It happened today – this day in history – March 17

45BC: In his last victory, Julius Ceasar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.

180AD: Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius dies leaving his son, Comomodus, aged 18 as emperor.

1337: Edward The Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.

1521: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches The Philippines.

1755: The Transylvania Land Company buys Kentucky for $50,000 from a Cherokee chief.

1776: British forces evacuate Boston to Nova Scotia during Revolutionary War.

1829: The final performance by clown Joseph Grimaldi at a benefit performance at Sadler’s Wells.

1845: The rubber band is patented by Stephen Perry of London.

1861: Italy is unified into a single kingdom under Victor Emmanuel II following the campaigns led by Guiseppe Garibaldi.

1884: John Joseph Montgomery makes the first glider flight at Otay, California.

1897: British boxer Bob Fitzsimmons KO’s American champion Jim Corbett in the 14th round to win World Heavyweight title in Carson City, Nevada.

1898: John Philip Holland achieves a successful test run for the first modern submarine off Staten Island, submerging for 1 hour 40 minutes.

1900: In South Africa, British troops relieve Mafeking, besieged by the Boers since 13th October.

1901: At a show in Paris, 71 paintings by Vincent van Gogh cause a sensation 11 years after his death.

1905: Albert Einstein finishes his scientific paper detailing his Quantum Theory of Light, one of the foundations of modern physics. On the same day, Eleanor Roosevelt marries her fifth cousin, once removed, Franklin D Roosevelt. The bride is given away by her uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt.

1921: Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain’s first birth control clinic in London.

1926: Spain and Brazil prevent Germany joining the League of Nations.

1934: England beats Scotland, 6-3 at Twickenham, London to win the Home Nations Rugby Championship and Triple Crown.

1938: The Italian Air Force, in support of Franco, bombs Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.

1955: Elvis Presley purchased Graceland in Memphis, the mansion that would be his home for the rest of his life.

1957: Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay dies in a plane crash.

1969: Golda Meir becomes prime minister of Israel

1973: The Queen opens the new London Bridge.

1976: Four Catholic civilians (including two children) are killed and 12 wounded when the UVF explode a car bomb at Hillcrest Bar, Dungannon.

1977: Australia wins cricket Centenary Test by 45 runs, same result as 1877.

1984: Scotland beats France, 21-12 at Murrayfield to win the Five Nations Rugby Championship outright and Triple Crown for first time since 1938; Grand Slam first time since 1925.

1987: Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar ends his Test career with an innings of 96 v Pakistan.

1993: 86 people are killed in a bomb attack in Calcutta.

1995: Death of Ronnie Kray aged 61.

1997: R&B singer Jermaine Stewart died of AIDS-related liver cancer at age 39.

1999: Comedian Rod Hull dies after falling off the roof of his house.

2003: Cabinet minister Robin Cook, resigns over government plans for the war with Iraq.

2008: Paul McCartney divorces Heather Mills on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

2010: Singer-songwriter, Alex Chilton died in hospital of heart problems in New Orleans aged 59.

2012: Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapses and is rushed to hospital during a live football match against Tottenham Hotspur. On the same day, Wales beat France, 16-9 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to wrap up the Grand Slam and win the Six Nations Rugby Championship.

2016: Magician Paul Daniels dies aged 77.

2018: Ireland beats England, 24-15 at Twickenham to wrap up Six Nations Rugby Championship; 3rd Grand Slam & 11th Triple Crown. On the same day, Africa’s only female head of state, Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim confirms she is resigning amid an expenses scandal.

2019: Wales beats Ireland, 25-7 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to clinch the Six-Nations Rugby Championship and Grand Slam. On the same day, Facebook removes 1.5 million videos of the Christchurch mosque shootings in first 24 hours after the attack.

BIRTHDAYS: Robin Knox-Johnston, yachtsman, 81; Patti Boyd, ex wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, 76; John Sebastian, singer/songwriter, 76; Patrick Duffy, actor, 71; Kurt Russell, actor, 69; Scott Gorham, guitarist (Thin Lizzy/Black Star Riders) 69; Gary Sinese, actor, 65; Rory McGrath, comedian, 64; Mike Lindup, keyboards (Level 42) 61; Clare Grogan, actress/singer/TV presenter, 58; Michael Ivins, bassist (The Flaming Lips) 57; Rob Lowe, actor, 56; Lee Dixon, football pundit, 56; Billy Corgan, musician/songwriter (Smashing Pumpkins) 53; Melissa Auf der Maur, musician (Hole) 48; Caroline Corr, drummer, (The Corrs) 47; Justin Hawkins, guitar/vocals (The Darkness) 45; Hozier (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) singer/songwriter, 30; John Boyega, actor, 28.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]