It happened today – this day in history – March 19

1227: Count Ugolino of Segna elected Pope Gregory IX.

1571: Spanish troops occupy Manila in The Philippines.

1644: 200 members of the Peking imperial family and court commit suicide in loyalty to the Emperor.

1799: Joseph Haydn’s “Die Schöpfung” premieres in Vienna.

1808: Charles IV of Spain abdicates after riots and a popular revolt at the winter palace Aranjuez. His son, Ferdinand VII, takes the throne.

1831: In the first US bank robbery, the City Bank in New York is robbed of $245,000.

1848: Birth of frontiersman Wyatt Earp.

1859: The opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premieres in Paris.

1861: The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand.

1863: Confederate cruiser SS Georgiana is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, and medicines then valued at over $1,000,000. The wreck is discovered exactly 102 years to the day later by teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence.

1930: Death of former prime minister Arthur Balfour aged 81.

1931: Nevada legalizes gambling.

1932: Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened.

1937: Astronomer Fritz Zwicky publishes his research on stellar explosion in which he coins the term “supernova”.

1938: Scotland beats England, 21-16 at Twickenham, London to win the Home Nations Rugby Championship, Triple Crown and Calcutta Cup.

1940: The French government of Edouard Deladier falls.

1943: British 8th army opens assault on Mareth line, Tunisia. On the same day, in teor third meeting, Jake LaMotta finally defeats Jimmy Reeves by knocking him out in the sixth round.

1945: 800 are killed as Kamikaze pilots attack the USS Franklin off Japan. On the same day, Adolf Hitler issues the “Nero Decree” to destroy all German factories.

1946: French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique & Reunion become overseas “departments” of France. On the same day, Nikolai Mikhailovich Schwernik succeeds Kalinin as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

1950: Death of Tarzan of the Apes author Edgar Rice Burroughs aged 74.

1951: Herman Wouk’s novel “The Caine Mutiny” is published.

1953: The Academy Awards are televised for the first time with Gary Cooper winning the Oscar for best actor in High Noon.

1964: Three new cities – Milton Keynes, Havant and Basingstoke – are proposed for south east England as part of the largest regional expansion plan in Britain. On the same day, Prime Minister Harold Wilson presents The Beatles with their awards for showbusiness personalities of the year for 1963 at London’s Dorchester Hotel.


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1965: See 1863.

1976: Buckingham Palace announces that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon are to separate after 16 years of marriage. On the same day, Paul Kossof, guitarist with Free and Back Street Crawler died aged 25 of heart failure during a flight from Los Angeles to New York.

1977: France beats Ireland, 15-6 at Lansdowne Road, Dublin to clinch its sixth outright Five Nations Rugby Championship and second Grand Slam.

1978: Singles chart:

  1. Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
  2. Denis – Blondie
  3. Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs – Brian and Michael
  4. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
  5. I Can’t Stand The Rain – Eruption
  6. Wishing On A Star – Rose Royce
  7. Come Back My Love – Darts
  8. Take A Chance On Me – ABBA
  9. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
  10. I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass – Nick Lowe
1978: ABBA – The Album

Album chart:

  1. 20 Golden Greats – Buddy Holly and the Crickets
  2. The Album – ABBA
  3. Reflections – Andy Williams
  4. The Kick Inside – Kate Bush
  5. Out Of The Blue – ELO
  6. Variations – Andrew Lloyd Webber
  7. Boogie Nights – Various Artists
  8. Fonzie’s Favourites – Various Artists
  9. City To City – Gerry Rafferty
  10. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

1982: A group of Argentines land at the British colony of the Falkland Islands in the south Atlantic and plant their nation’s flag. On the same day, Randy Rhodes, of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, is killed along with crew member Rachel Youngblood and coach driver Andrew Aycock when a small aircraft they were in clipped the tour bus and crashed in flames.

1987: American televangelist Jim Bakker resigns amid a rape accusation by his secretary, Jessica Hahn.

1988: Two British soldiers are lynched in Belfast.

1989: Wales beats England, 12-9 at Cardiff Arms Park to allow France to claim it’s 9th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship.

1992: Buckingham Palace announces the Duke and Duchess of York are to separate.

1996: Winnie and Nelson Mandela divorce.

2003: Airstrikes by an American and British-led coalition signal the beginning of the invasion of Iraq.

2004: Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian is shot a day before the country’s presidential election.

2005: Wales beat Ireland, 32-20 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, to win the Six Nations Rugby Championship and become the first team to complete a Grand Slam playing more games away than at home.

2007: Soul singer Luther Ingram died from a heart attack at the age of 69.

2008: Death of author and inventor of the communications satellite, Arthur C. Clarke aged 90. On the same day, actor Paul Schofield dies of leukemia aged 86.

2014: Russia captures the Ukrainian naval base in Sevastopol.

2016: England beats France 31-21 at Stade de France, Paris, to claim Six Nations Rugby Championship abd secure their first Grand Slam since 2003.

2018: Mississippi signs into law the US’s strictest abortion laws, no termination after 15 weeks. On the same day, the World’s last male northern white rhino dies in Kenya.

2019: Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev announces his resignation after nearly 30 years in office.

2020: The death toll in Italy from COVID-19 at 3,405 surpasses China’s official total (3,245) making it then the worst-affected country in the world.

BIRTHDAYS: Ursula Andress, actress, 85; Glenn Close, actress, 74; Bruce (Walter) Willis, actor, 66; Terry Hall, singer (The Specials) 62; Nigel Clough, football manager, 55; Warren Barton, footballer, 52; Jack Bessant, bassist (Reef) 50; Dean Smith, Aston Villa manager, 50; Kolo Touré, footballer, 40; Héctor Bellerín (Moruno), footballer, 26.