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This Day in History - March 19

March 19

1279 – The Song Dynasty ends in China with a Mongolian victory at the naval Battle of Yamen

1406 – Tunisian historian Ibn Khaldun dies

1589 – Governor of Plymouth colony, William Bradford, is born

1644 – 200 members of Peking imperial court commit suicide in loyalty to the Emperor

1687 – The French explorer La Salle is murdered by his own men

1702 – Anne Stuart, sister of Mary, succeeds to the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland, after the death of William III of Orange

1721 – Satirical author and physician Tobias George Smollett is born

1734 – President of the state of Delaware, President of the US Congress and Chief Justice of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, Thomas McKean is born

1813 – English explorer David Livingstone is born

1821 – English explorer Sir Richard Burton is born

1822 – Boston is incorporated

1842 – A publicity stunt backfires when French writer Honore de Balzac starts a rumor that tickets were sold out to his play Les Ressources de Quinola, to create a buzz. Unfortunately, his fans believed him and stayed home

1848 – US Marshal Wyatt Earp is born

1849 – Prussian admiral Alfred von Tirpitz is born

1853 – The rebels captured Nanking and renamed it T’en-Ching, during the Taiping Rebellion in China

1860 – Orator and statesman known as “The Great Communicator,” William Jennings Bryan, is born

1864 – Artist Charles Marion Russell is born

1865 – The Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina begins when Confederate General Joseph Johnston makes a futile attempt to stop Union General William Sherman

1879 – Jim Currie opens fire on actors Maurice Barrymore and Ben Porter in Texas, wounding Barrymore and killing Porter

1889 – South African writer Sarah Gertrud Millina is born

1891 – Governor of California, an 14th Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, is born

1895 – The Lumiere brothers record their first footage, showing workers leaving their factory in Lyon

1903 – The US Senate ratifies the Cuban treaty, gaining naval bases in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda

1904 – US Federal Judge who ruled on Watergate issues, John J. Sirica is born

1906 – Nazi Gestapo officer Adolf Eichman is born

1911 – The first International Women’s Day is observed by over a million people in Europe

1912 – German Luftwaffe pilot Adolf Galland is born

1916 – The First Aero Squadron leaves Columbus, NM to join General John Pershing’s Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico

1917 – The Adamson Act is ruled constitutional by the US Supreme Court, giving eight hour work days for railroad workers

1918 – Congress authorizes Daylight Savings Time

1920 – The US Senate rejects the Versailles Treaty for the second time

1924 – US troops are rushed to Tegucigalpa as a rebel force takes the Honduran capital

1925 – Lieutenant General of USAF, National Security Advisor to President George HW Bush, Brent Scowcroft is born

1931 – Gambling is legalized in Nevada

1932 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened

1933 – American novelist and short story writer Phillip Roth is born

1935 – The British fire on 20,000 Muslims in India, killing 23

1936 – The Soviet Union signs an assistance pact with Mongolia against Japan

1939 – American activist Lloyd Gaines dies

1944 – The German 352nd Infantry Division deploys along the coast of France

1945 – Adolf Hitler orders a scorched-earth policy for his retreating German armies in the west and east-destruction of all industries

1945 – General Friedrich Fromm, commander of the German Home Army, is executed by firing squad for his participation in the plot to assassinate the Fuhrer

1947 – Chiang Kai-Shek’s government forces take control of Yenan

1949 – The Soviet People’s Council signs the constitution of the German Democratic Republic and declares the North Atlantic Treaty as merely a war weapon

1952 – Producer and co-founder of Miramax Films, Harvey Weinstein is born

1953 – Academy Awards are telecast for the first time

1954 – Willie Mosconi, “Mr. Pocket Billiards,” set the world record for running the most consecutive pool balls without a miss-526

1955 – Singer, producer and actor Bruce Willis is born

1957 – Singer and actor Elvis Presley puts a down payment on a new home-Graceland on the outskirts of Memphis

1962 – Singer Bob Dylan releases his first album

1963 – President John Kennedy and six Latin American presidents in Costa Rica, pledge to fight communism

1966 – Texas Western College defeats the University of Kentucky in the NCAA basketball final in Maryland, marking the first time an all-black starting five had won the championship

1966 – The South Korean Assembly votes to send 20,000 additional troops to Vietnam to join the Republic of Korea

1970 – A national emergency is declared in Cambodia and the National Assembly grants “full power” to Premier Lon Nol and suspends four articles of the constitution, permitting arbitrary arrest and banning public assembly after Nol’s bloodless coup against Prince Norodom Sihanouk

1971 – 600 are killed in a landslide, flood, and avalanche set off by an earthquake in Chungar, Peru

1981 – One technician is killed, and two injured during a routine test on space shuttle Columbia

 1996 – Sarajevo becomes a united city again, four years after Muslim-Croats took control of Serb-held districts

 2003 – The US and coalition forces primarily from the UK, initiate war on Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom

2003 – Mahmoud Abbas becomes Prime Minister of Palestine, later to succeed Yasir Arafat as the head of the PLO and President of the Palestinian Authority

2005 – Automaker John DeLorean dies

2008 – English author Arthur C. Clarke dies

2014 – American pastor Fred Phelps dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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