March 5th in History

This day in historyMarch 5 is the 64th day of the year (65th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 301 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 363,  Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which would bring about his own death.

In 1046,  Naser Khosrow begins the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book Safarnama.

In 1279,  The Livonian Order is defeated in the Battle of Aizkraukle by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

In 1496,  King Henry VII of England issues letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorizing them to explore unknown lands.

In 1559, Hernández de Boncalo, Spanish chronicler of the Indies, was the first European to bring tobacco seeds to the old continent following orders of King Philip II of Spain. These seeds were planted in the outskirts of Toledo, more specifically in an area known as “Los Cigarrales” named after the continuous plagues of cicadas (cigarras in Spanish). Before the development of lighter Virginia and white burley strains of tobacco, the smoke was too harsh to be inhaled. Small quantities were smoked at a time, using a pipe like the midwakh or kiseru or smoking newly invented waterpipes such as the bong or the hookah (see thuốc lào for a modern continuance of this practice).

In 1616,  Nicolaus Copernicus‘s book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is banned by the Catholic Church

In 1623, The first temperance law in the colonies was enacted in Virginia.

In 1766,  Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrives in New Orleans to take possession of the Louisiana Territory from the French.

In 1770,  Boston Massacre: Five Americans, including Crispus Attucks, are fatally shot by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence) five years later.

In 1811,  Peninsular War: A French force under the command of Marshal Victor is routed while trying to prevent an Anglo-Spanish-Portuguese army from lifting the Siege of Cádiz in the Battle of Barrosa.

In 1824,  First Anglo-Burmese War: The British officially declare war on Burma.

John Adams (mutineer).jpgIn 1829,  John Adams, English sailor (b. 1766) dies. He was the last survivor of the Bounty mutineers who settled on Pitcairn Island in January 1790, the year after the mutiny. His real name was John Adams, but he used the name Alexander Smith until he was discovered in 1808 by Captain Mayhew Folger of the American whaling ship Topaz. His children used the surname “Adams”. The mutineers of HMS Bounty and their Tahitian companions settled on the island and set fire to the Bounty. The wreck is still visible underwater in Bounty Bay. Although the settlers were able to survive by farming and fishing, the initial period of settlement was marked by serious tensions among the settlers. Alcoholism, murder, disease and other ills had taken the lives of most of the mutineers and Tahitian men. John Adams, Ned Young, and Matthew Quintal were the last three mutineers surviving in 1799 when Adams and Young got the thuggish Quintal drunk and killed him with a hatchet. Adams and Young then turned to the Scriptures using the ship’s Bible as their guide for a new and peaceful society. As a result, Adams and Young embraced Christianity and taught the children to read and write using the Bible. Young eventually died of an asthmatic infection, but Adams continued his work of educating the women and children. The Pitcairners also converted to Christianity. (The Pitcairners would later convert from their existing form of Christianity to Adventism after a successful Adventist mission in the 1890s.)

The American sailing ship Topaz was the first to rediscover Pitcairn in 1808. John Adams was eventually granted amnesty for the mutiny.

In 1836,  Samuel Colt patents the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.

In 1836, the City of Cleveland is incorporated.

In 1850,  The Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales is opened.

In 1860,  Parma, Tuscany, Modena and Romagna vote in referendums to join the Kingdom of Sardinia.

In 1868,  Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito receives its première performance at La Scala.

In 1868, the U.S. Senate was organized into a Court of Impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.

In 1872,  George Westinghouse patents the air brake.

In 1906,  Moro Rebellion: United States Army troops bring overwhelming force against the native Moros in the First Battle of Bud Dajo, leaving only six survivors.

Mt erebus.jpg

Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

In 1908, First ascent of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica. Mount Erebus’ summit crater rim was first achieved by members of Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s party; Professor Edgeworth David, Sir Douglas Mawson, Dr Alister Mackay, Jameson Adams, Dr Eric Marshall and Phillip Brocklehurst (who did not make the summit), in 1908. Its first known solo ascent and the first winter ascent was accomplished by British mountaineer Roger Mear on 7th June 1985, a member of the “In the Footsteps of Scott” expedition. On January 19–20, 1991, Charles J. Blackmer, an iron-worker for many years at McMurdo Station and the South Pole, accomplished a solo ascent in approximately seventeen hours completely unassisted via snow mobile and on foot.

