31st March In History

March 31 may be of great importance to many people around the world. For some, it would mark the end of a financial year or a semester in college. However, several online sources and books have shown that the date has more prominence than most of us have imagined. For instance, a thorough study of the series of events which occurred during ‘World War I’ and ‘World War II’ itself would reveal startling facts related to March 31. Several researchers have claimed that when they flipped through pages of history they were quite surprised that they knew none of the facts claimed by the book pertaining to this date. While some monarchs were crowned, several others were thrown out of power on March 31. The date also marks the beginnings and ends of several events of historic importance, some of which have even impacted the lifestyle of the masses to a great extent. If you are an avid history buff, then this list is totally worth reading, since it will reveal many truths unknown to you. Also share those to other enthusiasts who are fond of revisiting the past.


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 31st March



1492

Politics

Alhambra Decree

Although this atrocious incident occurred way back on March 31, 1492, it remains unforgotten in the minds of many followers of history till date. Also known as the ‘Edict of Expulsion’, the Queen Isabelle I of Castile and Ferdinand II, the ruler of the kingdom of Aragon, forced Jews to evacuate their territory this day.


1547

Politics

Henry II Becomes King Of France

Although his tenure was quite short as compared to many other monarchs of his time, Henry II continues to be remembered as a famous monarch. Henry II grabbed the attention of his kingdom first when he was announced the ‘Dauphin of France’ (the heir to the royal throne) in 1936, after the untimely demise of his elder brother, Francis III. He was crowned as the supreme of France on March 31, 1547. Unfortunately Henry II passed away just 12 years after he was crowned the king.


1774

Politics

Boston Port Act

This law was passed on March 31, 1774, when the United States was being ruled by the mighty British Empire. The act was a consequence of the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773, which resulted in the littering of the port. According to the ‘Boston Port Act’, the inhabitants of the city were asked to pay a fine for their act of indiscipline. The act also announced that the port needs to be shut down.


1822

Politics

Chios Massacre

The notorious ‘Ottoman’ military troops, known for its merciless ways of treating enemies, committed another heinous act on March 31, 1822. In a bid to capture the Chios Islands of Greece, the Turkish soldiers butchered thousands of citizens of the country.


1854

Politics

Treaty Of Kanagawa

During the administration of the last feudal government of the 19th century, the ‘Treaty of Kanagawa’ was signed by Japan and the United States. This mutual agreement occurred on 31 March 1854 and signaled the availability of the ports located at Hakodate and Shimoda to the American troops.


1905

Politics

The Start Of The ‘First Moroccan Crisis’

Kaiser Wilhelm, the ruler of Germany, arrived in Morocco on March 31, 1905 to support the monarch ruling the place. This meeting left the French and British forces miffed, thus resulting in a revolt known as the ‘First Moroccan Crisis’.


1917

Politics

The U.S Captures ‘Virgin Islands

The American explorers were always fascinated about the exotic islands in the Caribbean. Their dream came true on March 1917, when they captured the enchanting ‘Virgin Islands’ stretch of the region. The Islands were liberated from the clutches of the Danish forces, who had occupied the coastal stretch, after the ‘Treaty of the Danish West Indies’ signed by the U.S and Denmark was enforced.


1958

Politics

The Commencement Of The Canadian Federal Election

The 24th general elections of Canada were held on March 31, 1958. The highlight of this event was that the former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker gained a thumping majority, which was a record in the nation’s political history back then.


1959

Politics

Dalai Lama Seeks Political Asylum

This is a fact about the world renowned spiritual leader Dalai Lama which not many know about. A political turmoil in the South Asian nation of Tibet, his motherland, forced Lama and 20 of his confidantes to leave the nation and seek solace in India. After travelling on foot for around 20 days, Dalai Lama and his group reached India on March 31, 1959. The then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had publicly announced that Dalai Lama is free to stay in India and continue living here as long as he wants.


1964

Politics

The Infamous ‘Brazillian Coup D'état’

Political agitations have been haunting South American nations for decades now and this incident which took place on March 31, 1964, is no different. A political coup resulted in the eviction of João Goulart, the then President of Brazil from power. Even the Brazilian armed forces played a vital role in the coup and a few sources claim that the incident was backed by the United States.


1966

Politics

Politician Harold Wilson Gains Supremacy

The results of the ‘United Kingdom General Election’, held on March 31,1966 went down as one of the glorious events of British history. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom gained an overwhelming majority in this contest, reaffirming the fact that he had influenced the British masses greatly.


1972

Politics

‘CND’ Marches In England For A Great Cause

The ‘Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ (CND) is a U.K based initiative which has been pressing on the reduced usage of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. On March 31, 1972, around 500 people who agreed with the views of ‘CND’, took to the streets of London to create awareness of the government’s weapon research and development activities.


1979

Politics

Malta Gains Freedom

Malta, a small nation located in the southern part of Europe, gained independence from British rule on March 31, 1979. The day marked the departure of the last few British soldiers from the country. The day is now formally known as ‘Freedom Day’ and is celebrated with great valor across the nation.


1990

Politics

Protest Against Poll Tax

If the major protests to occur on the streets of Britain are to be enlisted, it would be incorrect to exclude this episode which occurred on March 31, 1990. A furious mob, consisting of around 250,000, thronged a street of London on this day, expressing their disappointment against the government initiative of Poll Tax. The outrage sparked off riots and later turned ugly, forcing the police force to step in.


1991

Politics

End Of Warsaw Pact

One of the highlights of the ‘Cold War’ was the renowned treaty, ‘Warsaw Pact’. The Pact was a formal declaration of the unity between the Soviet Union and several other European nations. 36 years after it was signed, the pact dissolved on March 31,1991, which showed the world that the relationship between Soviet Union and its confidantes had fallen apart.


2014

Politics

Whaling Banned In Japan

Numerous environmental agencies have been advocating over the years for a ban on ‘Whaling’, which is mainly the extraction of oil, skin and meat of Whales. This illegal was apparently rampant in Japan as compared to many other countries. Hence, the International Court of Justice, on March 31, 2014, had announced that the nation should refrain from Whaling in future.


1899

Wars

Malolos Captured By The U.S

The United States had emerged as an influential military power by the end of the 19th Century. It decided to spread its tentacles towards the Eastern part of the world and on March 31, 1899, the U.S captured the Malolos region of Philippines. This development occurred around the same time as the Philippine-American war.


1940

Wars

The Launch Of ‘Atlantis’

The Nazi defense forces were quite sophisticated and the vessel ‘Atlantis’ was a testimony of the prowess of the Germans’ strength. The ship was launched on March 31, 1940 and caused the downfall of many vessels belonging to the Allied forces, thus weakening the naval force of its opposition. ‘Atlantis’ too met with an ill fate much later.


1942

Wars

Capture Of Christmas Island By The Japanese

The Christmas Island stretch of the Indian Ocean was occupied by the Japanese forces. However, the Japanese vessel ‘Naka’, stationed near the island, was attacked by an American submarine named ‘Seawolf’ on 31 March, 1942, leading to the infamous ‘Battle of Christmas Island’.


1945

Wars

The Allied Forces Gain Access To ‘Messerschmitt Me 262A-1’

Hans Fay was one of the few Germans who wanted the Allies to free Germany from the hands of Hitler. The soldier flew the ‘Messerschmitt Me 262A-1’, a sophisticated metallic bird belonging to the Nazis to Frankfurt and thus helped the allies gain access of the aircraft.


1968

Wars

Lyndon Johnson Ceases Bombing Vietnam

Former American President Lyndon Johnson’s iconic speech, which he delivered on March 31, 1968 continues to haunt many U.S citizens even today. The late Johnson had formally announced on this day that the attack on Vietnam by the U.S forces will be ceased temporarily.


1931

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Nicaragua Earthquake

It’s a well-known fact that the Central American nation Nicaragua has been prone to earthquakes since several years. One such deadly disaster struck its capital on March 31, 1931, resulting in the death of 6000 people.


1931

Disasters & Natural Calamities

‘TWA Flight 599’ Crash

The ill-fated ‘TWA Flight 599’ was heading towards Los Angeles, California from Kansas, on March 31, 1931. During this journey, 8 people died including the popular footballer of the time, Knuth Rockne.


1986

Disasters & Natural Calamities

‘Mexicana Flight 940’ Meets With An Ill Fate

On March 31, 1986, the Los Angeles bound ‘Mexicana Flight 940’, met with a horrendous accident at the EL Carbon, a hilly region, located in the ‘Sierra Madre Oriental’ mountain ranges. This tragedy claimed the lives of all the 159 people who were travelling in the plane.


1906

Sports

Establishment Of The U.S Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association

March 31, 1906 marked the beginning of ‘The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of The U.S (ICAAUS)’, a non-profit initiative, aimed to address the sports related concerns of more than 1200 institutions in the U.S. The main motive of the association was to ensure the safety of athletes.


1985

Sports

First ‘Wrestlemania’ Event

‘World Wrestling Entertainment’ or ‘WWE’ is considered by many to be one of the most thrilling sports of all time. WWE fans throng stadiums and are also glued to their television sets during special wrestling events such as ‘Summerslam’ and ‘Wrestlemania’. The first ‘Wrestlemania’ event was held on March 31, 1985 at the iconic Madison Square Garden, located in New York City.


1995

Sports

Baseball’s Longest Strike Ends

1994-95 was probably a dark period in the history of Baseball. The sport was plagued by a big agitation during this time. Fortunately, the strike ended on March 31, 1995 and Baseball soon bounced back to normalcy. This strike lasted for around seven months and resulted in the cancellation of 948 games.


1836

Literature & Entertainment

Release Of The First Installment Of Charles Dickens’ First Novel

Charles Dickens began his literary journey through the novel ‘The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club’, for which he adopted a pseudonym called Boz. The first edition of this famous literary work was published on March 31, 1836. Eventually more installments of this great work were printed since it became a much sought after literary work.


1930

Literature & Entertainment

Motion Picture Production Code

The ‘Motion Picture Production Code’, a radical development in American cinema, was introduced on March 31, 1930, by the ‘Motion Picture Association of America’. The objective of the code was to filter bold content and to ensure American movies are non-controversial enough to be permitted for public screening.


1943

Literature & Entertainment

Premiere Of ‘Oklahoma’

Several outstanding plays have been staged at the renowned ‘Broadway’ theatre in the U.S and ‘Oklahoma’ is one of these. This path-breaking work of performance art was first shown to the public on March 31, 1943. The play attained a lot of critical acclaim and went on to be screened several times for the next fifteen years.


1950

Literature & Entertainment

Copies Of ‘Scientific American’ Burnt

The U.S government took censorship to a whole new level on March 31, 1950 when they seized around 3000 copies of the renowned magazine ‘Scientific America’ and burnt them. The reason which sparked the outrage was a controversial article published by the magazine. It is believed that too much was revealed about the making of an atomic bomb, which the U.S authorities didn’t want the masses to know.


2013

Literature & Entertainment

Third Season Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Aired

Many fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ have dubbed the show a ‘visual phenomenon’, instead of just calling it a ‘television series’. After the first two seasons were received with overwhelmingly positive reviews, the much-awaited third installment was aired across the United States on March 2013. This series consisted of around 10 episodes and was well applauded by the critics and the masses alike.


1870

Trivia

Thomas Mundy Becomes The First Black Man To Vote

The ‘15th Amendment’ of the United States, enforced in the 19th century, was a huge sigh of relief for the citizens of African-American origin. According to these set of rules, black people could cast their votes too. Thomas Mundy Peterson was the first black man to exercise this democratic right, which also landed him in the pages of history books.


1889

Trivia

Eiffel Tower Declared Open

One of the tallest structures of The World, the breathtaking landmark, Eiffel Tower, was first accessible to public on March 31, 1889. The tower now consists of 11 floors and millions of people visit the place every year.


1909

Trivia

Construction Of The Titanic

Touted as one of the most luxurious vessels ever made, the construction of the ‘Titanic’ commenced on March 31, 1909. The ship met with an ill fate in 1912, during its very first voyage, resulting in the death of many people onboard.


1918

Trivia

Massacre In Azerbaijan

A horrifying genocide, which occurred on March 31, 1918, scarred Azerbaijan for a really long time. This cruel act was carried out by the Armenians with the support of Russia and lasted for a period of four days. Scores of women and children, mostly those of Islam faith were the victims of this attack.


1918

Trivia

The ‘Daylight Saving Time’ Routine

The ‘Daylight Saving Time’ was an unconventional practice which was first introduced on March 31, 1918. The main idea of ‘DST’ was to forward the time on the clock by approximately one hour during summers. This practice is being followed till date.


1921

Trivia

Formation Of The ‘Royal Australian Air Force’

The official Air Force wing of Australia became operational on March 31, 1921 and earned the prefix ‘Royal’ as per the suggestion of King George V. This discipline of the Australian defense was previously known as ‘Australian Flying Corps’.


1966

Trivia

Launch Of ‘Luna 10’ Space Probe By The Soviet Union

Also recognized as ‘Lunik 10’ by many the launch of this shuttle was one of Russia’s biggest space science successes. On March 31, 1966, this space shuttle started from the ‘Baikonur Cosmodrome’ and helped Russia garner a lot of global acclaim.


1970

Trivia

‘Explorer –I’ Enters The Earth’s Atmosphere

‘Explorer I’ is the pride of the United States, since it was the first satellite launched into space by the powerful nation, way back in 1958. After remaining in space for almost 12 years, the satellite made its way back to the Earth’s atmosphere on March 31, 1970.


1980

Trivia

Chicago, Rock Island And Pacific Railroad

Also known as the ‘Rock Island Line’, the ‘Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad’ was an important lifeline of the United States, which connected several places and made travelling much convenient for many. However, this ‘Class I Railroad’ was shut down on March 31, 1980 and its closure is still a topic of discussion amongst many.


1992

Trivia

Decommissioning Of The USS Missouri

The USS Missouri is undoubtedly an unsung military hero of America and was considered to be one of its greatest strengths. The gigantic vessel played a pivotal role in battles like ‘World War II’ and the ‘Korean War’. 48 years after its launch, the ship was decommissioned on March 31, 1992.


1995

Trivia

Murder Of Selena

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a talented singer who gained a lot of popularity during the mid-1990s for her exceptional ability. Unfortunately, she was brutally murdered by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club. Saldivar had shot Selena on the back and the loss of blood resulted in the singer’s demise.


1999

Trivia

Murder Of Amadou Diallo

The murder of the young Amadou Diallo, a 22-year-old hailing from Guinea in New York City, sent shock waves across the United States. The authorities charged four officials of the New York Police Department, namely Richard Murphy, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Edward McMellon, guilty of the murder. The foursome was pronounced guilty for committing a second-degree murder on March 31, 1999, but was acquitted later.


2004

Trivia

The Fallujah Ambush

Iraq has been torn apart by the war which lasted for almost an entire decade. One of the grave bloodshed incidents that occurred during this period in the middle-eastern nations is the 2004 ‘Fallujah Ambush’. Four military contractors belonging to the United States had lost their lives during this battle.


People Born This Day

Octavio Paz
(1914-1998)
Writer, Poet, Diplomat and Noble Prize Laureate [ Mexican ]
Joseph Haydn
(1732-1809)
Composer [ Austrian ]
Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)
Composer [ German ]
René Déscartes
(1596-1650)
Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer [ French ]
Cesar Chavez
(1927-1993)
Civil Rights Activist [ American ]
Christopher Walken
(1943-)
Actor [ American ]
Angus Young
(1955-)
Co-founder & Lead Guitarist of the Hard Rock Band, AC/DC [ Australian ]
Stephen F. Lynch
(1955-)
[ American ]
Sir William Lawrence Bragg
(1890-1971)
Nobel Laureate in Physics [ British ]
Andrew Lang
(1844-1912)
Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic [ Scottish ]
Andrew Marvell
(1621-1678)
Poet [ British ]
Ewan McGregor
(1971-)
[ Scottish ]
John Fowles
(1926-2005)
Writer & Teacher [ British ]
Jack Johnson (Boxer)
(1878-1946)
[ American ]
Philippa of Lancaster
(1359-1415)
[ British ]
Evan Williams
(1972-)
Co-founder of Blogger & Twitter [ American ]
Carlo Rubbia
(1934-)
Physicist [ Italian ]
Sin-Itiro Tomonaga
(1906-1979)
Physicist [ Japanese ]
Liza Koshy
(1996-)
Social Media Personality and Vine Star [ American ]
King Jacob
(2004-)
Musical.ly Star [ American ]


People Died This Day

John Donne
(1572-1631)
Poet, lawyer, satirist [ British ]
Karl Lawrence King
(1891-1971)
Musician (Composer) [ American ]
Charles Best
(1899-1978)
Co-discoverer of insulin [ Canadian ]
Brandon Lee
(1965-1993)
Actor & Martial Artist [ American ]
Charlotte Bronte
(1816-1855)
[ British ]
Jesse Owens
(1913-1980)
[ American ]
Zaha Hadid
(1950-2016)
Architect [ British ]
John Constable
(1776-1837)
Romantic Painter [ British ]
Eleanor of Aquitaine
(1122-1204)
Queen of France & England [ Dutch ]
Olaudah Equiano
(1745-1797)
Anti Slavery Activist [ African ]
Emil Adolf von Behring
(1854-1917)
German physiologist [ German ]
John C. Calhoun
(1782-1850)
7th Vice President of the U.S.A [ American ]
J. P. Morgan
(1837-1913)
Financier and Banker [ American ]
Selena
(1971-1995)
Singer, Songwriter [ American ]
Clifford Shull
(1915-2001)
Physicist [ American ]
Hans Fischer
(1881-1945)
Chemist [ German ]
Jules Dassin
(1911-2008)
Film Director, Producer [ American ]
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