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Today In History: March 31st

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Edwin Charles, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), and COVID-19. See what all took place on this day in history.

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS – We spotlight events that shaped the day that was March 31st. 

On this day in Bahamian history: 31st March 1812 – Edwin Charles Moseley was born in Clerkenwell, London, England, United kingdom.

Born to Francis and Louisa Wilkinson Moseley, he was a journalist and newspaper editor. He came to the Bahama Islands in 1837 to work as the editor of The Argus. 

Before coming to the colony he worked at the times in London. When he arrived in Nassau Moseley found the paper’s anti-emancipation views unpalatable and refused the position. 

Seven years later on 23rd November 1844 he published the first issue of the Nassau Guardian, which today is the nation’s longest running newspaper.

Edwin Moseley was married to Mary Keightley Doyle of Nassau with whom he had 10 children. 

One of his sons, Alfred Edwin Moseley, acquired the Nassau Guardian from  his father and became the newspaper’s second editor. Moseley died in New Providence on 29th May 1885.

On this day in Bahamian history: 31st March 1963 – the 36-foot vessel, Violynn III, was captured on Norman’s Cay, Exuma, Bahama Islands while attempting to refuel. 

On board the boat were thirty-six Cubans and one American. A few months earlier the Violynn III, was responsible for a raid on Havana Harbour where it opened fire on a Soviet tanker before retreating to Florida, United States.

When the vessel was captured off Norman’s Cay by British and Bahamian authorities, its crew was detained and its weapons and ammunition confiscated. The crew members were released within one day after their Central Intelligence Agency contacts interceded on their behalf.

On this day in Bahamian history: 31st March 1980 ‐ the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) came into existence by an act of parliament.

The RBDF is the navy of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and is charged with defending the territorial integrity of the nation. 

Its mandate is to “defend the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, assist with maintaining law and order and perform humanitarian tasks in conjunction with local and international partners.”

To this end, it assists with immigration, drug enforcement, poaching, disaster relief as well as cooperating with the other law enforcement organizations of the country.

On this day in Bahamian history: Our News reported on the country’s first COVID-19 death. 

The Bahamas recorded its first death from the SARS-COV-2 virus (COVID-19). Bimini resident Kimberly Johnson-Rolle became the first person in the country to die from the disease after taking a trip to Florida. 

She died in Princess Margaret Hospital after being airlifted to New Providence.

The government imposed a curfew from 9PM to 5AM, which took effect on Friday night and remained in place until March 31st. 

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said this was a strong but necessary measure needed to fight the spread of the corona virus.

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