This Day in History

March 19


1279      Battle of Yamen, Mongol forces of the Yuan Dynastry defeat Song forces leading to the end of the Song Dynasty   740
1286      Alexander III, King of Scots, dies after a reign of 37 years, age 44   733
1563      Edict of Amboise signed restoring peace to France by guaranteeing the Huguenots religious privileges and freedoms   456
1687      French explorer Robert de LaSalle is killed by his mutinous crew on the Texas coast, age 43   332
1797      English composer, organist, singer, and conductor Philip Hayes dies, age 58   222
1813      David Livingston, Scottish explorer and missionary, born   206
1831      City Bank of New York is site of first bank robbery in U.S.   188
1850      American Express is founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo   169
1863      Confederate cruiser SS Georgiana is destroyed on her maiden voyage attempting to run the Union blockade of Charleston   156
1872      American Seventh-day Adventist religious leader Joseph L. Bates dies age 79   147
1882      first stone of the cathederal Sagrada de Familia in Barcelona is laid—scheduled completion is 2026   137
1895      first film footage is made on the newly patented cinématographe by the Lumière brothers Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean   124
1897      French explorer, geographer, ethnologist, and astronomer Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie dies in Italy, age 87   122
1900      French physicist and Nobel Laureate Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie born in Paris   119
1915      Pluto photographed for the first time—not recognized until 1930   104
1918      U.S. first approves Daylight Savings Time to begin 31 Mar 1918   101
1931      Nevada legalizes gambling   88
1932      Sydney Harbour Bridge opens   87
1941      99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps consisting of black pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, is activated   78
1945      Nero Order:  leader of Germany orders all German infrastructure destroyed ahead of advancing allied forces—order is ignored   74
1950      American author Edgar Rice Burroughs dies in Encino, California, age 74   69
1950      British chemist and Nobel laureate (1937) Norman Haworth "Walter" dies on his birthday in Worcestershire, England, age 67   69
1962      Bob Dylan's first album, Bob Dylan, is released by Columbia Records   57
1978      French mathematician Gaston Maurice Julia dies in Paris, age 85   41
1979      C-SPAN first goes on the air broadcasting a speech by then-congressman Al Gore   40
1987      French physicist and Nobel laureate (Physics 1929) Louis-Victor-Pierre-Raymond, 7th duc de Broglie dies, age 94   32
1996      American influential nurse, researcher, theorist, and author Virginia Avenel Henderson dies in Branford, Connecticut, age 98   23
1997      Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning dies in New York state, age 92   22
1997      French poet Eugène Guillevic dies in Paris, age 89   22
1999      Mexican contemporary poet Jaime Sabines Gutiérrez dies in Mexico City, age 72   20
2002      Zimbabwe becomes the only country suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations–charges of human rights abuses and electoral fraud   17
2005      American engineer and founder of the DeLorean Motor Company John Zachary DeLorean dies in New Jersey, age 80   14
2007      first landing in the U.S. of the Airbus 380 superjumbo   12
2007      American Institute of Mathematics announces the complete mapping of 348-dimensional E8 group   12
2008      Belgian author Hugo Maurice Julien Claus dies in Antwerp, age 78   11
2008      English actor of stage and screen and Academy award winner David Paul Scofield dies in Sussex, England, age 86   11
2008      British science fiction author and futurist Arthur Charles Clarke dies in Colombo, Sri Lanka, age 90   11
2008      supernova, GRB 080319B, over 7.5 billion light years distant briefly visible to the naked eye   11
2010      pioneering American aviator, youngest licensed pilot at age 16, and first woman test pilot for Fairchild Elinor Smith dies, age 98   9
2011      French Air Force launches Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in the Libyian Civil War   8
2013      series of coordinated bombings and shootings across Baghdad and several major cities in Iraq kills over 98 and injures at least 240   6
2014      Canadian journalist, novelist and non-fiction writer Heather Margaret Robertson dies on her 72th birthday   5
2016      with docking of Soyuz TMA-20M carrying three members of Expedition 47, the 100th long-term crew member arrives at the ISS   3
2016      suicide bomb explodes in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district in front of the district governor's office—5 killed and 36 others injured   3
2018      last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, dies in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya—only two females left—age 45   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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