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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 - Pocahontas
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Courtesy of the British Museum, London

1617: Pocahontas, a daughter of the Algonquin chief Powhatan from the Tidewater region of Virginia who was kidnapped by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities in 1613, is buried in Gravesend, England. During her captivity, she converted to Christianity, took the name Rebecca and eventually married tobacco planter John Rolfe and traveled to England. She died sometime earlier in March 1617 after boarding a ship in England with her husband for a return home to Virginia. Pocahontas is best known for the historical anecdote in which she is said to have saved the life of Englishman John Smith in 1607 by placing her head upon his own when her father raised his war club to execute him. While that story is believed to either be untrue or a misinterpretation of events, she did contribute significantly to the early survival of the Jamestown colony in Virginia and played a brief but dramatic role in English imperial propaganda.

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