March 1

  • 1562 – Troops of Francis, Duke of Guise, massacred Huguenots in Wassy, France, starting the French Wars of Religion.
  • 1565 – The Portuguese founded Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1700 – Sweden introduced its own Swedish calendar in an attempt to reform into the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1781 – The Articles of Confederation, the first governing constitution of the United States, was ratified, legally uniting what were originally several sovereign and independent states into a new sovereign federation.
  • 1872 – Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, one of the first national parks in the world, was established.
  • 1896 – Ethiopia defeated Italy at the Battle of Adwa, ending the First Italo-Abyssinian War.
  • 1919 – Korea under Japanese rule: The Samil Movement began with numerous peaceful protests in Korea, but was brutally suppressed by the Japanese police and army.
  • 1921 – The Australian cricket team of Warwick Armstrong became the first team to complete a whitewash of The Ashes, something that would not be repeated for 86 years.
  • 1936 – Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River along the Arizona-Nevada border, was completed and turned over to the Federal government of the United States.
  • 1944 – American and Australian troops won the Battle of Sio in New Guinea, killing more than 2,000 Japanese troops.
  • 1947 – The International Monetary Fund began its financial operations.
  • 1954 – The 15-megaton hydrogen bomb Castle Bravo was detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in one of the worst cases of radioactive contamination ever caused by nuclear testing.
  • 1956 – The NATO phonetic alphabet, today the most widely used spelling alphabet, was first implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
  • 1961 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

March 2

  • 1791 – French inventor Claude Chappe and his brothers first demonstrated the semaphore line, a signaling system of conveying information by means of visual signals, using towers with pivoting shutters, also known as blades or paddles.
  • 1836 – Texas Revolution: At a convention in Washington-on-the-Brazos, the Mexican state of Texas adopted a declaration of independence from Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas.
  • 1861 – The Emancipation Manifesto of Tsar Alexander II was proclaimed, abolishing serfdom in Imperial Russia.
  • 1865 – New Zealand land wars: Protestant missionary Carl Sylvius Völkner died at the hands of Hauhau militants in Opotiki for working as an agent for George Grey, Governor-General of New Zealand.
  • 1877 – The U.S. Electoral Commission awarded twenty disputed electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, thus assuring his victory in the 1876 U.S. presidential election.
  • 1917 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act into law, granting United States citizenship to every citizen of Puerto Rico.
  • 1943 – World War II: Australian and American air forces attacked and destroyed a large convoy of the Japanese Navy at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the Bismarck Sea north of the island of Papua New Guinea.
  • 1946 – Ho Chi Minh became President of North Vietnam.
  • 1962 – A military coup d'état led by General Ne Win seized power in Burma.
  • 1962 – American basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, then playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, still a record in the National Basketball Association today.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: The American and South Vietnamese air forces began Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam that eventually became the most intense air/ground battle waged during the Cold War period.
  • 1970 – Rhodesia formally broke its links with the British crown and declared itself a republic.
  • 1978 – Aboard the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 28, Czech Vladimír Remek became the first person not from the Soviet Union or the United States to go into space.
  • 2009 – President of Guinea-Bissau João Bernardo Vieira was assassinated in an attack by a group of soldiers on his private residence in Bissau.

March 3

  • 1284 – The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated the Principality of Wales into England.
  • 1431 – Gabriel Condulmer became Pope Eugene IV, succeeding Martin V.
  • 1585 – The Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy, a theatre designed by the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, was inaugurated.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Samuel Nicholas and the Continental Marines successfully landed on New Providence and captured Nassau in the Bahamas.
  • 1820 – The U.S. Congress passed the Missouri Compromise.
  • 1865 – The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation opened its doors, originally to help Hong Kong merchants finance the growing trade between China and Europe.
  • 1875 – The first recorded organised indoor ice hockey game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal by James George Aylwin Creighton and McGill University students.
  • 1875 – French composer Georges Bizet's opera Carmen, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, premiered at the Opéra Comique in Paris.
  • 1878 – The signing of the Treaty of San Stefano, ending the Russo-Turkish War, established Bulgaria as an autonomous principality in the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1885 – American Telephone & Telegraph, one of the first nationwide long-distance telephone networks, was incorporated.
  • 1915 – The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA, was founded.
  • 1918 – Bolshevist Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers and exited from World War I.
  • 1923 – The first issue of Time, a news magazine founded by Americans Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, was published.
  • 1931 – "The Star-Spangled Banner", originally a poem written by American author Francis Scott Key after watching the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, officially became the national anthem of the United States.
  • 1958 – Nuri as-Said became the Prime Minister of Iraq for the 14th time.
  • 1991 – Motorist Rodney King was beaten by Los Angeles policemen, causing public outrage that increased tensions between the African American community and the police department over the issues of police brutality and social inequalities in the area.
  • 1997 – The Sky Tower in Auckland, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres, opened.

