Gagarin back in space
No, the famous and long-dead Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin won't be heading back into space. But his name will. When Russia's Soyuz rocket blasts off March 30 on a mission to the International Space Station, the name on the side of the rocket's hull will be Gagarin's, honoring the first human to reach outer space. The Russian crew arriving at the ISS will have the honor of welcoming the final NASA space shuttle crew to the station.
April Fool's Day
Net denizens will make Google.com their first web-browsing stop on April 1 to see what pranks the internet giant has planned. In previous years, Google announced fake applications such as a scratch-and-sniff book search or a program to store physical objects on Google Docs. In 2008, the Google-owned YouTube RickRolled the planet by making every link on the video site connect with the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Bangladeshi independence day
Solemn undertones will accompany celebrations to mark the fourth decade of Bangladesh's independence on March 26. A new war crimes tribunal will be investigating several still-prominent Bangladeshi politicians from the nation's Islamist party for crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 war for independence.
Baseball's big day
Stadiums across the nation will open their gates to the 2011 major league baseball season on March 31. And with forecasted labor disputes in the near future for the NFL and NBA, the MLB could be the only functional sport of America's big three by the All-Star break. But baseball's own collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the year.
Iraq War anniversary
On March 20, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq, and while estimates of civilian deaths vary wildly, the monetary cost of the war and occupation may be even harder to calculate. In 2008, economist Joseph Stiglitz estimated the true price tag of the war to the United States to be at least $3 trillion once he considered indirect costs such as health care for veterans, high oil prices, and other hidden macroeconomic factors.