This is the month that the “February Revolution” kicks off in Russia (they were on a different calendar, so it happened in March, so far as we’re concerned), and things start to change dramatically in Europe and the world as a result. Meanwhile, the USA is drifting closer to war and things are finally stabilizing in Mexico after years of revolution. Here are some of the headlines you’d have been reading 100 years ago:
World War One:
First Battle of Gaza: On March 26, British Egyptian Expeditionary Force troops virtually encircle the Gaza garrison but are then ordered to withdraw, leaving the city to the Ottoman defenders.
Riots break out as women calling for bread in Petrograd protest on March 8, the unrest spontaneously spreading throughout the city.
The Duma declares a provisional government on March 12.
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia abdicates his throne and his son’s claims on March 15.
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia refuses the throne on March 17, and power passes to the newly formed Provisional Government under Prince Georgy Lvov.
Venustiano Carranza is elected president of Mexico on March 11; the United States gives de jure recognition of his government.
The U.S. government releases the text of the Zimmermann Telegram to the public on March 1.
Republic of China terminates diplomatic relations with Germany on March 14.
The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies on March 31, which become the US Virgin Islands, after paying $25 million to Denmark.
The enactment of the Jones Act on March 2 grants Puerto Ricans United States citizenship.
Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman member of the United States House of Representatives, her term beginning on March 4.
Hjalmar Hammarskjöld steps down as Prime Minister of Sweden on March 30. He is replaced by the right-wing businessman and politician Carl Swartz .
The Georgian Orthodox Church restores the autocephaly abolished by Imperial Russia in 1811.
“Livery Stable Blues“, recorded with “Dixie Jazz Band One Step” on February 26 by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in the United States, becomes the first jazz recording commercially released on March 8.
Release of “Poor Little Rich Girl” starring Mary Pickford, March 5, reputedly the third-highest grossing film of 1917.
Release of “The Tornado” on March 3, debut film of John Ford.
Desi Arnaz (actor, in “I Love Lucy” and “The Long, Long Trailer”), March 2; Googie Withers (actress, in “The Lady Vanishes” and “Dead of Night”), March 12; Virginia Grey (actress, in “Another Thin Man” and “The Naked Kiss”), March 22.