A closer look at the key events on March 12 in history:

On this day in 1947, the idea of the historic Truman Doctrine was born when United States President Harry S. Truman articulated asked the United States Congress to appropriate aid for Greece and Turkey, both of which were facing communist threats.

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a worldwide health alert, one of the first in a decade, about a respiratory illness that later came to be called a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). SARS struck hundreds of people in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.

An enclosed bed designed to contain disease-infected patients is on alert for travelers at the border check point in Nanjing, China’s eastern Jiangsu Province, Sunday 28 December 2003. China stepped up its nationwide alert for a possible outbreak of the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a day after a man in Guangdong province in the south was diagnosed as a suspected case. EPA/JERRY LU

In 2009, American hedge-fund investment manager Bernie Madoff pled guilty to various crimes related to his orchestration of one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the world. Madoff was eventually sentenced to 150 years in prison.

epa01661243 Financier Bernard Madoff, who has been charged with allegedly running a $50 billion “Ponzi scheme”, leaves federal court following a hearing in New York, New York, USA, 10 March 2009. Madoff is expected to plead guilty to fraud and other charges on 12 March. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

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