This Day in History: March 21

Alcatraz is closed, Twitter is established with the first tweet by co-founder Jack Dorsey.

On this day, March 21…

2006: Twitter is established with the sending of the first tweet by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who writes: “just setting up my twttr.”

Also on this day:

  • 1556: Thomas Cranmer, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake for heresy.
  • 1685: Johann Sebastian Bach is born in Eisenach, Germany.
  • 1925: Tennessee Gov. Austin Peay signs the Butler Act, which prohibits the teaching of the Theory of Evolution in public schools. (Tennessee would repeal the law in 1967.)
  • 1935: Persia officially changes its name to Iran.
  • 1946: The recently created United Nations Security Council sets up temporary headquarters at Hunter College in the Bronx, New York.
  • 1952: The Moondog Coronation Ball, considered the first rock and roll concert, takes place at Cleveland Arena.
  • 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan begin a four-day conference in Bermuda.
  • 1963: The Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay is emptied of its last inmates and closed at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
  • 1972: The Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, rules that states may not require at least a year’s residency for voting eligibility.
  • 1981: Michael Donald, a black teenager in Mobile, Ala., is abducted, tortured and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. (A lawsuit brought by Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, would result in a landmark judgment that bankrupted one Klan organization.)
  • 1997: President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrap up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion, but able to agree on slashing nuclear weapons arsenals.
  • 2009: Former Vice President Al Gore makes an emotional return to Congress as he pleads with House and Senate committees to fight global warming.
  • 2014: A previously divided U.N. Security Council sends a strong and united message to the Syrian government and opposition to immediately implement proposals by international envoy Kofi Annan to end Syria’s yearlong bloodshed.