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What Happened on March 25?

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. led 5,000 antiwar demonstrators in a march in Chicago. (1967) It was one of the largest anti-war protests to date, but King was criticized for leading it by other Civil Rights leaders who felt that the Civil Rights Movement should not be linked with the anti-war movement.

  • Britain abolished the slave trade. (1807) The Slave Trade Act became law on this day, forbidding the importation of slaves into Britain. Slavery itself remained legal in Britain until the 1830s.

  • The first passenger carrying railroad in the world opened. (1807) The Swansea and Mumbles Railway opened in Wales and was the first railway to carry paying passengers — as opposed to slaves. It originally consisted of horse-drawn trams, and then changed over to sail power, steam power, electric, and finally gas and diesel before it was shut down in 1960.

  • The first significant protest march in the US took place. (1894) Populist leader Jacob Coxey led several hundred people known as Coxey's Army marched on Washington to protest the lack of jobs in the country. Though the movement quickly lost steam when the leaders were arrested for walking on the grass at the Capitol, it set the stage for later protests.

  • The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire occurred. (1911) Around 140 people died because of poor safety measures in one of the worst industrial disasters in early American history. Many of the employee protection laws in place in the US came about as a result of the fire.

  • US customs seized Allen Ginsberg's Howl. (1955) The book, which is considered one of the leading texts of the Beat movement, was seized by customs officials on the grounds of obscenity. The book rocked the literary world when it was published because of its raw emotion and graphic descriptions of sex and drug use.

  • The city of Venice is said to have been born. (421) According to legend, the city of Venice was "born" at 12 o'clock noon at the Rialto, formerly the central market area of the city.

  • The Greek War of Independence began. (1821) Greece revolted against the Ottoman Empire on this day, which had been occupying and ruling it since the mid-1400s. The war for independence lasted nine years, and was only settled after significant intervention

  • The Palace Theatre opened in New York. (1913) The Palace is known as the birthplace of Vaudeville, and has hosted iconic performers including Ethel Merman, Judy Garland, Harry Houdini, and Will Rogers.

  • Titan, Saturn's largest moon, was discovered. (1655) The moon was discovered by Christiaan Huygens, who was inspired by Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons. Huygens and his brother built several telescopes, and discovered Titan with the first one they built.

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