15th March In History

Best-selling author Michael Crichton believes, “If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.” If we were to hold his words true, it is absolutely crucial that we have as many historical events on our fingertips as possible. Why? For starters, we learn from others' mistakes and achievements. Also, the more knowledge we gain from past experiences—even if they belong to others—the more equipped we are to handle similar situations in future. Also, every now and then it is important that we remember those heroes, without who we would not be able to enjoy such a comfortable life. Revolutions, catastrophes, inventions, literature and politics, all encompassed in history, are just a few aspects that teach us the most significant lessons in life. March 15 is one such day, when several consequential incidents took place. Be it the assassination of Roman ruler Julius Caesar or the brutal norms set by the Nazi dictator, each event is noteworthy in its own right. The following life-altering occurrences are so momentous that you would be missing out on a lot if you didn’t know about some of them.


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 15th March



44 BC

Politics

The Ides Of March

Famous Roman dictator, Julius Caesar, was murdered on this day as a part of a conspiracy led by some of his closest friends, including Cassius and Brutus. As per the records maintained by Greek historian Plutarch, the murder took place in the Senate House following an appeal made by Tillius Cimber for the return of his banished brother. Caesar rejected the plea and thus was assassinated by the rest of the senators present there.


1783

Politics

Washington Ends The Newburgh Conspiracy

Army officers of Newburgh had been protesting against the Congress’ inability to stick to their word, when the government had earlier promised to remunerate them appropriately. This revolt had been touted as the Newburgh Conspiracy, which George Washington decided to find a solution to. On March 15, 1783, the political leader addressed these army officers to pacify them and put an end to the mutiny.


1820

Politics

Maine Becomes A US State

Maine was declared a state as a consequence of the Missouri Compromise in 1820. In 1647 it was named a province belonging to Massachusetts, but almost two centuries later Maine was converted to a free state on March 15.


1913

Politics

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson Presides Over The First Open Presidential News Conference

The 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, began the practice of organizing press conferences twice a week in the White house. The first such open presidential conference was held on March 15, 1913, where reporters had the freedom to approach and ask him questions.


1917

Politics

Russian Czar Forced To Abdicate Throne

The February Revolution in Russia resulted in the forceful abdication of the throne by Czar Nicholas II, after 23 long years of rule. The Petrograd agitators who coerced the emperor to give up on his title, marked the end of the Russian empire and the beginning of a provincial government.


1919

Politics

The American Legion Founded In Paris

In 1919 a federally chartered corporation, the American Legion, Inc. was founded in Paris by long-serving members of the American Expeditionary Forces. This organization works towards promoting holistic welfare of the American youth.


1921

Politics

Talaat Pasha, Former Grand Vizier Of The Ottoman Empire Assassinated

Talaat Pasha, once the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, had passed orders for all Armenian intellectuals residing in Constantinople to be deported. This mission however soon transformed into genocide, with most Armenians being killed. On March 15, 1921, the Armenian revolutionaries took revenge with 23-year-old Soghomon Tehlirian murdering the Vizier with a single bullet.


1922

Politics

Fuad I Becomes King Of Egypt After Independence

Fuad I was the Sultan of Egypt and Sudan, after taking over the throne from his brother Sultan Hussain Kamel. In 1922, after the United Kingdom granted independence to Egypt, Fuad replaced the title Sultan with 'King'.


1938

Politics

Jews In Germany Prohibited From Voting

On this day, Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler declared at a public gathering of more than seven million people that from then on the Jews in the nation would lose their right to vote. This went down in the pages of history as one of the most unfortunate events where people were stripped of their basic privileges.


1939

Politics

Nazis Seize Control Over Czechoslovakia

The Munich Pact was signed by Edouard Daladier, Benito Mussolini, Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler on September 30, 1938. Though meant to ensure peace between the nations signing the treaty, it resulted in the capture of Czechoslovakia by the Nazi forces the following year in March.


1939

Politics

Carpatho-Ukraine Enjoys Short-Lived Independence

This autonomous region within Czechoslovakia declared itself an independent republic on March 15 before being attacked and captured by Hungary the very next day.


1965

Politics

Johnson Says, “Every American Citizen Must Have An Equal Right To Vote”

The 36th US President, Lyndon B. Johnson decided to advocate the need for equal voting rights on March 15, 1965. To strongly emphasize on the importance of suffrage, he adopted the motto, “we shall overcome” which had been used earlier by African-American social activists.


