It happened today – 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.

1956: Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus is arrested and exiled to The Seychelles.

1959: Barbie makes her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York.

1962: Egyptian President Nasser declares Gaza belongs to Palestinians.

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

1966: Recording began on the Brian Wilson and Tony Asher song ‘God Only Knows’, which is generally accepted as one of the finest pop sings ever written.

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

1974: A Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in The Philippines, surrenders, 29 years after World War II ended.

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 shot dead in Los Angeles aged 24.

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 with Boston, commits suicide at 55.

2010: Lil Wayne is sentenced to a year in prison at New York City’s Rikers Island 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.

BIRTHDAYS: John Cale, musician, 78; Gary Walker (Leeds), drummer (The Walker Brothers) 78; Robin Trower, guitarist, 75; Martin Fry, singer (ABC) 62; Linda Fiorentino, actress, 60; Juliette Binoche, actress, 56; Shannon Leto, musician (30 Seconds to Mars) 50; Clint Dempsey, footballer, 37; Wretch 32 (Jermaine Sinclair) rapper, 32.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]