March 4

  • 1461 – Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI was deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then became King Edward IV.
  • 1681 – King Charles II of England granted Quaker William Penn a charter for the Pennsylvania Colony.
  • 1769 – French astronomer Charles Messier first noted the Orion Nebula, a bright nebula visible to the naked eye in the night sky situated south of Orion's Belt, later cataloguing it as Messier 42 in his list of Messier objects.
  • 1789 – As per the U.S. Constitution, the bicameral U.S. Congress officially replaced the unicameral Congress of the Confederation as the legislative body of the Federal government of the United States.
  • 1804 – Irish convicts who were involved at the Battle of Vinegar Hill during the 1798 Irish Rebellion began an uprising against British colonial authorities in New South Wales, Australia.
  • 1824 – The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the British Isles, was founded as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck by author and philanthropist William Hillary.
  • 1837 – After its population increased to over 4,000 in seven years, History of Chicago was granted a city charter by the U.S. state of Illinois.
  • 1849 – According to urban legend, President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate David Rice Atchison became the de jure U.S. President for one day after Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn into office on a Sunday when his predecessor James Polk's term expired.
  • 1877 – Emile Berliner invented the microphone.
  • 1890 – The Forth Bridge, a railway bridge connecting Edinburgh to Fife over the Firth of Forth, opened, becoming an internationally recognised Scottish landmark.
  • 1909 – U.S. President William Taft used what became known as a Saxbe fix, a mechanism to avoid the restriction of the U.S. Constitution's Ineligibility Clause, to appoint Philander C. Knox as U.S. Secretary of State.
  • 1918 – The Spanish flu was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, USA.
  • 1944 – Murder, Inc. leader Louis Buchalter was executed.
  • 1980 – Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union was elected to head the first government in Zimbabwe.
  • 1982 – Bertha Wilson became the first female Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • 2009 – The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity regarding his actions during the War in Darfur.

March 5

  • 1770 – British soldiers fired into a threatening crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, killing five civilians.
  • 1824 – Britain officially declared war on Burma, beginning the First Anglo–Burmese War.
  • 1850 – The Britannia Bridge, a tubular bridge of wrought iron rectangular box-section spans crossing the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, opened.
  • 1872 – American entrepreneur and engineer George Westinghouse patented the air brake, allowing trains to stop more reliably.
  • 1918 – Bolshevist Russia moved its capital from Petrograd to Moscow.
  • 1940 – World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Politburo signed an order for the execution of about 22,000 Polish military officers, policemen, intellectuals and civilian prisoners of war that were captured during the Soviet invasion of Poland.
  • 1946 – The term "Iron Curtain", describing the symbolic, ideological, and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas during the Cold War, was popularised by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, US.
  • 1960 – British marine biologist Alister Hardy introduced his aquatic ape hypothesis, theorizing that swimming and diving for food exerted a strong evolutionary effect that was partly responsible for the divergence between the common ancestors of humans and other great apes.
  • 1966 – BOAC Flight 911 disintegrated and crashed near Mount Fuji shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport, killing all 113 passengers and 11 crew members on board.
  • 1970 – The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an international treaty to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, entered into force.
  • 1979 – A gamma ray burst originating from the Large Magellanic Cloud was detected, leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.
  • 1999 – Paul Okalik was elected as the first Premier of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

March 6

  • 1447 – Tomaso Parentucelli became Pope Nicholas V.
  • 1521 – Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew reached Guam.
  • 1834 – York, Upper Canada, was incorporated as Toronto.
  • 1836 – Texas Revolution: Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio from the Texans after a 13-day siege.
  • 1853 – Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata premiered at Venice's La Fenice, but the performance was so bad that it caused the Italian composer to revise portions of the opera.
  • 1857 – The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark legal decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which polarised the slavery debate and became one of many factors leading to the American Civil War.
  • 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first Periodic Table of Elements to the Russian Chemical Society.
  • 1945 – Petru Groza of the Ploughmen's Front, a party closely associated with the Communists, became Prime Minister of Romania.
  • 1964 – Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad announced that American boxer Cassius Clay would change his name to Muhammad Ali.
  • 1965 – Premier Tom Playford of South Australia lost power after 27 years in office.
  • 1975 – Iran and Iraq signed the Algiers Agreement to settle a border dispute, only to begin fighting again five years later in the Iran–Iraq War.
  • 1987 – In the worst maritime disaster involving a British registered ship in peacetime since 1919, the ferry M/S Herald of Free Enterprise capsised while leaving the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing 193 on board.
  • 1988 – In Operation Flavius, the British Special Air Service killed Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers Daniel McCann, Seán Savage and Mairéad Farrell while they were conspiring to bomb a parade of British military bands in Gibraltar.

March 7

  • 161 – Following the death of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus agreed to become co-emperors in an unprecedented arrangement in the Roman Empire.
  • 1277 – Étienne Tempier, Bishop of Paris, promulgated a Condemnation of 219 philosophical and theological propositions that were being discussed at the University of Paris.
  • 1799 – Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt: Forces of Napoleon Bonaparte captured Jaffa, present-day Israel, and then proceeded to kill more than two thousand Albanian captives.
  • 1827 – Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a future politician in colonial New Zealand, abducted young heiress Ellen Turner in Cheshire, England for a forced marriage.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Union forces engaged Confederate troops in Pea Ridge, Arkansas, fighting to a victory one day later that essentially cemented their control in Missouri.
  • 1871 – José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco became Prime Minister of the Empire of Brazil, starting a four-year rule, the longest in the state's history.
  • 1887 – The North Carolina General Assembly established North Carolina State University, today the largest university in North Carolina, as a land grant institution.
  • 1912 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen announced that he had successfully reached the South Pole during the Antarctic expedition of 1910–11.
  • 1936 – Nazi German forces re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland, violating both the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties that were signed after World War I.
  • 1945 – World War II: In Operation Lumberjack, Allied forces seized the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine in Remagen, enabling them to establish and expand a lodgement on German soil that changed the entire nature of the conflict on the Western Front.
  • 1950 – The Soviet Union issued a statement denying that German nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs had served as a Soviet spy.
  • 1965 – African-American Civil Rights Movement: Civil rights demonstrators marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, were brutally attacked by police on Bloody Sunday.

