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|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2017 day arrangement
- 1872 – Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the first national park in the world, was established.
- 1896 – French physicist Henri Becquerel discovered the principle of radioactive decay when he exposed photographic plates to uranium.
- 1947 – The International Monetary Fund began its financial operations.
- 1956 – The NATO phonetic alphabet, today the most widely used spelling alphabet, was first implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- 2014 – A group of knife-wielding men and women attacked passengers at Kunming Railway Station in Kunming, China, leaving 31 victims and 4 perpetrators dead with more than 140 others injured.
- 1484 – The College of Arms, one of the few remaining official heraldic authorities in Europe, was established by royal charter in London.
- 1825 – Roberto Cofresí, one of the last successful Caribbean pirates, was defeated in combat and captured by authorities.
- 1937 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, precursor to the United Steel Workers of America, had a major success when it signed a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel.
- 1962 – American basketball player Wilt Chamberlain (pictured), then playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks, still a record in the National Basketball Association today.
- 1978 – Aboard the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 28, Czechoslovak military pilot Vladimír Remek became the first person from outside the Soviet Union or the United States to go into space.
- 1861 – The Emancipation Manifesto of Tsar Alexander II was proclaimed, abolishing serfdom in Imperial Russia.
- 1875 – The first indoor game of ice hockey was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal by James Creighton and McGill University students.
- 1913 – Thousands of women marched in Washington, D.C. (program pictured) "in a spirit of protest" against the exclusion of women from American society.
- 1943 – Second World War: During a German aerial attack on London, 173 people were killed in a stampede while trying to enter Bethnal Green tube station, which was being used as an air-raid shelter.
- 1972 – Jethro Tull released Thick as a Brick, a concept album supposedly written by an 8-year-old boy, Gerald Bostock.
- 1386 – Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogaila was crowned Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland, beginning the Jagiellonian dynasty.
- 1890 – The Forth Bridge (pictured), a railway bridge connecting Edinburgh to Fife over the Firth of Forth, opened, becoming an internationally recognised Scottish landmark.
- 1918 – The first known case of the so-called Spanish flu was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas.
- 1987 – US President Ronald Reagan made a nationally televised address in which he accepted full responsibility for illegal actions in the Iran–Contra affair.
- 2007 – Fourteen-year-old English schoolgirl Charlotte Shaw drowned on Dartmoor, becoming the first person to die in connection with the annual Ten Tors challenge.
- 1496 – King Henry VII of England issued letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorising them to explore unknown lands.
- 1770 – British soldiers fired into a crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, killing five civilians (engraving pictured).
- 1943 – The Gloster Meteor, the first operational jet fighter for the Allied Powers, made its maiden flight.
- 1960 – Cuban photographer Alberto Korda took his iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
- 1999 – Paul Okalik was elected as the first premier of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
- 1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, published the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world's longest-running scientific journal.
- 1836 – Texas Revolution: Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio from the Texians after a 13-day siege.
- 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev (pictured) presented the first periodic table of elements to the Russian Chemical Society.
- 1902 – Real Madrid, one of the world's richest football clubs, was founded as Madrid Football Club.
- 1967 – Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defected to the United States.
- 1987 – The ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized while leaving the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing 193 people on board.
- 1573 – A peace treaty brought the Ottoman–Venetian War to an end, transferring Cyprus from Venetian hands to Ottoman control.
- 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 (pictured), became Prime Minister of the Empire of Brazil, starting a four-year rule, the longest in the state's history.
- 1945 – World War II: At the beginning of the Battle of Remagen, Allied forces unexpectedly seized the Ludendorff Bridge, possibly hastening the war's conclusion.
- 1985 – The charity single "We Are the World" by the supergroup United Support of Artists for Africa was released, and would go on to sell more than 20 million copies.
- 1576 – A letter to King Philip II of Spain contained the first European mention of the Mayan ruins of Copán in modern Honduras.
- 1702 – Anne became the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, succeeding William III.
- 1919 – During the Egyptian revolution of 1919, British authorities arrested revolutionary leader Saad Zaghloul, exiling him to Malta.
- 1966 – Nelson's Pillar (pictured), a large granite pillar with a statue of Lord Nelson on top in Dublin, Ireland, was severely damaged by a bomb.
- 1978 – BBC Radio 4 began transmitting 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.
- 1009 – The first known record of the name of Lithuania appeared in an entry in the annals of the Quedlinburg Abbey in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
- 1862 – American Civil War: In the world's first battle between two ironclad warships (painting pictured), USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw near the mouth of Hampton Roads in Virginia.
- 1932 – Éamon de Valera, one of the dominant political figures in twentieth-century Ireland, became President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.
- 1945 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Army officers ousted the government of French Indochina.
- 1977 – Twelve gunmen seized three buildings in Washington, D.C., and took 149 hostages in a 39-hour standoff that ended in two deaths.
- 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell made his first successful bi-directional telephone call, saying, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
- 1915 – First World War: The Battle of Neuve Chapelle opened, the first deliberately planned British offensive of the war.
- 1952 – Facing likely electoral defeat, former Cuban President Fulgencio Batista staged a coup d'état to resume control.
- 1977 – Astronomers using NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory discovered a faint planetary ring system (false-color image pictured) around Uranus.
- 2005 – Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, announced his resignation following widespread dissatisfaction with his leadership.
- 1707 – Queen Anne withheld royal assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.
- 1818 – Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a novel by Mary Shelley, was first published in London.
- 1843 – Eta Carinae flared up to become the second brightest star in the night sky.
- 1867 – Don Carlos, Giuseppe Verdi's opera based on conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias, made its debut with the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier.
- 1879 – Shō Tai (pictured), the last king of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, abdicated when the kingdom was annexed by Japan and became Okinawa Prefecture.
- 538 – Vitiges, king of the Ostrogoths, ended his siege of Rome, leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius.
- 1881 – Andrew Watson made his debut with the Scotland national football team and became the world's first black international footballer.
- 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.
- 1947 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman (pictured) proclaimed the Truman Doctrine to help stem the spread of communism.
- 1952 – British diplomat Hastings Ismay was appointed as the first Secretary General of NATO.
- 1697 – Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya kingdom, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala.
- 1845 – German composer Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, one of the most popular violin concertos of all time, received its world première in Leipzig.
- 1954 – Viet Minh forces under Võ Nguyên Giáp opened fire with a massive artillery barrage on the French military to begin the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War.
- 1996 – A gunman killed sixteen children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland, before committing suicide.
- 2013 – Francis (pictured) was elected pope, making him the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas and the first from the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years.
- 1757 – British Royal Navy Admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad for failing to "do his utmost" during the Battle of Minorca at the start of the Seven Years' War.
- 1910 – Oil prospectors in Kern County, California, drilled into a pressurized oil deposit, resulting in the largest accidental oil spill (pictured) in history.
- 1972 – Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, known for his translation of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago after it had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union, was killed in a mysterious explosion.
- 1984 – Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by Ulster Freedom Fighters in central Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- 856 – Byzantine emperor Michael III overthrew the regency of his mother Theodora to assume power for himself.
- 1311 – The Catalan Company defeated Walter V, Count of Brienne in the Battle of Halmyros and took control of the Duchy of Athens, a Crusader state in Greece.
- 1921 – Talaat Pasha (pictured), considered the main perpetrator of the Armenian Genocide, was assassinated by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
- 1927 – In rowing, Oxford defeated Cambridge in the first Women's Boat Race held on the Isis in Oxford.
- 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.
- 597 BC – Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem and installed Zedekiah as King of Judah.
- 1322 – Despenser War: A royalist army defeated troops loyal to Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, in the Battle of Boroughbridge, which allowed King Edward II of England to hold on to power for another five years.
- 1872 – In the first-ever final of the FA Cup (trophy pictured), the world's oldest association football competition, Wanderers F.C. defeated Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1–0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.
- 1962 – Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a charter flight carrying U.S. and South Vietnamese soldiers, disappeared without a trace, prompting one of the largest searches in the history of the Pacific.
- 2003 – American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Forces armored bulldozer in Rafah as she was protesting the demolition of a house.
- 1001 – The Song Shi recorded a tributary mission from the Rajahnate of Butuan (Golden Tara pictured), centered on the Philippine island of Mindanao, to the Song dynasty of China.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The British Army garrison in Boston, Massachusetts, withdrew from the city, ending the 11‑month Siege of Boston.
- 1942 – The Holocaust: The first mass killings of Jews began at Bełżec extermination camp in occupied Poland, the first of the Aktion Reinhard camps to begin operation.
- 1957 – A plane crash on the slope of Mount Manunggal killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.
- 2004 – Unrest in Kosovo broke out, resulting in the deaths of 28, the wounding of more than 600 others, and the destruction of several Serb Orthodox churches and shrines.
- 1793 – War of the First Coalition: Habsburg Austrians together with Dutch Republic troops repulsed a series of French assaults after bitter fighting in Neerwinden, present-day Belgium.
- 1834 – The Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to transportation to Australia for swearing an illegal oath to join their friendly society in Dorset, England.
- 1915 – First World War: In one of the largest naval battles in the Gallipoli Campaign, the Ottoman Empire sank three Allied battleships (French battleship Bouvet pictured) and severely damaged three others.
- 1970 – United States postal workers began an eight-day strike after Congress raised its own wages by 41% but raised the wages of postal workers by only 4%.
- 1985 – The first episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours was broadcast on the Seven Network, eventually becoming the longest-running drama in Australian television history.
Vanessa Williams (b. 1963)
- 1279 – Emperor Bing, the last emperor of the Song dynasty, died during the Battle of Yamen, bringing the dynasty to an end after three centuries.
- 1911 – Socialist German politician Clara Zetkin (pictured) established the first International Women's Day.
- 1962 – Highly influential American musician Bob Dylan released his eponymous debut album.
- 2008 – The gamma-ray burst GRB 080319B, the farthest object that could be seen by the naked eye, was observed.
- 2011 – Libyan Civil War: The French Air Force launched Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya.
- 235 – Maximinus Thrax succeeded to the throne of the Roman Empire, a so-called barracks emperor who gained power by virtue of his command of the army.
- 1600 – Five advisers to Polish–Swedish king Sigismund III Vasa were publicly executed, effectively ending his reign in Sweden.
- 1815 – After escaping from exile in Elba, Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured) entered Paris, beginning the period known as the "Hundred Days".
- 1944 – World War II: Four thousand U.S. Marines made a landing on Emirau Island in the Bismarck Archipelago to develop an airbase as part of Operation Cartwheel.
- 1993 – The Troubles: The second of two bomb attacks by the Provisional IRA in Warrington, England, killed two children.
- 630 – Byzantine emperor Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem.
- 1556 – Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (pictured), one of the founders of Anglicanism, was burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for heresy.
- 1937 – The Papal encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, condemning antisemitism and criticizing Nazism, was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches.
- 1963 – Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, California—one of the world's most notorious and best known prisons—was closed.
- 1980 – Dallas aired its "A House Divided" episode which led to eight months of international speculation regarding "Who shot J.R.?"
- 238 – Because of his father's advanced age, Gordian II was proclaimed joint Roman emperor with Gordian I.
- 1784 – The Emerald Buddha (pictured) was installed in its current location at the Wat Phra Kaew on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
- 1933 – The Holocaust: Construction of the first Nazi concentration camp at Dachau was completed.
- 1942 – Second World War: The Royal Navy confronted Italy's Regia Marina at the Second Battle of Sirte in the Mediterranean Sea near the Gulf of Sirte.
- 1992 – USAir Flight 405 crashed shortly after liftoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, killing 27 people and leading to studies of the effects of ice on aircraft.
- 1400 – After 175 years of rule, the Trần dynasty of Vietnam was deposed by Hồ Quý Ly, a court official.
- 1889 – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pictured) founded the Ahmadiyya Islamic religious movement in British India.
- 1905 – About 1,500 Cretans, led by Eleftherios Venizelos, met at the village of Theriso to call for the island's unification with Greece, beginning the Theriso revolt.
- 1989 – Two researchers announced the discovery of cold fusion, a claim which was later discredited.
- 2007 – Iranian military personnel seized 15 British Royal Navy personnel, claiming that they had entered Iranian waters.
- 1860 – Rōnin samurai of the Mito Domain assassinated Japanese Chief Minister Ii Naosuke, upset with his role in the opening of Japan to foreign powers.
- 1882 – German physician Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
- 1934 – The Tydings–McDuffie Act came into effect, which provided for self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence from the United States after a period of ten years.
- 1989 – The tanker Exxon Valdez (pictured) spilled 10.8 million US gallons (260,000 bbl; 41,000 m3) of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most devastating man-made maritime environmental disasters.
- 2008 – The Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, led by Jigme Thinley, won 45 out of 47 seats in the National Assembly of Bhutan in the country's first-ever general election.
- 708 – Pope Constantine was selected as one of the last popes of the Byzantine Papacy; he would be the last pope to visit Constantinople until Pope Paul VI in 1967.
- 1655 – Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan (pictured), the largest natural satellite of the planet Saturn.
- 1917 – Following the overthrow of the Russian tsar Nicholas II, Georgia's bishops unilaterally restored the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
- 1949 – The Soviet Union began mass deportations of more than 90,000 people from the Baltic states to Siberia.
- 1971 – Vietnam War: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam abandoned an attempt to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos.
- 1169 – Saladin was inaugurated as vizier of Egypt.
- 1812 – The Boston Gazette printed a cartoon (pictured) coining the term "gerrymander", named after Governor Elbridge Gerry's approval of legislation that created oddly shaped electoral districts.
- 1917 – First World War: Attempting to advance into Palestine, the British were defeated by Ottoman troops at the First Battle of Gaza.
- 1974 – A group of peasant women in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, surrounded trees in order to prevent loggers from felling them, giving rise to the Chipko movement.
- 2010 – An explosion allegedly caused by a North Korean torpedo sank the South Korean warship ROKS Cheonan, killing 46 sailors.
- 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.
- 1884 – Outraged by a jury's decision to convict a man of manslaughter instead of murder, a mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., began three days of rioting.
- 1958 – First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev also took over the role of Premier.
- 1977 – Two Boeing 747 airliners (one pictured) collided on a foggy runway at Los Rodeos Airport on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people in the worst aircraft accident in aviation history.
- 2009 – A suicide bomber killed at least 48 people at a mosque in Jamrud, in the Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
Rosa Campbell Praed (b. 1851) ·
- 1802 – German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid ever identified.
- 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 (pictured) became the first seaplane to take off from water under its own power.
- 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 regiment, killing one soldier and injuring five.
Sybil Irving (d. 1973) ·
- 845 – Viking raiders possibly led by the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok captured Paris and held the city for a huge ransom.
- 1882 – The Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, was founded by Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
- 1942 – Second World War: The British Royal Air Force completed a bombing raid on Lübeck, the first major success for RAF Bomber Command against a German city.
- 1969 – The New People's Army (original flag pictured), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was formed.
- 1975 – Jeff Beck released Blow by Blow, his most successful album in the U.S., reaching the top five and selling over one million copies.
- 1999 – The strongest earthquake to hit the foothills of the Himalayas in more than ninety years killed 103 people.
Helene Deutsch (d. 1982) ·
- 1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska for US$7.2 million from Russia.
- 1899 – A committee of the German Society of Chemistry invited other national scientific organizations to appoint delegates to form the International Committee on Atomic Weights.
- 1918 – Fighting began during the March Days revolt in Baku, Azerbaijan, resulting in up to 12,000 deaths.
- 1950 – Usmar Ismail (pictured) began filming Darah dan Doa, formally recognised as the first Indonesian film.
- 2009 – Twelve gunmen attacked the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, and held it for several hours before security forces could retake it.
- 1146 – French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux preached a sermon to a crowd at Vézelay, with King Louis VII in attendance, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade.
- 1492 – The Catholic Monarchs of Spain issued the Alhambra Decree, ordering all Jews to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the country.
- 1889 – The Eiffel Tower (pictured) was inaugurated in Paris, becoming a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
- 1942 – Second World War: Because of a mutiny by Indian soldiers against their British officers, Japanese troops captured Christmas Island without any resistance.
- 1970 – Nine Japanese communists armed with samurai swords and pipe bombs hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351 on its way from Tokyo to Fukuoka.
- 1992 – USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, was decommissioned in Long Beach, California.