On This Day in History: March 17

It’s St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland, a day that is now celebrated around the world. Here are some of the events and famous birthdays in history today.

432: The History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. This is due to an event that happened on this day in history, traditionally given for this year. However, there are debates over the exact time. At 16 years old, Patrick — likely born in Scotland — was captured by Irish pirates and was sold as a slave. For the next six years, he turned to St Patrickfaith for comfort. He was able to escape and get back to his family, but he heard the voices of the Irish calling him back. He was ordained as a priest and returned to Ireland in 433, where he remained for the next 40 years in poverty while building churches and preaching the Gospel. He died on March 17, 461. There have been countless legends around the man since then.

1762: The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Today in history saw the first ever parade for St. Patrick’s Day, in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. The first parade was held by British army serving Irish soldiers in New York. There may have been parades before this, as it was celebrated long before this date, but this was the first recorded parade. From the mid-1800s, the celebrations became a more major thing as more Irish immigrated to America. Now, it is celebrated around the world, regardless of nationality.

1906: More Than 1,200 Die in Taiwan Earthquake

An earthquake devastated Taiwan, with more than 1,200 losing their lives. The damaged was estimated in the millions of damage. The Baishiku and Chinsekiryo faults just under Formosa (known as Taiwan today) moved and caused the 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Japan felt some of the tremors, showing the force of it. Kagi suffered most of the casualties, where people were crushed to death in their homes. Aftershocks were strong throughout the next day, making it very difficult to rescue those still alive. It would just be a month and a day later that San Francisco would be hit with the 8.3 magnitude earthquake.

1995: Death of Ronnie KrayJames IV of Scotland

One of the Kray twins, Ronnie, died on this day in history. He collapsed while in his Broadmoor ward, where he was serving a life sentence. The 61-year-old had been part of “The Firm,” a British gang, and was said to have suffered a heart attack. Despite being married, he was a homosexual and was transferred to Heatherwood Hospital and then Wexham Park hospital before his death. Ronnie had been deemed insane, meaning he had to carry out his prison sentence in the mental hospital Broadmoor, where he shared a ward with Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. He was survived by his older and twin brothers Charlie and Reggie. The Kray twins’ lives have been portrayed in Legend starring Tom Hardy as both roles.

Famous Birthdays on March 17

King James IV of Scotland–1473

Church leader Thomas Boston–1676

First moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, Thomas Chalmers–1780

Confederate general Patrick R. Cleburne—1828

Abolitionist and author Daniel Conway Moncure—1832

First female cabinet leader in Britain, Margaret Bondfield–1873

Golfer Bobby Jones—1902

Jazz pianist and singer Nat King Cole—1919

Vanilla Sky actor Kurt Russell—1951

Forest Gump and CSI: New York actor Gary Sinise—1955

Wrestler Samoa Joe—1979

Reality star Rob Kardashian—1987

Sources:
Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

St. Patrick by Sicarr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick#/media/File:Saint_Patrick_(window).jpg). Used under the CC-2.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

King James IV of Scotland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_IV_of_Scotland.jpg


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