In 1912,  Italo-Turkish War: Italian forces are the first to use airships for military purposes, employing them for reconnaissance behind Turkish lines.



In 1912, The Oreo Cookie was born. The Oreo is a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet creme filling in between, and (as of 1974) are marketed as “Chocolate Sandwich Cookies” on the package in which they are held. The version currently sold in the United States is made by the Nabisco division of Mondelēz International. Oreo has become the best-selling cookie in the United States since its introduction in 1912.

In 1923, the first old age pension plans in the U.S. were established by the states of Montana and Nevada ($25 per month).

In 1931,  The British Viceroy of India, Governor-General Edward Frederick Lindley Wood and Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) sign an agreement envisaging the release of political prisoners and allowing salt to be freely used by the poorest members of the population.

In 1933,  Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a “bank holiday“, closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions.

In 1933,  Adolf Hitler‘s Nazi Party receives 43.9% at the Reichstag elections. This later allows the Nazis to pass the Enabling Act and establish a dictatorship.

In 1936,  First flight of Supermarine Spitfire advanced monoplane fighter aircraft in the United Kingdom.

In 1940,  Six high-ranking members of Soviet politburo, including General Secretary Joseph Stalin, sign an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs, in what will become known as the Katyn massacre.

In 1943,  First flight of Gloster Meteor jet aircraft in the United Kingdom.

In 1944,  World War II: The Red Army begins the Uman–Botoșani Offensive in the western Ukrainian SSR.

In 1946,  Winston Churchill coins the phrase “Iron Curtain” in his speech at Westminster College, Missouri.

In 1946,  Hungarian Communists and Social Democrats co-found the Left Bloc.

In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

CroppedStalin1943.jpgIn 1953,  Joseph Stalin, Russian marshal and politician, 3rd leader of the Soviet Union (b. 1878) dies. He born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, and was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953.

Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party’s Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin’s criticisms (in the postscript of his testament) and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He remained general secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.

Under Stalin’s rule, the concept of “socialism in one country” became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. However, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in Gulag labour camps. The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, known as the Holodomor in Ukraine. Between 1934 and 1939 he organized and led a massive purge (known as “Great Purge“) of the party, government, armed forces and intelligentsia, in which millions of so-called “enemies of the Soviet people” were imprisoned, exiled or executed. In a period that lasted from 1936 to 1939, Stalin instituted a campaign against enemies within his regime. Major figures in the Communist Party, such as the old Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky, and most of the Red Army generals, were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the government and Stalin.

In August 1939, after failed attempts to conclude anti-Hitler pacts with other major European powers, Stalin entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that divided their influence and territory within Eastern Europe, resulting in their invasion of Poland in September of that year, but Germany later violated the agreement and launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. After defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies. The Soviet Union subsequently emerged as one of two recognized world superpowers, the other being the United States. The Yalta and Potsdam conferences established communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union in the Eastern Bloc countries as buffer states. He also fostered close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.

Stalin led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War. During this period, the USSR became the second country in the world to successfully develop a nuclear weapon, as well as launching the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature in response to another widespread famine and the Great Construction Projects of Communism.

In 1959, Iran & US sign economic & military treaty.

In 1960,  Cuban photographer Alberto Korda takes his iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

In 1962,  the Supreme Court rules airports must compensate neighbors for noise and vibrations.

Patsy Cline II.jpgIn 1963,  Patsy Cline, American singer-songwriter (b. 1932) and  Cowboy Copas, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1913) and Hawkshaw Hawkins died with her manager and pilot Randy Hughes. She was born Virginia Patterson Hensley. She was an American singer. Part of the early 1960s Nashville sound, Cline successfully “crossed over” to pop music. She died at the age of 30 in a multiple-fatality crash in the private plane of her manager, Randy Hughes. She was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century.

In 1965,  March Intifada: A Leftist uprising erupts in Bahrain against British colonial presence.

In 1966,  BOAC Flight 911 crashes on Mount Fuji, Japan, killing 124.

In 1970,  The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect after ratification by 43 nations.

