Today in History, March 31


World has witnessed the following events as HistoryNet reported.

1282 The great massacre of the French in Sicily The Sicilian Vespers comes to an end.
1547 In France, Francis–king since 1515–dies and is succeeded by his son Henry II.
1776 Abigail Adams writes to husband John that women are “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence fails to guarantee their rights.
1779 Russia and Turkey sign a treaty by which they promise to take no military action in the Crimea.
1790 In Paris, France, Maximilien Robespierre is elected president of the Jacobin Club.
1836 The first monthly installment of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens is published in London.
1862 Skirmishing between Rebels and Union forces takes place at Island 10 on the Mississippi River.
1880 The first electric street lights ever installed by a municipality are turned on in Wabash, Indiana.
1889 The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opens on the Left Bank as part of the Exhibition of 1889.
1916 General John Pershing and his army rout Pancho Villa’s army in Mexico.
1917 The United States purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
1918 Daylight Savings Time goes into effect throughout the United States for the first time.
1921 Great Britain declares a state of emergency because of the thousands of coal miners on strike.
1933 To relieve rampant unemployment, Congress authorizes the Civilian Conservation Corps .
1939 Britain and France agree to support Poland if Germany threatens to invade.
1940 La Guardia airport in New York officially opens to the public.
1941 Germany begins a counter offensive in North Africa.
1945 The United States and Britain bar a Soviet supported provisional regime in Warsaw from entering the U.N. meeting in San Francisco.
1948 The Soviet Union begins controlling the Western trains headed toward Berlin.
1949 Winston Churchill declares that the A-bomb was the only thing that kept the Soviet Union from taking over Europe.
1954 The siege of Dien Bien Phu, the last French outpost in Vietnam, begins after the Viet Minh realize it cannot be taken by direct assault.
1960 The South African government declares a state of emergency after demonstrations lead to the deaths of more than 50 Africans.
1966 An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators march in New York City.
1967 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Consular Treaty, the first bi-lateral pact with the Soviet Union since the Bolshevik Revolution.
1970 U.S. forces in Vietnam down a MIG-21, the first since September 1968.
1980 President Jimmy Carter deregulates the banking industry.
1991 Albania offers a multi-party election for the first time in 50 years.
Born on March 31
1596 René Descartes, French philosopher and scientist.
1621 Andrew Marvell, English poet and politician.
1693 John Harrison, Englishman who invented the chronometer.
1732 Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer.
1809 Edward Fitzgerald, American writer.
1809 Nikolai V. Gogol, Russian writer (The Inspector General, Dead Souls).
1811 Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, chemist, inventor of the Bunsen burner.
1854 Sir Dugald Clerk, inventor of the two-stroke motorcycle engine.
1878 Jack Johnson, first Africa-American boxer to become the world heavyweight champion.
1914 Octavio Paz, Mexican diplomat and Nobel Prize-winning writer.
1915 Henry Morgan, comedian, radio performer.
1926 John Fowles, English novelist (The Collector, The French Lieutenant’s Woman).
1936 Marge Piercy, poet and novelist.
1948 Al Gore, Vice President to President William J. Clinton (1993-2001).


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