Professor of history at Georgetown University and editor of Dissent.
Paul Millman, a Students for a Democratic Society activist I knew, somehow got hold of a bullhorn and began a monologue of remarkable gentleness and persuasiveness. They were pleas to the Gis to recognize the immoral and futile nature of the war, to lay down their rifles and join us. After Paul went on like this for fifteen minutes or so, a small miracle of resistance occurred. I saw one soldier put down his weapon and his helmet and actually walk into the welcoming crowd. Then a second man did the same &mdash or I think he did. We all wanted so badly for such a mutiny to occur that we interpreted any movement by a G.I., any anxious shuffling of feet or replacement of one man in line by another as a giant step toward pulling the United States out of Indochina and stoking the fires of revolt at home.
Leslie H. Gelb
No one in the building that day had much, if any, sympathy for the protesters, especially those waving Viet Cong flags. It was one thing to be against the war and another to wave those flags.
As the crowd gathered, several hundred protesters, led by Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman and the Fugs, a politically oriented band from New York, attempted to “levitate” the Pentagon. Through a sound system mounted on a truck, the band and Ginsberg led the crowd in an elaborate chant.
Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs, decked out in multicolored capes, provided the music. Ginsberg opened the ceremony with what would become his hallmark “Ommmmmmmmm.” Others led incantations of “Out, demons, out!”
Trudi Schutz Then: American Friends Service Committee staff member. Now: Executive and career coach.
We wanted to raise that symbol of the war off its foundation and say yes to what we believed America stood for.
Nothing happened to the Pentagon, not even a twitch. Not many demonstrators paid attention. However, the planned exorcism, the visual image and its overall weirdness played well in the press. Some justified their use by claiming the absurdity of the war should be matched by the absurdity of matching actions. Unfortunately, absurdity also provided a good argument for those hostile to the demonstration to dismiss, ignore and discourage the participation of serious people with serious criticisms of bad government policy.
By 5 p.m., the crowd’s joy at having reached the Pentagon was fading, replaced by fear among some and a determination among others to instigate a confrontation. The situation grew confused a number of tear gas grenades were set off, reportedly by accident, while a contingent of protesters tried to make an end run around the soldiers and marshals toward the Pentagon. Federal marshals began arresting people, including Mailer and Chomsky.
It was clear that we had reached an impasse between a teach-in and a standoff.
Joanne Seay Byrd
All was good until the first bayonet I had ever seen was wielded by a guardsman poised to deflect our advancement to the Pentagon wall.
I happened to be speaking when the soldiers suddenly put on gas masks and started advancing forward to clear the crowd. Everyone sat down. Not knowing what to do, I kept talking &mdash to the strangest-looking audience I’ve ever faced. Marshals took or dragged everyone to waiting vans. My audience of gas masks passed by me and I kept talking to a wall of the Pentagon, which I’m sure was most responsive. Until my turn came.
Joanne Seay Byrd
People began to scatter. Contact was lost between friends and groups.
The great majority realized that it was time to disperse just as a radical element of protesters revealed their intentions, broke through barriers and ran toward the Pentagon.
As they turned toward the building, they encountered the first of two temporary fences. They immediately tore down part of it, which separated the parking lot from the grounds of the Pentagon itself. Marshals rushed over and forced them back.
A few dozen protesters charged up the hillside and the steps, actually making it into the building before being beaten back. Hundreds, then thousands, followed in their steps.
I had just picked up the phone in the press room and dialed a station in Florida when there was a big uproar outside. Loud noises came from objects hurled against the building’s doors and walls. Guards struggled to secure the big doors against a bellowing offshoot of the crowd trying to charge through the entrance.
I thought about what I should do for a few seconds until, saying goodbye to my uncle and aunt, I loped up the hillside after the others. By the time I reached the beachhead before the Pentagon steps, the opening behind me had been sealed. For better or worse, I was committed.
A scuffle between military police and protesters outside the Pentagon. Associated Press
For the next two hours, the crowd battled with the military and marshals, until most of the fencing had been torn down. Soon the crowd, by then about 20,000 people, was within 30 yards of the Pentagon, face to face with a line of bayonet-wielding military police.