March 8

  • 1618 – Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion.
  • 1702 – Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway became the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, succeeding William III.
  • 1817 – The New York Stock Exchange drafted its constitution.
  • 1844 – Oscar I acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.
  • 1911 – Socialist German politician Clara Zetkin launched the idea of an International Women's Day in Copenhagen.
  • 1966 – Nelson's Pillar, a large granite pillar with a statue of Lord Nelson on top in Dublin, Ireland, was destroyed by a bomb.
  • 1978 – BBC Radio 4 transmitted the first episode of English author and dramatist Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a science fiction radio series that was later adapted into novels, a television series, and other media formats.
  • 1983 – The Cold War: During a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire".
  • 1985 – A failed assassination attempt on Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut killed more than 80 people and injured almost 200 others.

March 9

  • 1276 – Augsburg in the Holy Roman Empire became a Free Imperial City.
  • 1776 – The Wealth of Nations by Scottish political economist Adam Smith was first published, becoming the first modern work in the field of economics.
  • 1841 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that captive Africans who seized control of La Amistad, the trans-Atlantic slave-trading ship carrying them, had been taken into slavery illegally.
  • 1842 – Nabucco, an opera by Italian Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi, premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: In the world's first major battle between two powered ironclad warships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia fought to a draw near the mouth of Hampton Roads in Virginia.
  • 1925 – The British Royal Air Force began Pink's War, an air-to-ground bombardment against the mountain strongholds of Mahsud tribesmen in South Waziristan, British Raj, without the support of the British Army.
  • 1932 – Eamon de Valera of Fianna Fáil became President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, succeeding W.T. Cosgrave of Cumann na nGaedhael.
  • 1945 – World War II: A bomb raid on Tokyo by American B-29 heavy bombers started a firestorm, killing over 100,000 people.
  • 1956 – Soviet military troops suppressed mass demonstrations in Tbilisi, Georgia, against Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation policy.
  • 1959 – Barbie, the world's best-selling doll, debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.
  • 1964 – The first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan, USA.
  • 1991 – A mass rally in Belgrade turned into a riot featuring vicious clashes between the protesters and police, leaving at least two people dead.

March 10

  • 241 BC – The Roman Republic defeated Carthage in a naval battle off the coast of the Aegadian Islands near the western coast of the island of Sicily, ending the First Punic War.
  • 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: Blücher's Prussian forces defeated Napoleon's troops at the Battle of Laon near Laon, France.
  • 1831 – King Louis-Philippe of France created the French Foreign Legion as a unit of foreign volunteers because foreigners were forbidden to serve in the French Army after the 1830 July Revolution.
  • 1861 – Toucouleur forces led by El Hadj Umar Tall seized Ségou and conquered the Bamana Empire in present-day Mali.
  • 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell made his first successful bi-directional telephone call, saying, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
  • 1906 – More than a thousand coal miners were killed in the Courrières mine disaster in Northern France, Europe's worst mining accident.
  • 1952 – Forbidden by law to seek re-election, former President Fulgencio Batista staged a coup d'état to resume control in Cuba.
  • 1959 – An anti-Chinese uprising erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, as about 300,000 Tibetans surrounded the Potala Palace to prevent the 14th Dalai Lama from leaving or being removed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
  • 1966 – Military Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyen Cao Ky sacked rival General Nguyen Chanh Thi, precipitating large-scale civil and military dissension in parts of the nation.
  • 1975 – Ho Chi Minh Campaign: North Vietnam began its final push for victory over South Vietnam with an attack on Buon Me Thuot.
  • 1977 – Astronomers using NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, an observatory aboard a highly modified jet aircraft, discovered a faint planetary ring system around Uranus.
  • 2000 – The NASDAQ stock market index peaked at 5048.62, the high point of the dot-com boom.

March 11

  • 1649 – The Peace of Rueil was signed, signaling an end to the opening episodes of the Fronde, France's civil war, after little blood had been shed.
  • 1845 – Maori forces led by chiefs Kawiti and Hone Heke destroyed the British settlement of Kororareka in New Zealand, beginning the Flagstaff War.
  • 1848 – Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin become the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.
  • 1851 – Italian Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto was first performed at La Fenice in Venice.
  • 1879 – Japan annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom into what would become the Okinawa Prefecture.
  • 1917 – World War I: British forces led by Sir Stanley Maude captured Baghdad, the southern capital of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Lend-Lease Act was signed into law, allowing the United States to supply the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material.
  • 1966 – President Sukarno of Indonesia was essentially ousted by Suharto and the military after being forced to sign the Presidential Order Supersemar, giving Suharto authority to take whatever measures he deemed necessary to restore order during the Indonesian killings.
  • 1990 – The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic ceased to exist when Lithuania re-established independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 1990 – Patricio Aylwin was sworn in as the first President of Chile after its return to democratic rule following the military government of General Augusto Pinochet.
  • 2004 – A series of simultaneous bombings on Cercanías commuter trains killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 in Madrid.

March 12

  • 1881 – Andrew Watson made his debut with the Scotland national football team and became the world's first black international football player.
  • 1913 – The future capital of Australia was officially named Canberra during a ceremony officiated by Gertrude, Lady Denman, the wife of Governor-General Lord Denman.
  • 1928 – The failure of the St. Francis Dam in California resulted in a flood that killed 400 people.
  • 1930 – Gandhi began the Dandi March, a 24-day walk to defy the British tax on salt in colonial India.
  • 1938 – Anschluss: Austria was occupied by the Wehrmacht, and subsequently became Ostmark, a province within the German Reich.
  • 1940 – The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed, ending the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union.
  • 1952 – Hastings Ismay was appointed as the first Secretary General of NATO.
  • 1993 – A series of thirteen coordinated bomb explosions took place in Bombay, India, killing over 250 civilians and injuring over 700 others.
  • 2003 – Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Ðindic was assassinated in Belgrade.
  • 2004 – The National Assembly of South Korea voted to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun on charges of illegal electioneering and incompetence, a move that was largely opposed by the public.

March 13

  • 874 – The remains of Saint Nicephorus were brought back to Constantinople to be interred at the Church of the Holy Apostles.
  • 1781 – German-born British astronomer and composer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus while in the garden of his house in Bath, Somerset, England, thinking it was a comet.
  • 1845 – German composer Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos of all time, was first played in Leipzig, with violinist Ferdinand David as soloist.
  • 1881 – Tsar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated near his palace in a bomb-throwing plot by Ignacy Hryniewiecki and three other revolutionaries.
  • 1921 – Under Roman Ungern von Sternberg, Mongolia proclaimed its independence from China.
  • 1943 – The Holocaust: Nazi troops under SS Hauptsturmführer Amon Göth began liquidating the Jewish Ghetto in Kraków, Poland, sending about 8,000 Jews deemed able to work to the Plaszow labour camp. Those deemed unfit for work were either killed or sent to die at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • 1954 – Viet Minh forces under Vo Nguyen Giap unleashed a massive artillery barrage on the French military to begin the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War.
  • 1962 – Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer delivered a proposal to Secretary of Defence Robert Mcnamara called Operation Northwoods, a false flag conspiracy plan to create public support for a war against Fidel Castro and Cuba, which was eventually personally rejected by President of the United States John F. Kennedy.
  • 1996 – In the deadliest attack on children in the history of the United Kingdom, a spree killer killed sixteen children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland, before committing suicide.

March 14

  • 1590 – French Wars of Religion: Henry of Navarre and the Huguenots defeated the forces of the Catholic League under the Duc de Mayenne at the Battle of Ivry in Ivry, France.
  • 1757 – British Royal Navy Admiral John Byng was court-martialled and executed by firing squad for breaching the Articles of War when he failed to "do his utmost" during the Battle of Minorca at the start of the Seven Years' War.
  • 1794 – American inventor Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, the first ever machine that quickly and easily separated cotton fibres from their seedpods.
  • 1903 – The United States Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty, granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal.
  • 1915 – World War I: British forces cornered and sank the SMS Dresden, the last remnant of the German East Asia Squadron, near the Chilean island of Más a Tierra.
  • 1937 – Pope Pius XI officially issued the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, condemning antisemitism, criticizing Nazism, listing breaches of an agreement signed with the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1945 – The British Royal Air Force first used the Grand Slam, a 22,000 lb (9.98 t) earth quake bomb, on a strategic railroad viaduct in Bielefeld, Germany.
  • 1978 – Israeli-Lebanese conflict: The Israel Defence Forces began Operation Litani, invading and occupying southern Lebanon, and pushing Palestine Liberation Organisation troops north up to the Litani River.
  • 1980 – LOT Polish Airlines Flight 007 crashed during final approach to Warsaw's Okecie International Airport, killing 87 people, including Polish singer Anna Jantar and a contingent of the amateur U.S. boxing team.
  • 1984 – Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by Ulster Freedom Fighters in central Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • 1991 – The "Birmingham Six", wrongly convicted of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings in Birmingham, England, were released after sixteen years in prison.
  • 1994 – Version 1.0.0 of the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel, was released, becoming one of the most prominent examples of open source software.
  • 1995 – Aboard the Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft, Norman Thagard became the first American to ride to space on board a Russian vehicle.

March 15

  • 44 BC – Dictator Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators.
  • 1311 – The Catalan Company defeated Walter V of Brienne in the Battle of Halmyros and took control of the Duchy of Athens, a Crusader state in Greece.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: A British force under General Lord Cornwallis, numbering 1,900, fought 4,400 American troops under Rhode Island native General Nathanael Greene at the Battle of Guilford Court House inside present-day Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • 1820 – Primarily due to its vulnerability to foreign invasions, the exclave of Massachusetts known as Maine was given its own U.S. statehood.
  • 1906 – Charles Rolls and Henry Royce founded the British automobile manufacturing company Rolls-Royce.
  • 1917 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was forced to abdicate in the February Revolution, ending three centuries of Romanov rule.
  • 1939 – Nazi German troops began their occupation of Czechoslovakia and established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • 1943 – World War II: German forces recaptured Kharkov after four days of house-to-house fighting against Soviet troops, ending the month-long Third Battle of Kharkov.
  • 1972 – The Godfather, a gangster film based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was released.
  • 1985 – The company Symbolics became the first ever entity, individual or party to register a .com top-level domain name: symbolics.com.
  • 1989 – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, a government-run military veteran benefit system, was established as a Cabinet-level position.
  • 1990 – Iraqi authorities hanged freelance reporter Farzad Bazoft for spying for Israel.

March 16

  • 1190 – Crusaders started to massacre the Jews inside York Castle in York, England.
  • 1621 – Samoset became the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims when he strolled straight through the middle of the encampment at Plymouth Colony and greeted them in English.
  • 1660 – The Long Parliament, originally named by King Charles I of England in 1640 following the Bishops' Wars, dissolved itself.
  • 1802 – U.S. President Thomas Jefferson authorised the establishment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, today the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency.
  • 1815 – William I proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.
  • 1872 – In the first-ever final of the FA Cup, today the oldest association football competition in the world, Wanderers F.C. defeated Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1–0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.
  • 1900 – British archaeologist Arthur Evans purchased the ruins of Knossos, a major centre of the Minoan civilisation and the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, for excavations.
  • 1926 – At the then-Asa Ward Farm in Auburn, Massachusetts, American scientist Robert H. Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, a 10-foot cylinder that reached an altitude of about 41 feet and flew for two-and-a-half seconds before falling to the ground.
  • 1935 – Conscription was re-introduced in Nazi Germany, and the German military was renamed Wehrmacht.
  • 1978 – Former Prime Minister of Italy Aldo Moro was kidnapped in Rome by Mario Moretti and the Red Brigades.
  • 1978 – The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on Portsall Rocks, about 3 miles off the coast of Brittany, France, resulting in one of the largest oil spills ever.
  • 1985 – Newsman Terry A. Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut.
  • 1988 – Iran–Iraq War: Iraqi forces began attacking the Kurdish town of Halabja with chemical weapons, killing up to 5,000 people.
  • 2006 – The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to establish the UN Human Rights Council.

March 17

  • 45 BC – Caesar's civil war: Julius Caesar scored his final military victory at the Battle of Munda, defeating the Optimate forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger.
  • 624 – History of Islam: The Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in Badr, present-day Saudi Arabia, a victory that has been attributed to divine intervention or the genius of Muhammad.
  • 1805 – Napoleon I of France transformed the Italian Republic (Napoleonic) into the Kingdom of Italy.
  • 1860 – The First Taranaki War began at Waitara, New Zealand, marking an important phase of the New Zealand land wars.
  • 1950 – The synthesis of californium, a radioactive transuranium element, was announced.
  • 1958 – Vanguard 1 , the first solar-powered satellite, and the oldest human-launched object still in Earth orbit today, was launched.
  • 1969 – Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
  • 1992 – A car bomb destroyed the Israeli embassy and nearby buildings in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounded 242 others.
  • 2000 – Over 700 followers of the Ugandan sect Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God perished in a fire and a series of poisonings and killings, considered either a cult suicide or an orchestrated mass murder by its leaders.
  • 2004 – Unrest in Kosovo broke out, resulting in the deaths of 20, the wounding of 200 others, and the destruction of several Serb Orthodox churches and shrines.

March 18

  • 1229 – Sixth Crusade: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II crowned himself King of Jerusalem, although his wife Queen Yolande of Jerusalem had died, leaving their infant son Conrad as the rightful heir.
  • 1438 – Albert II of Habsburg became King of the Romans, ruler of Germany within the Holy Roman Empire.
  • 1871 – French President Adolphe Thiers ordered the evacuation of Paris after an uprising broke out as the result of France's defeat in the Franco–Prussian War, leading to the establishment of the Paris Commune government.
  • 1892 – Canadian Governor General Lord Stanley of Preston pledged to donate what would become the Stanley Cup, today the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, as an award for Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club.
  • 1915 – World War I: In one of the largest naval battles in the Gallipoli Campaign, a joint British and French operation to capture Constantinople, the defences of the Ottoman Empire sank three Allied battleships and severely damaged three others.
  • 1921 – The Polish–Soviet War, which determined the borders between the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia, formally concluded with the signing of the Peace of Riga.
  • 1925 – The Tri-State Tornado hit in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana and killed 695.
  • 1965 – Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov donned a space suit and ventured outside the Voskhod 2 spacecraft, becoming the first person to walk in space.
  • 1969 – The United States began secretly bombing the Sihanouk Trail in Cambodia, used by communist forces to infiltrate South Vietnam.
  • 1985 – The first episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours was first broadcast on the Seven Network, eventually becoming the longest running drama in Australian television history.
  • 2005 – As per a court order, the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, an American woman who suffered brain damage, was removed at the request of her husband, fueling a worldwide debate on euthanasia.
  • 2006 – Mike Rann secured the first Labour majority government in South Australia since 1985 by winning the state election.

March 19

  • 1279 – The Song Dynasty in Imperial China ended with a victory by the Yuan Dynasty at the Battle of Yamen off the coast of Xinhui, Guangdong Province.
  • 1687 – The search for the mouth of the Mississippi River led by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle ended with a mutiny and his murder in present-day Texas.
  • 1915 – Pluto was photographed for the first time, 15 years before it was officially discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory.
  • 1921 – Italian Fascists shot at a group of children from the Parenzana train, killing two of them, maiming two, and injuring three others.
  • 1932 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge, a major landmark in Sydney, Australia, was formally opened.
  • 1941 – The Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-African American unit of the United States Army Air Corps, was activated.
  • 1945 – World War II: A single Japanese aircraft bombed the American aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing over 700 of her crew and crippling the ship.
  • 1978 – In response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the United Nations called on Israel to immediately withdraw its forces from Lebanon, and established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
  • 1979 – The American cable television network C-SPAN, dedicated to airing non-stop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming, was launched.
  • 1982 – Argentine forces led by Alfredo Astiz occupied South Georgia, precipitating the Falklands War against the United Kingdom.
  • 2008 – The gamma-ray burst GRB 080319B, the farthest object visible to the naked eye, was discovered.

March 20

  • 1815 – After escaping from his exile in Elba, Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, officially beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.
  • 1848 – Due to the European Revolutions, King of Bavaria Ludwig I of Bavaria abdicated in favour of his son, Maximilian.
  • 1852 – American author Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published, profoundly affecting attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, and further intensifying the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War.
  • 1883 – Eleven countries signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, one of the first intellectual property treaties.
  • 1923 – Arts Club of Chicago hosted the opening of Pablo Picasso's first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the United States.
  • 1944 – World War II: 4,000 US Marines made a landing on Emirau Island in New Guinea to develop an airbase as part of Operation Cartwheel.
  • 1987 – The antiretroviral drug zidovudine (AZT) became the first antiviral medication approved for use against HIV and AIDS.
  • 1995 – The Aum Shinrikyo sect carried out a poison gas attack on the Tokyo Subway, killing 12 people and injuring thousands of others with sarin.
  • 2003 – A US-led coalition force invaded Iraq, beginning the Iraq War.
  • 2006 – Cyclone Larry made landfall in Far North Queensland, eventually causing nearly AU$1 billion in total damage and destroying over 80 percent of Australia's banana crop.

March 21

  • 630 – Byzantine emperor Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem.
  • 1556 – Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, one of the founders of Anglicanism, was burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for heresy.
  • 1800 – After being elected as a compromise candidate after several months of stalemate, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.
  • 1801 – The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
  • 1804 – The Napoleonic code, the French civil code established under Napoleon, entered into force, eventually strongly influencing the law of many other countries.
  • 1913 – Over 360 are killed and 20,000 homes destroyed in the Great Dayton Flood in Dayton, Ohio, USA.
  • 1937 – A police squad, acting under orders from Governor of Puerto Rico Blanton Winship, opened fire on demonstrators protesting the arrest of Puerto Rican Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, killing 17 people and injuring over 200 others.
  • 1960 – Police in Sharpeville, South Africa opened fire on a group of unarmed black demonstrators who were protesting pass laws, killing almost 70 people and wounding about 180 others.
  • 1963 – The U.S. federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, California was closed.
  • 1980 – The United States announced the boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • 1989 – An article in Sports Illustrated alleged that Pete Rose, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, was involved in baseball gambling.
  • 2002 – British schoolgirl Amanda Dowler was abducted on her way home from Heathside School in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, resulting in nationwide media attention and a police investigation involving over 100 officers.

March 22

  • 238 – Because of his advanced age, Gordian I was proclaimed Roman Emperor along with his son Gordian II.
  • 1622 – The Powhatan Confederacy under Chief Opchanacanough killed almost 350 English settlers around Jamestown, a third of the Colony of Virginia's population.
  • 1765 – The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Stamp Act, requiring that many printed materials in the Thirteen Colonies in British America carry a tax stamp.
  • 1849 – First Italian War of Independence: After capturing the fortress town of Mortara, forces led by Austrian General Joseph Radetzky von Radetz routed Sardinian troops at the Battle of Novara.
  • 1913 – Phan Xich Long, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Vietnam, was arrested for organising a revolt against the colonial rule of French Indochina, which was later carried out by his supporters the following day.
  • 1942 – World War II: The British Royal Navy confronted the Italian Regia Marina at the Second Battle of Sirte in the Mediterranean Sea near the Gulf of Sirte.
  • 1943 – World War II: The entire population of the village of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by Nazi German forces, with participation from their Ukrainian and Belarusian collaborators.
  • 1945 – Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen founded the Arab League, a regional organisation that facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific and social programmes designed to promote the interests of the Arab world.
  • 1963 – Please Please Me, the first album recorded by The Beatles, was released.
  • 1992 – US Air Flight 405 crashed shortly after liftoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, leading to a number of studies into the effect that ice has on aircraft.
  • 1995 – Russian cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov of the Soyuz programme returned from the Mir space station after 437 days in space, setting a record for the longest spaceflight.

March 23

  • 1400 – The Tran Dynasty of Vietnam was deposed after 175 years of rule by Ho Quy Ly, a court official.
  • 1775 – American Revolution: Patrick Henry made his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, urging the legislature to take military action against the British Empire.
  • 1801 – Tsar Alexander I acceded to the Russian throne after his father Paul I was murdered in his bedroom at St. Michael's Castle.
  • 1868 – Governor of California Henry Huntly Haight signed a law establishing the University of California, today a public university system that is considered a model for public institutions across the United States.
  • 1933 – The German Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, essentially giving German Chancellor Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers by granting him and the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag.
  • 1940 – Pakistan Movement: During its three-day general session, the Muslim League drafted the Lahore Resolution, calling for greater autonomy in British India.
  • 1965 – NASA launched Gemini 3, the first American two-person space flight.
  • 1983 – The initial proposal to develop the Strategic Defence Initiative, a ground-based and space-based system to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles, was released.
  • 1989 – Two researchers announced the discovery of cold fusion (claim later discredited).
  • 1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed into a hillside in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, after the pilot's 15-year-old son, while seated at the controls, had unknowingly disabled the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.
  • 1994 – Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated during a meeting on his presidential campaign in Tijuana.
  • 1996 – Lee Teng-hui was elected President of the Republic of China in the first direct presidential election in Taiwan.
  • 2007 – Iranian military personnel seized 15 British Royal Navy personnel from HMS Cornwall, claiming that the British ship sailed into Iran's territorial waters.

