It happened today – this day in history – March 15

44BC: Julius Ceasar is stabbed to death by Brutus, Cassius and several other Roman senators in Rome..

270AD: St Nicholas, the Greek Bishop who became the model for Santa Claus, born in Asia Minor.

1360: The French attack the English south coast, raiding Winchelsea

1493: Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first voyage to the New World.

1580: Spanish King Philip II puts a 25,000 gold coins bounty on the head of Prince William of Orange.

1672: Charles II enacts the Declaration of Indulgence, suspending the execution of the Penal Laws that punished recusants from the Church of England.

1744: French King Louis XV declares war on Britain.

1877: Beginning of the first cricket test – England v Australia at the MCG, Melbourne.

1892: The escalator is patented by inventor Jesse W Reno in New York.

1907: Finland is the first European country to give women the right to vote.

1912: Birth of blues musician Lightnin’ (Sam) Hopkins in Texas.

1913: Woodrow Wilson holds the first presidential press conference.

1917: Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar abdicates and nominates his brother Grand Duke Michael to succeed him.

1923: Lenin suffers his third stroke.

1929: Jazz pianist Clarence “Pinetop” Smith dies from a gunshot wound in a dance hall fight aged 24.

1939: Adolf Hitler summons Czech President Emil Hacha to a meeting in Berlin and informs him of the impending invasion by Germany; Hácha suffers a heart attack and later capitulates.

1944: The Italian town of Cassino is destroyed by Allied bombing.

1946: Prime minister Clement Attlee agrees with India’s right to independence.

1947: New Brighton manager Neil McBain has a few team selection problems for the Division 3 (North) match against Hartlepool and has to play himself in goal at the age of 51yrs 4months.

1949: Cricket’s master batsman Don Bradman receives his knighthood from the Governor-General of Australia.

1955: Elvis Presley signs a management contract with Colonel Tom Parker, who had previously managed the Great Parker Pony Circus with one of the acts being a troupe of dancing chickens.

1957: Britain becomes the third nation to explode a nuclear bomb.

1958: England retains the Five Nations Rugby Championship with a 3-3 draw against Scotland at Murrayfield.

1959: Jazz saxophonist, Lester Young dies aged 49.

1961: South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth.

1962: The Liberals get their first by-election victory for four years, seizing Orpington from the government.

1964: Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton.


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1967: The first recording session took place for the George Harrison song Within You Without You with Indian musicians at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album.

1968: Foreign Secretary George Brown resigns after having a drunken row with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. On the same day, The Rolling Stones start daily sessions at Olympic Studios in London to start recording their next album Beggars Banquet.

1969: A violent dispute at the Chinese/Russian border leaves hundreds dead.

1970: Mary Ann Ganser American of The Shangri-Las dies in New York aged 22 of a drug overdose.

1972: Two British soldiers are killed when attempting to defuse a bomb in Belfast.

1974: Architect John Poulson is jailed for five years for bribing public figures to win contracts.

1975: Wales trounce Ireland, 32-4 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch the Five Nations Rugby Championship.

1976: The driver of a London Underground train is shot dead at Wood Green as he chases a gunman after a bomb exploded on his train.

1980: England beats Scotland, 30-18 at Murrayfield to claim it’s 18th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship, 8th Grand Slam and 15th Triple Crown. On the same day, Wolves defeat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Wembley to lift the League Cup for the second time in the club’s history.

1981: The passengers and crew of a Pakistan Airways plane held hostage for nearly two weeks are released in Syria.

1985: The first Internet domain name, symbolics.com is registered.

1988: Dimitri Polyakov, Soviet major general and CIA spy, is executed aged 66.

1990: Iraqi authorities execute The Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft in Baghdad.

1991: Four LA police officers are charged with beating Rodney King. On the same day, Sergei Bubka pole vaults a world record 6.14m (20 feet 1 ¾).

1998: An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale hits south eastern Iran. On the same day, Pediatrician and writer Benjamin Spock dies aged 94.

Singles chart:

  1. It’s Like That – Run DMC vs Jason Nevins
  2. Stop – The Spice Girls
  3. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  4. Say What You Want – Texas ft Wu Tang Clan
  5. Frozen – Madonna
  6. Big Mistake – Natalie Imbruglia
  7. When The Lights Go Out – 5ive
  8. Brimful Of Asha – Cornershop
  9. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
  10. Uh La La La – Alexia
1998: Madonna – Ray Of Light

Album chart:

  1. Ray Of Light – Madonna
  2. Titanic – Original Soundtrack
  3. Tin Planet – Space
  4. Life Thru A Lens – Robbie Williams
  5. Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion
  6. Pilgrim – Eric Clapton
  7. Urban Hymns – The Verve
  8. Maverick A Strike – Finlay Quaye
  9. Left Of The Middle – Natalie Imbruglia
  10. Return To The Last Chance Saloon – The Bluetones

2002: Yoko Ono unveils a seven foot bronze statue of John Lennon overlooking the check-in hall of Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

2003: Hu Jintao becomes President of the People’s Republic of China. On the same day, actress Dame Thora Hird dies aged 91.

2006: The 18th Commonwealth Games open in Melbourne, Australia.

2010: Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen marries actress Isla Fisher in Paris.

2014: Scott Asheton, the drummer for The Stooges dies of a heart attack aged 64.

2015: Mike Porcaro, bassist with Toto dies following a battle with ALS.

2019: George Michael’s art collection sells at auction raising more than £11 million for charity.

BIRTHDAYS: Phil Lesh, bassist (The Grateful Dead) 81; Mike Love, singer (The Beach Boys) 80; David Cronenberg, director, 78; Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart), musician/producer/songwriter, 77; Howard Scott, guitarist (War) 75; Stomu Yamashta (Tsutomu Yamashita) composer/musician, 74; Ry (Ryland) Cooder, guitarist/singer/composer, 74; Howard Devoto (Trafford), singer-songwriter (Magazine/The Buzzcocks) 69; Dee Snider, DJ/singer (Twisted Sister) 66; Renny Harlin, director, 62; Terence Trent D’arby (Sananda Maitreya) singer-songwriter, 59; Bret Michaels, singer (Poison) 58; Kim Raver, actress, 52; Penny Lancaster (Stewart), photographer/TV presenter, 50; Mark Hoppus, bassist (Blink 182), 49; will.i.am (William Adams), producer/songwriter, 46; Eva Longoria, actress, 46; Jai Courtney, actor, 35; Paul Pogba, footballer, 28.