We sat down by the thousands on the grass or pavement directly in front of them. I was in the first row, and like others, I talked to the soldiers immediately opposite me about the war and why we were there to protest it. Some of the young soldiers were hostile, but many were ill at ease, unaccustomed to what they were experiencing and ambivalent about those of us confronting them.
I sang along to “We Shall Overcome.” It felt glorious to be part of a massive, peaceful gathering of like-minded folks. The chant started: “Hell, no. We won’t go!” I joined in &mdash but realized no one was asking me to go. Back then, there were no female-inclusive anti-war chants. OK, we weren’t being drafted but we girls and women were protesting the senseless potential loss of our friends, husbands, brothers, cousins and sons.
“It is difficult to report publicly the ugly and vulgar provocation of many of the militants,” The New York Times’ James Reston wrote about what happened next, in a front-page think piece for the newspaper two days later. “They spat on some of the soldiers in the front line at the Pentagon and goaded them with the most vicious personal slander.” That’s not the way I remember it, and interestingly, it’s not the way that The Times’ reporters who were actually on the scene on Oct. 21 reported it &mdash there is no mention of spitting in either The Times’ or The Washington Post’s news stories on Oct. 22.
A short distance to my right protesters stood up and moved closer to the troops. M.P.s emerged from behind the paratroopers. Their rifles had no bayonets but were held at their waists pointed up at an angle, directly at the heads of the demonstrators standing face to face in front of them. No one backed off.
The atmosphere was rapidly metastasizing into one of potential violence. No doubt I wasn’t the only one who held my breath when a young man among the protesters took a half-step forward, improbably produced a flower and inserted its stem into the barrel of a rifle pointed at him.
A protester inserts flowers into the rifle barrels of military police near the Pentagon. Bernie Boston/The Washington Star, via Getty Images
Calmly, he moved down the line of M.P.s and put each of his flowers into a different rifle barrel. This symbolic act was caught on film and the resulting photo splashed across front pages throughout the country the next day.
As evening set in, many in the crowd began to peel off, either from fatigue, fear of further clashes or both. Meanwhile, the hundreds of arrestees were taken to an impromptu processing center behind the Pentagon. Some were released others, including Mailer and Chomsky, were sent to the jail in Occoquan, Va. At 10:30, the military police on the front line were replaced by soldiers from nearby Fort Meyer.
With the standoff uncertain but feeling clearly unsafe, I “jumped ship.” Actually, I jumped a wall by the landing’s side stairs and headed up the embankment to the southbound highway. Relieved to be out of the fray, I stuck out my thumb. A red sports car stopped, and the young driver asked me where I was headed. When I said “High Point, North Carolina,” he responded, “I’m headed back to Camp Lejeune &mdash get in.” Knowing Camp Lejeune to be a Marine base near the North Carolina coast, I warily lowered myself into the passenger seat. He asked, “Where have you been?” With not much more than a murmur, I answered, “The Pentagon.” And he said, “Thanks. I was there, too.” He told me that he was expecting orders to be deployed to Vietnam any day and that this was his first, and maybe last, chance to speak out.
As the sun went down, it became cooler and cooler. The crowd was getting younger and younger. We were on our own. The protection of the older generation was disappearing.
It seemed like a couple hundred buses were waiting to pick the demonstrators up right next to the Pentagon. I’d spoken to three coeds earlier. I walked near them as they searched for their bus. One looked at my short hair and neat civilian shirt and asked, “Are you in the service?” I replied in my best military manner, “Yes, ma’am, I just got back from Nam. I’m what you are demonstrating against.” The girl replied, “We’re not against you. Marines have really cool uniforms.” And they hurried off to find their bus.
Like most others, we were committed to nonviolence, left the scene immediately and found a cheap motel room, where 10 of us packed in with the sleeping bags we had brought. In the morning we would find out that our peaceful rally and march had devolved into an overnight clash during which hundreds were arrested.
