March 17-23, 2003

Monday 17

Birthdays Jazz great Nat "King" Cole (1919).

On This Date South African whites voted to end their control of the majority black country (1992).

Today St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday 18

Birthdays Silver Spring KidsPost reader Sawyer Kibbe (1996). Rapper and actress Queen Latifah (1970). Twenty-second U.S. president Grover Cleveland (1837).

On This Date The first spacewalk was completed by Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov (1965). Michael Jordan announced his first return to basketball--he led the Chicago Bulls to three more NBA titles (1995).

Today The annual Rotten Sneaker contest takes place in Montpellier, Vermont. Awkward Moments Day.

Wednesday 19

Birthdays Actor Bruce Willis (1955). Wild West sheriff Wyatt Earp (1848).

On This Date Congress passed the Standard Time Act, establishing time zones and Daylight Savings Time for most of the United States (1918).

Today Last day of winter.

Thursday 20

Birthdays Filmmaker Spike Lee (1957). Fred "Mister" Rogers (1928). Jazz pianist MarianMcPartland (1920). Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828).

On This Date Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop (1999). The world's largest oil rig sank off the coast of Brazil (2001).

Today Spring begins. Absolutely Incredible Kid Day: Adults write letters to children telling them how much they like them. National Common Courtesy Day. National Agriculture Day.

Friday 21

Birthdays Manassas KidsPost reader Stephanie Knieriemen (1992). Derwood KidsPost reader Robert Kubas (1994). Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell (1962). Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685).

On This Date Martin Luther King Jr. led more than 3,000 people on a four-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand that the government protect voting rights for African Americans (1965).

Today Memory Day--don't forget.

Saturday 22

Birthdays Actress Reese Witherspoon (1976). "Cats" composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948). "Star Trek" actor William Shatner (1931).

On This Date The laser was patented by Charles Schawlow and Charles Townes (1960). Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov returned to Earth after a record 438 days in space (1995). Berani the tiger made his public debut at the National Zoo (2002).

Today The Smithsonian's annual Kite Festival takes place on the Mall (10 a.m., between 4th and 7th streets, free). The North American Wildlife Celebration, formerly known as Seal Days, at the National Zoo (through Sunday, free).

Sunday 23

Birthdays Martial arts filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (1910). World's oldest man Yukichi Chunganji (1889).

On This Date The abandoned Russian space station Mir burned up in Earth's atmosphere, showering debris over the Pacific Ocean (2001).

Today The Washington Marathon--20,000 people run through the streets of D.C. (www.washingtonmarathon.com; 703-528-8176).

Extras:

Today Having a birthday? Tell us--and our readers. Send your name, birth date, address and phone number to: KidsPost, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071.