This Week in History

March 2

  1807: Congress outlawed the African slave trade.
1903: The Martha Washington Hotel opened in New York City, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.
1933: The film King Kong opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
1949: The first automatic street light was installed in New Milford, Conn.
1983: Compact discs and players were released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.
1987: American Motors Corporation was purchased by Chrysler Corporation and the AMC name was discontinued in the United States.
2005: Microsoft founder Bill Gates was named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

March 3

1284: The principality of Wales was incorporated with England.
1845: Florida was admitted as the 27th U.S. state.
1887: Anne Sullivan began teaching deaf and blind Helen Keller in Tuscumbia, Ala.
1915: NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), the predecessor of NASA, was founded.
1923: Time magazine was published for the first time.
1931: Congress passed a resolution naming “The Star-Spangled Banner” the national anthem. (Hail Columbia had been considered the unofficial national anthem before then.)
1938: Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.
1951: Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, recorded “Rocket 88,” often cited as “the first rock and roll record,” at Sam Phillips recording studios in Memphis, Tenn.
1980: The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.
2005: Steve Fossett became the first person to fly an airplane solo non-stop around the world without refueling.

March 4

1519: Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.
1791: The independent republic of Vermont joined the United States of America to become the 14th state.
1837: The city of Chicago was incorporated.
1917: Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first female member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1918: The first case of Spanish flu occurred, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic; the disease sickened 500 million people and killed 100 million, or 5 percent of the world’s population, and is considered the worst natural disaster in human history.
1974: People magazine was published for the first time in the United States as People Weekly.
1985: The Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS infection, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.

March 5

1836: Samuel Colt patented the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.
1872: George Westinghouse patented the air brake.
1946: Winston Churchill coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” in a speech at Westminster College, Missouri.
1960: Elvis Presley was given an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.
1981: The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, was launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world. It was sold as the Timex Sinclair 1000 in the U.S. The computer used cassette tapes for data storage and had 1 kB of memory.

March 6

1831:  Edgar Allan Poe removed from West Point military academy.
1865 : US President Abraham Lincoln‘s 2nd Inaugural Ball.
1869 : Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table of the elements to the Russian Chemical Society.
1899 : “Aspirin” (acetylsalicylic acid) patented by Felix Hoffmann at German company Bayer.
1918 : US naval boat “Cyclops” disappears in Bermuda Triangle.
1922 : Babe Ruth signs 3 year contract with NY Yankees at $52,000 a year.
1945 : George Nissen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receives a patent for the first modern trampoline.
1950 : Silly Putty goes on sale in the US.
2000 : Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Eric Clapton; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Lovin’ Spoonful; The Moonglows; Bonnie Raitt; James Taylor; Nat King ColeBillie Holiday; Hal Blaine; “King” Curtis; James Jamerson; Scotty Moore; Earl Palmer; and Clive Davis.
2018 : Forbes names Amazon founder Jeff Bezos the world’s richest person for the first time at $112 billion, Bill Gates no. 2.

March 7

1854:  Charles Miller patents 1st US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes.
1857:  Baseball decides 9 innings constitutes an official game, not 9 runs.
1876 : Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone in the US.
1941:  3rd largest snowfall then in NYC history (18.1″).
1962:  The Beatles made their broadcasting debut on BBC radio.
1975:  RCA releases “Young Americans”, David Bowie‘s 9th studio album, recorded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City; featuring appearances by John Lennon on two tracks, it peaks in the U.S. charts at No. 9, and No. 2 in the U.K.
1989:  Partial eclipse of the Sun (Hawaii, NW North America, Greenland).
1996: 1st surface photos of Pluto (photographed by Hubble Space Telescope).
2016:  Peyton Manning announces his retirement from the Denver Broncos and the NFL.

March 8

1817:  The New York Stock Exchange is founded.
1838:  US mint in New Orleans begins operation (producing dimes).
1887: Everett Horton, CT, patents fishing rod of telescoping steel tubes.
1913:  Internal Revenue Service begins to levy & collect income taxes.
1927:  Pan American Airlines incorporates.
1953:  Census indicates 239,000 farmers gave up farming in last 2 years.
1986:  Martina Navratilova is 1st tennis player to earn $10 million.
1994:  20th People’s Choice Awards: Tom Cruise & Julia Roberts win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Tim Allen & Roseanne Arnold win (TV).
1996:  “Fargo” directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi released in the US.
2012:  Toyota recalls 700,000 vehicles over safety concerns.