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Today’s Observances: March 16-17

March 16
On this date in Bulgarian history:
1923: Protocol signed with Inter-Allied Commission to relax war reparations imposed on Bulgaria under 1919 Treaty of Neuilly.
1936: Statutory Ordinance on Protection of Nature is gazetted, pioneering Bulgarian nature conservation and environmental protection legislation.
1972: Residents of Baroutin Village in Rhodope Mountains stage peaceful protest against forcible renaming of Bulgarian Muslims. Army and police units disperse protesters.
1978: Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tu-134 on scheduled flight from Sofia to Warsaw crashes near Vratsa (Northwestern Bulgaria). All 73 people on board, including 39 Poles, 27 Bulgarians and 7 crew, are killed.
March 17
The world:
National Day of Ireland: St Patrick’s Day.
On this date in Bulgarian history:
1922: Parliament adopts Universal Bulgarian Spelling Act (repealed in 1923).
1935: Bulgarian state shipping on Danube starts with launch of scheduled passenger and cargo service between Ruse and Vidin, operated by steam-powered tugs Vit and Ossum, converted into passenger and cargo ships.
1943: National Assembly Deputy Chairman Dimitаr Peshev writes to Prime Minister Bogdan Filov to protest against planned deportation of Bulgarian Jews to Nazi death camps. Peshev’s petition is backed by 43 MPs. In effort involving Orthodox Church and general public, 48,000 Bulgarian Jews are saved from Holocaust. Under King Boris III’s pressure, 41 MPs withdraw their signatures from petition. Peshev is ousted from deputy chairmanship on March 26. 
1951: Graf Ignatievo Air Base is set up near Plovdiv (South Central Bulgaria).
1997: Prime Minister Stefan Sofiyanski’s caretaker cabinet signs memorandum with International Monetary Fund, committing itself to currency board arrangement to overcome Bulgaria’s financial collapse.
2006: Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) is established as association.