This Day in History – 30th March

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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 to all the fascinating things that happened today!

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. Let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 30th of March”.

240 BC 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet

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1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet. (Image Source: Phys.org)

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Chinese astronomers observe a new broom-shaped “star” in the sky. It’s the first confirmed sighting of Halley’s Comet. Some have made the case that a sighting in the third millennium B.C. is responsible for the alignment of the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.

1796 Gauss discovers the construction of the heptadecagon

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The year 1796 was productive for both Carl Friedrich Gauss and number theory. He discovered the construction of the heptadecagon on 30 March. A heptadecagon or 17-gon is a seventeen-sided polygon.

1842 Ether used as an anaesthetic for 1st time by Dr Crawford Long (Georgia)

Long began to experiment with sulfuric ether as an anaesthetic. He performed his first surgical procedure using the gas on March 30, 1842, when he removed a tumour from the neck of a young man.

Ether used as an anesthetic for 1st time by Dr Crawford Long (Georgia)
Ether used as an anaesthetic for 1st time by Dr. Crawford Long (Georgia). (Image Source: Wikipedia)

1856 Russia signs the Treaty of Paris, ending the Crimean War

The 1856 Treaty of Paris settled the Crimean War between the Russian Empire and an alliance made up of Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war had begun in 1853.

1858 Pencil with attached eraser patented

Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia registered the first patent for a pencil with an attached eraser on March 30, 1858. However, it was declared invalid initially since it was a combination of two already known things and was of no new use.

1867 Alaska Purchase

The US bought Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 ($109 million in 2018), roughly 2 cents an acre, on this day in History. Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate.

The US $7.2 million check used to pay for Alaska (roughly $132 million in 2019).
The US $7.2 million check used to pay for Alaska (roughly $132 million in 2019). (Image Source: Wikipedia)

1870 15th Amendment to the US constitution is adopted, guarantees right to vote regardless of race

Fifteenth Amendment, amendment (1870) to the Constitution of the United States that guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied based on “race, colour, or previous condition of servitude.”

1893 Thomas F Bayard becomes 1st US ambassador in Great Britain

Grover Cleveland (1885–89). In 1893 Bayard was appointed ambassador to Great Britain, the first U.S. representative to Great Britain to hold that rank. As a champion of arbitration, he was critical of the aggressive position taken by Cleveland in the dispute with Great Britain over the Venezuelan boundary (1895).

1939 Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph

The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h) The Heinkel He 100 was a German pre-World War II fighter aircraft design from Heinkel.

1939 Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.
1939 Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph. (Image Source: Twitter)

1953 Albert Einstein announces revised unified field theory

Earlier, Albert Einstein developed general relativity, a field theory of gravitation. Later, Einstein and others attempted to construct a unified field theory in which electromagnetism and gravity would emerge as different aspects of a single fundamental field.

1961 The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 is an international treaty to prohibit the production and supply of specific drugs and drugs with similar effects except under license for specific purposes, such as medical treatment and research.

1981 US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded

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On this day in History, US President Ronald Reagan, who was then only two months into his term, was shot in the lung by John Hinckley, Jr. as he left a speaking engagement in Washington D.C. Several people were injured, most gravely press secretary Jim Brady, who was wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.

1984 World’s most valuable tip

In 1984, New York City police detective Robert Cunningham was at South Pizzeria in Yonkers when he jokingly asked waitress Phyllis Penzo if they could split a lottery ticket instead of tipping her. He promised to split the winnings between them if he won. The next day they win $6 million!

1984 World's most valuable tip - New York police detective Robert Cunningham offers waitress Phyllis Penzo half of $1 lottery ticket, next day they win $6 million.
1984 World’s most valuable tip – New York police detective Robert Cunningham offers waitress Phyllis Penzo half of $1 lottery ticket, next day they win $6 million. (Image Source: Lottery Critic)

1987 Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” sells for a record

1987 Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" sells for a record 22.5 million pounds ($39.7 million).
1987 Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” sells for a record 22.5 million pounds ($39.7 million). (Image Source: Google)

The soothing art of this eminent artist was sold for a whopping 22.5 million pounds. This is about USD39.7 million.

2001 Swimmer Michael Phelps breaks 200m butterfly world record

At 15 years, 9 months American swimmer Michael Phelps breaks the 200m butterfly world record at the US World Championship trials at Austin, Texas. Above all, he becomes the youngest male to set a world mark.

2006 UK Terrorism Act 2006 becomes law

The Terrorism Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that received Royal assent on 30 March 2006, after being introduced on 12 October 2005. The Act creates new offences related to terrorism and amends existing ones.

2012 A massive breach in credit card security

Mastercard and Visa announce, on this day in History, a massive breach in security with credit cards. Above all, over ten million compromised credit card numbers.

2012 American Mega Millions lottery hits a world record lottery

The American Mega Millions lottery hit a world record lottery amount of 640 million dollars.

2013 North Korea declares is in a state of war with South Korea

A North Korean statement promised “stern physical actions” against “any provocative act”. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that rockets were ready to be fired at American bases in the Pacific. This was in response to two nuclear-capable American B-2 stealth bombers flying over the Korean peninsula on March 28.

2017 North Carolina repeals its controversial bathroom law that restricted transgender use

North Carolina repeals its controversial bathroom law that restricted transgender use.
North Carolina repeals its controversial bathroom law that restricted transgender use. (Image Source: The Guardian)

On March 30, 2017, a bill to eliminate HB2’s bathroom regulations but retain other parts of the law was passed by the North Carolina legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper. The partial repeal was criticized by both conservatives and equal-rights groups.

2019 Pope Francis arrives in Rabat, Morocco, on his first-ever visit to the Maghreb region of Northern Africa

2019 Pope Francis arrives in Rabat, Morocco, on his first-ever visit to the Magreb region of Northern Africa.
2019 Pope Francis arrives in Rabat, Morocco, on his first-ever visit to the Magreb region of Northern Africa. (Image Source: Vatican News)

This was a part of Pope’s ongoing effort to advance inter-religious dialogue. It was the first visit by a pope to a predominantly Muslim country in 34 years.

2019 PewDiePie VS. T-Series

Swedish gamer and YouTuber PewDiePie was overtaken by the Indian channel T-Series as a YouTube channel with the most subscribers. Earlier, both the channels were on 92 million.

Watch India’s reaction to the war of subscribers here.

2020 IOC postpones Tokyo Olympics 2020

International Olympic Committee announces postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be held July 23-August 8 in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Himanshi Dhawan
Likes to do MUNs and speedcubing. A Shutterbug. Capable of sniffing an Atlas 24x7.

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