Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Thursday, March 19, the 78th day of 2009. There are 287 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1790 - Supply ship HMS Sirius, one of the vessels in the First Fleet to Australia, is wrecked on Norfolk Island en route to pick up supplies.

* 1831 - The first recorded bank robbery in the United States takes place in New York City when a set of duplicate keys is used to loot the City Bank of $US245,000.

* 1920 - US refuses to sign the Versailles Treaty and join the League of Nations, for fear of being drawn into a war if another member country is invaded.

* 1932 - Sydney Harbour Bridge is officially opened by NSW Premier Jack Lang.

* 1945 - About 800 people are killed as Japanese kamikaze pilots attack the US carrier Franklin off Japan; Adolf Hitler issues his so-called Nero Decree, ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.

* 1987 - US TV evangelist Jim Bakker resigns as chairman of his PTL ministry organisation amid a sex-and-money scandal.

* 1996 - Defeated in the federal election, former Australian prime minister Paul Keating announces his retirement. …