Daily Archives: March 31, 2013

Kubrick’s ‘Fear and Desire’ opens in New York City 60 years ago today (1953)

Video: 'Fear and Desire' trailer

(Tuesday, March 31, 1953)Fear and Desire, a military action/adventure film about four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines who must confront their fears and desires, arrived today at the Guild Theatre in New York City.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick (his first feature film), the movie starred Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky, Steve Coit and Virginia Leith.

Musical play ‘Oklahoma!’ opens on Broadway 70 years ago today (1943)

Video: 'Celeste Holm - I Cain't Say No'

(Wednesday, March 31, 1943)Oklahoma!, the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened today on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Ten years later, Oklahoma! would be described as “a new musical that broke all the rules: it had no big-name stars, no bare-legged chorus and, worst of all, it contained a ‘high-brow’ ballet.” Continue reading Musical play ‘Oklahoma!’ opens on Broadway 70 years ago today (1943)

Crematorium II becomes operational at Auschwitz death camp 70 years ago today (1943)

Video: 'Auschwitz II Birkenau Crematorium II'

(Wednesday, March 31, 1943, part of The Holocaust during World War II) — Crematorium II, with the capacity to burn 1440 corpses a day, became operational today at the Auschwitz II–Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Originally designed as a mortuary, with morgues in the basement and ground-level furnaces, Crematorium II was converted to increase greatly the gassing capacity of Birkenau by placing a gas-tight door on the morgues and adding vents for Zyklon-B and ventilation equipment to remove the gas.

President Roosevelt signs act creating Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 80 years ago today (1933)

Video: 'The CCC' (parts 1-5)

(Friday, March 31, 1933; during the Great Depression) — President Franklin D. Roosevelt today signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments.