This Day in History -March 15
Dr Bernard Fantus

Today is the 74th day of 2023. There are 291 days left in the year.


1937: Dr Bernard Fantus establishes the world's first blood bank at Chicago's Cook County Hospital — a breakthrough for surgical procedures and emergency treatments.


44 BC: Julius Caesar is stabbed (23 times) to death in Rome by Brutus, Cassius and several other Roman senators.

493: Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, murders King Odoacer of Italy by sword at a banquet in Ravenna.

1391: An anti-Semite monk in Seville, Spain, stirs up people to attack Jews.

1526: French Dauphin Francis and his brother Henry are exchanged as hostages for their father, Francis I, beginning four years of captivity in Spain under the Treaty of Madrid.

1848: Hungarian intellectuals stage a bloodless revolution in Budapest against the Austro-Hungarian empire; Russian troops quell it the next year.

1869: With 10 salaried players Cincinnati Red Stockings become baseball's first professional team.

1877: Cricket's inaugural Test match begins as Australia plays England at Melbourne Cricket Ground and defeats them by 45 runs in 4 days. Australian batsman Charles Bannerman completes the first Test cricket century ever, during history's first Test match in Melbourne.

1889: The world's superpowers, prepared to use their powerful warships to control the Samoan Islands with gunboat diplomacy in the 1880s, are thwarted as Mother Nature has other ideas.

1894: France and Germany agree on the boundaries between the French Congo and Cameroon.

1903: The British conquest of northern Nigeria is completed.

1917: Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, abdicates after a humiliating defeat by the Germans; the Russian State and military begin to dissolve thereafter.

1935: Brilliant batsman George Headley steers West Indies to a one-inning victory over England in the fourth cricket Test in Kingston, Jamaica, with a patient, unbeaten 270.

1938: Nazi Germany seizes Czechoslovakia with little resistance.

1939: Adolf Hitler meets with Czech President Emil Hácha; after being told of the impending invasion by Germany, Hácha suffers a heart attack at the meeting.

1945: Billboard publishes its first album chart and the (Nat) King Cole Trio secures the number one spot.

1948: Sir Laurence Olivier appears on the cover of 0 magazine.

1954: The CBS Morning Show premieres with broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite alongside comedian and TV host Jack Paar.

1964: Elizabeth Taylor's fifth marriage is to English actor Richard Burton; they divorce in 1974 and re-marry in 1975.

1965: About a week after a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, was halted due to violent opposition, US President Lyndon B Johnson delivers his We Shall Overcome speech in which he introduces voting rights legislation passed later that year.

1972: The Godfather, based on Mario Puzo's book and starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, premieres in New York City; it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1973.

1977: Eight is Enough and the comedy Three's Company premiere on ABC TV.

1982: Actress Theresa Saladana is stabbed repeatedly by an obsessed fan.

1985: The first Internet domain name,, is registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp of Massachusetts.

1988: Israeli authorities impose a travel ban on Palestinians in occupied territories.

1989: Soviet Union's President Mikhail S Gorbachev calls for rapid measures to ease chronic Soviet food shortages.

1991: Serbian President Borisav Jovic resigns after the collective presidency fails to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

1992: A second earthquake in a short time strikes eastern Turkey, killing an estimated 800 people.

1998: CBS's 60 Minutes airs an interview with former White House employee Kathleen Willey who said President Bill Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the Oval Office in 1993, a charge denied by the president.

2000: In a forensic first, a grand jury in New York indicts an unidentified man for three rapes based on his DNA genetic profile.

2003: Rebels led by ousted army chief General Francois Bozize capture the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, and the international airport while President Ange-Felix Patasse is out of the country; Bozize declares himself president.

2004: Saudi security forces kill two militants, including one considered al-Qaeda's chief of operations on the Arabian Peninsula, in a shoot-out in the capital Riyadh.

2006: A Spanish boat recovers the bodies of 24 people, believed to be African migrants, floating in waters off the coast of Mauritania, hundreds of miles south of the Canary Islands.

2007: The Islamic militant Hamas and its Fatah rivals forge a unity Palestinian Government to end more than a year of political wrangling, isolation, and bloodshed; Israel quickly rejects the new leadership, saying it fails to recognise the Jewish State.

2009: Thousands of anti-Government protesters, led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, head to Islamabad for a planned sit-in at parliament, ramping up a power struggle that risks hobbling a vital Western ally in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

2011: Anti-Government protests are held in several cities across Syria, considered the beginning of the country's civil war.

2019: More than 1.5 million students participate in climate change protests around the world as part of Fridays for Future, a movement started by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.


Jules Chevalier, French priest and founder of Sacred Heart Missionaries (1824-1907); Henri Saint Cyr, Swedish equestrian and Olympic gold medallist (1902-1979); Harry James, US band-leader (1916-1983); Christopher Gonzalez, Jamaican sculptor/painter (1943-2008);, US rapper-musician (1975- )

– AP/Jamaica Observer

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