Fun Facts for Today – March 4

March 4

It’s Holy Experiment Day and Hug a GI Day and National Salesperson Day


1275 Chinese astronomers observe a total eclipse of the sun
1461 Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV
1493 Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal aboard his ship Niña from his discovery voyage to America
1634 Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, MA
1675 John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England
1687 England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania
1766 The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the US colonies
1774 First sighting of Orion Nebula by William Herschel
1778 The Continental Congress voted to ratify both the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance with France; the two treaties were the first entered into by the United States government
1789 In New York City, the first US Congress meets and declares the new Constitution of the United States is in effect
1791 Vermont was admitted as the 14th US state; It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies
1794 The 11th Amendment to the US Constitution, which deals with each State’s sovereign immunity in regards to federal lawsuits, was passed by the US Congress
1826 The first chartered railroad in the US was chartered as the Granite Railway in Quincy, MA; It was organized to transport granite blocks from quarries in the Blue Hills that were used to build the Bunker Hill monument
1837 The state of Illinois granted a city charter to Chicago
1840 The world’s first commercial photography studio was opened in New York City by John Johnson and Alexander S. Wolcott
1861 The Confederate States of America adopted the “Stars and Bars” flag
1861 Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States
1877 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiers at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow
1880 Halftone engraving was used for the first time when the Daily Graphic was published in New York City
1881 Eliza Ballou Garfield became the first mother of a US President to live in the executive mansion
1882 Britain’s first electric trams run in East London
1887 Gottlieb Daimler unveils his first automobile which he test runs in Esslingen and Cannstatt, Germany
1908 The New York board of education banned the act of whipping students in school
1911 Victor Berger (Wisconsin) becomes the first socialist congressman in US
1917 Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives
1924 The song “Happy Birthday to You” was published
1925 Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office in Washington, DC; the presidential inauguration was broadcast on radio for the first time
1929 Charles Curtis becomes the first native-American Vice President
1930 Emma Fahning became the first woman bowler to bowl a perfect game in competition run by the Women’s International Bowling Congress in Buffalo, NY
1933 President Roosevelt gave his inauguration speech in which he said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
1933 Labor Secretary Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in a Presidential administrative cabinet
1942 The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City
1945 In the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Army as a driver
1952 Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married
1954 In Boston, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital reported the first successful kidney transplant
1960 Lucille Ball filed divorce papers against Desi Arnaz
1962 The Atomic Energy Commission announced that the first atomic power plant in Antarctica, the PM-3A, Naval Nuclear Power Unit, was in operation at McMurdo Sound
1967 The first North Sea gas was piped ashore to BP’s Easington terminal on the East Riding of Yorkshire coast of England
1975 Queen Elizabeth knighted Charlie Chaplin
1977 The first Freon-cooled Cray-1 supercomputer, costing $19,000,000, was shipped to Los Alamos Laboratories, NM, and was used to help the defense industry create sophisticated weapons systems

1702 Jack Sheppard, notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London; the character of Macheath in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera was based on Sheppard
1823 Sir William Siemens, engineer and inventor, pioneer in undersea cable, important in the development of the steel and telegraph industries
1835 John Hughlings Jackson, neurologist whose studies of epilepsy, speech defects, and nervous-system disorders arising from injury to the brain and spinal cord remain among the most useful and highly documented in the field
1877 Garrett Augustus Morgan, inventor and businessman who established the Cleveland Call newspaper, invented a hair straightening cream, woman’s hat fastener, an automobile clutch, a safety hood breathing device which he improved as a gas mask used by some soldiers in WWI, and a traffic signal
1881 Richard C. Tolman, physicist and chemist who demonstrated that electrons are the charge-carrying entities in the flow of electricity, and also made a measurement of its mass; during the Manhattan Project of WW II, he was the chief scientific adviser to Brig. General Leslie Groves, the head of military affairs overseeing the development of the atomic bomb
1903 William Clouser Boyd, immunochemist, who with his wife Lyle, during the 1930’s, made a worldwide survey of the distribution of blood types
1904 George Gamow, nuclear physicist, cosmologist and writer who was one of the foremost advocates of the big-bang theory, which describes the origin of the universe as a colossal explosion that took place billions of years ago
1913 John Garfield, actor (They Made Me a Criminal, Destination Tokyo, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Gentleman’s Agreement)
1914 Allan Beckett, engineer who designed the Mulberry Harbours – the floating roadways and their anchors – which enabled landing of vehicles and equipment on the Normandy beaches following D-Day in WW II
1914 Ward Kimball, Academy Award-winning animator (Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom) and one of Walt Disney’s team of animators known as Disney’s Nine Old Men; created several classic Disney characters including the Crows in Dumbo; Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland; the Mice and Lucifer the Cat from Cinderella; and Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio
1921 Joan Greenwood, actress (Kind Hearts and Coronets, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Tom Jones, The Moon-Spinners)
1941 Adrian Lyne, director (Foxes, Flashdance, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Jacob’s Ladder, Indecent Proposal)
1948 James Ellroy, best-selling crime writer and essayist (The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential)
1954 Adrian Zmed, actor (T.J. Hooker, Grease 2, Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular)
1954 Catherine O’Hara, Emmy Award-winning writer, actress, singer (SCTV, After Hours, Dick Tracy, Beetle Juice, Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas)
1958 Patricia Heaton, Emmy Award-winning actress (Everybody Loves Raymond, Back to You, Women of the House)
1961 Steven Weber, actor (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Wings, Leaving Las Vegas, Stephen King’s The Shining)
1962 Simon Bisley, comic book artist best known for his 1990s work on ABC Warriors, Lobo and Sláine
1965 Paul W. S. Anderson, writer-director-producer (Shopping, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Death Race)
1968 Patsy Kensit, actress (Holby City, Lethal Weapon 2, Absolute Beginners)
1969 Chastity Bono, only child of Sonny and Cher

1832 Jean-François Champollion, Egyptologist who established scientific methods in archaeology and pioneered in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics; he succeeded in deciphering the Rosetta Stone, a stone slab unearthed (1799) at Rosetta (near Alexandria, Egypt) inscribed in two languages and three scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphic and demotic, and Greek, dies at 41
1915 William Willett, builder who invented Daylight Saving Time, dies at 58
1922 Bert Williams, the pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time, dies at 46
1969 Nicholas Schenck, motion-picture mogul and impresario, dies at 87
1981 E.Y. Harburg, Academy Award-winning lyricist (“Over the Rainbow”, “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead”, “Paper Moon”, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”), dies at 82
1994 John Candy, two-time Emmy Award-winning writer, actor (SCTV, Spaceballs, Little Shop of Horrors, Splash), dies at 44
1996 Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley), comedian who was an institution at the Grand Ole Opry and on the TV program Hee-Haw, dies at 83

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