Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 11 March
1618: Margaret and Philippa Flower were burned at the stake in Lincoln for witchcraft.
1669: In one of the most violent of Mount Etna’s 250 recorded eruptions, a two-mile-wide river of lava poured towards Catania, 18 miles away. A 60ft high wall was built, but molten lava poured over the top, killing 20,000 people.
1682: The Royal Chelsea Hospital for Soldiers (Chelsea Pensioners) was founded by King Charles II.
1794: The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, opened.
1801: Paul I, Tsar of Russia, was strangled in a scuffle with his own officers who were conspiring to force his abdication.
1917: British forces captured Baghdad.
1920: Emir Feisal proclaimed King of an independent Syria.
1935: The German air force, the Luftwaffe, was created by proclamation of Hermann Goering.
1938: German forces entered Austria.
1941: The United States Lend-Lease Bill was signed by president Franklin D Roosevelt. It enabled Britain to borrow millions of dollars to buy food and arms needed for the Second World War.
1942: General Douglas MacArthur pulled out of the Philippines as the Japanese advanced, uttering the immortal words: “I shall return.”
1945: The huge Krupps factory in Germany was destroyed in a day-light raid by 1,000 Allied bombers.
1969: Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel after death of Levi Eshkol. She resigned in 1974.
1985: The Al-Fayed brothers won control of the House of Fraser Group to take over Harrods.
1988: The Bank of England pound note, first introduced on 12 March, 1797, ceased to be legal tender in Britain at midnight.
1989: An East German and his wife died trying to cross the Berlin Wall in a hot air balloon.
1990: Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to seek secession from the Soviet Union after declaring itself a sovereign state.
1990: Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet bowed out as president after 16 years of dictatorship.
2004: Two hundred people died when bombs ripped through trains at stations in Madrid. Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility.
2006: Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.
2011: An 8.9-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a ten-metre tsunami that killed more than 13,000 people.
Shane Richie, actor and game show host, 50; Thora Birch, actress, 32; Louise Brough, winner of 13 Wimbledon titles, 91; David Gentleman, artist, engraver, lithographer and designer, 84; Alex Kingston, actress, 51; Johnny Knoxville, comic actor and daredevil, 43; Lord (Nigel) Lawson of Blaby, chancellor of the Exchequer 1983-89, 82; Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, interior designer, 49; Bobby McFerrin, singer, 64; Rupert Murdoch, publisher and newspaper proprietor, 83.
Births: 1819 Sir Henry Tate, philanthropist and founder of the Tate Gallery, London; 1885 Sir Malcolm Campbell, holder of land and water speed records; 1911 Sir Fitzroy Maclean, diplomat, soldier, politician and writer; 1916 Lord (Harold) Wilson of Rievaulx, prime minister 1964-70 and 1974-6; 1952 Douglas Adams, author.
Deaths: 1820 Sir Alexander Mackenzie (of Dunkeld), explorer of North America; 1955 Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin; 1997 Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree), wrestler2013 Tony Gubba, British sports broadcaster.