We made bonfires with the picket signs carried earlier. Impromptu speakers used bullhorns to urge the paratroopers to switch sides. We wanted our soldiers to abandon the government and join us, as Russian soldiers had in 1917. Around 9 p.m., one did. A single trooper dropped his rifle, threw down his helmet and advanced into the crowd of protesters. Before he got far, he was seized from behind and led away. We never found out what happened to him.
We were on a mission and we knew we were right. We looked to the right and we looked to the left and we knew that all of us would remain up until the point of arrest. For hours there was an impromptu teach-in to the troops. People climbed up on a ledge and, using a bullhorn, spoke to the troops. There was an open mike (well, actually a bullhorn) for anyone who wanted to speak. I did not have the confidence to speak, but I was very proud of what people said.
Most of those arrested were young, uncertain, tense. The emotional pitch was high [in the jail in Occoquan]. There were some calls for actions that could have caused major problems. Mailer intervened quietly, decisively, with a touch of low-keyed and effective mockery, helping to restore a mood of serious dedication and to avert self-destructive militancy, an intervention of no small significance.
Pat Graves Army, in reserve at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.
My unit did not move to the Pentagon until 10:30 p.m. We were not issued ammunition, but it was kept a short distance away. The troops were issued gas grenades. This gave me some anxious moments. Demonstrators could easily grab grenades off the soldiers’ web gear. In fact that happened to troops from other units earlier in the day.
Soon, I saw draft cards being burned. Many young men in the crowd had not yet taken that step. In the eerie scene, with bonfires encircling the Pentagon, they found the inspiration to do so. Over 200 draft cards went up in smoke.
Two things struck me most during that long chilly night as we stood, shoulder to shoulder, with unloaded rifles facing the crowd. First was the hostility of a very few demonstrators. One young man in particular spent the night putting his face within inches of the faces of our soldiers and staring at them, seemingly ready to spit in their faces. Second, our guys couldn’t respond verbally or physically, so it was very hard on each of them in turn. I was terribly proud of their self-control. After all, most of our men were draftees and perhaps had varying levels of sympathy for the protesters, but that man’s actions drew a lot of curses later on. My first sergeant &mdash also an injured Vietnam combat vet &mdash became enraged by that young man’s conduct and tried to jam his rifle under our troops’ legs from behind the perimeter to hit the shoes of that man. But the young guy simply hopped left or right and continued his mental and physical harassment.
The soldiers would every now and then make forays into the front of the crowd, clubbing a few people and dragging a few others away to be arrested. We sat, arms locked as tight as possible, to impede them as much as possible and to protect one another. In the end they dragged away everyone who remained. Well over a thousand people were arrested, with 780 of us held and several hundred released.
Every now and then during the night there would come the word that the demonstrators would attack at a certain part of the perimeter. The klieg lights from the flatbed press trailer would come on, the marshals standing behind our perimeter would rush over to that area with their batons, and a surge would happen. When some broke through our lines the marshals would whack them and, I assume, arrest them.
Nadya Williams Then: Activist. Now: Veterans for Peace member.
We stayed all night on the Pentagon steps, with tear gas wafting around us. In one of those surreal memories, I can still see Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara watching us, silhouetted, with a bright light behind him, on a lower Pentagon balcony. I imagined I could even see the distinctive part in his hair!
From 11:45 to 12:30 the marshals pushed our troops forward from behind in order to push the protesters back, gaining 30 feet. Bob [Gregson] and I did not like this action by the marshals. We were in command of our companies, not them. The marshals were too aggressive, often reaching between our soldiers to hit protesters with their batons.
After midnight Sunday morning, tens of thousands had dwindled to several hundred hard core activists. They were ready to be taken off to jail. Marshals barked orders. Demonstrators sang “America the Beautiful” and “We Shall Overcome.” M.P.’s carried them into police wagons.
The morning broke cold, in the high 30s. About 400 to 500 protesters had stayed overnight, facing off against the same contingents of soldiers and marshals. To pressure the protesters to leave, the marshals got more aggressive, at one point dousing some protesters with water from a hose, among other measures to make them uncomfortable enough to leave.
In another show of aggression, several of the marshals took our soldiers’ canteens and poured water behind the line. The pavement sloped toward the demonstrators. Wet clothing added to the discomfort of the demonstrators, who were sitting and lying on the ground. The demonstrators built numerous fires to ward off the chill.
