Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17 in History

* 45 BC – In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.
* 180 – Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
* 455 – Petronius Maximus becomes with support of the Roman Senate emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
* 624 – Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeat the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.
* 1337 – Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy in England.
* 1776 – American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, Massachusetts, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city.
* 1780 – American Revolution: George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence".
* 1805 – The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.
* 1842 – The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is formed;
* 1860 – The First Taranaki War begins in Taranaki, New Zealand, a major phase of the New Zealand land wars.
* 1861 – The Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) is proclaimed.
* 1891 – SS Utopia collides with HMS Anson in the Bay of Gibraltar and sinks, killing 562 of the 880 passengers on board.
* 1921 – The Second Republic of Poland adopts the March Constitution.
* 1937 – The Pedaliante achieves the first sustained 1 km human-powered flight.
* 1939 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan begins,
* 1941 – In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
* 1942 – Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lvov Ghetto are gassed at the Belzec death camp in what is today eastern Poland.
* 1945 – The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany collapses, ten days after its capture.
* 1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.
* 1948 – Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO.
* 1950 – Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley announce the creation of element 98, which they name "Californium".
* 1957 – A plane crash in Cebu, Philippines kills Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.
* 1958 – The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite.
* 1959 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India.
* 1960 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
* 1963 – Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing 11,000.
* 1966 – Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.
* 1969 – Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
* 1970 – My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
* 1973 – The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.
* 1979 – The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers.
* 1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the "Night Stalker", commits the first two murders in his Los Angeles, California murder spree.
* 1988 – A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.
* 1988 – Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.
* 1992 – Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack kills 29 and injures 242.
* 1992 – A referendum to end apartheid in South Africa is passed 68.7% to 31.2%.
* 2000 – More than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in what is considered to be a mass murder and suicide, orchestrated by leaders of the cult.
* 2003 – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
* 2004 – Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 are killed and 200 wounded. 35 Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Niš are destroyed.
* 2008 – Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer resigns after a scandal involving a high-end prostitute. Lieutenant Governor David Paterson becomes New York State governor.

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