Jim Morrison and The Doors in cultural, popular and academic history for the month of March
Explore Jim Morrison and The Doors place in a unique timing, and the cultural, social and historical events which led up to that time


1360 - During the siege of Rheims, King Edward III of England pays 16 pounds (Approximately $4,000) to ransom skilled soldier Geoffrey Chaucer from French captivity. The King will be forced to pay an even higher ransom for Chaucer’s horse, as a well-trained war horse was considered far less expendable than mere soldiers.

1692 - The Salem Witch Hunt begins as Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, are charged with the illegal practice of witchcraft in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Unlike their European counterparts, the victims of the American witch trials will be hanged rather than burned.

1873 - E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, NY begin the manufacture of the first practical typewriter. The heavy black clunkers soon become fixtures in offices across the country. It would be another half-century before electric typewriters make their appearance.

1875 - Congress passes the Civil Rights Act. It will be invalidated by the Supreme Court in 1883.

1880 - Lytton Strachey is born today in London. The late great biographer/literary critic with the wonderful, gently mocking, ironic, enormously articulate style, will cause Bertrand Russell, reading Eminent Victorians (1918) while in jail as a conscientious objector, to keep breaking into laughter, only to be told to pipe down by his jailors.

1904 - Glenn Miller, the king of swing, is born in Clarinda, Iowa.

1917 - U.S. poet and pacifist Robert Lowell Jr. is born. He would become the 3rd poet laureate of the U.S.

1919 - Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is born. His City Lights Publishing, in association with the City Lights Book Store in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco was instrumental in making the works of the Beat Generation writers available. He is a wonderful poet in his own right, authoring Coney Island of the Mind, among other works.

1920 - Howard Nemerov, poet laureate of the United States (1988, 1989), novelist, and critic, whose poetry will be marked by irony and self-deprecatory wit, is born in New York.

1922 - Mad Magazine publisher, William M. Gaines is born.

1928 - Paul Whiteman and his orchestra records Ol' Man River for Victor records, featuring the gifted vocalist, 29-year-old Paul Robeson. 

1941 - FM Radio debuts in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN commences operations on this day. FM radio would help to revolutionize popular music in the early 1970s.

1944 - Future Who lead singer Roger Daltry is born in Hammersmith, England.

1944 - Manfred Mann vocalist and Rod Stewart pianist Michael d'Abo is born in England.

1954 - The United States announces it had conducted a hydrogen bomb test on the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean.

1957 - Chess Records releases Muddy Waters' I Got My Mojo Working, and Chuck Berry's School Days.

1961 - Albert King records a version of Howlin' Wolf's Howlin' For My Darlin’ which he calls Calling On My Darling for Chess Records.

1962 - B.B. King records the Ivory Joe Hunter tune Blues At Midnight. It is released as a single on ABC.

1960 - At the Friedburg army base in Germany, the U.S. Army hosts a “Farewell Elvis” press conference. Elvis Presley is due to be discharged on March 5.

1961 - President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.

1966 - In Liverpool, over 100 youths barricade themselves inside the recently closed Cavern Club, to protest the closing of the club where the Beatles began.

Jim Morrison on stage in Miami

1969* - At Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium, Jim Morrison of the Doors is arrested for alledgedly exposing his penis during the show. Morrison is officially charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity and public drunkeness. He is found guilty in October 1970 of indecent exposure and profanity. His sentence totaling eight months hard labor and a $500 fine, is still on appeal when Morrison dies in Paris in 1971.

1970 - On The Ed Sullivan Show, two clips are aired of the Beatles performing Let It Be and Two of Us. It's the last time the Beatles appear on the show that broke them in America.

1973 - The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opens with a unique presentation in New York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in Deuce Coupe Ballet.

A fully-clothed Jim Morrison onstage in Miami

1974 - Seven people are indicted in connection with the Watergate break-in on charges of conspiring to obstruct justice.

1977 - In Santa Monica, California, Sara Lowndes Dylan files for divorce from her husband of eleven years, Bob Dylan. The divorce is granted in June and she is given custody of their 5 kids and possession of their million-dollar home. Sara was the subject of such songs as Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Lay Lady Lay and Sara.

1978 - The body of Charlie Chaplin is stolen and held for ransom by Galtcho Ganav (Bulgaria) and Romnan Wardas (Poland) from a Corsier, Switzerland cemetery. The actor's body has since been recovered.

1980 - New York rock poet and singer Patti Smith marries veteran Detroit underground rocker and one-time MC5 member Fred "Sonic" Smith in Detriot.

1981 - Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. He dies 65 days later.

*This is from a music history source, and is not accurate. Jim Morrison was not arrested at the Dinner Key Auditorium. A warrant for his arrest was issued several days later due to numerous inflammatory articles appearing in the Miami Herald which instigated the involvement of the FBI. The FBI had started a file on Jim Morrison after his arrest in New Haven, and took this opportunity to file a federal warrant for the charge of "flight to avoid prosecution." The charge was completely erroneous, as there were no warrants for Jim's arrest when he left Miami. Sadly, however, this is the way the incident is still reported by most media.

For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net