Tokyo burns, 1945.

This Year in History

Our Selections From March

All year, we've been highlighting historical news events—and Foreign Affairs articles about those events—as part of our "This Day in History" series. Here are our collected selections for March.

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1

1977: United States Extends Territorial Waters

The Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 goes into effect, extending U.S. territorial waters by 200 miles. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

2

1962: A Coup D'Etat in Burma

The army, led by General Ne Win, seizes power. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

3

1976: Mozambique Closes Its Border With Rhodesia

Mozambican President Samora Machel shuts the border with Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) after Rhodesian troops entered the country in "hot pursuit" of rebel fighters. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

4

1998: U.S. Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Harassment Discriminatory

Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc, considered a landmark case for gay rights, was later used to protect against harassment based on sexual orientation. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

5

1946: Churchill Delivers "Iron Curtain" Speech

At Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill says, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent." Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

6

1953: Malenkov Succeeds Stalin

Just a day after Joseph Stalin's death, Georgy Malenkov is appointed the new Premier and First Secretary of the Soviet Union, but he is quickly pushed out by Nikita Khrushchev. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

7

1989: Iran and the United Kingdom Sever Ties

Iran breaks diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom for its failure to denounce Salman Rushdie and his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

8

2004: Iraq Adopts Interim Constitution

The document is a guideline for the transitional government. It was replaced by a permanent constitution in October 2005. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

9

1945: Bombing of Tokyo

Considered the most destructive firebombing operation in history, this attack was part of a series of U.S. air raids on Japan during the WWII Pacific campaigns. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

10

1922: Mahatma Gandhi Arrested in India

He is tried for sedition and sentenced to six years in prison. He is released two years later in order to receive medical treatment. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

11

2000: Dot-Com Bubble Bursts

The stock market begins to slip after peaking the day before at $6.71 trillion in combined value of stocks on the NASDAQ. By the end of the month, nearly a trillion dollars worth of stock had been lost. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

12

1947: Truman Doctrine Announced

In a speech before Congress, President Harry S. Truman asks for U.S. aid to help Greece and Turkey resist communism. His statement is considered the official declaration of the Cold War. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

13

1979: European Monetary System Established

Its goal is to stabilize the exchange rate by linking the currencies of ten major European countries. The system is later replaced by the Economic and Monetary Union. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

14

1990: Gorbachev Becomes President

The Congress of People’s Deputies elects General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev as the new leader of the Soviet Union. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

15

1960: "Ten Nation" Disarmament Talks Begins

The Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament discusses issues of nuclear disarmament. The committee included five Warsaw Pact and five NATO nations. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

16

1968: My Lai Massacre

A group of American soldiers brutally murders between 200 and 500 unarmed civilians at My Lai, a small village located near the northern coast of South Vietnam. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

17

2005: George F. Kennan Dies

The prominent Cold War strategist passes away at 101. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

18

1950: Chinese Nationalists Raid Mainland China

Under General Chiang Kai-Shek, the nationalists invade China in an attempt to reclaim the mainland after losing it to the communists the year before. The nationalists are again defeated and driven back to Taiwan. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

19

1920: U.S. Senate Rejects the Treaty of Versailles Again

In a vote of 49-35, the U.S. Senate fails to approve the treaty, a formal peace agreement between War World I Allies and Germany. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

20

1995: Poison Gas Attack in Japan

A cult group releases sarin gas on the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and sickening 5,000. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

21

1980: Carter Announces Boycott of Olympics in Moscow

U.S. President Jimmy Carter made the announcement after the Soviet Union failed to comply with his deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by February 20, 1980. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

22

1958: King Saud Transfers Executive Powers

Following an economic crisis in Saudi Arabia, King Saud gives his half-brother Crown Prince Faisal executive ruling powers. Faisal becomes king in 1964 and rules until his assassination in 1975. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

23

1983: Reagan Announces "Star Wars" Initiative

U.S. President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative proposed building new antimissile technology to protect against ballistic nuclear weapons. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

24

1972: The U.K. Government Reasserts Direct Rule Over Northern Ireland

It ended five-decades of "home rule," by which Ireland oversaw its own domestic affairs. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

25

1946: Soviets Announce Withdrawal From Iran

This move ended the Iran-Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946, during which the Soviet Union refused to give up occupied territory in Iran. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

26

1979: Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty Signed

The treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

27

1958: Khrushchev Becomes Soviet Premier

Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the Communist Party, succeeds Nikolai Bulganin as Soviet premier. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

28

1979: The Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown

An accident at a nuclear generating station in Pennsylvania leads to one of the worst commercial nuclear meltdowns in history and cost $1 billion to clean up. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

29

1951: The Rosenbergs Convicted of Espionage

The couple Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. They were executed in 1953. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

30

1981: Attempted Assassination of Reagan

U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot and seriously wounded. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

31

1991: The Warsaw Pact Ends

The 36-year military alliance between the Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites dissolves. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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