1981

Politics

Pakistani Hostages Released

147 passengers and crew members travelling on a Pakistan Airways Boeing 720 airplane were held captive for almost 15 days before they were released in Syria on March 15, 1981. The hostages were freed only after the Pakistan government released 54 prisoners of political importance.


1985

Politics

End Of Military Government In Brazil

The Brazilian military government, which was characterized by authoritarian rule, existed till March 15, 1985. The last military dictator was João Figueriedo, after whose term, a civilian government was reintroduced.


1989

Politics

Gorbachev Decides To Implement Agricultural Reforms

In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided to establish free market principles and instead dissolve the department of agriculture. This of course hampered the economic conditions of the nation and eventually led to the fall of the government in the span of two years.


1990

Politics

Mikhail Gorbachev Becomes The First President Of The Soviet Union

On March 15, 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev, who was serving as the General Secretary of the Communist Party, was elected as the first President of the Soviet Union. His government however lasted only for a little over a year and Gorbachev became the only President of the Soviet Union.


2013

Politics

Republican Senator Rob Portman Alters His Views On Same-sex Marriage

US senator, Rob Portman, from Ohio, declared on March 15, 2013 that he had changed his opinion about same sex marriages. Prior to this date, he strictly advocated marriage between a man and a woman, but when he learnt that his son was homosexual, he went ahead and began supporting gay marital unions.


1848

Wars

The Hungarian Revolution

The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was related to all the other mutinies that took place in the same year in the Habsburg areas. The revolution soon evolved into a determined struggle for independence, waged against the Austrian Empire, which was ruled by the Habsburg dynasty.


1888

Wars

Start Of The Anglo-Tibetan War

The Sikkim Expedition marked the start of the Anglo-Tibetan War in 1888. This military expedition was a result of the conflict between the British and the Tibetans with regard to who would lay claim over Sikkim.


1903

Wars

The British Conquest Of Nigeria

The British forces finally defeated Nigeria on March 15, 1903. This event resulted in the United Kingdom establishing its rule over more than 500,000 square miles of land.


1973

Wars

President Nixon Hints At Vietnamese Re-Intervention

Following the Paris Peace Accords, US President Richard Nixon suggested that the government might once again send troops to Vietnam in order to curb the “cease-fire war” being waged between the two nations. This declaration came within two months of deciding to withdraw forces from South Vietnam.


1978

Wars

Somalia And Ethiopia Sign A Truce

The Ethio-Somali War, also called the Ogaden War, began in July 1977 after the Somali Democratic Republic encroached into Ethiopia. The Soviet Union, though initially supporters of Somalia, soon began extending military and political aid to Ethiopia as they could not condone the invasion. On March 15, 1978, the war finally ended when a peace treaty was signed.


2011

Wars

Beginning Of The Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Civil War began in 2011 as a protest against the governance of President Bashar al-Assad. The government took to crushing the rebellion using violent means and soon the civil war transformed into an armed revolt that is yet to see an end.


1931

Disasters & Natural Calamities

SS Viking Explosion Kills Many

A movie, tentatively titled 'White Thunder' required a wooden-hulled sealing ship as a prop. The vessel, named SS Viking, however caught fire during the filming of the movie on March 15, 1931. This explosion resulted in the deaths of 28 of the 141 crew members on board. Due to the unprecedented gruesome loss, the film could only be completed by June and was renamed as 'The Viking'.


1941

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Sudden Blizzard Hits North Dakota And Minnesota

A fast-moving blizzard struck the states of Minnesota and North Dakota quite unexpectedly. The blizzard was traveling at such a high speed that it ended up claiming the lives of 151 unsuspecting citizens. The same day also marked a radical evolution in the field of weather forecasting so as to prevent such catastrophes in future.


2015

Disasters & Natural Calamities

A Fire Breaks Out In The Bell Tower Of Moscow's Novodevichy Convent Catches Fire

The ‘Novodevichy Convent’, built in 1520 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and had since become one of the most significant historical places in Russia. In 2015, this landmark was engulfed in flames as the tower's scaffolding was set ablaze.


