This Day in History

March 25


421      traditional founding of Venice, Italy identified with the dedication of the first church, San Giacomo at the islet of Rialto   1596
1306      Robert the Bruce is crowned Robert I, King of Scots   711
1436      cathedral church Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) in Florence is consecrated   581
1437      seven-year old James II is crowned King of the Scots in Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh—will reign 23 years   580
1538      German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Christopher Clavius born in Bamberg, Germany   479
1555      city of Valencia is founded by Captain Alonso Díaz Moreno—first Spanish settlement in central Venezuela   462
1584      Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia—venture ends in failure at Roanoke Island   433
1634      first settlers arrive in Maryland   383
1655      Saturn's largest moon, Titan, discovered by Christiaan Huygens   362
1802      Treaty of Amiens between England and France is signed—end of the Second Coalition—peace lasted one year   215
1807      slave trade is abolished in the British Empire   210
1807      Swansea and Mumbles Railway in South Wales begins world's first fare-paying passenger rail service—uses horse-drawn cars   210
1818      Norwegian-Danish mathematician and cartographer Caspar Wessel dies in Copenhagen, age 72   199
1821      Greece declares itself independent of Ottoman Turkey beginning the Greek Revolution   196
1843      Thames Tunnel beneath the River Thames in London connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping opens—first tunnel underneath a navigable river   174
1863      Congressional Medal of Honor first awarded   154
1867      Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini born in Parma   150
1873      Danish artist Nicolai Wilhelm Marstrand dies in Copenhagen, age 62   144
1911      Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan is the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City—146 workers killed   106
1918      French composer Claude Debussy dies in Paris, age 55   99
1921      Greek Revolution from the Ottoman Turks is declared in the Monastery of Agia Lavra by the archbishop of Patras Germanos   96
1947      Centralia No. 5 coal mine explodes near the town of Centralia, Illinois—111 miners die out of 142   70
1954      RCA begins manufacturing first color television sets   63
1973      Philadelphia 76ers end season with the NBA's worst season record—9–73   44
1979      space shuttle Columbia arrives at the Kennedy Space Center—it would be two years before her first launch   38
1987      Ceylon Tamil physicist Arumugam Wisvalingam Mailvaganam dies, age 80   30
1988      American dancer, choreographer, and co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet Robert Joffrey (born Abdullah Jaffa Bey Khan) dies, age 57   29
1995      first wiki application, WikiWikiWeb, installed by Ward Cunningham   22
2011      German-born American scientist Thomas Eisner, "the father of chemical ecology", dies in Ithica, New York, age 81   6
2012      James Cameron makes the first solo descent to the ocean's deepest point, Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench   5
2013      American legal journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Lewis dies, age 85   4
2016      Rolling Stones play to an estimated 500,000 in front of the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana in Cuba   1
2016      suicide bomb attack at a stadium in the city of Iskanderiyah, Iraq, kills 41 and injures 105 others   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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