It happened today – this day in history – March 15

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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.

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

1955: Elvis Presley signed a management contract with Colonel Tom Parker. Parker 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.

1964: Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton.

1968: Foreign Secretary George Brown resigns after having a drunken row with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

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

1970: Mary Ann Ganser of The Shangri-Las died in Queens, New York aged 22 of a drug overdose.

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

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

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 defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Wembley to lift the League Cup for the second time in the club’s history.

1985: The first Internet domain name, is registered.

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

1990: Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft is executed by the Iraqi regime, accused of spying for Israel.

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

1998: Pediatrician and writer Benjamin Spock dies aged 94.

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 with the Stooges died of a heart attack aged 64.

2015: Toto bassist Mike Pocarro died following a battle with ALS.

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

BIRTHDAYS: Judd Hirsch, actor, 85; Phil Lesh, bassist (The Grateful Dead), 80; Mike Love, singer (The Beach Boys), 79; David Cronenberg, director, 77; Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart), musician/songwriter/producer, 76; Howard Scott, guitarist (War) 74; Ry Cooder, guitarist, 73; Stomu Yamashta, musucian/composer 73; Howard Devoto (Trafford), singer/songwriter (Magazine) 68; Dee Snider, singer (Twisted Sister) 65; Steve Lillywhite, producer, 65; Renny Harlin, director, 61; Terence Trent D’arby (Howard), singer, 58; Bret Michaels, singer (Poison) 57; Kim Raver, actress, 51; Penny Lancaster, photographer, Mrs Rod Stewart, 49; Mark Hoppus, musician (Blink 182) 48; (William Adams) 45; Eva Longoria, actress, 45; Alexandra Daddario, actress, 34; Paul Pogba, footballer, 27.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]