This Month, That Year
2016: National Mime Institute is inaugurated at CK 7 on March 25. Spearheaded by Padmashree-wining mime artiste Niranjan Goswami, the centre offers diploma courses as well as children’s workshops.
1960: Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara appears at an event in Havana on March 5 where photographer Alberto Korda clicks his picture. This image, according to Korda, showed implacability, anger and pain, and goes on to cement Guevara’s image as a charismatic leader. The image becomes one of the world’s most famous photographs, printed on T-shirts, painted on walls and tattooed on arms of generations to come.
2008: World Sleep Day is observed for the first time on March 14 with discussions on the benefits of healthy sleep and to draw attention to sleep disorders. It is organised annually by the World Sleep Society on the Friday before March Equinox.
1671: The Ahom kingdom is attacked by the much stronger Mughal empire in mid-March. Aware that the Mughal’s only weakness is their navy, Ahom commander Lachit Borphukan shifts the battle to the Brahmaputra river at Saraighat, later located in Guwahati. They use guerrilla tactics and psychological warfare and defeat the Mughals so badly that they never set foot in Ahom again.
2006: Adwaita, the Aldabra giant tortoise believed to be one of the oldest living creatures, passes away at the Alipore Zoological Gardens. The male tortoise, weighing 250kg, is said to have been gifted to Robert Clive of the East India Company from the Seychelles. Adwaita is believed to have been between 150 and 250 years old.
2013: Pope Francis begins papacy on March 13. Born Jorge Bergoglio, the Argentinean is the first pope from the Americas. He is noted for his appeals for mercy, concern for the poor and the need for interfaith understanding.
2008: India's first woman pilot Sarla Thakral dies at the age of 94. When she was 16, Sarla married P.D Sharma, whose family of nine pilots encouraged her to learn flying too. Sarla accumulated more than 1,000 hours of flight but abandoned her dream of a commercial licence after Sharma died in a plane crash. She later married R. P. Thakral and became a painter.
Sports & entertainment
1941: Writer Virginia Woolf fills her pockets with stones and walks into a river on March 28. She drowns, leaving behind a suicide note to her husband citing depression as the cause. Though she battled mental illness most of her life, Woolf’s works like To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own make her one of the most important modernist writers.
2008: A young captain named Virat Kohli lifts the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup for India. The tournament is held in Malaysia with the final scheduled for March 2 between India and South Africa. India wins by 12 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.