#March16 : Today In History

597 BC – Babylonians capture Jerusalem, and replace Jeconiah with Zedekiah as king. 455 – Emperor Valentinian III is assassinated by two Hunnic retainers while training with the bow on the Campus Martius (Rome). 934 – Meng Zhixiang declares himself emperor and establishes Later Shu as a new state independent of Later Tang. 1190 – Massacre of Jews at Clifford's Tower, York. 1244 – Over 200 Cathars are burned after the Fall of Montségur. 1322 – The Battle of Boroughbridge take place in the Despenser Wars. 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan, reached the island of Homonhon, in the Philippines, with 150 crew. Members of his expedition became the first Spaniards to reach the Philippine archipelago, but were not the first Europeans. He landed with three small ships, Concepcion, Trinidad and Victoria and called the place the Arcigelago de San Lazaro since it was the feast day of Saint Lazarus of Bethany. 1621 – Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset." 1660 – The Long Parliament of England is dissolved so as to prepare for the new Convention Parliament. 1689 – The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers is founded. 1782 – American Revolutionary War: Spanish troops capture the British-held island of Roatán. 1792 – King Gustav III of Sweden is shot; he dies on March 29. 1802 – The Army Corps of Engineers is established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point. 1812 – Siege of Badajoz (March 16 – April 6) – British and Portuguese forces besieged and defeated French garrison during the Peninsular War. 1815 – Prince Willem proclaims himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands. 1818 – In the Second Battle of Cancha Rayada, Spanish forces defeated Chileans under José de San Martín. 1864 – American Civil War: During the Red River Campaign, Union troops reach Alexandria, Louisiana. 1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the war. 1870 – The first version of the overture fantasy Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky receives its première performance. 1872 – The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington, London. 1894 – Jules Massenet's opera Thaïs is first performed. 1900 – Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. 1916 – The 7th and 10th US cavalry regiments under John J. Pershing cross the US–Mexico border to join the hunt for Pancho Villa. 1924 – In accordance with the Treaty of Rome, Fiume becomes annexed as part of Italy. 1926 – History of Rocketry: Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts. 1935 – Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht. 1936 – Warmer-than-normal temperatures rapidly melt snow and ice on the upper Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and lead to a major flood in Pittsburgh. 1939 – From Prague Castle, Hitler proclaims Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. 1939 – Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran. 1940 – First person killed in a German bombing raid on the UK in World War II during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, James Isbister. 1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch. It exploded at lift-off. 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ended, but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted. 1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany is destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 are killed. 1950 – Communist Czechoslovakia's ministry of foreign affairs asks nuncios of Vatican to leave the country. 1958 – The Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company's founding. 1962 – A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappears in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead. 1966 – Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena target vehicle. 1968 – Vietnam War: In the My Lai Massacre, between 347 and 500 Vietnamese villagers (men, women, and children) are killed by American troops. 1968 – General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado. 1969 – A Viasa McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashes in Maracaibo, Venezuela, killing 155. 1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigns, citing personal reasons. 1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt, the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War. 1978 – Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is kidnapped and later killed by his captors. 1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the largest oil spill in history at that time. 1979 – Sino-Vietnamese War: The People's Liberation Army crosses the border back into China, ends the war. 1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing. 1983 – Demolition of the Ismaning radio transmitter, the last wooden radio tower in Germany. 1984 – William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity. 1985 – Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991. 1988 – Iran–Contra affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. 1988 – Halabja chemical attack: The Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraq is attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5000 people and injuring about 10000 people. 1988 – The Troubles: Ulster loyalist militant Michael Stone attacks a Provisional IRA funeral in Belfast with pistols and grenades. Three people are killed and more than 60 wounded. The attack was filmed by news crews. 1989 – In Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy is found near the Pyramid of Cheops. 1995 – Mississippi formally ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865. 2003 – Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American woman involved with the International Solidarity Movement, is killed trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being destroyed by a bulldozer in Rafah. 2005 – Israel officially hands over Jericho to Palestinian control. 2014 – Crimea votes in a controversial referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia.

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