First Street Confidential

 


THIS DAY IN HISTORY - MARCH 31st

René Descartes, Quote

“I think, therefore I am.”

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

~ René Descartes

Wikiquote (René Descartes (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650) a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system — allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations) — was named after him.)

This Day in History

March 31st, 307

Constantine the Great decisively defeats Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire

After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Maximian.

Wikipedia  Image: Fresco from Monastery of St. Jovan, above the village Gornji Matejevac near Nis. depicting St. Constantine the Great and his wife, holding the cross; Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306; Constantine the Great, mosaic in Hagia Sophia, 1000.>


March 31st, 1146

Crusades collage: Crusades were a series of religious expeditionary wars blessed by Pope Urban II and the Catholic Church, with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem - Jerusalem considered a sacred city and symbol of all three major Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)

Crusades:
1146 - Second Crusade; 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.

Wikipedia  Image: The Siege of Antioch, from a 15th-century miniature; After the successful siege of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; Baldwin I of Jerusalem; Medieval image of Peter the Hermit, leading knights, soldiers and women toward Jerusalem during the First Crusade; The Battle of Ager Sanguinis, 1337 miniature; Pope Innocent III excommunicating the Albigensians, Massacre against the Albigensians by the crusaders; The capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success.


March 31st, 1774

American Revolutionary War Collage American Revolutionary War, Grand Union - Stars and Stripes Flag

American Revolutionary War:
1774 - The Kingdom of Great Britain orders the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act.

Wikipedia  Paintings: Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutz; Battle of the Chesapeake, French (left) and British (right) lines; Battle of Bunker Hill, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull; The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 13, 1782, by John Singleton Copley; Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown, 1781; "The surrender at Saratoga" shows General Daniel Morgan in front of a French de Vallière 4-pounder; Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by (John Trumbull, 1797).
Grand Union - Stars and Stripes Flag


March 31st, 1866

The very nature of Chile's topography made it one of the toughest parts of South America for the Spanish to conquer (Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, a glacier, a lake, and river-rich areas in southern Chilean Patagonia)

1866 - The Spanish Navy bombs the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.

Wikipedia  Photo: The very nature of Chile's topography made it one of the toughest parts of South America for the Spanish to conquer (Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, a glacier, a lake, and river-rich areas in southern Chilean Patagonia); Lautaro; The Mapuche were the original inhabitants of central and southern Chile; Chilean and Argentinean troops going to the Battle of Chacabuco (February 12, 1817) led by José de San Martín.


March 31st, 1877

Japan's samurai, farmer, artisan, merchant class system (Shinōkōshō) is abolished as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms

The family with samurai antecedents that responded to the Saigō army in Ōita Nakatsu, rebels.

Wikipedia  Photo: The Meiji Restoration (明治維新 Meiji-ishin)


March 31st, 1889

Eiffel tower, Paris, France, Fisheye - HDR, credit Erlend Robaye, Getty Images

The Eiffel Tower is officially opens.

Wikipedia  Photo: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, Fisheye - HDR, credit Erlend Robaye, Getty Images.


March 31st, 1903

Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft on March 31st, 1903

Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft.

Wikipedia  Image: Richard Pearse (December 3, 1877 – July 29, 1953) was a New Zealand farmer and inventor who performed pioneering experiments in aviation. (It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft.)


March 31st, 1909

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,502 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history

Construction of the ill fated RMS Titanic begins.

Wikipedia  Image: RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,502 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.


March 31st, 1917

Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the island of St. John incorporates both a land-based national park and a sea-based national monument (First established in 1956 and later expanded by the U.S. Congress, the Virgin Islands National Park covers more than 7,000 acres (2,800 hectares) - Coral Reef National Monument—established ten years ago this week by presidential proclamation—encompasses submerged lands within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the St. John coast)

The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands.

Wikipedia  Photo: Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the island of St. John incorporates both a land-based national park and a sea-based national monument (First established in 1956 and later expanded by the U.S. Congress, the Virgin Islands National Park covers more than 7,000 acres (2,800 hectares) - Coral Reef National Monument—established ten years ago this week by presidential proclamation—encompasses submerged lands within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the St. John coast), credit Earth Observatory NASA.


March 31st, 1918

Massacre of ethnic Azerbaijanis is committed by allied armed groups of Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Bolsheviks. Nearly 12,000 Azerbaijani Muslims are killed

Massacre of ethnic Azerbaijanis: is committed by allied armed groups of Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Bolsheviks. ( Nearly 12,000 Azerbaijani Muslims are killed.)

Wikipedia  Photo: Tsitsernakaberd is a memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The 44-meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians; 12 slabs are positioned in a circle, representing the 12 lost provinces in present day Turkey. In the center of the circle, at a depth of 1.5 meters, there is an eternal flame. credit Marianna Meliksetyan, iStockphoto ● Armenian alphabet monument in Yerevan.


March 31st, 1931

Global Earthquake epicenters

Earthquake:
1931 - Nicaragua earthquake (1931); An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000.

Wikipedia  Image: Preliminary Determination of Epicenters / Aleppo Syria; Anchorage, Alaska - March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound USA earthquake and tsunami; 8.9 Mega Earthquake Strikes Japan; Tsunami Swirls Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture March 12 2011. credit NOAA / NGDC, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, USGS, National Geographics.


March 31st, 1931

Airliners Crash: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the 'Miracle on the Hudson' navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP

Aviation accidents and incidents:
1931 - TWA Flight 599 crashes near Bazaar, Kansas killing 8 including Knute Rockne, head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.
1965 - An Iberia Airlines Convair 440 crashes into the sea on approach to Tangier, killing 47 of 51 occupants.
1986 - A Mexicana Boeing 727 en route to Puerto Vallarta erupts in flames and crashes in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, killing 166. 1995 - TAROM Flight 371 crasheds, killing all of the 10 crew and 50 passengers on board.

