On this day - March 15

2011-03-15 07:48

Today is Thursday, March 15, the 75th day of 2012. There are 291 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

44 BC - Roman dictator Julius Caesar is assassinated by a group of Roman senators including Cassius and his friend Brutus. Caesar had been forewarned of the 'Ides of March'.

1493 - Christopher Columbus returns to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

1603 - Samuel de Champlain, French navigator and explorer, sails for the New World.

1776 - US Congress resolves that authority of British Crown should be suppressed.

1848 - Hungarian intellectuals stage bloodless revolution in Budapest against Austro-Hungarian empire. It is put down by Russian troops the next year.

1874 - France assumes protectorate over central Indochina region of Annam, which breaks off vassalage to China.

1875 - The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York City, John McCloskey, is named the first American cardinal by Pope Pius IX.

1894 - France and Germany agree on boundaries between French Congo and Cameroons.

1903 - British conquest of northern Nigeria is complete.

1913 - US President Woodrow Wilson holds the first open presidential news conference.

1916 - US force of 12 000 soldiers under General John Pershing is ordered to Mexico to capture revolutionary leader Pancho Villa.

1917 - Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates after humiliating defeat by the Germans. The Russian state and military begin to dissolve.

1919 - The American Legion is founded in Paris.

1937 - The world's first blood bank is established at Chicago's Cook County Hospital by Dr Bernard Fantus. It is a breakthrough for surgical procedures and emergency treatments.

1938 - Nazi Germany seizes Czechoslovakia with little resistance, after having annexed the Sudetenland, with its fortifications, the previous year.

1988 - Israeli authorities impose travel ban on Palestinians in occupied territories.

1989 - Soviet Union's President Mikhail S Gorbachev calls for rapid measures to ease chronic Soviet food shortages.

1990 - Iraq executes London newspaper reporter, Farzad Bazoft, after a closed-trial conviction for spying.

1991 - Serbian President Borisav Jovic resigns after the collective presidency fails to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

1992 - A second earthquake in a short time strikes eastern Turkey, killing an estimated 800 people.

1993 - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin offers, after a meeting with US President Bill Clinton, to surrender part of the Golan Heights to Syria.

1996 - Taiwan's president tells China to stop "nagging" the island with war games. Within hours, China announces more exercises, this time much closer to Taiwanese territory.

1999 - Rosemary Nelson, a Northern Ireland attorney who represented Catholic clients in several high-profile cases, is killed by a car bomb. The outlawed anti-Catholic group Red Hand Defenders claims responsibility.

2000 - In a forensic first, a grand jury in New York indicts an unidentified man for three rapes based on his DNA genetic profile.

2001 - Armed Chechens hijack a Russian plane carrying 174 people after it takes off from Turkey and force it to land in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

2003 - Rebels led by ousted army chief General Francois Bozize capture the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, and the international airport while President Ange-Felix Patasse was out of the country. Bozize declared himself president.

2004 - Saudi security forces kill two militants, including one considered al-Qaeda's chief of operations on the Arabian Peninsula, in a shoot-out in the capital Riyadh.

2005 - A French court convicts six men in an alleged plot to send a suicide bomber into the US Embassy in Paris, wrapping up a trial that shed light on the spread of Islamic radicals in Europe.

2006 - A Spanish boat recovers the bodies of 24 people believed to be African migrants floating in waters off the coast of Mauritania, hundreds of miles south of the Canary Islands.

2007 - The Islamic militant Hamas and its Fatah rivals forge a unity Palestinian government to end more than a year of political wrangling, isolation and bloodshed. Israel quickly rejects the new leadership, saying it fails to recognise the Jewish state.

2008 - China orders tourists out of Tibet's capital while troops on foot and in armoured vehicles patrol the streets and enforce a strict curfew, a day after riots that a Tibetan exile group says left at least 30 protesters dead.

2009 - Thousands of anti-government protesters led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif head to Islamabad for a planned sit-in at parliament, ramping up a power struggle that risks hobbling a vital Western ally in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Today's Birthdays:
Andrew Jackson, US president (1767-1845); Charles de Montalembert, French author (1810-1870); Jules Chevalier, French priest/founder of Sacred Heart Missionaries (1824-1907); Henri Saint Cyr, Swedish equestrian/Olympic gold medalist (1902-1979); Harry James, US band-leader (1916-1983); Judd Hirsch, US actor (1935--); Sly Stone, US singer/musician (1943--);, US rapper/musician (1975--); Eva Longoria Parker, US actress (1975--).

Thought For Today:
Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose - Billie Holiday, American singer (1915-1959).