On This Day … 03 March


  • 473 – Gundobad (nephew of Ricimer) nominates Glycerius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
  • 724 – Empress Genshō abdicates the throne in favor of her nephew Shōmu who becomes emperor of Japan.
  • 1575 – Mughal Emperor Akbar defeats Sultan of Bengal Daud Khan Karrani’s army at the Battle of Tukaroi.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps begins the Battle of Nassau.
  • 1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army is routed at the Battle of Brier Creek near Savannah, Georgia.
  • 1799 – The Russo-Ottoman siege of Corfu ends with the surrender of the French garrison.
  • 1857 – Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
  • 1859 – The two-day Great Slave Auction, the largest such auction in United States history, concludes.
  • 1878 – The Russo-Turkish War ends with Bulgaria regaining its independence from the Ottoman Empire according to the Treaty of San Stefano.
  • 1918 – Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, agreeing to withdraw from World War I, and conceding German control of the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine. It also conceded Turkish control of Ardahan, Kars and Batumi.
  • 1924 – The 407-year-old Islamic caliphate is abolished, when Caliph Abdülmecid II of the Ottoman Caliphate is deposed. The last remnant of the old regime gives way to the reformed Turkey of Kemal Atatürk.
  • 1924 – The Free State of Fiume is annexed by the Kingdom of Italy.
  • 1931 – The United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.
  • 1938 – Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
  • 1939 – In Bombay, Mohandas Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest at the autocratic rule in British India.
  • 1942 – World War II: Ten Japanese warplanes raid Broome, Western Australia, killing more than 100 people.
  • 1943 – World War II: In London, 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station.
  • 1944 – The Order of Nakhimov and Order of Ushakov are instituted in USSR as the highest naval awards.
  • 1945 – World War II: American and Filipino troops recapture Manila.
  • 1945 – World War II: The RAF accidentally bombs the Bezuidenhout area of The Hague, Netherlands, killing 511 people.
  • 1980 – The USS Nautilus is decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.
  • 1986 – The Australia Act 1986 commences, causing Australia to become fully independent from the United Kingdom.
  • Liberation and Freedom Day (Charlottesville, Virginia, USA).
  • Liberation Day (Bulgaria).
  • Martyrs’ Day (Malawi).

People (Births)

  • 1583 – Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, English-Welsh soldier, historian, and diplomat (d. 1648).
  • 1678 – Madeleine de Verchères, Canadian rebel leader (d. 1747).
  • 1847 – Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-American engineer and academic, invented the telephone (d. 1922).
  • 1882 – Elisabeth Abegg, German anti-Nazi resistance fighter (d. 1974).
  • 1895 – Matthew Ridgway, American general (d. 1993).
  • 1901 – Claude Choules, English-Australian soldier (d. 2011).
  • 1903 – Vasily Kozlov, Belarusian general and politician (d. 1967).
  • 1920 – Ronald Searle, English-French soldier and illustrator (d. 2011).
  • 1924 – Tomiichi Murayama, Japanese soldier and politician, 52nd Prime Minister of Japan.

People (Deaths)

  • 1323 – Andrew Harclay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English military leader.
  • 2001 – Eugene Sledge, American soldier, author, and academic (b. 1923).
  • 2014 – Robert Ashley, American soldier and composer (b. 1930).
  • 2014 – William R. Pogue, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930).

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