THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

March 25

 

1584: Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

1948: The first successful tornado forecast predicted that a tornado would strike Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

1965: Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King Jr. successfully completed their four-day, 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1969: During their honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first “Bed-In for Peace” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel (until March 31).

1979: The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.

1995: WikiWikiWeb, the world’s first wiki (user-editable website), and part of the Portland Pattern Repository, was made public by founder Ward Cunningham (born 1949) in Portland, Ore.

1996: An 81-day-long standoff began between the anti-government group Montana Freemen and law enforcement near Jordan, Montana.

 

March 26

1484: William Caxton produced the first printed version of Aesop’s Fables in London.

1812: A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term “gerrymander” to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win re-election.

1830: The first edition of The Book of Mormon was published by Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York.

1942: The first female prisoners arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

1977: The NBC show known as Saturday Night was renamed Saturday Night Live.

1982: A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held in Washington, D.C.

1999: The “Melissa worm” infected Microsoft word processing and email systems around the world.

March 27

1794: The U.S. government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates.

1851: Yosemite Valley was first seen by Europeans.

1915: Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon, 1869-1938), the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, was put in quarantine, where she remained until she died.

1998: The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.

March 28

845: Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

1862: Union forces stopped the Confederate invasion of New Mexico, in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, which began two days earlier.

1910: Henri Fabre (1882-1984) became the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France.

1930: Constantinople, Turkey, changed its name to Istanbul, signaling the end of the Ottoman Empire.

1959: The State Council of the People’s Republic of China dissolved the government of Tibet and made the former country an autonomous region of China.

1979: The worst nuclear power plant accident in American history occurred at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa.

2006: Massive protests are mounted against France’s first employment contract law, meant to reduce youth unemployment.

 

March 29

1638: Swedish colonists established the first European settlement in Delaware, naming it New Sweden.

1806: Construction was authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, which became the first U.S. federal highway.

1867: Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to the British North America Act, which would establish the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.

1882: The Knights of Columbus were established in New Haven, Conn.

1886: Dr. John Pemberton (chemist) brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia.

1911: The M1911 .45 ACP pistol became the official U.S. Army side arm.

1919: The first Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was held.

1945: The last World War II V-1 flying bomb attacks in England occurred.

1957: The first major U.S. railroad abandonment in its entirety occurred when the New York, Ontario and Western Railway made its final run.

1961: The 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, allowing residents of Washington,

D.C., to vote in presidential elections.

1974: Local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China, discovered the Terracotta Army that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, in the third century BCE. NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first space probe to fly by Mercury.

1984: The Baltimore Colts loaded its possessions onto 15 Mayflower moving trucks in the early morning hours and transferred its operations to Indianapolis.

2004: The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.

 

March 30

1822: The Florida Territory was created in the United States.

1842: Ether anesthesia was used for the first time, in an operation at Massachusetts General Hospital by U.S. surgeon Dr. Crawford Long (1815-1878).

1867: Alaska was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2 cents per acre by U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward.

1870: Texas was readmitted to the Union.

1909: The Queensboro Bridge in New York City opened, linking Manhattan and Queens.

1939: The Nazi German Heinkel He 100 fighter set a world airspeed record of 463 mph. Detective Comics #27 was released, introducing Batman.

1954: The Yonge Street subway line opened in Toronto, becoming the first subway in Canada.

1964: The TV game show Jeopardy! premiered with host Art Fleming and announcer Don Pardo.

2017: SpaceX conducts the worlds first re-flight of an orbital class rocket.

 

March 31

1492: Queen Isabella of Castille issued a decree ordering her 150,000 Jewish and Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

1889: The Eiffel Tower officially opened.

1903: Richard Pearse allegedly made a powered flight in an early aircraft in New Zealand.

1906: The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later the National Collegiate Athletic Association) was established to set rules for college sports in the United States.

1909: Construction of the ill-fated RMS Titanic began in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1917: The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renamed the territory the United States Virgin Islands.

1918: Daylight saving time went into effect in the United States for the first time.

1930: The Motion Picture Production Code was instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film, in the United States, for the next 38 years.

1933: The Civilian Conservation Corps was established to relieve widespread unemployment in the United States.

1945: In the final month of World War II in Europe, a defecting German pilot delivered a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1, the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, to the Americans, the first to fall into Allied hands.

1949: The Dominion of Newfoundland joined the Canadian Confederation and became the 10th province of Canada.

1951: Remington Rand, an early American business machines manufacturing company, delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.

1959: The 14th Dalai Lama crossed the border from Tibet into India and was granted political asylum.

1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which later became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

1985: The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWF (now the WWE), took place in Madison Square Garden in New York.

1991: Nearly 99 percent of the voters in Georgia supported the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

1992: The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, was decommissioned in Long Beach, Calif.