March 11th In History

This day in historyMarch 11 is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 295 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 105, A.D., Ts’ai Lun invented paper. He made it from bamboo, mulberry, and other fibers, along with bamboo, fish nets and rags. Then he sat around for literally centuries and waited for someone to invent ink.

In 222,  Emperor Elagabalus is assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber.

In 1387,  Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood leads Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

In 1619, Margaret and Philippa Flower were hanged at Lincoln for practicing witchcraft in Lincoln, England. Known as the flower sisters, the two  women, along with their mother, Joan, had cast spells upon various members of their employer’s family. Joan en route to the prison at Lincoln, she asked for bread as a substitute for the Eucharist said “May this cake choke me if I am guilty.” She claimed that something so blessed could not be consumed by a witch but she was to choke and die, after the first bite.

In 1641,  Guaraní forces living in the Jesuit Reductions defeat bandeirantes loyal to the Portuguese Empire at the Battle of Mbororé in present-day Panambí, Argentina.

In 1649,  The Frondeurs and the French sign the Peace of Rueil.

In 1702,  The Daily Courant, England‘s first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.

In 1708,  Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation.

In 1759,  John Forbes, Scottish general (b. 1710) dies. He was a British general in the French and Indian War. He is best known for leading the Forbes Expedition that captured the French outpost at Fort Duquesne and for naming the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. When the French and Indian War (called the Seven Years’ War in Europe) broke out, Forbes was sent to the fighting in the New World. His first action in North America came in 1757 when he was dispatched to reinforce an attack on the French fortress of Louisburg in what is now Nova Scotia. In December 1757, he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to command an expedition to capture Fort Duquesne, which guarded the vital forks of the Ohio River. General Edward Braddock had tried and failed to capture the fort in 1755, with disastrous consequences for both the British army and Braddock himself, who was mortally wounded in a bloody engagement nine miles short of the objective. Lt. Colonel George Washington, who had been a member of Braddock’s campaign, accompanied the expedition, serving at the fore of one of the Virginia provincial regiments. A Swiss-born colonel of the Royal American Regiment, Henry Bouquet, served as Forbes’ second-in-command. In the summer of 1758, Forbes began his campaign to capture Fort Duquesne. His plan was to complete slow and methodical march to Fort Duquesne, taking great pains to secure his lines of supply and communication with a string of forts along a newly constructed road from the Pennsylvania frontier. Rather than move on Fort Duquesne via Braddock’s road, which began in western Maryland, Forbes began his march in eastern Pennsylvania. The route through Pennsylvania, which was longer, required fewer river crossings. This also gave the tactical advantage of forcing the French to divide their assets and defend both approaches. Forbes Field, which served as the home field for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pitt Panthers football team, was named after John Forbes.

In 1779, US army Corps of Engineers established (first time).

In 1784,  The signing of the Treaty of Mangalore brings the Second Anglo-Mysore War to an end.

Justice John McLean daguerreotype by Mathew Brady 1849.jpgIn 1785,  John McLean, American jurist and politician, 6th United States Postmaster General (d. 1861) was born. He was an American jurist and politician who served in the United States Congress, as U.S. Postmaster General, and as a justice on the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Courts, and was often discussed for the Whig and Republican nominations for President. McLean was born in Morris County, New Jersey, the son of Fergus McLean and Sophia Blackford. After living in a succession of frontier towns, Morgantown, Virginia; Nicholasville, Kentucky; and Maysville, Kentucky; in 1797 his family settled in Ridgeville, Warren County, Ohio. His brother William was also a successful Ohio politician. His brother Finis McLean was a United States Representative from Kentucky. He read law and was admitted to the bar in 1807. That same year he founded The Western Star, a weekly newspaper at Lebanon, the Warren County seat, where he practiced law. He was elected to the U.S. House for the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1813, until he resigned in 1816 to take a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, to which he had been elected on February 17, 1816, replacing William W. Irvin. He resigned his judgeship in 1822 to take President James Monroe‘s appointment to be Commissioner of the General Land Office, serving until 1823, when Monroe appointed him United States Postmaster General. McLean served in that post from December 9, 1823, to March 7, 1829, under Monroe and John Quincy Adams, presiding over a massive expansion of the Post Office into the new western states and territories and the elevation of the Postmaster Generalship to a cabinet office. While Postmaster General, McLean supported Andrew Jackson, who offered him the posts of Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy. McLean declined both and was instead appointed to the Supreme Court by Jackson on March 6, 1829, to a seat vacated by Robert Trimble. McLean was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 7, 1829, receiving his commission the same day.

In 1786,  Charles Humphreys, American politician (b. 1714) dies. He was an American miller and statesman from Haverford, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Daniel Humphreys and Hannah Wynne (daughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne). He served as a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. He voted against the Declaration of Independence, since he believed it would inevitably escalate the Revolutionary War and that conflicted with his Quaker beliefs. He withdrew from the Congress soon afterwards.

In 1789, Benjamin Banneker with L’Enfant begin to lay out Washington DC.

In 1811,  During André Masséna‘s retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras, a division led by French Marshal Michel Ney fights off a combined Anglo-Portuguese force to give Masséna time to escape.

In 1824,  The United States Department of War creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In 1845,  The Flagstaff War: Unhappy with translational differences regarding the Treaty of Waitangi, chiefs Hone Heke, Kawiti and Māori tribe members chop down the British flagpole for a fourth time and drive settlers out of Kororareka, New Zealand.

In 1848,  Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin become the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

In 1850, the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first medical school entirely for women, is incorporated.

In 1851,  The first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice.

In 1861,  American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is adopted.