1877

Sports

The First Cricket Test Between Australia And England Was Played In Melbourne

The first test match in the history of international cricket took place between Australia and England. The match was dominated by Australian cricketer, Charles Bannerman, who is attributed with the first ever single in Test history. The match resulted in the victory of Australia, who won by 45 runs.


1927

Sports

The First Women's Boat Race Between The University Of Oxford And The University Of Cambridge

The inaugural Women's Boat Race was held on The Isis, a part of the River Thames that flows through the city of Oxford. The competition was judged by J. G. Geoffreys and T. H. Henn. The second Women's Boat Race took place only after two years.


1970

Sports

Bobby Orr Scores 100 Points In A Single Season

March 15, 1970, saw Bobby Orr, playing for Boston Bruins become the first defenseman in the history of National hockey League who scored 100 points in an entire season. This stint saw Orr become one of the best NHL offensive defenseman.


2006

Sports

Queen Elizabeth II Inaugurates Commonwealth Games In Melbourne

The Commonwealth Games, 2006 was held in Australia and the opening ceremony was led by the Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II. The event was inaugurated at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Yarra River.


1948

Literature & Entertainment

Sir Laurence Olivier On The Cover Of "LIFE" Magazine

English stage actor, Laurence Kerr Olivier plays 'Hamlet' in 1948, a role that was perfected previously by Sir Arthur Gielgud. Despite some critics who preferred Gielgud to Olivier, the latter's performance was mostly applauded for his "magnetism and muscularity". His role as Hamlet fetched him fame and this talented actor appeared on the cover of 'LIFE' magazine on March 15 the same year.


1954

Literature & Entertainment

‘The Morning Show’ First Airs On CBS

'The Morning Show' made its debut on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in 1954. This was initially presented by Walter Cronkite, but had its share of other anchors such as Dick Van Dyke, John Henry Faulk and the most successful of all, Jack Paar.


1956

Literature & Entertainment

My Fair Lady Premieres In USA

The musical "My Fair Lady" based on G. B. Shaw’s play, ‘Pygmalion’ was first performed in the US in 1956. The lyrics were penned by Alan Jay Lerner while the songs were composed by Frederick Loewe.


1964

Literature & Entertainment

Taylor And Burton Marry

Actress Elizabeth Taylor got married to colleague Richard Burton on March 15, 1964. Wedded bliss lasted for a year, before they legally separated in 1974. Another year and Taylor reconciled with Burton, but this time the marriage lasted only for a few months.


1972

Literature & Entertainment

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Premieres

The cult movie, ‘The Godfather’ directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and based on the novel by Mario Puzo was released. This Marlon Brando-Al Pacino starrer, depicting the lives of a criminal family, became an immediate hit.


1998

Literature & Entertainment

Titanic Becomes Highest Grossing Movie

On March 15, Titanic became even more popular than Star Wars, fetching the highest box office collections for the year 1998. The movie was directed by James Cameron and starred Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead roles.


1990

Trivia

The Ford Explorer Was Introduced To The Public

The sports utility vehicle, Ford Explorer was launched in 1990, introducing the 1991 model to the public. Since then, the trend of purchasing an SUV has taken off and the Ford Explorer remains even today one of the most sought-after luxury vehicles.


1991

Trivia

Four Los Angeles Police Officers Indicted For The Beating Of Rodney King

Rodney King, an American taxi driver, was beaten by LAPD officers after a high-speed chase in the Los Angeles County on March 3. 12 days later, Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers, Theodore Briseno, Timothy Wind and Laurence Michael Powell were charged with inhuamne assault by the jury in Los Angeles.


2002

Trivia

Burger King Sells A Vegetarian Burger

Burger King, one of the leading fast food chains in the United States sold their first veggie burger on March 15, 2002. The same burger became the first ever to be sold nationally by any brand.


2015

Trivia

Boston Sets An All-time Snow Record

The US city of Boston received 108.6 inches of snow on March 15, 2015. This measurement broke the earlier all-time snow record of 107.9 inches in 1995-96. The seasonal snowfall record measurements are taken for a period of an entire year, beginning from July 1 and ending on June 30.


1493

Trivia

Christopher Columbus Returns To Spain

On his first expedition to the Americas, Christopher Columbus kidnapped several native-Americans to make them work as slaves. The explorer also brought back gold and some indigenous birds and returned to Spain on March 15, 1493.