March 24

  • 1603 – After Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace, King James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England, Wales and Ireland, becoming James I of England and unifying the crowns of the four kingdoms for the first time.
  • 1882 – German physician Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
  • 1898 – The first American-built automobile, a Winton, was sold.
  • 1934 – The United States Government passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act, establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines, a ten-year transitional government in preparation for full Philippine independence and sovereignty.
  • 1944 – World War II: Captured Allied airmen began "the Great Escape", breaking out of the German prison camp Stalag Luft III.
  • 1965 – NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on television, brought images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash-landing.
  • 1976 – Military leaders in Argentina led by Jorge Rafael Videla deposed President Isabel Perón in a coup d'état, established a military junta known as the National Reorganisation Process, and began state-sponsored violence against dissidents known as the Dirty War.
  • 1980 – Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in San Salvador.
  • 1989 – The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled more than 10 million U.S. gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most devastating man-made environmental disasters at sea.
  • 1999 – Kosovo War: NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.

March 25

  • 1306 – Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone near Perth.
  • 1409 – The Council of Pisa, an unrecognised ecumenical conference of the Roman Catholic Church held in an attempt to end the Western Schism, opened in Pisa.
  • 1634 – Lord Baltimore, his younger brother Leonard Calvert, and a group of Catholic settlers founded the English colony of Maryland.
  • 1655 – Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, the largest natural satellite of the planet Saturn.
  • 1802 – France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Amiens, temporarily ending the hostilities between the two during the French Revolutionary Wars.
  • 1807 – The Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire.
  • 1911 – The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed more than 140 garment workers.
  • 1918 – The Belarusian People’s Republic was established during World War I, when Belarus was occupied by the German Empire according to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
  • 1931 – The Scottsboro Boys were arrested and charged with rape, leading to a legal case that eventually established legal principles in the United States that criminal defendants are entitled to effective assistance of counsel.
  • 1957 – West Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, France and Belgium signed the Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community.
  • 1971 – The Army of the Republic of Vietnam abandoned an attempt to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos.
  • 1975 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot and killed by his nephew Faisal bin Musa'id.
  • 1995 – American computer programmer Ward Cunningham established the first wiki site, the WikiWikiWeb.

March 26

  • 1027 – Pope John XIX crowned Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1484 – William Caxton, the first printer of books in English, printed his translation of Aesop's Fables.
  • 1636 – Utrecht University, one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe, was established.
  • 1707 – By the Acts of Union, England and Scotland merged to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1812 – A 7.6 ML earthquake caused extensive damage in the Venezuelan settlements of Caracas, La Guaira, Barquisimeto, San Felipe, and Mérida.
  • 1871 – The Paris Commune was formally established in Paris.
  • 1881 – Domnitor Carol I was proclaimed the first King of Romania, beginning the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty.
  • 1917 – World War I: Attempting to advance into Palestine, British were defeated by Turkish troops at the First Battle of Gaza in Gaza.
  • 1971 – East Pakistan declared its independence from Pakistan to form Bangladesh, starting the Bangladesh Liberation War.
  • 1973 – The first episode of The Young and the Restless was broadcast, eventually becoming the most watched daytime drama on American television from 1988 onwards.
  • 1975 – The Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons, entered into force.
  • 1979 – The Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., making Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognise Israel.
  • 1982 – Groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held.
  • 1999 – Jack Kevorkian, an American advocate for and practitioner of physician-assisted suicide, was found guilty of murder in the death of a terminally ill patient.
  • 2005 – The Taiwanese government called on 1 million Taiwanese to demonstrate in Taipei, in opposition to the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China.

March 27

  • 1782 – Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, a leading British Whig Party statesman, began his second non-consecutive term as Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • 1794 – To protect American merchant ships from Barbary pirates, the United States Congress passed the Naval Act to establish a naval force, consisting of the USS Constitution and five other frigates, which eventually became the United States Navy.
  • 1851 – Explorer Lafayette Bunnell and other members of the Mariposa Battalion became the non-indigenous discoverers of California's Yosemite Valley.
  • 1958 – Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union following the death of Joseph Stalin.
  • 1964 – The 9.2 Mw Good Friday Earthquake and subsequent tsunamis devastated Anchorage, Alaska, killing over 130 people.
  • 1977 – Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway at Los Rodeos Airport on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people and resulting in the worst aircraft accident in aviation history.
  • 1993 – Jiang Zemin succeeded Yang Shangkun to become President of the People's Republic of China.
  • 1998 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug sildenafil, better known by the trade name Viagra, for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.
  • 2002 – A suicide bomber killed about 30 Israeli civilians and injured about 140 others at the Park Hotel in Netanya, triggering Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale counter-terrorist Israeli military incursion into the West Bank, two days later.

