Historic anniversaries in March 2012

You might like to write about the following historic anniversaries. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.

The list presented here is just a fraction of that available in The Date-A-Base Book 2012. For example, there are 60 anniversaries listed below, but 201 anniversaries for the same month in the book, which also covers the whole of 2012.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

500 years ago (5 Mar 1512)
Birth of Gerardus Mercator, Flemish cartographer, best known for the Mercator projection world map

250 years ago (17 Mar 1762)
New York City held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade

200 years ago (1 Mar 1812)
Birth of Augustus Pugin, British architect, designer, design theorist and writer, best remembered for his use of the Gothic Revival style in the Palace of Westminster and many churches

200 years ago (6 Mar 1812)
Birth of Aaron Lufkin Dennison, American watchmaker whose innovative use of interchangeable parts led to the mass-production of watches

200 years ago (16 Mar 1812 to 6th Apr)
Peninsular War – Battle of Badajoz, Spain. British and Portuguese forces defeated the French in one of the bloodiest battles of the Napoleonic Wars

150 years ago (10 Mar 1862)
The first national paper money was issued in the USA. Known as United States Notes, they replaced the earlier Demand Notes that could be exchanged for coins at Treasury offices

150 years ago (28 Mar 1862)
Birth of Aristide Briand, Prime Minister of France several times between 1909 and 1929, joint winner of the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize

100 years ago (7 Mar 1912)
French aviator Henri Seimet made the first non-stop flight from Paris to London

100 years ago (12 Mar 1912)
The first Girl Guides (now Girl Scouts) troop in the USA was founded in Savannah, Georgia by Juliette Gordon Low

100 years ago (16 Mar 1912?)
Death of Lawrence Oates, British Antarctic explorer, a member of Scott’s ill-fated expedition, who famously said ‘I am just going outside and may be some time’ as he walked into a blizzard where he faced certain death

100 years ago (22 Mar 1912)
Birth of Karl Malden, American film and TV actor (‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘On the Waterfront’, ‘One-Eyed Jacks’. Also played Lieutenant Mike Stone in ‘The Streets of San Francisco’ – his best-known TV role)

100 years ago (22 Mar 1912)
Birth of Wilfrid Brambell, Irish actor (played Albert Steptoe in ‘Steptoe and Son’)

100 years ago (23 Mar 1912)
Birth of Wernher von Braun, German-born American rocket scientist and engineer

100 years ago (27 Mar 1912)
Birth of James Callaghan, British Prime Minister (1976-79)

100 years ago (29 Mar 1912)
Death of Robert Falcon Scott, British Antarctic explorer. He and his team perished while returning from his second Antarctic expedition

100 years ago (30 Mar 1912)
In Britain’s University Boat Race the Oxford and the Cambridge boats both sank. The race was re-run on Monday 1st April (won by Oxford)

80 years ago (1 Mar 1932)
American aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey. (Found dead 12th May)

80 years ago (19 Mar 1932)
Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia was opened

75 years ago (11 Mar 1937)
Death of Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist, founder of Texaco

75 years ago (15 Mar 1937)
Death of H. P. Lovecraft, influential American horror, fantasy and science fiction writer

65 years ago (1 Mar 1947)
The International Monetary Fund began operating

60 years ago (4 Mar 1952)
American actor and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis in Los Angeles, California

60 years ago (10 Mar 1952)
Fulgencio Batista deposed Cuban president Carlos Prío Socarrás and returned to power in a bloodless military coup

60 years ago (11 Mar 1952)
Birth of Douglas Adams, British comedy writer and dramatist, best known for ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. (Died 2001)

60 years ago (21 Mar 1952)
The Moondog Coronation Ball was held in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. It is generally regarded as the first ever rock and roll concert

50 years ago (18 Mar 1962)
The Évian Accords were signed by France and Algeria, ending the Algerian War of Independence. (Algeria became independent in July)

50 years ago (24 Mar 1962)
Death of Auguste Piccard, Swiss physicist who explored the upper atmosphere by balloon and the depths of the sea by bathyscaphe, both of which he designed himself

40 years ago (2 Mar 1972)
NASA launched the Pioneer 10 space probe to explore the outer solar system. It famously carries a gold plaque that describes what humans look like and where we are. (It became the first space probe to fly through the Asteroid Belt and the first to fly past Jupiter)

40 years ago (24 Mar 1972)
The government of Northern Ireland resigned and parliament was dissolved. On 30th the UK established direct rule from London (until 1999)

40 years ago (27 Mar 1972)
Death of M.C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist, known for his detailed prints of bizarre optical effects, metamorphoses of one object into another, and impossible constructions

40 years ago (29 Mar 1972)
Death of J. Arthur Rank, British industrialist, film producer and distributor, founder of the Rank Organisation, co-founder of Pinewood Film Studios

40 years ago (30 Mar 1972)
Vietnam War – the Easter Offensive (Nguyen Hue Offensive). North Vietnamese forces launched an all-out invasion of the South

