Sunday, March 27, 2011

⅏Did You Know - These Random Facts? #15 - March

Did You Know?  For the month of
back in.....

  • 1905, Fingerprint evidence is used to solve a British murder case.  
    The neighbors of Thomas and Ann Farrow, shopkeepers in South London, discover their badly bludgeoned bodies in their home. Thomas was already dead, but Ann was still breathing. She died four days later without ever having regained consciousness. The brutal crime was solved using the newly developed fingerprinting technique. Only three years earlier, the first English court had admitted fingerprint evidence in a petty theft case. The Farrow case was the first time that the cutting-edge technology was used in a high-profile murder case.
  • 1912, In Washington, D.C., Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, plant two Yoshina cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River, near the Jefferson Memorial. The event was held in celebration of a gift, by the Japanese government, of 3,020 cherry trees to the U.S. government.
  • 1952, Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Motor Corporation, which in 2008 surpassed America's General Motors as the world's largest automaker, dies at the age of 57.
  • 1977, Jumbo jets collide at Canary Islands airport.  Two 747 jumbo jets crash into each other on the runway at an airport in the Canary Islands, killing 582 passengers and crew members. Both Boeing 747s were charter jets that were not supposed to be at the Los Rodeos Airport on Santa Cruz de Tenerife that day. Both had been scheduled to be at the Las Palmas Airport, where a group of militants had set off a small bomb at the airport's flower shop earlier that day. Thus, a Pan Am charter carrying passengers from Los Angeles and New York to a Mediterranean cruise and a KLM charter with Dutch tourists were both diverted to Santa Cruz on March 27.
  • 1979, Reactor overheats at Three Mile Island.  The most serious nuclear accident in United States history takes place at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when one of the reactors overheats. Fortunately, a catastrophic meltdown was averted and there were no deaths or direct injuries from the accident.
  • 1979, Airey Neave Murdered.  The British Conservative MP and the shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb as he left the House of Commons car park.
  • 1980, Oil workers drown in North Sea.  A floating apartment for oil workers in the North Sea collapsed, killing 123 people.  The Alexander Kielland platform housed 208 men who worked on the nearby Edda oil rig in the Ekofisk field, 235 miles east of Dundee, Scotland. Most of the Phillips Petroleum workers were from Norway, although a few were American and British. The platform, held up by two large pontoons, had bedrooms, kitchens and lounges and provided a place for workers to spend their time when not working. At about 6:30 p.m. on March 30, most of the residents were in the platform's small theater watching a movie. Although there were gale conditions in the North Sea that evening, no one was expecting that a large wave would collapse and capsize the platform.
  • 1981, President Reagan shot.  President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. 
    The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the
    President Ronald Reagan
    Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he'd been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.
  • 1982, Earthquake and volcano do double damage in Mexico.  The combination of an earthquake and a volcanic eruption at El Chichon in southern Mexico converted a hill into a crater, killing thousands of people and destroying acres of farmland.   The eruptions, which continued for over a week, caught many of the area residents unaware and unprepared.
  • 1987, Vincent Van Gogh painting purchased.  An anonymous foreign buyer purchased Vincent Van Gogh's masterpiece 'Sunflowers' for nearly $36.3 million.
  • 2002, The Queen Mother dies. The Queen Mother has died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 101, with her daughter at her bedside. She passed away at Royal Lodge, Windsor, at 1515 GMT on Saturday, and the news was announced by Buckingham Palace about two and a half hours later.   It came six weeks after her last public appearance, at the funeral of her daughter Princess Margaret.

Resources:, various magazines

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