Toward what must have been around 6 a.m., the crowd (and, perhaps, the Mobilization’s leaders) decided to beat a “dignified retreat,” as we all stood up and walked back over the bridge as the day was dawning. Frankly, I was much relieved to be leaving, as it was very apparent that we were “going to get our asses kicked” if we stayed on the entrance steps into the Pentagon during daylight.
Soon after daylight, the commanding general gave the order to clear out the remaining demonstrators from the entry area. That was a welcome command! We rushed forward on exhausted legs that had seemingly locked in place, and the remaining demonstrators ran away.
I was arrested alongside Anita Hoffman [the wife of Abbie Hoffman]. It was the first time either of us had been under arrest. I would later learn that it was a very atypical arrest experience. They took hundreds of us, all women, to what seemed to be a huge dormitory. There were scores and scores of cots lined up next to each other, like being in a huge summer camp. Anita and I were able to stay together and were on cots right alongside each other. The camaraderie was palpable and exciting. After spending the night on our cots, we were herded to court and as counseled by our movement lawyers, we pleaded nolo contendere. This was worked out between the government and our lawyers. We did what we were advised, paid a small fine and went home.
Before we departed, Bob Gregson’s company surged forward and captured a large yellow submarine. It measured approximately eight feet long, three feet wide and four feet tall at the conning tower. Its rounded wooden frame was made with two-by-fours, covered with stiff canvas painted yellow with red trim. The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” had become a rallying song for some anarchists. With an eye to history, Bob had his troops retrieve the craft for presentation to the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, his first sergeant had no appreciation of history and had it destroyed.
The final box score: zero killed zero wounded one submarine captured zero artifacts left for future generations.
At first light, only several hundred remained, but we had escaped arrest and injury and believed we had made our point. We got up, formed a line and marched three miles to the White House. It was early and we wanted to wake up, or at least shake up, President Johnson. We paraded under his windows until motorcycle cops drove us off with nightsticks. But we were there long enough to make sure Johnson heard the chant that by then had become emblematic of the antiwar movement: “Hey, hey, L.B.J., how many kids did you kill today?”
I managed to get on a bus home and remember a stop at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. In the women’s restroom, several young women had their heads in the sink to try to wash the blood off their skulls and out of their hair from the rifle-butt blows from the guards at the top of the steps.
The march on the Pentagon probably did not make much of an impact on public opinion about the war, but participants roundly say that it galvanized their own role in the antiwar movement, and in many cases inspired them to a life of progressive activism.
Leslie H. Gelb
It wasn’t the howls outside [the Pentagon] that caused some of us to begin raising questions about that horrific war. That began in a sustained and serious way only in early 1968, after the Communist Tet Offensive. By that time, it seemed the protesters knew something we didn’t.
It was, and still is, unclear to me that the Pentagon demonstration accomplished as much as it might have. However it did show clearly that the intensity of public dislike of the war was growing rapidly. In the next two years demonstrations went in size from perhaps 100,000 participants at the Pentagon to millions in the worldwide Moratorium demonstrations of 1969. Politicians noticed and eventually responded.
Our participation was not a sophomore lark. We felt that by adding our peaceful presence to our strong convictions, we had been part of something important, a movement that grew and eventually succeeded in turning the tide against the war. We felt proud and patriotic, as I still do 50 years later.
In the end, the victory was really a result of the energy and the numbers of the people that participated. Even the children of officials in the Johnson administration were joining us. In a political sense the country was now really at war with itself. This realization seemed to hold within itself the possibility that we could end the war with Vietnam.
In many ways, the sun has never set on that long stretch of a day, and I have remained on that crowded Pentagon landing &mdash launched for a lifetime.
David Greenberg, a professor of history and of journalism and media studies at Rutgers, is the author of “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.
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An earlier version of this article misstated the date of an antiwar fundraiser in Washington. It was Oct. 19, not Oct. 20. In addition, an earlier version of a credit on a picture with this essay misstated the affiliation of the photographer, Bernie Boston. He worked for The Washington Star, not The Washington Post.
