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This Day in Pop Culture for March 17

St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York

1762: New York’s 1st St Patrick’s Day Parade

Since 1762, New York City has hosted one of the world’s largest parades on St. Patrick’s Day. It is estimated that 250,000 marchers have made the path up 5th Avenue and only on foot. Even today the parade still doesn’t allow floats or cars. In 2020, the parade was canceled for the first time in its centuries-old history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the parade is to be held virtually. (Image: David Mark from Pixabay)

461: St. Patrick Dies

On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick died in Ireland. Much of what people think of Patrick is wrong. He was not Irish, but served as a missionary to Ireland. We don’t celebrate his birth, we celebrate his death. After being kidnapped at age 16 in Great Britain, Patrick served the next six years as a shepherd against his will in Ireland. After his finally escaped and returned home, he felt an overwhelming need to go back and preach the gospel to the very people who treated him so badly. He served 40 years converting thousands of the Irish to Christianity and built many churches along the way. He used the three-sided clover as a way of describing the holy trinity. It is not known if he drank any green beer.

2004: The Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade

While the longest parade wearing the green is held in New York, the world’s shortest, running a total of 98 feet. Legend has it that this wee parade was thought up in 2003 by some friends sharing drinks at a pub located on the “world’s shortest street in everyday use” in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. The first parade was held the next year on this day in 2004 down Bridge Street as a way to attract visitor. And boy did they. For the first year, a few thousands people stopped by but today about 30,000 people make the journey.

(shorteststpats.com)

1962: The River Turns Green

In Chicago, Illinois, the river has been turning green every year since this day in 1962 when the city dumps special green dye into the Chicago River with the help of the Chicago Plumbers Union Local 130. Despite not having really anything to do with the Coronavirus, the city did not tint the water in 2020, but it is back in all its green glory for 2021. (Image: Ingi Finnsson/Pixabay).

1912: The Campfire Starts with a Spark

In 1910, residents of Thetford, Vermont prepared to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary which would be held the following year. This included participation of the Boy Scouts. As girls wanted to be included in the celebration, the pageants organizer, William Chauncey Langdon, promised that they would have a place, but at that time, there were no organization similar to the Boy Scouts for girls. Langdon addressed his concern with two local educators, Charlotte Joy Farnsworth and Luther Halsey Gulick M.D. about creating one and like a match, the idea of the Camp Fire Girls took off. Camp Fire Girls of America was incorporated in Washington, D.C, as a national agency on this day in 1912. In 1975, the group changed its membership policy to allow boys into the mix becoming Camp Fire Boys and Girls. In 2012, the traditional flame logo was changed to match the organization – the “Spark Mark.”

(Wikimedia)

1917: Women Bowl

The first exclusively women’s bowling tournament was held in St Louis.

(Pixabay)

1845: Rubber Band

Stephen Perry of London patented the rubber band.

(RCA)

2014: Sia Single

Sia released her single “Chandelier” with a music video that featured Maddie Ziegler.

Birthdays

  • 1901: Alfred Newman (composer)
  • 1919 Nat King Cole (singer)
  • 1935 Adam Wade (singer)
  • 1949: Patrick Duffy (actor)
  • 1949: Pat Rice (football player)
  • 1951: Kurt Russell (actor)
  • 1954: Lesley-Anne Down (actress)
  • 1955: Gary Sinise (actor)
  • 1960: Vicki Lewis (actress)
  • 1964: Rob Lowe (actor)
  • 1968: Matthew St. Patrick (actor)
  • 1977: Tamar Braxton (singer)
  • 1992: Patrick Cantlay (golfer)
  • 1997: Katie Ledecky (Olympic swimmer)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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