Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  

March 13, 1791
Publication of the first part of The Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine. Paine argues that people have inherent rights which no government may infringe or take away, and that governments that abuse or fail to safeguard those rights are illegitimate and may be overthrown by revolution. On this basis, Paine defends the French Revolution against Edmund Burke’s attacks. The Rights of Man is widely circulated and discussed in inns and coffeehouses, and repeatedly reprinted. In England, Paine is put on trail in absentia, convicted of seditious libel, and sentenced to death. However, Paine is in France, and, being a clever fellow, refrains from returning to England to be hanged.
Related Topics: French RevolutionHuman Rights
March 13, 1848
Large demonstrations in Vienna, Austria, force the conservative Prince von Metternich to resign as chief minister. He flees to London and a new, more liberal government takes office. In Europe's 1848 "Springtime of Peoples," revolutionary ferment continues throughout the Austrian Empire; freedom of the press and freedom of association are introduced, and competing claims to national self-determination emerge.
March 13, 1904
Birth of Paul Mattick (1904-1981), Marxist writer and activist.
March 13, 1920  
The Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch. Right-wing militarists, supported by many of the senior commanders in the armed forces, attempt to overthrow Germany’s social-democratic government. Freikorps (right-wing militia) troops occupy Berlin, and Wolfgang Kapp is proclaimed as Chancellor. Workers resist the coup by going out on a general strike, and civil servants refuse to cooperate with the illegitimate regime. The coup collapses after four days, and its deflated leaders quickly flee the country.
Related Topics: CoupsGeneral StrikesGerman History
March 13, 1933
Establishment of the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda under Josef Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
Related Topics: Nazi HistoryPropaganda
March 13 - May 7, 1954
The start of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, the decisive confrontation between the Viet Minh national liberation forces and the French colonial army. The battle ends on May 7 with the total defeat of the French army, forcing France to withdraw all its forces from the region and give up its claims to possess what it had called French Indochina.
March 13, 1968  
Clouds of nerve gas drift outside the U.S. Army’s chemical warfare facility in Utah, killing thousands of sheep in a nearby valley.

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  
For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: