Today in History – March 15

44 BC – Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by high ranking Roman Senators. The day is known as the “Ides of March.”

1341 – During the Hundred Years War, an alliance was signed between Roman Emperor Louis IV and France’s Philip VI.

1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

1778 – In command of two frigates, the Frenchman la Perouse sailed east from Botany Bay for the last lap of his voyage around the world.

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400.

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1862 – General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, TN.

1864 – Red River Campaign began as the Union forces reach Alexandria, LA.

1875 – The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, was named the first American cardinal.

1877 – The first cricket test between Australia and England was played in Melbourne. Australia won by 45 runs.

1892 – New York State unveiled the new automatic ballot voting machine.

1892 – Jesse W. Reno patented the Reno Inclined Elevator. It was the first escalator.

1900 – In Paris, Sarah Bernhardt starred in the premiere of Edmond Rostand’s “L’Aiglon.”

1901 – German Chancellor von Bulow declared that an agreement between Russia and China over Manchuria would violate the Anglo-German accord of October 1900.

1902 – In Boston, MA, 10,000 freight handlers went back to work after a weeklong strike.

1903 – The British conquest of Nigeria was completed. 500,000 square miles were now controlled by the U.K.

1904 – Three hundred Russians were killed as the Japanese shelled Port Arthur in Korea.

1907 – In Finland, woman won their first seats in the Finnish Parliament. They took their seats on May 23.

1909 – Italy proposed a European conference on the Balkans.

1910 – Otto Kahn offered $500,000 for a family portrait by Dutch artist Frans Hals. Kahn had outbid J.P. Morgan for the work.

1913 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson held the first open presidential news conference.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 – Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated himself and his son. His brother Grand Duke succeeded as czar.

1919 – The American Legion was founded in Paris.

1922 – Fuad I assumed the title of king of Egypt after the country gained nominal independence from Britain.

1934 – Henry Ford restored the $5 a day wage.

1935 – Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda banned four Berlin newspapers.

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was established at the Cook County Hospital.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1946 – British Premier Attlee offered India full independence after agreement on a constitution.

1948 – Sir Laurence Olivier was on the cover of “LIFE” magazine for his starring role in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

1949 – Clothes rationing in Great Britain ended nearly four years after the end of World War II.

1951 – General de Lattre demanded that Paris send him more troops for the fight in Vietnam.

1951 – The Persian parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry.

1954 – CBS television debuted its “Morning Show.”

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1956 – The musical “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway.

1960 – Ten nations met in Geneva to discuss disarmament.

1960 – The first underwater park was established as Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve.

1964 – In Montreal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married.

1968 – The U.S. mint halted the practice of buying and selling gold.

1970 – The musical “Purlie” opened on Broadway in New York City.

1971 – CBS television announced it was going to drop “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1977 – The first episode of “Eight is Enough” was aired on ABC-TV.

1977 – The U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television.

1979 – Pope John Paul II published his first encyclical “Redemptor Hominis.” In the work he warned of the growing gap between the rich and poor.

1982 – Nicaragua’s ruling junta proclaimed a month-long state of siege and suspended the nation’s constitution for one day. This came a day after anti-government rebels destroyed two bridges near the Honduran border.

1985 – In Brazil, two decades of military rule came to an end with the installation of a civilian government.

1989 – The U.S. Food and Drug administration decided to impound all fruit imported from Chili after two cyanide-tainted grapes were found in Philadelphia, PA.

1989 – The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs became the 14th Department in the President’s Cabinet.

1990 – In Iraq, British journalist Farzad Bazoft was hanged for spying.

1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1990 – The Ford Explorer was introduced to the public.

1990 – The Soviet parliament ruled that Lithuania’s declaration of independence was invalid and that Soviet law was still in force in the Baltic republic.

1991 – Four Los Angeles police officers were indicted in the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991. (California)

1991 – Yugoslav President Borisav Jovic resigned after about a week of anit-communist protests.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton extended the moratorium on nuclear testing until September of 1995.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

1998 – More than 15,000 ethnic Albanians marched in Yugoslavia to demand independence for Kosovo.

1998 – CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired an interview with former White House employee Kathleen Willey. Wiley said U.S. President Clinton made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the Oval Office in 1993.

2002 – Libyan Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi began his life sentence in a Scottish jail for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988.

2002 – In the U.S., Burger King began selling a veggie burger. The event was billed as the first veggie burger to be sold nationally by a fast food chain.

2002 – In Texas, Andrea Yates received a life sentence for drowning her five children on June 20, 2001.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

2004 – Clive Woodall’s novel “One for Sorrow: Two for Joy” was published. Two days later Woodall sold the film rights to Walt Disney Co. for $1 million.
Disney movies, music and books

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