On this day: Nasa’s The Spirit Rover launched

The Spirit Rover was launched in 2003 on this day, beginning Nasas Mars Exploration Rover mission

The Spirit Rover was launched in 2003 on this day, beginning Nasas Mars Exploration Rover mission

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 28 March.

10 June

1692: The first of the 14 Salem witches was hanged. Bridget Bishop was one of the 150 respectable citizens accused of witchcraft by an hysterical band of young girls who, for nearly 20 months, mesmerised the strict, isolated Puritan community in Massachusetts.

1719: The Battle of Glenshiel defeat of Scottish Jacobite and Spanish troops by Hanoverian forces.

1768: Forth and Clyde Canal construction started.

1794: Power of French revolutionary tribunals was increased, leading to mass executions.

1829: The first Oxford and Cambridge University boat race took place, 2.25 miles from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge – and was won easily by Oxford.

1854: Queen Victoria opened Crystal Palace on its new site at Sydenham, south London.

1864: Over-arm bowling was legalised for cricket matches.

1909: SOS signal first used in an emergency. The SOS call, which replaced CQD emergency call in 1906, was recognised by two steamers which went to the rescue of the Cunard liner SS Slavonia, wrecked off the Azores.

1943: Ball-point pens, devised by Hungarian Laszlo Biro, were patented in the United States.

1946: Italy became a republic, replacing King Humbert II.

1967: Israel agreed to United Nations cease-fire with Egypt, with Israel holding conquered territory four times its own size.

1971: United States lifted 21-year-old embargo on trade with China.

1978: Larry Holmes won the world heavyweight boxing title in Las Vegas, defeating Ken Norton on points.

1983: Margaret Thatcher won her second term as prime minister.

1988: Britain’s last lightship was towed from its position north-west of Guernsey to Harwich, ending an era of 157 years for such vessels, which have been replaced by technology.

1989: Police arrested 1,000 people in Seoul, Korea, as radical students fought with riot police in demand for overthrow of President Roh Tae-woo.

1990: Former United States national security adviser John Poindexter sentenced to six months in prison for his role in Iran-Contra affair.

1992: The IRA continued its renewed terror campaign in London with a bomb in Victoria Street, near the House of Commons. No-one was hurt.

1996: Peace talks began in Northern Ireland without the participation of Sinn Fein.

1997: Before fleeing his northern stronghold, Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot ordered the killing of his defense chief Son Sen and 11 of Sen’s family members.

1999: Nato suspends its air strikes after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.

2001: Pope John Paul II canonised Lebanon’s first female saint, Saint Rafqa.

2003: The Spirit Rover was launched, beginning Nasa’s Mars Exploration Rover mission.

2014: More than 4,000 people took part in a midnight march in Glasgow to “reclaim their streets” after a series of rapes.

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