Today in History: March 31
by Staff Reports | March 31, 2019 12:00 am
Last Updated: March 29, 2018 at 5:17 am
307 – After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Maximian.
627 – Battle of the Trench: Muhammad undergoes a 14-day siege at Medina (Saudi Arabia) by Meccan forces under Abu Sufyan.
1146 – Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade.
1492 – Queen Isabella of Castile issues the Alhambra Decree, ordering her 150,000 Jewish and Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.
1561 – The city of San Cristóbal, Táchira is founded.
1717 – A sermon on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.
1774 – American Revolutionary War: The Kingdom of Great Britain orders the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act.
1822 – The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following an attempted rebellion, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.
1854 – Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Convention of Kanagawa with the Tokugawa Shogunate, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.
1885 – The United Kingdom establishes the Bechuanaland Protectorate.
1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened.
1899 – Malolos, capital of the First Philippine Republic, is captured by American forces.
1906 – The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later the National Collegiate Athletic Association) is established to set rules for college sports in the United States.
1909 – Serbia accepts Austrian control over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1913 – The Vienna Concert Society rioted during a performance of modernist music by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Anton von Webern, causing a premature end to the concert due to violence; this concert became known as the Skandalkonzert.
1917 – The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands.
1918 – Massacre of ethnic Azerbaijanis is committed by allied armed groups of Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Bolsheviks. Nearly 12,000 Azerbaijani Muslims are killed.
1918 – Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States for the first time.
1921 – The Royal Australian Air Force is formed.
1930 – The Motion Picture Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film, in the U.S., for the next thirty-eight years.
1931 – An earthquake in Nicaragua destroys Managua; killing 2,000.
1931 – A Transcontinental & Western Air airliner crashes near Bazaar, Kansas, killing eight, including University of Notre Dame head football coach Knute Rockne.
1933 – The Civilian Conservation Corps is established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment in the United States.
1942 – World War II: Japanese forces invade Christmas Island, then a British possession.
1945 – World War II: A defecting German pilot delivers a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1, the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, to the Americans, the first to fall into Allied hands.
1949 – The Dominion of Newfoundland joins the Canadian Confederation and becomes the 10th Province of Canada.
1951 – Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.
1957 – Elections to the Territorial Assembly of the French colony Upper Volta are held. After the elections PDU and MDV form a government.
1958 – In the Canadian federal election, the Progressive Conservatives, led by John Diefenbaker, win the largest percentage of seats in Canadian history, with 208 seats of 265.
1959 – The 14th Dalai Lama, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.
1964 – A coup d’état in Brazil establishes a military government, under the aegis of general Castelo Branco.
1966 – The Soviet Union launches Luna 10 which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.
1968 – American President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke to the nation of “Steps to Limit the War in Vietnam” in a television address. At the conclusion of his speech, he also announced, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”.
1970 – Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.
1980 – The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad operates its final train after being ordered to liquidate its assets because of bankruptcy and debts owed to creditors.
1985 – The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), takes place in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1990 – Approximately 200,000 protesters take to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax.
1991 – Georgian independence referendum, 1991: Nearly 99 percent of the voters support the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.
1992 – The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California.
1995 – Selena is murdered by her fan club’s president Yolanda Saldívar at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas after accusations of Saldívar embezzling money from Selena’s fan club.
1998 – Netscape releases Mozilla source code under an open source license.
2004 – Iraq War in Anbar Province: In Fallujah, Iraq, four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed after being ambushed.