This Week in History

March 16

  1802: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York
1958: The Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company was founded in 1908.
1968: General Motors produced its 100 millionth automobile, an Oldsmobile Toronado.
1996: The first Irish Fair, known then as the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fair & Music Festival, was held in Libby, Mont. The day-long event included a parade on Mineral Ave., arts and crafts fair at Memorial Gym, corned beef and cabbage dinners at 20 restaurants in Libby and Troy, and an evening concert featuring several performers including Kevin Burke, an international recording star and Irish fiddler; the Regent Irish Step Dancers from Calgary, Alberta; Shaughnessy Hill Band from Libby; Walter Charm, an Irish uilleann pipe virtuoso from Seattle, and; Tannersøster Musikkompani Orkester, a 22-piece orchestra performing Irish jigs, reels, polkas and hornpipes.

March 17

493: St. Patrick died in County Down, Ireland.
1845: Rubber bands were patented by Stephen Perry.
1941: The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1950: Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, announced the creation of element 98, which they named “californium.”
1969: Golda Meir became the first female prime minister of Israel.
1995: The first coordinated, town-wide St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Libby, Mont. It was the precursor to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fair & Music Festival that began the following year.

March 18

1850: American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.
1959: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law allowing Hawaiian statehood, which would become official on Aug. 21.
1965: Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov left his spacecraft, Voskhod 2, for 12 minutes, to become the first person to “walk” in space.
1970: The U.S. postal strike of 1970 began, one of the largest wildcat strikes in U.S. history.
1990: In the largest art theft in U.S. history, 12 paintings, collectively worth around $300 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mass.

March 19

1831: In the first bank robbery in the U.S., $245,000 was stolen from City Bank in New York.
1863: The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was damaged on her maiden voyage out of Charleston, S.C., by Union Navy ships and scuttled, with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.
1895: Auguste and Louis Lumière recorded their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.
1918: The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.
1931: Gambling was legalized in Nevada.
1962: Bob Dylan released his first album, Bob Dylan, on the Columbia Records label.
1965: The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was discovered by teenage diver (and later pioneer underwater archaeologist) E. Lee Spence (born 1947), exactly 102 years after it was attacked by the Union Navy and scuttled near Charleston, S.C.
1966: Texas Western became the first college basketball team to win the Final Four with an all-black starting lineup.

March 20

1760: The “Great Fire” of Boston, Mass., destroyed 349 buildings.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was published in Boston. (It became the best selling novel of the 19th century.)
1854: The Republican Party of the United States was organized in Ripon, Wis.
1916: Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in Germany.
1922: The USS Langley (CV-1) was commissioned as the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
1948: The first TV broadcasts of classical music in the United States, under Eugene Ormandy and Arturo Toscanini, were given on CBS and NBC.
1985: Libby Riddles (born 1956) became the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
2003: The United States and three other countries (UK, Australia and Poland) begin the military invasion of Iraq.

March 21

1925: The Butler Act was signed to prohibit the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee.
1928: President Calvin Coolidge presented Charles Lindbergh with the Medal of Honor at the White House for completing the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.
1952: Ohio radio disc jockey Alan Freed organized and promoted the first rock and roll concert, a five-act show called “The Moondog Coronation Ball,” at the Cleveland Arena.
1963: Alcatraz prison closed permanently.
1970: The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.
2006: The social media site Twitter was founded.

March 22

1621: The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags.
1630: The Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice and gaming tables.
1871: In North Carolina, William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.
1960: Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser.
1963: The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, was released in the United Kingdom.
1993: The Intel Corporation shipped the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64-bit data path.
1997: The Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to Earth.


March 16
Artichokes are from the
Mediterranean and are one of the oldest foods in the world. Greeks and Romans ate them in the 8th century!

March 17
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries around the world than any
other single day national festival.

March 18
This sandwich has been around for
approximately 95 years now, playing a key role in fast food restaurants and kitchen tables.

March 19
From cookies to brownies, ice creams, and milkshakes, the irresistible
combination of chocolate and caramel never fails to impress those with a sweet tooth. 

March 20

The Spring Equinox officially marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and there are celebrations around the world to usher in longer days and springtime. 

March 21
Fragrance has always played an
important role throughout history – royalty flaunted it, business empires were changed by it (hello, Chanel), and with just one whiff, a certain fragrance can transport you back in time. 

March 22
A day dedicated to drawing attention to the
water related issues that humans face in almost every country.