In 1862,  Gen Stonewall Jackson evacuates Winchester Virginia. Lincoln removes McClellen as general-in-chief & makes him head of Army of the Potomac. Gen Henry Halleck is named general-in-chief.

In 1864,  The Great Sheffield Flood kills 238 people in Sheffield, England.

In 1867,  The first performance of Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Paris.

In 1868, Congress passes the fourth Reconstruction Act over President Johnson’s veto.

In 1872,  Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, begins; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

In 1879,  Shō Tai formally abdicated his position of King of Ryūkyū, under orders from Tokyo, ending the Ryukyu Kingdom

In 1888,  The Great Blizzard of 1888 begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

In 1916,  USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned. The first US Navy “super-dreadnought“.

In 1917,  World War I: Baghdad falls to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.

In 1918,  The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

In 1918, Moscow became the capital of revolutionary Russia.

In 1927,  In New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opens the Roxy Theatre.

In 1927, the Flatheads Gang was responsible for the first armored car robbery which took place near Pittsburgh, PA on this day. It was reported that $104,250 was taken in the heist.

In 1930, in Virginia, former President and U.S. Chief Justice William Howard Taft was the first president to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The portly president weighed more than 300 pounds at the time of his death.

In 1931,  Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR, abbreviated as GTO, is introduced in the Soviet Union.

In 1935, Hermann Goering officially created the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force.

In 1938, German troops enter Austria.

In 1941,  World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

In 1942,  World War II: as Japanese forces continued to advance in the Pacific during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur leaves Corregidor, bound for Australia. In departing he uttered the vow “I shall return.”.

In 1945,  World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy attempts a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

In 1945,  World War II: The Empire of Vietnam, a short-lived puppet state, is established with Bảo Đại as its ruler.

In 1946,  Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops.

In 1954, the U.S. Army charged that Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and his subcommittee’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had exerted pressure to obtain favored treatment for Private G. David Schine, a former consultant to the subcommittee.

In 1955,  Oscar F. Mayer, German-American businessman, founded Oscar Mayer (b. 1859) dies. He was a German American who founded the processed-meat firm Oscar Mayer that bears his name.

In 1958, an American B-47 bomber accidentally drops an unarmed atom bomb on a South Carolina farm. The bomb’s conventional explosives injure six, level a farm house, and produce a thirty-five-foot-deep crater.

In 1965, the Reverend James J. Reeb, a white minister from Boston, died after being beaten by whites during civil rights disturbances in Selma, Alabama.

In 1975,  Vietnam War: North Vietnamese and Viet Cong guerrilla forces establish control over Ban Me Thuot commune from the South Vietnamese army.

In 1977,  The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

In 1978,  Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 are killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.

In 1983,  Pakistan successfully conducts a cold test of a nuclear weapon.

In 1990,  Lithuania declares itself independent from the Soviet Union.

In 1990,  Patricio Aylwin is sworn in as the first democratically elected President of Chile since 1970.

In 1993,  Janet Reno is confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

In 1996, the Whitewater trial of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former associates of Bill and Hillary Clinton opened in Arkansas.

In 1999,  Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

In 2002,  James Tobin, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918) dies. He was an American economist who, in his lifetime, served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He developed the ideas of Keynesian economics, and advocated government intervention to stabilize output and avoid recessions. His academic work included pioneering contributions to the study of investment, monetary and fiscal policy and financial markets. He also proposed an econometric model for censored endogenous variables, the well-known “Tobit model“. Tobin received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1981. Outside of academia, Tobin was widely known for his suggestion of a tax on foreign exchange transactions, now known as the “Tobin tax“. This was designed to reduce speculation in the international currency markets, which he saw as dangerous and unproductive. A dangerous man for a free people.

In 2004,  Madrid train bombings: Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 191 people.

In 2006,  Michelle Bachelet is inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

In 2007,  Georgia claims Russian helicopters attacked the Kodori Valley in Abkhazia, an accusation that Russia categorically denies later.

In 2009,  Winnenden school shooting: 16 are killed and 11 are injured before recent-graduate Tim Kretschmer shoots and kills himself, leading to tightened weapons restrictions in Germany.

In 2010,  Economist and businessman Sebastián Piñera is sworn in as President of Chile, while three earthquakes, the strongest measuring magnitude 6.9 and all centered next to Pichilemu, capital of Cardenal Caro Province, hit central Chile during the ceremony.

Merlin Olsen.jpgIn 2010,  Merlin Olsen, American football player and actor (b. 1940) dies. He was an American football player in the National Football League, NFL commentator, and actor. He played his entire 15-year career with the Los Angeles Rams and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 14 of those seasons, a current record shared with Bruce Matthews. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. As an actor he portrayed the farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. After leaving that series, he starred in his own NBC drama, Father Murphy, playing the title role of a foster dad posing as a traveling priest.

In 2011,  An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

In 2012,  A US soldier kills 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

In 2014,  Russia annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Getting 2014 Crimean crisis and 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Image result for Gerald "Jerry" HurstIn 2015, Gerald Hurst, American chemist and academic (b. 1937) dies of complications from a liver transplant he had received in 1994. He was an American chemist and fire investigator. Before becoming noted for arson investigations, Hurst designed explosives for warfare, invented a binary explosive device known as Kinepak and developed an improved chemical compound to create Liquid Paper. He also devised an explosive called Astrolite as well as the Mylar balloon.

Hurst provided consultation or expert testimony in several high-profile arson cases, including that of executed Texas death row inmate Cameron Todd Willingham. His work also led to the parole of convicted arsonist Sonia Cacy and the release of Ernest Ray Willis, who had spent 17 years on death row in Texas.

In 2016, At least 21 people are killed by flooding and mudslides in and around São Paulo, Brazil, following heavy rain.

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