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On this day: March 21

Published On: Mar 18 2013 01:38:04 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT

Alcatraz prison closes, Martin Luther King Jr. marches toward Montgomery, the U.S. decides to boycott Moscow's Olympics, and Spielberg nabs his first Oscar, all on this day.

OTD March 21 - New Orleans fire of 1788
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Public domain

1788: A fire in New Orleans leaves most of the town in ruins. The fire, fed by a strong wind from the southeast, destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in the city in about five hours, spanning the south central French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings.

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