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Reuters historical calendar - March 28

Written by: Staff
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London. Mar 27 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 28 since 1900: 1910 - The first seaplane, designed by Frenchman Henri Fabre, took off from Martigues, near Marseilles, France.

1920 - Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, two of Hollywood's greatest stars, married.

1930 - Turkey's two main cities, Constantinople and Angora, were renamed Istanbul and Ankara.

1939 - The Spanish Civil war ended with the surrender of Madrid to General Franco's forces.

1939 - Adolf Hitler renounced Germany's 1934 non-aggression pact with Poland.

1941 - The British author and critic Virgina Woolf committed suicide.

1943 - The Russian composer and virtuoso pianist Sergei Rachmaninov died in California; he is best known for his piano concertos and his ''Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini''.

1959 - China dissolved Tibet's government and installed an ''autonomous authority'' under the Panchen Lama 11 days after an anti-Chinese uprising began.

1969 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Army commander, Republican statesman and president from 1953-1961, died. He was commander-in-chief of the Allied armies during World War Two.

1970 - Some 1,100 people were killed and 3,000 injured when an earthquake struck the town of Gediz in western Anatolia.

1974 - Romanian Communist Party leader Nicolae Ceausescu was elected to the newly created post of state president.

1979 - The United States' worst nuclear accident occurred at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A partial meltdown of one of the reactors forced the evacuation of residents after radioactive gas leaked into the atmosphere.

1982 - In El Salvador, the first free elections for 50 years were held to elect a new constituent assembly. Five right-wing parties jointly won 60 per cent of the vote and agreed to form a government of national unity.

1985 - The Russian-born French artist Marc Chagall died at 97; The French writer Guillaume Apollinaire coined the word ''surrealist'' to describe Chagall's work.

1993 - Somalia's feuding warlords reached agreement to establish the first semblance of government since they wrecked the country in fighting to succeed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

1994 - The Romanian-born French playwright Eugene Ionesco, a giant of the ''Theatre of the Absurd'', died in Paris at 81.

1996 - Israel's official inquiry into the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin concluded that security agencies had ignored ample intelligence information that a Jewish militant might try to kill the prime minister.

1996 - The ''godfather'' of Japanese politics, Shin Kanemaru, died aged 81 after three decades of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring that made and broke prime ministers.

2001 - The United States said it had effectively abandoned the 1997 Kyoto treaty to fight global warming, dealing a blow to European hopes to salvage the pact.

2002 - Billy Wilder, the first filmmaker to win three Academy Awards in a year -- for ''The Apartment'' in 1960 -- died. He was a master storyteller specialising in the dark side of American life. His best known films included ''Double Indemnity'', ''The Lost Weekend'', ''Sunset Boulevard'', ''Stalag 17'' and ''Some Like It Hot''.

2003 - Serbian police said they had found the remains of communist-era president Ivan Stambolic, and that he had been killed shortly before the ousting of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.

2004 - The Oscar-winning British actor and playwright Peter Ustinov, one of the world's best loved raconteurs and mimics, died aged 82. Ustinov won Oscars for his roles in the films ''Spartacus'' and ''Topkapi''.

2005 - Nearly 1,000 people were killed in an earthquake of magnitude 8.7 that hit Nias island off western Indonesia.

REUTERS SHB SP1306

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