TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON – MARCH 31
1146 Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade.
1282 The great massacre of the French in Sicily The Sicilian Vespers comes to an end.
1657 English Parliament makes the Humble Petition to Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell offering him the crown: he declines
1776 Abigail Adams writes to husband John that women are “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence fails to guarantee their rights.
1822 Massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following a rebellion attempt, (later depicted by artist Eugène Delacroix)
1836 The first monthly installment of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens is published in London.
1870 In Perth Amboy, NJ, Thomas Munday Peterson became the first black to vote in the U.S.
1889 The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opens on the Left Bank as part of the Exhibition of 1889.
1906 The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was founded to set rules in amateur sports. The organization became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.
1917 The United States purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million
1918 Daylight Savings Time goes into effect throughout the United States for the first time.
1931 Brilliant Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne (43) is killed with 7 others when light plane crashes on trip from Kansas City to Los Angeles; record 105-12-5 @ .881 remains best ever
1933 To relieve rampant unemployment, Congress authorizes the Civilian Conservation Corps .
1948 Congress passes Marshall Aid Act to rehabilitate war-torn Europe
1949 Winston Churchill declares that the A-bomb was the only thing that kept the Soviet Union from taking over Europe.
1953 Department of Health, Education & Welfare established
1966 An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators march in New York City.
1980 President Jimmy Carter deregulates the banking industry.
1983 “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” is released in the US
1985 The first edition of WrestleMania is held in New York
1991 Soviet Republic of Georgia endorsed independence; Warsaw Pact dissolves
1995 Major League Baseball players agreed to end the sport’s longest strike in history after a judge ordered a preliminary injunction against team owners.
1998 For the first time in U.S. history the federal government’s detailed financial statement was released. This occurred under the Clinton administration.
2000 In Uganda, officials set the number of deaths linked to a doomsday religious cult, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, at more than 900. In Kanungu, a March 17 fire at the cult’s church killed more than 530 and authorities subsequently found mass graves at various sites linked to the cult.
2004 In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.
2004 Air America Radio launched five stations around the U.S.
** history.net, onthisday.com, infoplease.com, timeanddate.com, thepeoplehistory.com, on-this-day.com **