1521 – Magellan discovered Guam, today a protectorate of the United States.
1775 – The first African-American Mason was initiated in Boston.
1779 – The US Congress declared that only the federal government, not individual states, had the power to determine the legality of captures on the high seas. This was the basis for the first test case of the US Constitution in 1808.
1791 – American painter of miniatures and a member of the famous Peale family of artists, Anna Claypoole Peal (d. 1878) was born at Philadelphia, PA.
1808 – The first college orchestra was established at Harvard.
1810 – Illinois passed the first state legislation dealing with vaccinations.
1820 – The Missouri Compromise, enacted by Congress, was signed by President James Monroe. This compromise provided for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibited slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory. The compromise was invalidated in the Scott vs. Sandford case (below 1857).
1822 – USS Enterprise captures four pirate ships in Gulf of Mexico.
1831 – Edgar Allen Poe was removed from the US Military Academy.
1834 – Delmonico’s, one of NY’s finest restaurants, provides a meal of soup, steak, coffee & half a pie for 12 cents. The restaurant is considered the oldest in New York. Some of its “firsts:”
The first diner called by the French name restaurant
The first diner where guests sat at their own tables
The first printed menu
The first tablecloths
The first debutante ball outside a private home
The first restaurant to offer a leisurely lunch and dinner
Lobster Newberg, first called Lobster Wenberg
Hamburger (known then as the Hamburg Steak)
First use of the expression that something is “86’d”, since the Delmonico Steak was item 86 on the menu and, when sold out, it was “86’d”.
1836 – Four days after Texas declared itself an independent republic, the Alamo, a fortified mission at San Antonio, Texas, where fewer than 200 Texans were garrisoned, was captured by the Mexican leader Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who had led 3000 troops across the Rio Grande. Every Texan except a mother, a child, and servant was killed, including Jim Bowie, Col. Travis, and Davy Crockett. The siege, led by Mexican general Santa Anna, began Feb 23 and reached its climax Mar 6, when the last of the defenders was slain. Texans, under General Sam Houston, rallied with the war cry “Remember the Alamo” and, at the Battle of San Jacinto, Apr 21, defeated and captured Santa Anna, who signed a treaty recognizing Texas’s independence.
1857 – Dred Scott decision (Dred Scott v. Sandford) was delivered by the US Supreme Court. This was a major setback for anti-slavery forces and further aggravated the growing ill feeling between North and South. Dred Scott was a slave whose owner had taken him and his family from Missouri to Illinois, a free state in 1834. Scott later returned to Missouri and, in 1846, sued for his liberty on the grounds that his stay in free territory ended his slavery. The Court ruled, however, that Scott could not sue because slaves were not citizens. Going beyond the specific case, the Court also said that Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in territories and therefore, the Missouri Compromise of 1820, already repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was unconstitutional.
1861 – The Provisionary Confederate Congress established the Confederate Army
1862 – The Battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., was fought. A Confederate army of 16,000 under General Earl Van Dorn attacked a Union army of 10,500 under Brig. General Samuel Ryan Curtis, whose last reserves prevented a Union disaster on the second day. Among the heavy losses on both sides were two Confederate generals, Benjamin McCulloch and James McQueen McIntosh.
1864 – There was an average of 7,333 desertions a month from the Union army. Many desertions were the result of bounty jumpers – men who would collect bounty to enlist, then desert and do it again elsewhere. The US government spent $300 million dollars on bounties while state and local governments spent about the same.
1872 – A cold wave hit the East coast sending the mercury plunging to 8 degrees below zero at Boston. It was the most severe March cold wave in modern history.
1885 – Birthday of humorist and sportswriter Ring Lardner, Sr., (d. 1933) in Niles, Michigan. Lardner wrote about sports for a variety of newspaper, mostly in Chicago. In both his columns and his short stories, he reproduced ballplayers’ vernacular speech patterns with great success, thereby laying the groundwork for generations of baseball fiction to come. Lardner abandoned baseball after the Black Sox scandal was exposed. He wrote songs, plays and magazine articles but never the novel that some of his friends though he should. Taciturn and solemn with a biting sense of humor, Lardner drank and smoked to excess, even after contracting tuberculosis in 1926. Posthumously given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 1963 for his baseball writing.
1886 – The first plant to generate alternating current in the US was launched at Great Barrington, MA.
1892 – The first women’s collegiate basketball game was played at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Senda Bereson, then Smith‘s director of physical education and “mother of women’s basketball,” supervised the game, in which Smith’s sophomore team beat the freshman team, 5-4.
