On this day exactly one year ago an earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
And on this day in 1708 Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation, in 1851 the first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice, in 1867 the first performance of Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Paris, in 1946 Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops, in 2004, in the Madrid train bombings, simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 191 people and in 2009 in the Winnenden school shooting, 16 are killed and 11 are injured before recent-graduate Tim Kretschmer shoots and kills himself, leading to tightened weapons restrictions in Germany.
Some birthdays to remember (or forget it you prefer) on this day are Lawrence Welk, American musician (1903-1992), Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur (1931), Bobby McFerrin, American singer (1950), Douglas Adams, English writer (1952-2001) and Nina Hagen, German singer and actress (1955).
Need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day? Please look into the celebration of Johnny Appleseed Day (United States), Moshoeshoe Day (Lesotho) or Reestablishment of Lithuania’s Independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 (Lithuania).
For more information about historic events on this day, please go here.