Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19

* 1279 - A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China.
* 1687 - Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.
* 1853 - The Taiping reform movement occupies and makes [Nanjing]] its capital until 1864.
* 1861 - The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand.
* 1863 - The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.
* 1865 - American Civil War: The Battle of Bentonville begins. By the end of the battle two days later, Confederate forces had retreated from Four Oaks, North Carolina.
* 1915 - Pluto is photographed for the first time but is not recognized as a planet.
* 1916 - Eight American planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history.
* 1918 - The U.S. Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.
* 1920 - The United States Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles for the second time (the first time was on November 19, 1919).
* 1921 - Italian Fascists shoot from the Parenzana train at a group of children in Strunjan (Slovenia): two children are killed, two mangled and three wounded.
* 1931 - Gambling is legalized in Nevada.
* 1931 - The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra plays its first concert in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
* 1932 - The Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened.
* 1941 - World War II: The 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, is activated.
* 1943 - Frank Nitti, the Chicago Outfit Boss after Al Capone, commits suicide at the Chicago Central Railyard.
* 1944 - World War II: Nazi forces occupy Hungary.
* 1945 - World War II: Off the coast of Japan, a dive bomber hits the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13), killing 724 of her crew. Badly damaged, the ship is able to return to the U.S. under her own power.
* 1945 - World War II: Adolf Hitler issues his "Nero Decree" ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.
* 1946 - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France.
* 1954 - Joey Giardello knocks out Willie Tory in round seven at Madison Square Garden in the first televised prize boxing fight shown in color.
* 1954 - Willie Mosconi sets the world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio. The record still stands today.
* 1958 - The Monarch Underwear Company fire leaves 24 dead and 15 injured.
* 1962 - Algerian War of Independence: A ceasefire takes effect.
* 1965 - The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.
* 1966 - Texas Western becomes the first college basketball team to win the Final Four with an all-black starting lineup.
* 1969 - The 385 metres (1,260 ft) tall TV-mast at Emley Moor, United Kingdom, collapses due to ice build- up.
* 1972 - India and Bangladesh sign a friendship treaty.
* 1978 - UN Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 are passed, calling upon Israel immediately to cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory (Operation Litani), and establishing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
* 1979 - The United States House of Representatives begins broadcasting its day-to-day business via the cable television network C-SPAN.
* 1982 - Falklands War: Argentinian forces land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.
* 1987 - Televangelist Jim Bakker resigns as head of the PTL Club due to a brewing sex scandal; he hands over control to Jerry Falwell.
* 1989 - The Egyptian Flag is raised on Taba announcing the end of the Israeli Occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Peace negotiations in 1979.
* 1995 - Michael Jordan comes out of "retirement" from the NBA and plays the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. He wore jersey number 45 because his number 23 was retired by the Chicago Bulls. The game paved the way for another "3-peat" by the Bulls. He scored 19 points in the game.
* 2001 - The Bank of Japan issues a monetary policy known as quantitative easing, which stimulated the Japanese economy after the burst of the dot-com bubble.
* 2002 - U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.
* 2004 - Äänekoski bus disaster: A semi-trailer truck and a bus crash head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people are killed and 13 injured.
* 2004 - A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in the 1950s is finally recovered after years of work. The remains of the crew are left in place, pending further investigations.
* 2004 - 3-19 Shooting Incident: Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian is shot just before the country's presidential election on March 20.
* 2008 - GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed on this day.

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