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18th March 1834: Tolpuddle Martyrs sentenced to transportation to Australia
18 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

The industrial revolution, combined with the first of the Enclosure Acts, had seen the earnings of poor farmers plummet. With the radicalism of the French Revolution still fresh in people’s minds, the Swing Riots of the early 1830s had seen agricultural workers turn to violent protest. Adding to tensions between land owners and workers, the repeal of the Combination Acts in 1825 effectively legalised the creation of trade unions. By 1834 farm workers in the Dorset village of Tolpuddle were being paid just 7 shillings per week, three shillings less than the average agricultural labourer’s wage. Six men consequently formed ...

17th March 1766: First Saint Patrick’s Day parade
17 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 17th March 1766, the first recorded St Patrick's Day parade took place...in New York. Irish soldiers serving in the British Army led the parade which, due to the high number of Irish immigrants in the city, quickly became an annual tradition. The first parade in Ireland didn't take place until 1903 in Waterford. St Patrick was a Romano-British Christian missionary who converted thousands of Irish Pagans before his death in 461. Although he didn't really rid Ireland of snakes, since Ireland never contained any snakes, he was responsible for driving out Paganism from almost the entire country. The ...

16th March 1190: The Jewish population of York massacred in a pogrom
16 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

Jews first began to arrive in England following the Norman conquest. Primarily serving as moneylenders due to strict Catholic laws about usury, anti-Jewish sentiment had begun to grow by the time of Richard I’s coronation on 3 September 1189. That day witnessed anti-Semitic rioting that led to the deaths of around 30 Jews after they were denied entry to the coronation banquet. Although Richard later explicitly stated that Jews in England should not be harmed, violence surfaced again and slowly spread north after he departed for the Holy Land on the Third Crusade. In March the anti-Semitic attacks reached York. In ...

15th March 44BCE: Assassination of Julius Caesar
15 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 15th March 44BCE, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was stabbed to death near to the Theatre of Pompey in Rome. His death, coming shortly after he had been declared dictator for life by the Senate, was intended to stop his attempt to seize more power and restore the Roman Republic. However, it instead resulted in a period of instability and civil wars that culminated in the ascendancy of his adopted son Octavian who became Caesar Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Julius Caesar was a respected military general, whose return to Rome saw him quickly gain respect from many ordinary ...

14th March 1958: Perry Como awarded the first gold record by the RIAA
14 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

Gold records were originally presented to artists by their own label, primarily as a form of self-congratulatory publicity. The very first framed gold record of this type was presented to the American bandleader Glenn Miller by RCA Victor in February 1942. This was in recognition of the sale of 1.2 million copies of his single “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. In 1956 Elvis Presley later received a gold record after selling 1 million copies of “Don’t Be Cruel”, but this was again a company award. The Recording Industry Association of America was formed in 1952 to develop the burgeoning recording industry, and ...

13th March 1881: Tsar Alexander II assassinated in Saint Petersburg
13 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 13th March 1881, Tsar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated in a St Petersburg street by a member of the People’s Will revolutionary movement. Despite introducing a number of reforms such as the 1861 emancipation of the serfs and the abolition of capital punishment, Alexander’s government remained autocratic and after an assassination attempt in 1866 began to brutally repress those who sought political change. Despite this, by the 1870s the government was coming under increasing pressure from liberals and radicals to introduce further reforms. Land and Liberty, a group of reformers who sought land reform, soon gave rise ...

12th March 1881: Andrew Watson becomes the world’s first black international football player
12 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

Andrew Watson’s father, Peter Miller Watson, was the manager of a sugar plantation in British Guiana while his mother was a local woman called Anna (or Hannah) Rose. Having been born illegitimately, accurate details of Watson’s early life are virtually non-existent. It was only after his father moved the young Andrew and his sister Annetta to Scotland in the early 1860s that any reliable evidence began to appear. Peter Watson died in 1869 while his son was enrolled at a boarding school in Halifax in West Yorkshire. He and his sister inherited a significant amount of money that secured their ...

11th March 1918: First confirmed case of ‘Spanish Flu’
11 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 11th March 1918 the first confirmed case of what was to become known as Spanish Flu was identified at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, a huge military facility in Kansas. Within 18 months the disease had become a pandemic that infected up to a third of the entire world’s population. With between 10-20% of all infected persons dying, modern estimates place the flu as taking anywhere between 20 to 100 million lives. The exact geographical origin of the disease has never been identified, but the first confirmed case was company cook Private Albert Gitchell in Kansas who reported ...

10th March 2000: The NASDAQ index peaks at the height of the dot-com bubble
10 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

The economic bubble that is also referred to as the ‘dot-com boom’ was the result of investors speculatively pouring money into the numerous internet companies that were founded in the mid- to late-1990s. The exponential growth witnessed by the stock market was primarily based on overconfidence in new online businesses, many of which had a ‘.com’ suffix. A large number of these companies raised enormous funds by selling shares in initial public offerings, despite the fact that some of them had not even begun to generate income, let alone make a profit. Driven by a mixture of private investors and venture ...

9th March 1841: US Supreme court rules on the Amistad slave case
9 Mar 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 9th March 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that captive Africans who had seized control of the Amistad ship had been taken into slavery illegally and were therefore free under American law. The United States vs. The Amistad case was a landmark legal battle in the struggle against slavery and provided the abolitionist movement with huge publicity. Early in 1839 a number of Africans, including Joseph Cinqué from Sierra Leone, had been kidnapped by Portuguese slavers and transported to Cuba. This was in clear violation of international laws that prohibited the African slave trade. However, once smuggled into ...