March 11 historical events:

1990. Patricio Aylwin becomes Chile's first democratically elected president since the end of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. Pinochet had been in power since a CIA-backed coup d'état in 1973. Under his command, thousands of political opponents were interned, tortured, and killed.

1990. Lithuania becomes the first Soviet republic to declare its independence. The Baltic country's secession marked an important step in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

2004. 191 people die as several bombs explode on Madrid commuter trains. The bombings were conducted by an Islamist terrorist cell and came 3 days before Spain's general elections.

2011. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster strikes Japan. The nuclear meltdowns occurred after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. It was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.


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