It happened today – on this day in history – March 9

1454: Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci is born in Florence.

1497: Nicholaus Copernicus’ first recorded astronomical observation.

1522: Martin Luther begins preaching his “Invocavit Sermons” in the German city of Wittenberg.

1562: Kissing in public is banned in Naples – punishable by death.

1566: David Rizzio, the private secretary to Mary I of Scotland, is murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

1721: Chancellor of the Exchequer John Aislabie is confined in the Tower of London.

1741:The British fleet begins an assault on Cartagena.

1796: Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais.

1842: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” premieres in Milan.

1844: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Hernani” premieres in Venice.

1864: Ulysses S Grant is appointed commander of Union Army.

1892: Birth of novelist and poet Vita Sackville-West in Kent.

1908: Inter Milan founded as Foot-Ball Club Internazionale.

1916: Mexican General Francisco “Pancho” Villa invades US. On the same day, Germany declares war on Portugal.

1918: The Russian Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party.

1930: Birth of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

1932: Eamon De Valera becomes President of Ireland.

1935: Adolf Hitler announces the creation of a new air force, the Luftwaffe.

1945: 334 US B-29 Superfortresses attack Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs.

1951: Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam submit a classified paper at the Los Alamos lab, in which they proposed their revolutionary new design, staged implosion, for a practical megaton-range hydrogen bomb.

1953: Stalin’s funeral is held in Moscow.

1956: Britain orders order the deportation of Greek Cypriot leader, Archbishop Makarios, in the hope of restoring law and order to the island.

1959: The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American Toy Fair in New York.

1961: Soviet Sputnik 9 carries and returns from orbit a dog named Chernushka, frogs and a guinea pig.

1962: Egyptian President Nasser declares Gaza belongs to Palestinians.


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1963: The Beatles begin their first British tour, supporting Tommy Roe and Chris Montez.

1966: Brian Wilson and the Wrecking Crew of session musicians begin recording the next Beach Boys single, God Only Knows.

1970: Newly christened Black Sabbath made their concert debut at The Roundhouse, London.

1971: Three off-duty Scottish soldiers are killed by the Provisional IRA. 4000 shipyard workers take to the streets to demand internment in response.

1973: The people of Northern Ireland vote overwhelmingly to remain within the United Kingdom.

1974: A Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in The Philippines, surrenders, unaware that the Second Word War had been over for 29 years.

1975: Singles chart:

  1. If – Telly Savalas
  2. Bye Bye Baby – The Bay City Rollers
  3. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) – Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
  4. Only You Can – Fox
  5. The Secrets That You Keep – Mud
  6. My Eyes Adored You – Frankie Valli
  7. Pick Up The Pieces – Average White Band
  8. Please Tell Him That I Said Hello – Dana
  9. There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving – Guys And Dolls
  10. I’m Stone In Love With You – Johnny Mathis
1975: Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

Album chart:

  1. Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin
  2. On The Level – Status Quo
  3. Greatest Hits – Elton John
  4. Crime Of The Century – Supertramp
  5. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  6. Rock n Roll – John Lennon
  7. Average White Band – The Average White Band
  8. Greatest Hits – Simon and Garfunkel
  9. His Greatest Hits – Engelbert Humperdinck
  10. Sheer Heart Attack – Queen

1976: A line supporting a cable car snaps killing 42 people in the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy.

1981: John Lambe, who became known as the M5 rapist, is sentenced to life in prison.

1983: Zimbabwe opposition leader Joshua Nkomo flees to Botswana.

1986: NASA announces searchers found the remains of the Shuttle Challenger astronauts.

1988: Actress Audrey Hepburn is appointed a UNICEF special ambassador.

1992: Death of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin aged 85.

1994: The IRA launch a mortar attack on Heathrow Airport. On the same day, author Charles Bukowski dies of leukaemia aged 73.

1997: Rapper Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) is gunned down and killed as he leaves a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

1998: Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment signs an unknown rapper called Eminem.

2006: Water is discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn.

2007: Brad Delp, lead singer of the band Boston, commits suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning at his home in New Hampshire.

2010: Rapper Lil Wayne is sentenced to a year in prison at New York City’s Rikers Island prison after pleading guilty to gun possession.

2011: Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.

2015: President Barack Obama signs an executive order declaring Venezuela a national security threat to the US.

2020: Italy announces it is locking down the whole country due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

BIRTHDAYS: John Cale, singer-songwriter/producer, 79; Robin Trower, guitarist, 76; Martin Fry, singer (ABC) 63; Linda (Clorinda) Fiorentino, actress, 61; Juliette Binoche, actress, 57; Katherine Parkinson, actress, 43; Oscar Isaac, actor, 42; Matthew Gray Gubler, actor, 41; Clint Dempsey, footballer, 38; Brittany Snow, actress, 35; Stacey Dooley, documentary maker, 34; Pedro Neto, footballer, 21.