Forthcoming historic anniversaries, Mar 2009

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing. Dates and facts are taken from a reliable source, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Please cross-check all information as part of your research and let us know of any errors.

An expanded list of events for this month is available in The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which covers the whole year from January to December 2009.

400 years ago (12 Mar 1609)
Bermuda was founded as a British colony

200 years ago (25 Mar 1809)
Death of Anna Seward, British poet

200 years ago (27 Mar 1809)
Birth of Baron Haussmann, French civic planner who modernised Paris

200 years ago (29 Mar 1809)
King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden abdicated, unwittingly forfeiting the crown for his whole family

200 years ago (31 Mar 1809)
Birth of Nikolai Gogol, Ukrainian-Russian writer

200 years ago (31 Mar 1809)
Birth of Edward Fitzgerald, British writer and poet who first translated the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam into English

150 years ago (8 Mar 1859)
Birth of Kenneth Grahame, British writer (‘The Wind in the Willows’)

150 years ago (16 Mar 1859)
Birth of Aleksandr Popov, Russian physicist, electrical engineer and radio pioneer

150 years ago (19 Mar 1859)
Charles Gounod’s opera ‘Faust’ was performed for the first time, in Paris

150 years ago (26 Mar 1859)
Birth of A.E. Housman, British poet

100 years ago (15 Mar 1909)
Selfridges department store opened in Oxford Street, London

100 years ago (18 Mar 1909)
The first ‘ham radio’ broadcast – Einar Dessau of Denmark used a short wave transmitter to talk to a government radio post six miles away

100 years ago (24 Mar 1909)
Birth of Clyde Barrow, American outlaw and robber (‘Bonnie and Clyde’)

100 years ago (24 Mar 1909)
Death of J.M. Synge, Irish dramatist who led the Irish literary renaissance along with W.B. Yeats

100 years ago (30 Mar 1909)
The Queensboro Bridge in New York opened. It linked Manhattan and Queens and was the first double-decker bridge

75 years ago (9 Mar 1934)
Birth of Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut, the first man in space

75 years ago (20 Mar 1934)
Death of Queen Emma of the Netherlands

75 years ago (26 Mar 1934)
Driving tests were introduced in Britain (voluntary until June 1935)

50 years ago (3 Mar 1959)
Death of Lou Costello, American actor and comedian (Abbott & Costello)

50 years ago (9 Mar 1959)
The Barbie doll was launched at the International Toy Fair, New York

50 years ago (15 Mar 1959)
Death of Lester Young (also known as ‘Prez’), American jazz saxophonist

50 years ago (18 Mar 1959)
US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill that would allow Hawaii to become the 50th state (came into effect on 21st August)

50 years ago (26 Mar 1959)
Death of Raymond Chandler, American detective novelist (created the private eye ‘Philip Marlowe’)

50 years ago (31 Mar 1959)
Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, arrived in India after a 15-day journey over the Himalayas, and was granted political asylum

40 years ago (4 Mar 1969)
East-end gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray (the Kray twins) were found guilty of murdering Jack McVitie, at the Central Criminal Court, London

40 years ago (7 Mar 1969)
London underground’s Victoria line was opened

40 years ago (10 Mar 1969)
James Earl Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the murder of the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King

40 years ago (17 Mar 1969)
Golda Meir became the first woman Prime Minister of Israel

30 years ago (26 Mar 1979)
Israeli Prime Minster Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Peace Accord, ending 30 years of war

30 years ago (28 Mar 1979)
The nuclear power station at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, suffered a meltdown in the core of one of its reactors

25 years ago (1 Mar 1984)
Death of Jackie Coogan, American actor, first major Hollywood child star

25 years ago (12 Mar 1984)
Tens of thousands of British miners began a year-long strike to protest against pit closures and job losses

25 years ago (12 Mar 1984)
Death of Arnold Ridley, British actor (Private Godfrey in ‘Dad’s Army’)

25 years ago (14 Mar 1984)
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was shot and wounded in a street attack in central Belfast, Northern Ireland

25 years ago (16 Mar 1984)
The CIA’s station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists. (He died in captivity)

20 years ago (4 Mar 1989)
Time Inc. and Warner Communications announced their merger to form Time-Warner, the world’s largest media and entertainment company

20 years ago (7 Mar 1989)
Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Britain as the Government refused to denounce the author Salman Rushdie and his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’

20 years ago (23 Mar 1989)
Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann of the University of Utah announced that they had observed controlled nuclear fusion in a glass jar

20 years ago (24 Mar 1989)
The supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, leaking 11 million gallons of crude oil

20 years ago (27 Mar 1989)
In the Soviet parliamentary election, candidates from outside the Communist party were allowed to stand for the first time. Many senior Communist officials lost their seats

10 years ago (2 Mar 1999)
Death of Dusty Springfield, British pop singer

10 years ago (8 Mar 1999)
Death of Joe DiMaggio, American baseball star

10 years ago (12 Mar 1999)
Death of Yehudi Menuhin, American-born British violin virtuoso

10 years ago (20 Mar 1999)
Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland) and Brian Jones (Britain) made the first non-stop hot-air balloon flight around the world

10 years ago (26 Mar 1999)
American pathologist Jack Kevorkian was found guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man in an assisted-suicide campaign

10 years ago (30 Mar 1999)
The Philip Morris tobacco company was ordered by a jury in Portland, Oregon, to pay $81 million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer

For more historic anniversaries see The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which spans the whole of 2009 and contains over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than our standard lists featured here. For example, there are 46 events listed above for March 2009, but 101 events for the same month in the Date-A-Base Book 2009.

The Date-A-Base Book 2009 is an excellent source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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