[The greed of the unions was as much to blame for the fall of James Callaghan and thus the rise of Thatcherism as the ruthlessness of the Conservative leader herself; is it any wonder it took 18 years to elect the next Labour Prime Minister and that he had to abandon the party's traditional principles to do it?]
37 CE - Having only recently succeeded Tiberius Gemellus as Roman Emperor, Caligula accepted the titles of the Principate, which were conferred on him by the Senate.
193 CE - Roman Emperor Pertinax - first to rule during the Year of the Five Emperors - was assassinated by Praetorian Guards after a reign of 87 days; he was succeeded by Didius Julianus, who'd bought the job in an auction, having offered to pay every guard 25,000 sestertii to the 20,000 offered by his nearest rival Titus Flavius Sulpicianus. His reign would be even shorter than that of his predecessor.
364 CE - Roman Emperor Valentinian I appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor.
845 CE - Paris was sacked by a Viking fleet of 120 ships, probably under the leadership of Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom from Charles the Bald - as much as 7,000 pounds of silver - in exchange for leaving.
1285 - Pope Martin IV died; he was succeeded by Honorius IV on April 2nd.
1776 - Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco and the Mission San Francisco de Asis.
1802 - Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, only the second asteroid known to man.
1809 - During the Peninsular War French Imperial troops commanded by Claude Victor defeated those of Spain under Gregorio de la Cuesta at the Battle of Medelin.
1834 - The US Senate censured President Andrew Jackson for his actions in defunding the Second Bank of the United States; his censure was later expunged from the record.
1854 - France and Britain declared war on Russia at the outset of the Crimean War.
1910 - Henri Fabre became the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near the French coastal town of Martigues.
1920 - The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak affected the American Great Lakes region and states of the Deep South, when as many as 38 individual tornadoes formed and wreaked havoc in a single day.
1930 - Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara.
1939 - Nationalist forces led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquered Madrid, effectively ending the Spanish Civil War.
1941 - Having just completed the manuscript of her final novel Between the Acts, and fearing an imminent nervous breakdown (not her first), novelist Virginia Woolf filled her overcoat pockets with stones and waded into the River Ouse near Monk's House, her home in Rodmell, Sussex; Woolf's body would not be found for three weeks, at which point it was badly decomposed - or 'skeletonized' in the euphemism of the times - after which her remains were cremated and buried in her garden. Woolf had only recently witnessed the destruction of her long-time London home at 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury by bombs during the Blitz, as well as the cool reception of her biography of friend Roger Fry. 'I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time...' began the final note she sent to her husband, Leonard Woolf.
1946 - Juan Peron was formally elected President of Argentina by that country's electoral college, having swept to power on February 24th.
1969 - Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the Greek junta known as the Regime of the Colonels.
1979 - Following the so-called Winter of Discontent, Britain's Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan was defeated by one vote in a Motion of No Confidence - resulting in the dissolution of Parliament and the tendering of his government's resignation to The Queen, who then called a General Election.
1994 - BBC Radio Five Live began broadcasting in the UK.
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