This Day in History - March 14
Russian President Vladimir Putin secures a second four-year term on this day, 2004, following a 71 per cent landslide win during an election campaign the US criticises as one-sided. (Photo: AFP)

Today is the 73 day of 2023. There are 292 days left in the year.


1964: In the first courtroom verdict to be televised in the United States, Jack Ruby is found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of US President John F Kennedy, in November 1963.


1558: Ferdinand I assumes the title of Holy Roman Emperor without being crowned by the pope.

1757: British Admiral John Byng is executed for neglect of duty resulting in the loss of Menorca.

1794: American Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin machine, revolutionising the cotton industry in the southern US states.

1826: The first Pan-American conference convenes in Panama, with representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Central America in attendance.

1840: The Constitution in Rome is promulgated by Pope Pius IX.

1844: Carlos Antonio Lopez is sworn in as the first constitutional president of Paraguay.

1883: Historian and revolutionary Karl Marx, who in 1848 wrote (with Friedrich Engels) The Communist Manifesto, dies at age 64.

1899: German military official Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin receives a US patent for a "navigable balloon"; the first zeppelin made its initial flight the following year.

1900: Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries rediscovers Gregor Mendel's laws of heredity and genetics.

1913: The South African Supreme Court declares that marriages not celebrated according to Christian rites and/or not registered by the registrar of marriages are invalid; all Muslim and Hindu marriages are therefore declared invalid.

1917: China severs diplomatic relations with Germany in World War I.

1923: US President Warren Harding becomes the first chief executive to file an income tax report.

1939: The Republic of Czechoslovakia is dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation.

1950: FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives' programme begins.

1951: United Nations forces recapture Seoul during the Korean War.

1956: A 50-year-old baseball pitching star named Satchel Paige signs a contract to play for and manage the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro National League.

1965: Israel's Cabinet formally approves establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

1971: The Rolling Stones leave England for France to escape taxes.

1973: The United States relaxes its embargo on arms shipments to Pakistan and India.

1976: Egypt's President Anwar Sadat asks Parliament to cancel the treaty with the Soviet Union, charging that Moscow failed to provide arms that had been promised.

1988: Iran and Iraq unleash missiles on each other's capitals as a so-called war of the cities erupts.

1991: The emir of Kuwait returns following more than seven months in exile and more than two weeks after his country was freed from Iraqi occupation.

1992: Warring parties in Croatia pledge to cooperate to end the civil war ahead of the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force.

1993: An independent, UN-sponsored commission releases a report blaming the bulk of atrocities committed during El Salvador's civil war on the country's military.

1994: In a setback to long-time ruler Gnassingbe Eyadema, the Opposition is declared victorious in Togo's first democratic parliamentary election.

1995: Astronaut Norman Thagard becomes the first American to enter space aboard a Russian rocket as he and two cosmonauts blast off aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, headed for the Mir space station.

1998: India's Congress party appoints as its President Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

2002: Serbia and Montenegro, the two republics that comprise the Yugoslav federation, sign an accord to restructure their ties and formally drop the name Yugoslavia.

2003: South Korea urges North Korea to defuse its nuclear stand-off through multilateral talks; the US warns that the communist country is just months away from enriching uranium to make atomic bombs.

2004: Brushing off US criticism of a one-sided election campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin claims victory after voters hand him an expected landslide, 71 per cent win for a second four-year term.

2007: A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visits North Korea for the first time since the country kicked inspectors out in 2002, a significant first step toward renewed relations; IAEA officials say North Korea is committed to nuclear disarmament.

2008: Protests by Buddhist monks in Tibet turn violent as shops and vehicles are set on fire and gunshots are heard in the streets of the capital, Lhasa; the Dalai Lama calls on China to stop using force against protesters.

2009: Three foreign aid workers abducted in Sudan's lawless Darfur region are released unharmed, three days after their abduction at gunpoint led international groups to question how they can continue to work in the area.

2010: French voters scarred by an economic crisis deal President Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative leadership a stern blow by strongly favouring leftist candidates in regional elections.

2011: The US Embassy in Tel Aviv says it is "deeply concerned" by Israel's plans to build hundreds of new homes in the West Bank following a deadly attack on a settler family, calling Israeli settlements "illegitimate" and an obstacle to peacemaking.

2012: President Barack Obama and British Prime Minster David Cameron say for the first time that NATO forces will hand over the lead combat role to Afghanistan forces the following year as the US and its allies aim to get out by the end of 2014.

2013: Xi Jinping is named the new president of the People's Republic of China. Pope Francis puts his humility on display during his first day as pontiff, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself in a decidedly different style of papacy than his tradition-minded predecessor who kept to the Vatican.

2016: English composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, whose powerfully innovative music made him one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, dies at age 81.

2017: The world's oldest golf club, Muirfield in Scotland, votes to admit women as members for the first time in 273 years. A blustery, late-season storm plasters the north-east with sleet and snow, paralysing much of the Washington to Boston corridor but falling well short of predicted snow totals in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

2018: English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, best known for his work on the physics of black holes and for the 1988 book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, dies at age 76.


Victor Emmanuel II (in full Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso), king of Sardinia and Italy (1820-1878); Maxim Gorky, Russian novelist (1868-1936); Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist (1879-1955); Michael Caine, English actor (1933- ); Quincy Jones, American songwriter and record producer (1933- ); Billy Crystal, US actor-comedian (1948- ); Albert II, prince of Monaco (1958- ); Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan, Indian actor and director (1965- )

– AP

German-born Jewish theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is born this day, 1879.
Non-Christian and unregistered marriages are declared invalid by the South African Supreme Court, thus all Muslim and Hindu marriages are regarded as such on this day, 1913.
On this day, 1950, the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives programme begins.

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