On This Day … 02 March


  • 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.
  • 1444 – Skanderbeg organises a group of Albanian nobles to form the League of Lezhë.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: The Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico is adopted.
  • 1859 – The two-day Great Slave Auction, the largest such auction in United States history, begins.
  • 1865 – East Cape War: The Völkner Incident in New Zealand.
  • 1867 – The U.S. Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act.
  • 1882 – Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor.
  • 1896 – The Battle of Adwa – The Italian Army is defeated by the Ethiopian Army in Adwa, Tigray, Ethiopia.
  • 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.
  • 1941 – World War II: First German military units enter Bulgaria after it joins the Axis Pact.
  • 1943 – World War II: Allied aircraft defeat a Japanese attempt to ship troops to New Guinea.
  • 1946 – Ho Chi Minh is elected the President of North Vietnam.
  • 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.
  • 1962 – In Burma, the army led by General Ne Win seizes power in a coup d’état.
  • 1965 – The US and Republic of Vietnam Air Force begin Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam.
  • 1970 – Rhodesia declares itself a republic, breaking its last links with the British crown.
  • 1991 – Battle at Rumaila oil field brings an end to the 1991 Gulf War.
  • 1992 – Start of the war in Transnistria.
  • 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.
  • Air Force Day (Sri Lanka).
  • Texas Independence Day (US).
  • Victory at Adwa Day (Ethiopia).

People (Births)

  • 1740 – Nicholas Pocock, English naval painter (d.1821).
  • 1770 – Louis-Gabriel Suchet, French general (d. 1826).
  • 1793 – Sam Houston, American soldier and politician, 1st President of the Republic of Texas (d. 1863).
  • 1829 – Carl Schurz, German-American general, lawyer, and politician, 13th United States Secretary of the Interior (d. 1906).
  • 1849 – Robert Means Thompson, American commander, lawyer, and businessman (d. 1930).
  • 1923 – Robert H. Michel, American soldier and politician (d. 2017).
  • 1937 – Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algerian soldier and politician, 5th President of Algeria.
  • 1941 – David Satcher, American admiral and physician, 16th Surgeon General of the United States.
  • 1957 – Hossein Dehghan, Iranian general and politician, Iranian Minister of Defence.

People (Deaths)

  • 1829 – Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, Mexican revolutionary (b. ca. 1773).
  • 1864 – Ulric Dahlgren, American colonel (b. 1842).
  • 1896 – Jubal Early, American general (b. 1816).
  • 1946 – George E. Stewart, American colonel, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1872).
  • 2007 – Thomas S. Kleppe, American soldier and politician, 41st United States Secretary of the Interior (b. 1919).
  • 2007 – Ivan Safronov, Russian colonel and journalist (b. 1956).
  • 2012 – Van T. Barfoot, American colonel, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1919).
  • 2018 – Lin Hu, Chinese lieutenant general (b. 1927).

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