On This Day … 11 March


  • 222 – Alexander Severus becomes emperor of Rome, replacing his cousin, 18-year-old Elagabalus.
    • The bodies of the assassinated emperor and his mother, Julia Soaemias, are dragged through the streets of the city and thrown into the Tiber.
  • 1641 – Guaraní forces living in the Jesuit reductions defeat bandeirantes loyal to the Portuguese Empire at the Battle of Mbororé in present-day Panambí, Argentina.
  • 1649 – The Frondeurs and the French sign the Peace of Rueil.
  • 1708 – Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation.
  • 1784 – The signing of the Treaty of Mangalore brings the Second Anglo-Mysore War to an end.
  • 1795 – The Battle of Kharda is fought between the Maratha Confederacy and the Nizam of Hyderabad, resulting in Maratha victory.
  • 1845 – Flagstaff War: Unhappy with translational differences regarding the Treaty of Waitangi, chiefs Hone Heke, Kawiti and Māori tribe members chop down the British flagpole for a fourth time and drive settlers out of Kororareka, New Zealand.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is adopted.
  • 1879 – Shō Tai formally abdicates his position of King of Ryūkyū, under orders from Tokyo, ending the Ryukyu Kingdom.
  • 1917 – World War I: Mesopotamian campaign: Baghdad falls to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Frederick Stanley Maude.
  • 1941 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy attempts a large-scale kamikaze attack on the US Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Empire of Vietnam, a short-lived Japanese puppet state, is established.
  • 1946 – Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops.
  • 1978 – Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 are killed and more than 70 are wounded when Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.
  • 1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, making Gorbachev the USSR’s de facto, and last, head of state.
  • 1990 – Lithuania declares independence from the Soviet Union.
    • Day of Restoration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 (Lithuania).
  • 1990 – Patricio Aylwin is sworn in as the first democratically elected President of Chile since 1970.
  • 2011 – An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 miles) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people.
    • This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
  • 2012 – A US soldier kills 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

People (Births)

  • 1899 – James H. Douglas, Jr., American lawyer, and politician, United States Deputy Secretary of Defence (d. 1988).
  • 1911 – Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 1st Baronet, Scottish general and politician (d. 1996).
  • 1913 – Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke, German colonel and pilot (d. 1944).
  • 1957 – Qasem Soleimani, Former Iranian commander of the Quds Force (d. 2020).
  • 1987 – Tanel Kangert, Estonian cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1759 – John Forbes, Scottish general (b. 1707).
  • 1863 – Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet, English general (b. 1803).
  • 1898 – William Rosecrans, American general and politician (b. 1819).
  • 1949 – Henri Giraud, French general and politician (b. 1879).
  • 1957 – Richard E. Byrd, American admiral and explorer (b. 1888).
  • 2012 – James B. Morehead, American colonel and pilot (b. 1916).

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