March 17 events in history

180 Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus the sole emperor of the Roman Empire
455 Petronius Maximus becomes, with support of the Roman Senate, emperor of the Western Roman Empire
624 Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeat the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr
1001 The King of Butuan in the Philippines sends a tributary mission to the Song Dynasty of China
1337 Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy in England
1452 The Battle of Los Alporchones is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the Emirate of Granada and the combined forces of the Kingdom of Castile and Murcia resulting in a Christian victory
1560 Fort Coligny on Villegagnon Island in Rio de Janeiro is attacked and destroyed during the Portuguese campaign against France Antarctique
1677 The Siege of Valenciennes, during the Franco-Dutch War, ends with France's taking of the city
1776 American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city
1780 American Revolution: George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence"
1805 The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King
1842 The Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is formed
1860 The First Taranaki War begins in Taranaki, New Zealand, a major phase of the New Zealand land wars
1861 The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed
1891 SS Utopia collides with HMS Anson in the Bay of Gibraltar and sinks, killing 562 of the 880 passengers on board
1921 The Second Republic of Poland adopts the March Constitution
1939 Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan begins
1941 In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
1942 Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lvov Ghetto are gassed at the Belzec death camp in what is today eastern Poland
1945 The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany, collapses, ten days after its capture
1947 First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber
1948 The Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO
1950 Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley announce the creation of element 98, which they name "californium"
1957 A plane crash in Cebu, Philippines kills Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others
1958 The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite
1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India
1960 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion
1963 Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing more than 1,100 people
1966 Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb
1968 As a result of nerve gas testing in Skull Valley, Utah, over 6,000 sheep are found dead
1969 Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel
1970 My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident
1973 The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family, which came to symbolize the end of United States involvement in the Vietnam War
1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers
1985 Serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the "Night Stalker", commits the first two murders in his Los Angeles, California murder spree
1988 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143
1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet
1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack kills 29 and injures 242
1992 A referendum to end apartheid in South Africa is passed 68.7% to 31.2%
2000 530 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in a fire, considered to be a mass murder or suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult. Elsewhere another 248 members are later found dead
2003 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2004 Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 are killed and 200 wounded. Thirty-five Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Niš are destroyed
2013 The largest meteorite (since NASA started observing the moon in 2005) hit the moon