1892 – Clark Daniel Shaughnessy (d. 1970), football player and coach born at St. Cloud, MN. After playing football at the University of Minnesota, Shaughnessy strung tog3ether a coaching career of several institutions: Tulane, Loyola of the South, Chicago, Stanford, Maryland and Pittsburgh. He coached the Los Angeles Rams and assisted George Halas with the Chicago Bears. Shaughnessy is known as the father of the modern T formation and played a key role in developing modern pro defensive football.
1900 – Lefty Grove was born Robert Moses Groves(d. 1975), Lonaconing, MD. Regarded by many as the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time, rivaled for the honor only by Warren Spahn and Sandy Koufax, he won over two-thirds of his lifetime decisions and was a perennial league leader in ERA. A six-time All-Star, 1931 MVP, 7-time strikeouts leader, he was with the World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics of 1929 and 1930 and won exactly 300 games in his career. Baseball Hall of Fame, 1947.
1905 – Father of Western Swing, Bob Willis (d. 1975), born in Kosse, TX. Originally a performer (fiddler) with the Light Crust Doughboys, Willis later former the popular Texas Playboys. Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys appeared on film and at the grand Ole Opry made western swing popular with such hits as “San Antonio Rose.”
1912 – Oreo sandwich cookies were first introduced by the National Biscuit Co., which later became Nabisco.
1915 – Pete Gray was born Peter Wyshner (d. 2002), Nanticoke, PA. He badly injured his right arm at the age of six when he was caught on truck spokes while trying to jump off the vehicle. His arm was amputated that day. His 1944 minor league season earned him a call-up to the St. Louis Browns, the defending American League champions, in 1945, for whom he appeared in 77 games, never to play a Major League game again. His ability to reach the Majors with only one arm is still marveled by many historians.
1918 – Bassist Red Callendar (d. 1992) was born in Haynesville, VA.
1923 – Guitarist Wes Montgomery (d. 1968), birthday, Indianapolis.
1924 – Sarah Caldwell’s (d. 2006) birthday, Maryville, MO. She founded and produced almost 50 operas at the Boston Opera, was the first woman to conduct at the Metropolitan and the New York Philharmonic, and the first recipient of the Kennedy Center Award for Excellence.
1926 – Economist, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, birthday, New York, New York
1933 – A nationwide bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt went into effect. He had taken the oath of office only thirty-six hours earlier. The crisis had been a long time coming. In the three years leading up to it thousands of banks had failed. But a new round of problems that began in early 1933 placed a severe strain on New York banks, many of which held balances for banks in other parts of the country. George Harrison, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Federal Reserve Board Governor Eugene Meyer were pivotal figures in the bank holiday. On March 1, 1933, Harrison sent an urgent message to Meyer and Secretary of the Treasury Ogden Mills: The New York Reserve Bank’s gold reserve had fallen below the legal limit (the US was still on the gold standard at this time which required Reserve Banks to maintain gold reserves equal to 40 percent of the paper currency they issued, but foreign and domestic holders of US currency were rapidly losing faith in paper money and were redeeming dollars at an alarming rate). For an entire week in March 1933, all banking transactions were suspended in an effort to stem bank failures and ultimately restore confidence in the financial system. The crisis began to subside on March 9, when Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act. On March 13, member banks in Federal Reserve cities received permission to reopen. By March 15, banks controlling 90 percent of the country’s banking resources had resumed operations and deposits far exceeded withdrawals. Although some 4,000 banks would remain closed forever and full economic recovery was still years in the future, the worst of the banking crisis seemed to be over.
1936 – Singer Sylvia Vanderpool (d. 2011) of Mickey and Sylvia, was born New York City, New York
1939 – Harry James records “Two O’clock Jump.”
1940 – Duke Ellington records “Jack the Bear” and “KoKo.”
1941 – Les Hite and his orchestra recorded “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise” on Bluebird Records. The instrumental became Hite’s most popular work. A decade later, Les Paul and Mary Ford added a vocal to the tune, making it one of their biggest-selling hit songs.
1944 – Heavy bombers staged the first American raid on Berlin during World War II. The Eighth Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, he of the 1942 bombing raid on Tokyo, had changed fighter defense of strategic bomber formations that had bolstered the confidence of U.S. strategic bombing crews. Until that time, Allied bombers avoided contact with the Luftwaffe; now, the Americans used any method that would force the Luftwaffe into combat. Implementing this policy, the United States looked toward Berlin. Raiding the German capital, the Air Force reasoned, would force the Luftwaffe into battle. Consequently, they launched the first of several attacks against Berlin. Fierce battles raged and resulted in heavy losses for both sides; 69 B-17s were lost on March 6 but the Luftwaffe lost 160 aircraft. The Allies replaced their losses; the Luftwaffe could not.
1945 – Top Hits
“Accentuate the Positive” – Johnny Mercer
“I Dream of You” – The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Freddy Stewart)
“A Little on the Lonely Side” – The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Paul Allen)
“I’m Losing My Mind Over You” – Al Dexter
1953 – Top Hits
“Till I Waltz Again with You” – Teresa Brewer
“Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Keep It a Secret” – Jo Stafford
“Kaw-Liga” – Hank Williams
1954 – Florida received its greatest modern-day snowfall of record, with 4.0 inches at the Milton Experimental Station. Pensacola equaled their 24-hour record with 2.1 inches of snow.
1957 – The doo-wop quartet the Diamonds make their pop chart debut with “Little Darlin’,” their biggest hit. It reaches #2 on the pop chart and #3 R&B.
1961 – Top Hits
“Pony Time” – Chubby Checker
“Surrender” – Elvis Presley
“Wheels” – The String-A-Longs
“Don’t Worry” – Marty Robbins
1962 – Frank Sinatra recorded his final session for Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra had been recording for his own record label, Reprise, for two years. His final side on Capitol was “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues,” with Skip Martin’s orchestra.
1964 – Tom O’Hara ran the mile in 3 minutes, 56.4 seconds, setting a world indoor record in Chicago, IL.
1964 – Heavyweight champion Cassius Marcellus Clay announced that he had embraced the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. As Clay, he had won a gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome and captured the heavyweight crown with a stunning TKO of Sonny Liston at Miami Beach on February 25, 1964.
1965 – The Temptations went to #1 on the US singles chart with the Smokey Robinson penned song “My Girl,” making the group the first male act to have a chart topper for Motown Records.
1967 – *OUELLET, DAVID G., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy, River Squadron 5, My Tho Detachment 532. Place and date: Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, 6 March 1967. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Born: 13 June, 1944, Newton, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. As the forward machine gunner on River Patrol Boat (PBR) 124, which was on patrol during the early evening hours, Seaman Ouellet observed suspicious activity near the river bank, alerted his boat captain, and recommended movement of the boat to the area to investigate. While the PBR was making a high-speed run along the river bank, Seaman Ouellet spotted an incoming enemy grenade falling toward the boat. He immediately left the protected position of his gun mount and ran aft for the full length of the speeding boat, shouting to his fellow crewmembers to take cover. Observing the boat captain standing unprotected on the boat, Seaman Ouellet bounded on to the engine compartment cover, and pushed the boat captain down to safety. In the split second that followed the grenade’s landing, and in the face of certain death, Seaman Ouellet fearlessly placed himself between the deadly missile and his shipmates, courageously absorbing most of the blast fragments with his body in order to protect his shipmates from injury and death. His extraordinary heroism and his selfless and courageous actions on behalf of his comrades at the expense of his life were in the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
1969 – Top Hits
“Everyday People” – Sly & The Family Stone
“Proud Mary” – Credence Clearwater Revival
“Baby, Baby Don’t Cry” – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
“To Make Love Sweeter for You” – Jerry Lee Lewis
1969 – Russell Louis Schweickart and Colonel James Alton McDivitt, were the first astronauts to transfer from one spacecraft to another while in orbit, making an intra-vehicular transfer from Gumdrop, the Apollo 9 command ship to the Spider, the lunar module, leaving the pilot, Colonel David Randolph Scott in the command ship.
1972 – Shaquille Rashan O’Neal, basketball player, born Newark, NJ.
1972 – The ‘Golden Bear,’ Jack Nicklaus, passed Arnold Palmer as golf’s all-time, money winner. Nicklaus captured the Doral Eastern Open golf tournament to run his career earnings up to $1,477,200
1973 – The group, War, out from under the shadow of former leader Eric Burdon, receive their second gold single of the week for “Cisco Kid,” four days after “The World is a Ghetto” did likewise.
1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth album, “Physical Graffiti,” was certified gold.
1976 – The Waylon & Willie (Jennings and Nelson) song, “Good Hearted Woman,” started the last of three weeks at the top of the country music charts. Waylon and Willie wrote the song in 1969 during a poker game in Ft. Worth, TX. According to Jennings, “I’d been reading an ad for Ike and Tina Turner and it said, ‘Tina Turner singing songs about good-hearted women loving good-timing men.’ I thought, ‘What a great country song title that is!’”
1976 – Dorothy Hamill of the US completed women’s figure skating celebrated double triumph by adding first place in the world’s Championship, contested in Goteberg, Sweden, to the Olympic gold medal she won in February in Innsbruck, Austria.
