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Flashback calendar

New York City helicopter crashes

A sightseeing helicopter crashed into the East River off the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC. The pilot escaped following the crash, however, 2 passengers died at the scene and 3 others at the hospital. Prior to the crash, the pilot believed the engines were failing and considered landing at Central Park which proved to be not possible.

São Paulo flood and mudslide

Intense flooding and mudslides struck São Paulo, Brazil, following heavy rain and killed at least 21. The downpour in São Paulo and the surrounding areas set new records for rainfall levels for the month of March and left cities covered in up to a meter of slowly draining mud and flood water. The rain occurred after months of drought.

GM invests $1bn in self-driving start-up Cruise

Cruise forms the core of GM's self-driving efforts. GM CEO Mary Barra has stated, that GM allowed Cruise to remain responsible for both technology and commercialization, giving Cruise independence in order to avoid the pitfalls common when a large company acquires a technology startup. Upon acquisition, Cruise had around 40 employees.

North Korea cuts the phone line with South Korea

North Korea severed a hotline with Soul, after South Korean and US troops launched a joint military exercise. Pyongyang saw the maneuvers as provocative invasion rehearsal. They announced the scrapping of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean war and voiding any peace pacts between them and the South.

Fukushima nuclear plant disaster

An earthquake caused the active reactors to shut down their fission cores. Because emergency generators were disabled by the tsunami, reactors were not cooled. This was followed by three nuclear meltdowns and release of radioactive material in 3 units. 37 people were harmed and 2 workers were taken to a hospital.

'Next Fall' opens on Broadway

Next Fall is a drama play written by Geoffrey Nauffts, revolving around a gay couple in a committed relationship and their differences. The play premiered on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Director Sheryl Kaller and the associate director Joe Langworth with the entire Off-Broadway cast replicated their roles in Broadway production.


Footbal player and actor Merlin Olsen passes away

Merlin Jay Olsen was an American football player, announcer, and actor. He was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2009, and underwent three courses of chemotherapy. Olsen died at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, at the age of 69.

The soundtrack to 'High School Musical' is at #1 on the US album chart

High School Musical was recorded in 5 days as the soundtrack of the Disney movie of the same name. It hit No. 1 on the US album charts and became the best selling album of the year, with more than 3.7 million copies sold in the US and 7 million worldwide. It was also released in international versions with foreign language lyrics.

Michelle Bachelet is inaugurated as the first female president of Chile

Bachelet took control of the country in Valparaíso. The ceremony was a held in a plenary session of the National Congress and it was attended by a number of foreign leaders and delegates. Bachelet aimed to lift the inequalities, attributed to discrimination on the basis of class, sex and geography, thus lifting the barriers to prosperity.

Madrid train bombings

The 2004 Madrid train bombings were nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid, Spain, on the morning of 11 March 2004 – three days before Spain's general elections. The explosions killed 193 people and injured around 2,000. The official investigation by the Spanish judiciary found that the attacks were directed by an al-Qaeda terrorist cell, although no direct al-Qaeda participation has been established. Although they had no role in the planning or implementation, the Spanish miners who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested.


Montreal Forum closes its legendary doors

Montreal Forum was the home of the NHL's Montreal Maroons from 1924 to 1938 and the Montreal Canadiens from 1926 to 1996. It was also home to 24 Stanley Cup championships. On the day it was closed, the Canadiens played their last game at the building, defeating the Dallas Stars 4-1.

Janet Jackson signs $40M album deal with Virgin records

American star Janet Jackson fulfilled her recording contract under A&M, which allowed her to sign a new one. She signed a deal with Virgin Records, which was estimated at 40 million dollars. This made her the highest-paid recording artist at the time, just as it established her as the “Queen of Pop”.

200,000 persons in Lithuania demanded political independence from Soviet Russia

January 1990 was a start of the crisis of the Soviet Union, which led to its collapse in December 1991, and in case of Lithuania, to declaring independence and establishing the Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990, which was the first Soviet republic to do so.

