We’ve scrolled through the history books and picked out some of the most important events to have taken place in the month of March.
The first cases of Spanish flu are reported (1918)
It’s the deadliest pandemic in recent history, killing around 50 million people worldwide. The earliest documented case came from a military base in Kansas after a soldier complained of cold-like symptoms. It's estimated that about 500 million people, or one-third of the world’s population, went on to be infected with the Spanish Flu.
Valentina Tereshkova is born (1937)
Known as the first and youngest woman in space, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova flew a solo mission in 1963, orbiting the Earth 48 times and spending a total of three days in space.
The telephone is patented (1876)
Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell patented his brand new invention, the telephone. At just 29 years old, Bell invented a device that would revolutionise communication as we know it.
International Women’s Day
Marked annually and with a history dating back over a century, the global holiday celebrates women's history and highlights the cause of gender equality.
Malaysia Airlines flight disappears (2014)
With 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished into thin air shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumper International Airport. In 2015 and 2016, debris from the craft washed ashore in the western Indian Ocean, however, no definitive cause of the disappearance has ever been declared.
Mary Anning passes away (1847)
Through her findings, Dorset-based fossil collector and palaeontologist Mary Anning changed the way we perceive our world. Her ‘curiosities’ (aka fossils) made a tremendous impact on the scientific world, leading to important changes in our knowledge of prehistoric life as well as the history of the Earth.
Notorious B.I.G is killed (1997)
American rapper Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G., was shot dead at a stoplight in Los Angeles.
Fukushima nuclear disaster occurs (2011)
The largest earthquake in Japan’s history struck off the country’s eastern coast, triggering a 46ft high tsunami that made light work of the seawall defences around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This led to a nuclear meltdown in three of the plant’s reactors.
Hitler annexes Austria (1938)
Known as the 'Anschluss', Hitler's political union of Austria achieved through annexation began on 12 March 1938, and was completed just one day later. Afterwards, Austria was declared an official part of the Third Reich.
The Dunblane Massacre occurs (1996)
On the morning of 13 March 1996, Thomas Hamilton, 43, shot and killed 16 pupils and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. It is the deadliest mass shooting in British history.
Albert Einstein is born (1879)
Regarded as one of the greatest physicists of all time, the German-born Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity that spawned a new era of thinking about time, space and energy.
Julius Caesar is assassinated (44 BC)
Warned to ‘beware the Ides of March’, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was murdered by 40 senators including Brutus and Cassius Longinus, who stabbed him to death.
My Lai Massacre occurs in Vietnam (1968)
Known as one of the most horrific events of the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre saw the mass murder of around 500 unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. soldiers in the hamlet of My Lai. No one was spared including women, children and the elderly.
Mary Seacole lands in the Crimea (1855)
At the height of the Crimean War in 1855, British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole arrived at Balaklava in the Crimean Peninsula. A short while later she established the ‘British Hotel’ nearby to help look after sick and wounded soldiers. Her reputation at the time rivalled that of Florence Nightingale.
The Iraq War begins (2003)
The United States, along with coalition forces, initiated war on Iraq. The invasion was part of President George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’ and led to the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The conflict lasted until 2011.
The Exxon Valdez runs aground (1989)
Known as one of the worst oil spills in human history, the Exxon Valdez supertanker struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It subsequently spewed 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the environment.
Queen Elizabeth I dies uniting the crowns of England and Scotland (1603)
The Virgin Queen is one of Britain’s most successful and popular rulers, who reigned for 44 years. She established Protestantism in England and defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, one of the greatest military victories in English history. Upon Elizabeth I’s death, she was succeeded by King James VI of Scotland who united the two nations under a single British monarch.
Walter Tull is killed in action (1918)
Not only was Walter Tull the first professional black outfield footballer in Britain, but he was also the first known black officer in the British army. Walter was shot and killed on the frontline during WWI.
The UK goes into its first lockdown (2020)
On this day in 2020, the first lockdown measures legally came into force in the UK, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering people to stay at home.
Lilian Bader joins the WAAF (1941)
Lilian Bader became one of the first black women in the RAF after joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in 1941. Trained in instrument repair, Bader would be promoted to the rank of corporal during WW2.
Nuclear disaster on U.S. soil (1979)
America experienced its own version of Chernobyl after a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, failed to close leading to a partial meltdown and the release of radioactive gases and iodine into the environment. The clean-up cost was the equivalent of $2 billion in today's money.
Charlotte Brontë dies (1855)
The Yorkshire-based novelist was the author of Jane Eyre (1847), a revolutionary book that had a significant impact on society, forever changing people’s perceptions of women.