In 1974,  Yom Kippur War: Israeli forces withdraw from the west bank of the Suez Canal.

In 1975,  First meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club

In 1977, “Ask President Carter,” was born as President Jimmy Carter joined CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite for the first ever “Dial-a-President” radio talk show. It was carried on 260 CBS Radio Network stations, with the President answering a variety of questions from folks across the United States. Uh, Mr. President? How much money did you spend on toothpaste?

In 1978,  The Landsat 3 is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In 1979,  Soviet probes Venera 11, Venera 12 and the American solar satellite Helios II all are hit by “off the scale” gamma rays leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.

In 1979,  America’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has its closest approach to Jupiter, 172,000 miles.

Jay Silverheels at Meadows racetrack Pennsylvania in the 1970sIn 1980,  Jay Silverheels, Canadian actor (b. 1912) dies from complications of a stroke at age sixty-seven in Calabasas, California. He was cremated at Chapel of the Pines Crematory, and his ashes were returned to the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. He was a First Nations actor. He was well known for his role as Tonto, the faithful Native American companion of the character, The Lone Ranger in a long-running American western television series.

In 1981,  The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.

In 1982,  Soviet probe Venera 14 landed on Venus.

In 1984,  Six thousand miners in the United Kingdom begin their strike at Cortonwood Colliery.

In 1984, US accuse Iraq of using poison gas.

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that a city could use public funds to build a Nativity scene as part of an official display without violating the fictitious Constitution’s separation of church and state.

In 1987, President Reagan called on Congress to approve the final installment of a 100 (M) million-dollar aid package for Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

In 1988, Vice President Bush won the South Carolina Republican primary, with Kansas Sen. Bob Dole running a distant second, followed by Pat Robertson and New York Rep. Jack Kemp.

In 1990, in Washington, Republican national chairman Lee Atwater suffered a seizure caused by a brain tumor.

In 1992, Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The other candidates staged a lively debate in Dallas, repeatedly scoring Paul Tsongas’ pro-business plan as more “trickle- down” economics.

In 1993, the White House sought new ways to inflict what a spokesman called “real pain and real price” on Serb aggressors in Bosnia by tightening the United Nations blockade on supplies and money to the region.

In 1994, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum resigned in the wake of turmoil over the Clinton administration’s handling of questions related to Whitewater.

In 1996, Representative Enid Greene Waldholtz (Republican, Utah), tangled in a financial mess that she blamed on her estranged husband, announced she would not seek a second term.

In 1996, Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole won the GOP primaries in Colorado, Maryland, Georgia and several New England states.

In 1997, Switzerland announced plans to establish a $4.7 billion government-financed fund, using interest from its gold reserves, to compensate survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and their descendants.

In 1998, Details of President Clinton’s deposition testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case against him were published in The Washington Post, prompting an angry denunciation from the president for the news leak.

In 1999, Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema met at the White House with President Clinton, a day after a military jury in North Carolina acquitted a Marine pilot in the Italian cable car accident that killed 20 people; D’Alema demanded justice, while Clinton expressed profound regret.

In 2003,  In Haifa, 17 Israeli civilians are killed by in the Haifa bus 37 suicide bombing.

In 2012,  Invisible Children launches the Stop Kony campaign with the release of Kony 2012.

In 2012,  At least two people are killed and six injured after a shooting in a hair salon in Bucharest, Romania.

In 2013,  First winter ascent of Broad Peak by Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Artur Małek and Tomasz Kowalski.

In 2014, Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork’s trial set for May. Judge Paul Summers of Nashville officially dismissed an order of protection against former Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork at a hearing Tuesday. Afterward, Assistant District Attorney Marques Young, defense attorney Mark Donahoe and Summers discussed criminal charges against Woolfork, which have been set for trial for May 27, 28 and 29, 2014.

In 2014, The College Board announced Wednesday that it was giving the SAT a major overhaul for the first time since 2005. The new test, which will go into use in 2016, will once again have a 1600-point scale, with no penalties for guessing incorrectly. It also will replace obscure “SAT words” with “words that are widely used in college and career.” The College Board designed the changes to modernize the exam and make it fairer for low-income students. [The Miami Herald, College Board]



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