Wikipedia  Photo: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP


March 31st, 1933

Great Depression: After a steady decline in stock market prices since a peak in September, the New York Stock Exchange begins to show signs of panic

Great Depression: The Civilian Conservation Corps is established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment in the United States.

Wikipedia  Photo: Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, age 32, a mother of seven children, in Nipomo, California, March 1936; Bud Fields and his family. Alabama. 1935 or 1936. Photographer: Walker Evans; Unemployed men vying for jobs at the American Legion Employment Bureau in Los Angeles during the Great Depression.


March 31st, 1942

World War II: Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf; Battle of Leyte Gulf; The first kamikaze attack: A Japanese plane carrying a 200-kilogram (440 lb) bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island World War II: German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944) World War II: Eastern Front (World War II); was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945

World War II:
1942 - Battle of Christmas Island; Japanese forces invade Christmas Island, then a British possession.
1945 - A defecting German pilot delivers a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1, the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, to the Americans, the first to fall into Allied hands.

Wikipedia  Photo: Bombing of Dresden in World War II; August Schreitmüller's sculpture 'Goodness' surveys Dresden after a firestorm started by Allied bombers in 1945. USS Bunker Hill was hit by kamikazes piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa and another airman on 11 May 1945. 389 personnel were killed or missing from a crew of 2,600; Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945; Kamikaze Missions - Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank is trailing fuel vapor and/or smoke 25 November 1944.
German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944), credit German History in Documents and Images GHDI.

Eastern Front (World War II); Germans race towards Stalingrad. August 1942; Soviet children during a German air raid in the first days of the war, June 1941, by RIA Novosti archive; Soviet sniper Roza Shanina in 1944. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units Caucasus Mountains, winter 1942/43; Finnish ski patrol: the invisible enemy of the Soviet Army with an unlimited supply of skis; Men of the German Engineers Corps cross a river which is swollen after the first autumn rains, to strengthen bridges linking the German positions on the central front in Russia. by Keystone / Getty Images. October 1942; Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard. Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images, 1943; German soldiers surrendering to the Russians in Stalingrad, the soldier holding the white flag of surrender is dressed in white so that there could be no doubt of his intentions, a Russian soldier is on the right of the photograph. by Keystone / Getty Images, January 1943.


March 31st, 1959

Tibet: is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas (It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people - Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft))

Tibet:
1959 - Tibetan uprising: The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.

Wikipedia  Photo: Simonos Petras Monastery, credit Travis Dove, National Geographic ● Tibet - Heinrich Harrer, National Geographic ● Tibet - Two yaks, wispy clouds and the grand vista of the Tibetan Plateau, credit Felix Torkar. © 2011 National Geographic ● Tibetan People.


March 31st, 1970

Explorer program: Explorer 6 launches from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida

Explorer program: Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.

Wikipedia  Photo: The launch of Explorer 6; designed for photographing the Earth's cloud cover, and transmitted the first pictures of Earth from orbit.


March 31st, 1970

Aircraft hijacking (also known as skyjacking) is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group (In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers, Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves)

Aircraft hijacking:
1970 - Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijack Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb.

Wikipedia  Photo: Hijacked Sudan passenger jet lands in Libya, August 27, 2008; Amsterdam false alarm revives airplane hijacking memories, Passengers leave a Vueling plane at a field near Amsterdam Airport after a hijack scare last week that led the Netherlands to scramble F-16 fighter jets, September 2, 2012 Reuters; Egypt Air flight 648 was hijacked in November 1985 by the terrorist Abu Nidal organisation, credit AP; Cockpit section of Pan Am 103 wreckage following a mid-air explosion, December 21, 1988; 747 Pan Am airliner that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland, with 259 passengers on board in 1988; Debris lies in a deep gash through the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, caused by the crash of Pan Am flight 103, credit AP; Flight 175 hits the WTC South Tower. The picture was taken from a traffic helicopter. credit: WABC 7/ Salient Stills; Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City, credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images.


March 31st, 1985

The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), takes place in Madison Square Garden in New York on March 31st, 1985

The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), takes place in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Wikipedia  Photo: WrestleMania; The World Wrestling Federation staged the first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (The main event was a tag-team match between the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.)


March 31st, 1994

Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discover the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed 'Lucy' (after The Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'), in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression

The journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

Wikipedia  Image: Lucy skeleton reconstruction. Cleveland Natural History Museum; Cast of the remains of "Lucy"; ‘Lucy’ Australopithecus afarensis skull; A reconstruction of a female Australopithecus afarensis; 3.5 million-year-old skull has been found in Kenya, and scientists say it might evict the Ethiopian fossil nicknamed "Lucy" from the line of direct human ancestry, Asociated Press.


March 31st, 2004

Iraq War: The Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a UN-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait

Gulf War - Iraq War:
2004 - Fallujah ambush; In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed after being ambushed.

Wikipedia  Photo: USAF F-15Es, F-16s, and a USAF F-15 flying over burning Kuwaiti oil wells; Iraqi Army T-72 main battle tanks. The T-72 tank was a common Iraqi battle tank used in the Gulf War; F-15Es parked during Operation Desert Shield; The oil fires caused were a result of the scorched earth policy of Iraqi military forces retreating from Kuwait; Aerial view of destroyed Iraqi T-72 tank, BMP-1 and Type 63 armored personnel carriers and trucks on Highway 8 in March 1991.