It’s never too late to succeed: How this 60-year-old founder took her business from zero to $500 million in 6 years
One terrible day in November 2000, Julie Wainwright's husband asked her for a divorce. That same day, Wainwright, then the CEO of Pets.com, determined she would have to shut down the company. She had led the e-commerce business through its meteoric rise and IPO, and now it was crashing.
"It failed, and I became sort of a pariah," says Wainwright, speaking at the Vanity Fair Founders Fair in New York City. "I was the dumbest person in the Valley. It was a little tough."
Wainwright says she was 17 years too early with Pets.com (this year PetSmart bought pet food and product site Chewy.com for $3.35 billion). Though she wasn't the founder, Wainwright had been with the company since Pets.com was only two people and a germ of an idea.
Between the demise of Pets.com and her divorce, "it was just a dark cloud descended," she says. For a while Wainwright didn't do much besides paint and work out. She took a job working in venture capital and fielded a number of lame (by her own account) CEO job offers. But she wasn't inspired.
After several years Wainwright realized that her situation wasn't going to improve unless she took action.
"Man, this could be a really bad second half of my life. Or I have to figure something out," Wainwright, now 60, remembers saying to a girlfriend of hers. "I had never created my own business before. I had always been the gun to hire. … But I had to finally say, nobody is going to give me my dream job, so I better figure it out myself."
She had been inspired watching her shopping-obsessed friend buy clothing from a secondhand rack in the back of a fancy boutique. Her friend said that while she would never have gone to a consignment shop or bought expensive items on eBay (too many knockoffs), she was pleased to find secondhand luxury items from a trusted shop owner.
Wainwright did a flurry of research. At the time, the market for personal luxury items in the United States was $50 billion a year. Her deep knowledge of the e-commerce space from Pets.com gave her the confidence that secondhand luxury goods was not a market Amazon would easily replicate. There was too much labor and expertise required.
And then she went to her own closet. "I started pulling stuff out," says Wainwright. To her surprise she found 60 items that she could resell. ("I had a little hoard going in there! And I am not a hoarder!" she jokes.)
By March 2011, Wainwright, in her mid-50s now, launched the first version of The RealReal, a secondhand luxury marketplace website. That June, she started shipping the first purchases.
The RealReal deals in the likes of Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex and Van Cleef & Arpels. Consignors earn as much as 70 percent of the items they sell. The RealReal does free in-home pickup, authentication and shipping.
In its first year, The RealReal did $10 million in sales, according to Wainwright.
Wainwright's story is inspiring, but she's not alone. A recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey of more than 2000 small-business owners found that almost 30 percent launched a small business between the ages of 55 and 64. And another 22 percent were 65 and older.
Wainwright's next move was to approach venture capitalists.
Being a woman in her mid-50s pitching male VCs in their 20s and 30s was hard. Being known as the woman at the helm during the Pets.com fiasco didn't make it easier. On top of that, Wainwright was trying to sell the idea of luxury fashion e-commerce when "Silicon Valley's definition of luxury is a Tesla in every garage," she says.
"It was really, really hard. I didn't have success until I reached a woman."
It's a scenario that's not uncommon in the Valley. But Wainwright got the money she was looking for. To date, The RealReal has raised $173 million in venture capital from 22 investors in seven rounds of fundraising, according to public fundraising database Crunchbase.
In 2017, The RealReal will do more than $500 million in revenue and has 950 employees, says Wainwright. While she won't give a timetable, Wainwright indicates that taking The RealReal public is part of her plan.
"I think going public is a really smart thing to do," Wainwright says.
Since that awful day back in 2000 when Wainwright lost Pets.com and her husband, she has made quite the comeback. She's also learned that, although it's cliché, failure can lead to better things.
"You might just find that you have more," writes Wainwright in a piece she penned for Forbes. "More inner strength, more tenacity, more grit, more courage, more kindness, more compassion than you ever thought was possible.
"Failure is ultimately very liberating," says Wainwright. "Once you come out the other side of it, you just might have faced one of your biggest fears and lived. The other side of failure is a big elimination of fear of failure. Trust me, that is an amazing gift."