Today in History
537 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoth army under king Vitiges begins the siege of the capital. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his Bucellarii are almost cut off.
986 – Louis V becomes King of the Franks.
1121 – Dirk VI becomes the Count of Holland.
1127 – Assassination of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders.
1444 – Skanderbeg organises a group of Albanian nobles to form the League of Lezhë.
1458 – George of Poděbrady is chosen as the king of Bohemia.
1476 – Burgundian Wars: The Old Swiss Confederacy hands Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, a major defeat in the Battle of Grandson in Canton of Neuchâtel.
1484 – The College of Arms is formally incorporated by Royal Charter signed by King Richard III of England.
1498 – Vasco da Gama’s fleet visits the Island of Mozambique.
1561 – Mendoza, Argentina is founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo.
1657 – Great Fire of Meireki: A fire in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, caused more than 100,000 deaths; it lasted three days
1717 – The Loves of Mars and Venus is the first ballet performed in England.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: Patriot militia units arrest the Royal Governor of Georgia James Wright and attempt to prevent capture of supply ships in the Battle of the Rice Boats.
1791 – Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris.
1797 – The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes.
1807 – The U.S. Congress passes the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country.
1808 – The inaugural meeting of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is held in Edinburgh.
1811 – Argentine War of Independence: A royalist fleet defeats a small flotilla of revolutionary ships in the Battle of San Nicolás on the River Plate.
1815 – Signing of the Kandyan Convention treaty by British invaders and the leaders of the Kingdom of Kandy.
1825 – Roberto Cofresí, one of the last successful Caribbean pirates, is defeated in combat and captured by authorities.
1836 – Texas Revolution: Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico.
1855 – Alexander II becomes Tsar of Russia.
1865 – East Cape War: The Völkner Incident in New Zealand.
1867 – The U.S. Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act.
1877 – U.S. presidential election, 1876: Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.
1882 – Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor.
1885 – Sino-French War: French victory in the Battle of Hòa Mộc near Tuyên Quang, northern Vietnam.
1901 – United States Steel Corporation is founded as a result of a merger between Carnegie Steel Company and Federal Steel Company which became the first corporation in the world with a market capital over $1 billion.
1901 – The U.S. Congress passes the Platt Amendment limiting the autonomy of Cuba, as a condition of the withdrawal of American troops.
1903 – In New York City the Martha Washington Hotel opens, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.
1917 – The enactment of the Jones–Shafroth Act grants Puerto Ricans United States citizenship.
1919 – The first Communist International meets in Moscow.
1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
1937 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee signs a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel, leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.
1939 – Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli is elected Pope and takes the name Pius XII.
1941 – World War II: First German military units enter Bulgaria after it joins the Axis Pact.
1943 – World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea: United States and Australian forces sink Japanese convoy ships.
1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.
1949 – The first automatic street light is installed in New Milford, Connecticut.
1955 – Norodom Sihanouk, king of Cambodia, abdicates the throne in favor of his father, Norodom Suramarit.
1956 – Morocco gains its independence from France.
1962 – In Burma, the army led by General Ne Win seizes power in a coup d’état.
1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.
1965 – The US and South Vietnamese Air Force begin Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam.
1969 – In Toulouse, France, the first test flight of the Anglo-French Concorde is conducted.
1969 – Soviet and Chinese forces clash at a border outpost on the Ussuri River.
1970 – Rhodesia declares itself a republic, breaking its last links with the British crown.
1972 – The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets.
1977 – Libya becomes the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya as the General People’s Congress adopted the “Declaration of the Establishment of the People’s Authority”.
1978 – Czech Vladimír Remek becomes the first non-Russian or non-American to go into space, when he is launched aboard Soyuz 28.
1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.
1989 – Twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.
1990 – Nelson Mandela is elected deputy President of the African National Congress.
1991 – Battle at Rumaila oil field brings an end to the 1991 Gulf War.
1992 – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, San Marino, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan join the United Nations.
1995 – Researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.
1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.
2002 – U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins, (ending on March 19 after killing 500 Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, with 11 Western troop fatalities).
2004 – War in Iraq: Al-Qaeda carries out the Ashoura Massacre in Iraq, killing 170 and wounding over 500.
2012 – A tornado outbreak occurred over a large section of the Southern United States and into the Ohio Valley region, resulting in 40 tornado-related fatalities.
All above information obtained from Wikipedia.org