THE FOLLOWING EVENTS TOOK PLACE ON MARCH 31
1631 - Poet John Donne dies in London after having his portrait painted in a funeral shroud to provide the sculptor of his monument with a design from which to work.
1836 - The first monthly part of Charles Dickens' first novel, Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, is published. By the 15th part the printing will have grown from 400 to 40,000 copies.
1870 - Thomas Peterson-Mundy becomes the first black to vote In the United States, under the 15th Amendment passed by Congress in February 1870, which required all southern states to allow blacks to vote.
1889 - French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel unfurls the French flag atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.
1921 - Blues guitarist Lowell Fulson is born in Tulsa, Okla. Eric Clapton has covered a number of his songs.
1928 - Pioneering honky-tonk singer Lefty Frizzell is born William Orville Frizzell in Corsicana, Texas.
1930 - The Motion Picture Code is accepted by Hollywood producers. The Code wasn't enforced much until the mid-thirties, when Mae West started making pictures and saying things like, 'When I'm good I'm very good, but when I'm bad I'm better,' and, 'Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.' The Code mandated such things as that only twin beds could be shown in a bedroom, and no kiss could last longer than three seconds.
1934 - John D. Loudermilk, who in the midst of an erratic career wrote the classic Tobacco Road, is born in Durham, N.C. Loudermilk later retired to study ethnomusicology.
1946 - Al Nichol, who played guitar with the Turtles, is born in Winston-Salem, N.C.
1958 - Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode is released. It becomes his fifth top 10 single, peaking at No. 8.
1967 - Jimi Hendrix embarks on his first tour of Britain with Cat Stevens in Finsbury Park. He torches his guitar with lighter fluid onstage for the first time, too. However, he burns his hands during the stunt and is later taken to the hospital.
1968 - President Lyndon Johnson stuns the country by announcing he would not run for another term of office.
1969 - George Harrison and his wife, Patti, appear in court charged with possession of cannabis. They are fined 250 pounds. In Amsterdam John and Yoko call off their 'Bed-In' so they can premiere Ono's new film Rape in Vienna.
1971 - U.S. Lieutenant William Calley is sentenced to life imprisonment, later reduced to 20 years, for the killings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968.
1973 - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon enters the Billboard albums chart for the very first time. Has it left yet?
1977 - An Elvis Presley concert in Baton Rouge, La., is postponed after Elvis doesn't return from the intermission.
1982 - Pink Floyd release The Final Cut, their last album with Roger Waters at the helm.
1986 - O'Kelly Isley of the Isley Brothers dies from a heart attack at age 48.
1993 - A reformed Led Zeppelin fan tries to stab Jimmy Page with a pocketknife. The fanatic now believed Zeppelin were 'Satanic.' He had just seen a Page and Plant concert.
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