March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining.

  1. 307 - After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Maximian.
  2. 1717 - A sermon on "The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ" by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provoked the Bangorian Controversy.
  3. 1774 - American Revolutionary War: The Kingdom of Great Britain orders the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed in the Boston Port Act.
  4. 1854 - Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.
  5. 1866 - The Spanish Navy bombs the harbour of Valparaíso, Chile.
  6. 1877 - The family with samurai antecedents who responded to the Saigo army in Oita Nakatsu rebels.
  7. 1885 - The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Bechuanaland.
  8. 1889 - The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated.
  9. 1906 - The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later National Collegiate Athletic Association) is established to set rules for amateur sports in the United States.
  10. 1909 - Serbia accepts Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  11. 1917 - The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  12. 1918 - Daylight Savings Time goes into effect in the United States for the first time.
  13. 1930 - The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in motion pictures for the next forty years.
  14. 1931 - An earthquake destroys Managua Nicaragua, killing 2,000.
  15. 1933 - The Civilian Conservation Corps is established with the mission to relieve rampant unemployment.
  16. 1942 - In World War II, Japanese forces invade Christmas Island, then a British possession.
  17. 1942 - Holocaust in Ivano-Frankivsk (then called Stanislawow), western Ukraine. German Gestapo organise the first deportation of 5.000 Jews from Stanislawow ghetto to Belzec death camp. It was one of the biggest transports to Belzec in the first phase of the camp.
  18. 1944 - Japanese Navy Marshal Mineichi Koga dies in the performance of job in the Navy Second Incident.
  19. 1949 - The Dominion of Newfoundland joins Confederation and becomes the 10th Province of Canada.
  20. 1957 - Elections to the Territorial Assembly of the French colony Upper Volta. After the elections PDU and MDV form a government.
  21. 1959 - The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.
  22. 1964 - The Dictatorship in Brazil, under the aegis of general Castello Branco, begins.
  23. 1965 - Iberia Airlines Convair 440, crashed into the sea on approach to Tangier killing 47 of 51 occupants.
  24. 1966 - The Soviet Union launches Luna 10 which later becomes the first spaceprobe to enter orbit around the Moon.
  25. 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson announces he will not run for re-election.
  26. 1970 - Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth's atmosphere (after 12 years in orbit).
  27. 1970 - Eight terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijacked a Japan Airlines Boeing 727 at Tokyo International Airport, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb.
  28. 1972 - The Yokohama Street Car whole-line went out of use.
  29. 1979 - The last British soldier leaves the Maltese Islands. Malta declares its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).
  30. 1986 - A Mexicana Boeing 727 en route to Puerto Vallarta erupts in flames and crashes in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, killing 166.
  31. 1986 - Six metropolitan county councils are abolished in England.
  32. 1992 - USS Missouri (BB-63), the last active US Navy Battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California.
  33. 1994 - The journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull (see Human evolution).
  34. 1998 - Netscape releases the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; the project is given the code name Mozilla and would eventually be spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
  35. 2004 - In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.
  36. 2005 - The Kuiper Belt object 2005 FY9 is discovered.
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