1875

Trivia

John McCloskey Named First Cardinal In The US

John McCloskey, an American member of the Roman Catholic Church, served as the Archbishop of New York from 1864 for 21 years. Before becoming the Archbishop, McCloskey had been the Bishop of Albany in 1847. On March 15, 1875, John became the first American to be appointed as a cardinal.


1891

Trivia

Jesse W. Reno Patents The Reno Inclined Elevator

Jesse Wilford Reno invented the first working escalator in 1891, known as the Reno Inclined Elevator. This was used at New York City's Old Iron Pier. This was the first escalator to be successfully built though an earlier concept by Nathan Ames called "revolving stairs" was patented but never constructed.


1906

Trivia

Rolls-Royce Founded

Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, both Englishmen, founded a car manufacturing company in 1906, hoping that one day they would make a name for themselves in the trade. The rest is history.


1935

Trivia

Percy Shaw Founded Reflecting Roadstuds Limited

Percy Shaw, of Halifax, England invented the cat's eye in 1934. It refers to a retro-reflective safety device implemented to prevent road accidents. The following year, Shaw set up a company named ‘Reflecting Roadstuds Limited’ to manufacture cat's eyes on a large scale. In present times, it is the most sought-after company for production of such preventive road markers.


1965

Trivia

Soviet Union Satellites Launched

The Soviet Union propelled three artificial satellites into space on March 15, 1965. As per records, these satellites were unmanned and they were revolving around the earth every 106 minutes.


1968

Trivia

Construction Begins On America’s Highest Vehicle Tunnel

The construction of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel on Interstate 70 in Colorado began on March 15, 1968. It was situated at a height of 11,000 feet and went on to become the highest tunnel after its completion in 1979.


1976

Trivia

United Kingdom Underground Train Bomb

On March 15, 1976, an IRA bomb set off on a train at the West Ham Station. The bomber, Vincent Donnelly shot the train's driver, Julius Stephen as well as a Post Office engineer named Peter Chalk, when he was about to be stopped. Donnelly also attempted to take his own life, but his plans were thwarted when the bullet wound proved to be non-fatal.


1985

Trivia

The First Internet Domain Name Registered

As news breaks that the oldest domain name to be registered on the Internet was 'symbolics.com'. This domain name was created on March 15, 1985 and even the tagline reveals, "It all started here".


1990

Trivia

Journalist Farzad Bazoft Executed

Journalist Farzad Bazoft, working for a British newspaper named ‘The Observer’ was executed in Iraq after he was suspected of being a spy. Though Britain and the United States spoke up against the execution, they did not stop trade relations with Iraq. The Observer editor, Donal Trelford said in support of Bazoft that he had informed necessary officials and taken permission for doing a story, adding that, “This is not the action of a spy, this is the action of a reporter”.


People Born This Day

Andrew Jackson
(1767-1845)
7th President of the United States [ American ]
Eva Longoria
(1975-)
Actress [ American ]
Mike Love
(1941-)
[ American ]
Young Buck
(1981-)
Rapper [ American ]
Jonas Žemaitis
(1909-1954)
Former President of Lithuania [ Lithuanian ]
Rezā Shāh
(1878-1944)
Political figure [ Iranian ]
Emil Adolf von Behring
(1854-1917)
German physiologist [ German ]
Elisee Reclus
(1830-1905)
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer [ French ]
E. Donnall Thomas
(1920-2012)
Physician [ American ]
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov
(1930-)
Physicist [ Russian ]
Lil Dicky
(1988-)
Rapper, Comedian [ American ]
Jeana Smith
(1983-)
YouTube Star [ American ]


People Died This Day

H. P. Lovecraft
(1890-1937)
Writer [ American ]
David Brenner
(1936-2014)
Stand-up Comedian, Actor [ American ]
Julius Caesar
(0100-0044)
[ Ancient Roman ]
Cao Cao
(0155-0220)
[ Chinese ]
Rebecca West
(1892-1983)
[ British ]
Aristotle Onassis
(1906-1975)
[ Greek ]
Arthur Compton
(1892-1962)
Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics [ American ]
Squire Whipple
(1804-1888)
Civil Engineer [ American ]
Henry Bessemer
(1813-1898)
Inventor [ British ]
Salvatore Rosa
(1615-1673)
Painter [ Italian ]
John A Pople
(1925-2004)
Chemist [ British ]
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