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Reuters historical calendar - March 15

Written by: Staff
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London, Mar 14 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 15 since 1900: 1909 - The American Harry G Selfridge opened his department store in London.

1917 - Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in Russia together with his son. On the same day, a provisional government succeeded under Prince Georgi Lvov and with Pavel Miliukov as foreign minister.

1922 - The sultan of Egypt assumed the title of king as Fuad I.

1937 - The first central blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was set up at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

1939 - The German army crossed the Czech frontier and Adolf Hitler proclaimed the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

1964 - Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton in Montreal.

1975 - Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, died. In 1968 he married Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of US President John F Kennedy.

1979 - Pope John Paul II published his first encyclical ''Redemptor Hominis'' in which he warned of the growing gap between rich and poor.

1983 - Dame Rebecca West (Cicily Isabel Fairfield), British author, died. Best known for her novels and her study of the Balkans ''Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.'' 1990 - Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1996 - Pioneering aviation firm Fokker NV, once a byword for industrial expertise, collapsed, ending 77 years of Dutch aircraft making and triggering the biggest mass redundancy in Dutch history.

1999 - Rosemary Nelson, one of Northern Ireland's best known Catholic human rights lawyers, was killed by a car bomb.

2000 - Idris Abdulwakil died. The former diplomat and chief of protocol, was the fourth president of Zanzibar and ruled from 1985 to 1990.

2002 - The US government suspended new business dealings with Enron Corp and its former accounting firm Andersen, citing evidence of misconduct.

2003 - From Tokyo to Beirut, Paris to Washington, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in what many saw as a last-ditch global protest against any US-led war on Iraq.

2005 - Bernard Ebbers, former chief executive of WorldCom Inc, was found guilty of fraud charges related to a 11 billion dollars accounting scandal at the telecommunications company. He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.

REUTERS CS BS1049

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