1977 – Top Hits
Love Theme from “A Star is Born” (Evergreen) – Barbra Streisand
Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller
I Like Dreamin’ – Kenny Nolan
Heart Healer – Mel Tillis
1976 – After placing 28 songs in the Top 40 of Billboard’s Pop chart, The Miracles make the list for the last time when “Love Machine” went to the top. Their run included seven Top 10 hits and two number ones.
1978 – Billy Joel was awarded a rare platinum single for “Just the Way You Are.”
1981 – Walter Cronkite, the dean of American television newscasters, said “And that’s the way it is” for the final time, as he closed the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.” An audience estimated at 17,000,000 viewers saw ‘the most trusted man in America’ sign-off. Cronkite retired after more than 30 years in broadcasting. He was replaced by Dan Rather at the anchor desk.
1982 – Billboard points out that Dick Clark has donated the podium he stood behind on the original “American Bandstand” to the national museum at the Smithsonian.
1982 – The Go-Go’s debut LP, “Beauty and the Beast,” released last July, starts a seven week run at Number One.
1982 – Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” enters the pop chart at #88. The original was recorded in 1972 by Elvis Presley. Nelson’s version will reach number One on the country chart and win a Grammy for Song of the Year.
1982 – The most points scored by two teams in the National Basketball Association made history. San Antonio beat Milwaukee 171-166 in three overtime periods to set the mark.
1983 – The United States Football League opened its first season of play with five games. The USFL was designed to avoid competing with the NFL by playing in the spring, but it lasted only three years.
1985 – Yul Brynner played his famous role as the king in “The King and I” in his 4,500th performance in the musical. The actor, age 64, opened the successful production on Broadway in 1951.
1985 – Top Hits
“Careless Whisper” – Wham! featuring George Michael
“Can’t Fight This Feeling” – REO Speedwagon
“California Girls” – David Lee Roth
“Baby Bye Bye” – Gary Morris
1987 – Twenty-eight cities in the north central U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Pickstown, SD was the hot spot in the nation with a reading of 83 degrees. The high of 71 at Saint Cloud, MN smashed their previous record by 21 degrees.
1988 – Julie Krone won the 1,205th victory of her career, thereby becoming the all-time winning female jockey in history, Krone rode Squawter, a filly, to victory in the ninth race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
1988 – “In the Heat of the Night” premiered on TV. NBC’s police drama was based on the 1967 movie with the same name. Carroll O’Connor played Mississippi police chief Bill Gillespie who, along with Howard Rollins as Detective Virgil Tibbs, investigated crimes in the rural South. The cast featured Alan Autry as Sergeant Bubba Skinner, Anne-Marie Johnson as Virgil’s wife, Althea, David Hart as Deputy Parker William, Hugh O’Connor as Deputy Lonnie Jamison, Christian LeBlanc as Deputy Junior Abernathy, Geoffrey Thorne as Deputy Sweet and Crystal Fox as dispatcher Luanne Corbin. The last telecast aired July 28, 1994, but the program remains popular in re-runs.
1990 – Colorado’s strongest winter storm of the season moved northeastward across the state producing 50 inches of snow at Echo Lake, 46.5 inches on Buckhorn Mountain, and 46 inches near the top of Coal Canyon. Snow fell at the rate of several inches per hour during the height of the storm, while winds gusted above 50 mph. Several hundred rush hour commuters, including the state governor, were stranded in blizzard conditions along Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder. Drifts up to twelve feet high had to be cleared southeast of Boulder.
1996 – Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings became the third goalie in NHL history to score a goal. He fired the puck into an empty net with 11 seconds remaining as Detroit beat the Harford Whalers, 4-2.
2000 – Eric Clapton was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the third time, after receiving previous honors as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream.
2003 – President Bush held a news conference and warned that he was prepared to go to war soon in Iraq with or without UN backing.
2005 – Suzyn Waldman became the first woman to be a full-time color commentator in Major League history, making her debut with John Sterling on WCBS-AM 880, the radio flagship of the New York Yankees. The former radio-talk host on WFAN, the first all-sports radio station in United States, was also the first female to broadcast on a national baseball telecast, as well as the first to provide local TV (Yankees) Major League play-by-play.
2007 – Former White House aide I. Lewis Libby, Jr. was convicted on four of five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice trial.
2013 – Microsoft was fined €561 by the Euro Commission for not providing alternative web browsers.
2015 – AT&T, part of the DJIA for over 100 years, was replaced with Apple Inc. on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), reflecting shifts in the U.S. economy between telecommunications and technology.