This Day in History

March 28


1472      Italian Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo born in Savignano di Prato, Tuscany   545
1566      foundation stone of Valletta, Malta's capital city, is laid by Jean Parisot de Valette   451
1584      Ivan IV Vasilyevich "Ivan the Terrible," Tsar of All the Russias, dies after a reign of 37 years, age 53   433
1776      Juan Bautista de Anza Bezerra Nieto establishes the site of the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asis   241
1794      French philosopher, mathematician, and political scientist Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat dies, age 50   223
1802      Pallas, discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, is second known asteroid   215
1854      Britain and France declare war on Russia—Crimean War   163
1862      Union forces stop the advance of the Confederate army into New Mexico at the conclusion of the Battle of Glorieta Pass   155
1874      Danish German astronomer Peter Andreas Hansen dies, age 78   143
1881      Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky dies in Saint Petersburg, age 42   136
1910      first seaplane takes off from water in Martigues, France piloted by Henri Fabre   107
1917      American painter Albert Pinkham Ryder dies in New York City, age 70   100
1939      Madrid falls to the Spanish Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco after a three-year seige during the Spanish Civil War   78
1941      English author Virginia Woolf dies in East Sussex, age 59   76
1941      Royal Navy engages and sinks three Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers off Cape Matapan in the Mediterranian Sea   76
1942      Royal Navy conducts a successful raid against the shipyards at Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast of occupied France   75
1943      Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff dies, age 69   74
1946      U.S. releases the Acheson-Lilienthal Report—possible methods for the international control of nuclear weapons   71
1953      American athlete Jim Thorpe dies in Lomite, California, age 64   64
1969      Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower, 34th U.S. president, dies, age 78   48
1979      American circus performer Emmett Leo Kelly dies in Sarasota, Florida, age 80   38
1979      accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, near Middletown, Pennsylvania   38
1985      Russian painter Marc Chagall dies in Saint-Paul, France, age 97   32
1992      Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platon dies in Athens, age 83   25
2005      magnitude 8.7 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra leads to fears of a repeat of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami   12
2006      Australian Outback artist Kevin Charles "Pro" Hart dies, age 77   11
2007      Grand Canyon Skywalk opens   10
2011      French daredevil Alain Robert climbs the 2,717 ft Dubai's Burj Khalifa—world's tallest building   6
2011      Swift detects a long lasting gamma ray burst from a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years distant—first time the phenomena had been observed   6
2012      American bluegrass musician Earl Eugene Scruggs dies in Nashville, Tennessee age 88   5
2012      Armenian composer and pianist Alexander Grigori Arutiunian dies, age 91   5
2012      English Marxist playwright John Arden dies in Galway, age 81   5
2012      photograph reveals a 45 m crater on the surface of Mars that was not present the previous day   5
2013      English statistician George Edward Pelham Box dies in Madison, Wisconsin, age 93   4

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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