History: March 11, 2019

1779

The Army Corps of Engineers are established.

The special group of the military would design and build infrastructure for helping the Army travel across the country. Many of the workers were civilians, and managed by the Continental officers and even French officers, held over from the Revolution.

Today there are more than 35,000 employees in the Army Corps, both civilian and enlisted.

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1861

The Confederate States of America ratify their Constitution.

Delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas gathered to agree upon the document.

Though the principles were simliar to the US Constitution, it more closely resembled the Articles of Confederation, which governed the US immediately following the Revolutionary War.

The president would serve for 6 years and would be ineligible for re-election.

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1985

Mikhail Gorbachev suceeds Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet premier.

Gorbachev would oversee the systematic dismantling and opening of the Soviet Union, following increased pressure and negotiations from the Reagan administration.

He had been a young rising star in the Communist Party, having earned a law degree and entering politics. He was close with Yuri Andropov, who ran the KGB.

Andropov served as Chairman of the party briefly for dying in the early ’80s, and was then succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko.

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1989

TV documentary COPS premieres.

It was one of the first reality TV shows, having camera crews follow around police officers as they investigated real crime. It was particularly beneficial, as it didn’t require writers to produce.

There have since been 891 episodes aired over 25 seasons.

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2004

Terrorists bomb four trains in Madrid.

More than 2,000 were injured and 191 died when 10 bombs were detonated across the rail system. An investigation deemed they were triggered by cell phones.

The attacks had immediate political ramifications, happening just three days before Spain’s presidential elections. With controversy brewing over Spanish involvement with the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attacks impelled the election of socialist Prime Minister Jose Zapatero.

It is still unclear who was responsible for the attacks. Evidence points to either al-Qaeda or ETA, which is a separatist movement representing the Basque region in the north.

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2013

“Oz The Great and Powerful” comes out of the weekend at the top of the Box Office, scoring nearly $150 million in ticket sales worldwide.

The studio spent upwards of $200 million to produce the flick, and media analysts weren’t sure whether it would be a success. Eventually “Oz” would make nearly half a billion dollars worldwide.