Today in History….March 5

  363, Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which would bring about his own death

  1046, Naser Khosrow begins the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book Safarnama

  1496, King Henry VII of England issues letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorising them to explore unknown lands 

  1770, five Americans, including a black man named Crispus Attucks, and a boy, are killed by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War five years later

  1836, Samuel Colt makes the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber

  1868, a court of impeachment is organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson

  1872, George Westinghouse patents the air brake for modern trains. They uses air pressure to charge air reservoirs (tanks) on each car. Full air pressure signals each car to release the brakes. A reduction or loss of air pressure signals each car to apply its brakes, using the compressed air in its reservoirs

  1933, in German parliamentary elections, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote; the Nazis, ym”sh, joined with a conservative nationalist party to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag President. ALSO:  Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a “bank holiday”, closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions

  1940, members of Soviet politburo sign an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs, known also as the Katyn massacre  

  1946, Winston Churchill, speaking in Fulton, Mo., established the Cold War boundary during his famed “Iron Curtain” speech

  1953, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, ym”sh, died after three decades in power

  1970, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect after ratification by 43 nations

  1974, Israeli forces withdraw from the Suez Canal 

  1975, first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club, an early computer hobbyist club in Silicon Valley, which met (under that name) from March 5, 1975 to December 1986. Several very high-profile hackers and IT entrepreneurs emerged from its ranks, including the founders of Apple Inc.

  1984, the Standard Oil Co. of California, also known as Chevron, bought Gulf Corp. for more than $13 billion in the largest business merger in U.S. history at the time

  1993, Canada’s Ben Johnson, once called the world’s fastest human, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and was banned for life from track competition

  1997, Switzerland announced plans to establish a $4.7 billion government-financed fund, using interest from its gold reserves, to compensate survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants

  1998, NASA announced that ice had been found at the moon’s north and south poles

  2000, a Virginia subsidiary of PPL Therapeutics of Edinburgh, Scotland, the company that cloned Dolly the sheep, produced the first cloned pigs

  2002, California Rep. Gary Condit, dogged by the Chandra Levy scandal, lost a Democratic primary election to Dennis Cardoza. (In November 2010, Ingmar Guandique was convicted of killing Levy and was later sentenced to 60 years in prison.)

  2003, in Haifa, 17 Israeli civilians are murdered by a practitioner of that “religion of peace”, and a member of Hamas, who blew himself up on a city bus

  2006, Iran threatened to launch full-scale uranium enrichment if its nuclear program was referred to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions

  2011, Egyptians turned their anger toward ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s internal security apparatus, storming the agency’s main headquarters and other offices

  2013, U.S. transportation officials said they would relax rules on what passengers may carry on airline flights and focus more on “higher threat items.” 

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