30 years ago (2 Mar 1982)
Death of Philip K. Dick, American science fiction writer. Several of his stories became popular movies, including ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Minority Report’

30 years ago (3 Mar 1982)
The Barbican Centre in London was opened by the Queen. It is the largest arts and conference venue in Europe

30 years ago (5 Mar 1982)
Death of John Belushi, American comedy actor and musician, best known for his appearances on the U.S. TV series ‘Saturday Night Live’, and for the films ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’

30 years ago (6 Mar 1982)
Death of Ayn Rand, Russian-born American philosopher and writer, best known for the novels ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and for developing the philosophy of Objectivism

30 years ago (19 Mar 1982)
Falklands War: a group of Argentine marines posing as salvage workers landed on South Georgia and raised the Argentine flag. (Argentina invaded the Falklands two weeks later on 2nd April)

30 years ago (29 Mar 1982)
Death of Carl Orff, German composer, best known for ‘Carmina Burana’. He also developed a system of music education for children which was widely adopted

25 years ago (3 Mar 1987)
Death of Danny Kaye, American actor, comedian, singer and humanitarian (‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, ‘Hans Christian Andersen’, ‘White Christmas’, and many others)

25 years ago (4 Mar 1987)
U.S. President Ronald Reagan accepted full responsibility for the Iran-Contra scandal and admitted making mistakes, saying his heart and best intentions told him he did not trade arms for hostages, but the facts and evidence said he did

25 years ago (6 Mar 1987)
The British ferry ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium after leaving its bow doors open. 193 people were killed

25 years ago (10 Mar 1987)
The Vatican condemned artificial insemination, genetic engineering, surrogate motherhood, test-tube babies, cloning, and pre-determining a foetus’s sex or other qualities, saying it was ‘morally illicit’

25 years ago (19 Mar 1987)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AZT, a drug used in the treatment of AIDS and found to prolong the lives of patients

25 years ago (19 Mar 1987)
American televangelist Jim Bakker resigned from his PTL organisation in a sex scandal. (He was subsequently jailed for fraud and conspiracy)

25 years ago (28 Mar 1987)
Death of Maria von Trapp, Austrian singer and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers, whose story inspired the Rogers and Hammerstein musical ‘The Sound of Music’

25 years ago (28 Mar 1987)
Death of Patrick Troughton, British actor (played the second Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ from 1966 to 1969)

20 years ago (17 Mar 1992)
The people of South Africa voted in a referendum to back political reform and end apartheid

20 years ago (19 Mar 1992)
Buckingham Palace announced the separation of the Duke and Duchess of York – Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. (Married July 1986, divorced May 1996)

20 years ago (25 Mar 1992)
Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned to Earth after spending 10 months on the Mir space station. During this time the Soviet Union was dissolved, and he returned as a citizen of Russia

20 years ago (31 Mar 1992)
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Libya after it failed to accept responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the bombing of a French plane over Niger

15 years ago (6 Mar 1997)
Queen Elizabeth II opened the official Royal website (www.royal.gov.uk)

15 years ago (26 Mar 1997)
Police found the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate religious cult, who had committed suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA

10 years ago (3 Mar 2002)
In a referendum the citizens of Switzerland voted to join the United Nations, ending nearly 200 years of neutrality. (Joined 10th Sept 2002)

10 years ago (12 Mar 2002)
The U.S. Homeland Security Advisory System was launched – a colour-coded warning system that gives the current level of terror/threat alert

10 years ago (21 Mar 2002)
British schoolgirl Amanda (‘Milly’) Dowler vanished while walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. (Body found in Hampshire in September 2002. A man was charged with her murder in March 2010)

10 years ago (23 Mar 2002)
Death of Ben Hollioake, Australian-born British cricketer

10 years ago (25 Mar 2002)
Death of Kenneth Wolstenholme, British football commentator, best remembered for his commentary at the 1966 World Cup Final: ‘Some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over… It is now!’ as the last goal was scored

10 years ago (27 Mar 2002)
Death of Dudley Moore, British actor, comedian, musician and composer, best remembered for his comedy partnership with Peter Cook, and for his roles in the films ’10’ and ‘Arthur’

10 years ago (27 Mar 2002)
Death of Billy Wilder, Academy Award-winning Austrian-born American film director and producer (‘Double Indemnity’, ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘The Lost Weekend’, ‘The Seven Year Itch’, ‘Some Like It Hot’, and others)

10 years ago (30 Mar 2002)
Death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, mother of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom


The Date-A-Base Book 2012

You’ll find lots more anniversaries in The Date-A-Base Book 2012, which covers the whole of 2012 and lists over 2,250 forthcoming newsworthy and notable anniversaries – more than three times as many entries per month than our standard list above. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of anniversaries that other writers won’t know about, giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is a terrific source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners.
Click here for more details and the complete listing for January 2012


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