This Day in History

March 30


240BC  Chinese astronomers note first recorded passage of Halley's comet   2256
116      Quirinus of Neuss is martyred in Rome   1901
1282      Sicilian Vespers—successful rebellion on the island of Sicily begins against the rule of the French-born king Charles I   735
1296      after a seige English forces under Edward I capture and sack Scottish city of Berwick-upon-Tweed massacring the inhabitants   721
1559      German mathematician Adam Ries dies, age around 67   458
1796      Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss decides to devote his life to mathematics and begins his scientific diary (Notizenjournal)   221
1822      Florida Territory is created by congress—23 years later becomes State of Florida   195
1842      anesthesia first used—Dr. Crawford Long operated using ether   175
1853      Vincent Van Gogh, painter, born in Zundert, Netherlands   164
1856      Treaty of Paris of 1856 is signed ending the Crimean War   161
1858      Hymen L. Lipman registers the first patent for a pencil with an attached eraser—later invalidated since it was not significantly new   159
1867      Alaska sold to U.S. by Russia for for $7.2 million   150
1870      Texas is readmitted to the Union   147
1889      Braddock Carnegie Library in Braddock, Pennsylvania, is dedicated by Andrew Carnegie—first Carnegie Library in the U.S.   128
1891      Shoshone National Forest in western Wyoming is created by president Benjamin Harrison—first U.S. national forest   126
1892      Polish mathematician Stefan Banach born   125
1909      the Queensboro Bridge opens linking Manhattan and Queens   108
1911      American industrial and environmental chemist Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards dies, age 68   106
1914      English physicist John Henry Poynting dies in Birmingham, age 61   103
   Annie born in Susanville, California 
1939      Detective Comics #27 is released, introducing Batman   78
1944      RAF Bomber Command loses 95 bombers out of 795 sent on a raid on Nuremburg—largest loss of WWII   73
1954      Yonge Street subway line opens in Toronto—the first subway in Canada   63
1964      Jeopardy! created by Merv Griffin debuts on NBC with host Art Fleming   53
1966      American painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish dies in Plainfield, New Hampshire, age 95   51
1971      first Starbucks opens in Seattle, Washington   46
1981      President Ronald Reagan is shot by John Hinckely outside a Washington, D.C., hotel—3 others also wounded   36
1982      Columbia makes the first and only shuttle landing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico   35
2002      Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother, dies in her sleep at Windsor Castle outside London, age 101   15
2004      British-born American journalist, television personality and broadcaster Alistair Cooke dies in New York City, age 95   13
2009      Chicza Rainforest Gum, the world's first biodegradable chewing gum, goes on sale in the UK   8
2010      Large Hadron Collider at CERN acheives first 7 TeV proton-proton beam collisions   7
2012      drawing for the largest lottery jackpot in world history of $656 million takes place in Atlanta   5
2015      Dutch astronomer Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld dies in Oegstgeest, Netherlands, age 93   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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