Debbie Gibson starts a five-week run at #1 on the US album chart

The second album of Debbi Gibson, Electric Youth is her highest-charting one, as it hit No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and kept its top position for 5 weeks straight. It was certified 2x Platinum in the US and sold over 4 million copies over the world. All of the tracks on the album were written by Gibson herself.

Gorbachev replaces Chernenko as Soviet leader

Following the death of Chernenko, the hierarchy of Communist Party decided to pick a younger leader. Gorbachev was elected as general secretary at the age of 54, soon after the death of his predecessor. He was the first leader born after the Revolution and the first one to be elected after initially failing in a previous bid for the post.

Kate Bush starts a four-week run on the UK singles chart

A debut single of Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” became No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart few weeks after its release. This also made Bush the first female artist in the UK who hit the top of the charts with a self-penned song. It held its position for 4 consecutive weeks and remained Bush's biggest hit to date.

Harry Nilsson is at #1 on the UK singles chart with 'Without You'

Harry Nilsson decided to cover song Without You by Badfinger after hearing it at a party. It was released as a single for his album „Nilsson Schmilsson“. The song hit No. 1 on the British pop chart, where it consecutively spent 5 weeks. Nilsson's cover version, just as the one from Mariah Carey became an international best-seller.

Pink Floyd release first single 'Arnold Layne'

Debut single „Arnold Layne“ from English rock band Pink Floyd was initially backed by band's management, Blackhill Enterprises. They paid to boost its chart position, helping it reach No. 20 in the UK singles chart. However, its unusual transvestism theme did not go well with society and the song did not get any further.

Netherlands wins Eurovision for the second time

Fourth annual Eurovision took place in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, in Cannes, thanks to France winning the year before. Teddy Scholten, from the Netherlands, won the contest with the song „Een beetje“. A new voting rule with 10 juries distributing 10 points among their favorite songs was created.

The first Broadway play by African-American woman opens

A Raisin in the Sun is a play written by African-American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, telling a story about the lives of black people living under segregation in Chicago. After it gained positive reviews, the play premiered on Broadway. It took place at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It was also the first play with a black director.

Spanish flu

In Fort Riley, Kansas, U. S. Army Private Albert Gitchell is diagnosed with the new strain of flu. His illness is a first recorded case of a Spanish Flu. It was a pandemic which resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population). It was caused by a H1N1 influenza virus subtype.

Moscow becomes capital of revolutionary Russia

Moscow is the largest city entirely on the European continent. It is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. The city is well known for Saint Basil's Cathedral with its brightly colored domes. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city.

American computer scientist J. C. R. Licklider is born

He is famous for his suggestion to create a universal computer network to easily transfer and retrieve information which his successors developed into the internet. In 1959 he wrote a book Libraries of the Future, which described a vision of an automated library operated by computers. Licklider was also one of the inventors of the Graphical user interface.

Nansen’s first expedition

Norwegian student of zoology Fridtjof Nansen sets out on a sea voyage to study the Arctic on board the 300 tons sealer SS Viking. He discovered several important facts. He showed that, contrary to the previous assumption, sea ice forms on the surface of the water rather than below. Nansen also demonstrated that the Gulf Stream flows beneath a cold layer of surface water.

Verdi's opera 'Don Carlos' premieres in Paris

The premiere of grand opera Don Carlos took place at Salle le Peletier, after being commissioned and produced by Paris Opéra. It was based on Schiller's drama „Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien“, telling a story of life conflicts of Prince of Asturias. Verdi made several cuts to it after it was apparent that the work is too long.

Verdi's opera 'Rigoletto' premieres in Venice

The premiere of the Rigoletto took place in Teatro La Fenice. Initially, there were serious problems because of Austrian censors who had control over the northern Italian theaters. Despite this, the premiere was a huge success and Verdi's first major Italian masterpiece since the premiere of his Macbeth in Florence.

Romeo and Juliet's wedding day

Romeo and Juliet are characters of Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. It is a story of two lovers, from families which are in a feud. Just the night before their secret wedding, Juliet drank a sleeping potion, which made Romeo think she died. Due to this, he drank poison and died. Juliet took her life as well when she found out.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous