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This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened on 23rd March!

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 23rd March”.

1153: Treaty of Constance

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The Treaty of Constance was signed between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I and Pope Eugenius III on 23rd March 1153. By the terms of the treaty, Eugenius III promised Frederick that he would receive the imperial crown and that the rights of the empire would be maintained. On the other hand, Frederick promised not to make peace with the Roman commune or the Normans without the consent of the Pope.

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Frederick Barbarossa
Frederick Barbarossa

1931: Martyr’s Day

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On 23rd March 1931, Indian freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hung by the British government in Lahore jail. The trio was sentenced to death for conspiring to kill John P Saunders, a British police officer. Each year 23rd March is recognized as Martyr’s day (there are a total of 6 Martyrs’ Day) to honor those who sacrificed themselves for the nation.

Martyr's Day
From left: Shivaram Rajguru, Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev Thapar

1933: Enabling act

The Enabling Act was passed by the German Reichstag in 1933. The act enabled Adolf Hitler to assume dictatorial powers. It allowed Hitler’s government to independently issue decrees without a say of the Reichstag and the presidency. The act formed the foundation which led to the Nazism revolution in Germany. Deputies of the Nazi Party, the Centre Party and the German National People’s Party voted in favor of the act.

Enabling Act
image source: Wikipedia

1982: Guatemala military coup

On this day in 1982, junior officers in the Guatemalan Army effectuated a coup d’état to force out General Romeo Lucas García. Lucas García was accused of corruption and vote-rigging and hence ousted. As a result of the coup, General Efraín Ríos Montt seized power and became head of state.

Efraín Ríos Montt
Efraín Ríos Montt

1983: Ronald Reagan introduces “Star Wars Program”

The Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) popularly known as the Star Wars Program was a proposed US missile defense system. It was intended to protect the United States from possible attacks by ballistic nuclear weapons. The initiative was first announced by US president Ronald Regan in his address on nationwide television on 23rd March 1983.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

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