March 28

  • 193 – Praetorian Guards assassinated Roman Emperor Pertinax and sold the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus.
  • 845 – According to a Legendary Norse saga, Viking raiders under Ragnar Lodbrok captured Paris and held the city for a huge ransom.
  • 1776 – Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza selected the site for the Presidio of San Francisco, the northern-most outpost of the Spanish Empire in the New World.
  • 1795 – Partitions of Poland: The Duchy of Courland, a northern fief of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ceased to exist and became part of the Russian Empire.
  • 1802 – German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: An invasion of the New Mexico Territory by the Confederate States Army was halted at the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
  • 1910 – Near Martigues, France, French aviator Henri Fabre's Fabre Hydravion became the first seaplane to take off from water under its own power.
  • 1964 – Radio Caroline began broadcasting as a pirate radio station from a boat anchored in international waters.
  • 1979 – British Prime Minister James Callaghan was defeated by one vote in a motion of no confidence by the House of Commons after his government struggled to cope with widespread strikes by trade unions during the "Winter of Discontent".
  • 1979 – A partial core meltdown of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US, resulted in the release of an estimated 43,000 curies (1.59 PBq) of radioactive krypton to the environment.
  • 2003 – Invasion of Iraq: In a friendly fire incident, two members of the United States Air Force attacked the United Kingdom's Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry, killing one and injuring five British soldiers.
  • 2005 – The Sumatra earthquake hit Indonesia, killing approximately 1,300 people.

March 29

  • 1461 – Yorkist troops defeated Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton in Yorkshire, England, the largest battle in the Wars of the Roses up until that time with approximately 20,000 casualties.
  • 1638 – Swedish settlers founded New Sweden near Delaware Bay, the first Swedish colony in America.
  • 1806 – U.S. President Thomas Jefferson authorised the construction of the Cumberland Road, one of the first major improved highways in the United States that was built by the federal government.
  • 1807 – German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 4 Vesta, the brightest asteroid and the second-most massive body in the asteroid belt.
  • 1809 – At the Diet of Porvoo, the Four Estates of Finland pledged allegiance to Tsar Alexander I of Russia, commencing the secession of the Grand Duchy of Finland from Sweden.
  • 1831 – Bosniak general Husein Gradašcevic began an uprising against Sultan Mahmud II and the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1871 – The Royal Albert Hall in Albertopolis, London, was officially opened by Queen Victoria.
  • 1911 – The M1911 single-action, semi-automatic pistol developed by American firearms designer John Browning became the standard-issue side arm in the United States Army.
  • 1942 – World War II: The British Royal Air Force completed a bombed raid of Lübeck, the first major success for RAF Bomber Command against a German city.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: The United States ended Operation Barrel Roll, a covert bombing campaign in Laos to help stem an increasing tide of People's Army of Vietnam and Pathet Lao offensives.
  • 1974 – NASA's Mariner 10, launched in November 1973, became the first spaceprobe to fly by the planet Mercury.
  • 1981 – More than 6,000 people took part in the first running of the London Marathon.

March 30

  • 1282 – Sicilians began to rebel against the rule of the Angevin King Charles I of Naples, starting the War of the Sicilian Vespers.
  • 1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska for US$7.2 million from Russia.
  • 1912 – Sultan Abdelhafid signed the Treaty of Fez, making Morocco a French protectorate.
  • 1940 – World War II: Wang Jingwei was officially installed by Japan as head of a puppet state in China.
  • 1954 – The Yonge-University-Spadina Line, the oldest and busiest subway line in Toronto, opened.
  • 1961 – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, an international treaty aimed against the illicit manufacture and trafficking of narcotic drugs, was signed.
  • 1964 – Jeopardy!, the popular game show created by Merv Griffin where contestants must phrase their responses in the form of a question, made its debut on the NBC television network.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: North Vietnamese forces began the Easter Offensive in an attempt to gain as much territory and destroy as many units of the South Vietnamese Army as possible.
  • 1981 – Trying to impress actress Jodie Foster, obsessed fan John Hinckley, Jr. shot and wounded U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three others outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • 2006 – Aboard Soyuz TMA-8, on a mission to the International Space Station, Marcos Pontes became the first Brazilian to go into space.

March 31

  • 1717 – A sermon on The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, ignited the Bangorian Controversy, a theological argument within the Church of England about whether the church should have any disciplinary authority.
  • 1778 – English explorer James Cook landed on Vancouver Island and claimed it for Great Britain.
  • 1854 – U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the Tokugawa shogunate signed the Convention of Kanagawa, forcing the opening of Japanese ports to American trade.
  • 1889 – The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris, becoming a global icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.
  • 1903 – New Zealand inventor Richard Pearse reportedly flew in one of the first powered flying machines for a distance of several hundred metres, about nine months before the Wright brothers flew their Wright Flyer.
  • 1917 – The Danish West Indies became the U.S. Virgin Islands after the United States paid Denmark US$25 million for the Caribbean islands.
  • 1930 – To avoid government censorship, Hollywood movie studios instituted their own set of industry censorship guidelines, popularly known as the Hays Code.
  • 1942 – World War II: Because of a mutiny by Indian soldiers against their British officers, Japanese troops were able to occupy Christmas Island without any resistance.
  • 1951 – The first UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States, was delivered to the United States Census Bureau.
  • 1995 – Mexican American singer Selena, known as "The Queen of Tejano music", was shot and killed in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar.
  • 2004 – Iraq War: Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambushed a convoy containing four American contractors from the private security company Blackwater USA.
 
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