On This Day … 19 March


  • 1279 – A Mongol victory at the Battle of Yamen ends the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1284 – The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporates the Principality of Wales into England.
  • 1563 – The Edict of Amboise is signed, ending the first phase of the French Wars of Religion and granting certain freedoms to the Huguenots.
  • 1649 – The House of Commons of England passes an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring it “useless and dangerous to the people of England”.
  • 1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.
  • 1812 – The Cádiz Cortes promulgates the Spanish Constitution of 1812.
  • 1853 – The Taiping reform movement occupies and makes Nanjing its capital until 1864.
  • 1861 – The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand.
  • 1863 – The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines, and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Bentonville begins. By the end of the battle two days later, Confederate forces had retreated from Four Oaks, North Carolina.
  • 1885 – Louis Riel declares a provisional government in Saskatchewan, beginning the North-West Rebellion.
  • 1918 – The US Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.
  • 1920 – The United States Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles for the second time (the first time was on November 19, 1919).
  • 1921 – Irish War of Independence: One of the biggest engagements of the war takes place at Crossbarry, County Cork. About 100 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escape an attempt by over 1,300 British forces to encircle them.
  • 1944 – World War II: The German army occupies Hungary.
  • 1945 – World War II: Off the coast of Japan, a dive bomber hits the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing 724 of her crew. Badly damaged, the ship is able to return to the US under her own power.
  • 1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler issues his “Nero Decree” ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities, and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.
  • 1946 – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion become overseas départements of France.
  • 1962 – The Algerian War of Independence ends.
  • 1965 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is discovered by teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after its destruction.
  • 1982 – Falklands War: Argentinian forces land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.
  • 1989 – The Egyptian flag is raised at Taba, marking the end of Israeli occupation since the Six Days War in 1967 and the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in 1979.
  • 1990 – The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureș begin four days after the anniversary of the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire.
  • 2004 – Catalina affair: A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 in 1952 over the Baltic Sea is finally recovered after years of work.
  • 2011 – Libyan Civil War: After the failure of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to take Benghazi, the French Air Force launches Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya.

People (Births)

  • 1434 – Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, Japanese shōgun (d. 1443).
  • 1742 – Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian rebel leader (d. 1781).
  • 1821 – Richard Francis Burton, English soldier, geographer, and diplomat (d. 1890).
  • 1849 – Alfred von Tirpitz, German admiral and politician (d. 1930).
  • 1883 – Joseph Stilwell, American general (d. 1946).
  • 1892 – James Van Fleet, American general and diplomat (d. 1992).
  • 1906 – Adolf Eichmann, German SS officer (d. 1962).
  • 1910 – Joseph Carroll, American general (d. 1991).
  • 1915 – Robert G. Cole, American colonel, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1944).
  • 1922 – Hiroo Onoda, Japanese lieutenant (d. 2014).
  • 1925 – Brent Scowcroft, American general and diplomat, 9th United States National Security Advisor.

People (Deaths)

  • 235 – Severus Alexander, Roman emperor (b. 208).
  • 1717 – John Campbell, 1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland, Scottish soldier (b. 1636).
  • 1790 – Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha, Ottoman general and politician, 182nd Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire (b. 1713).
  • 1949 – James Newland, Australian soldier and policeman (b. 1881).
  • 1950 – Edgar Rice Burroughs, American soldier and author (b. 1875).
  • 2003 – Michael Mathias Prechtl, German soldier and illustrator (b. 1926).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.