On March 21, 1960, about 70 people were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, when police fired on black protesters; the shooting drew international condemnation. (On this date in 1985, police in Langa, South Africa, opened fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of Sharpeville; the reported death toll varies between 29 and 43.)
In 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.
In 1804, the French civil code, or the “Code Napoleon” as it was later called, was adopted.
In 1806, Mexican statesman Benito Juarez was born in Oaxaca.
In 1907, US Marines arrived in Honduras to protect American lives and interests in the wake of political violence.
In 1940, a new government was formed in France by Paul Reynaud, who became prime minister, succeeding Edouard Daladier.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan began a four-day conference in Bermuda.
In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, ruled that states may not require at least a year’s residency for voting eligibility.