Fun Facts for Today – March 8

March 8

It’s Be Nasty Day and International (Working) Women’s Day and National Peanut Cluster Day and Farmer’s Day


1618 Johannes Kepler formulated his Third Law of Planetary Motion
1765 The British House of Lords passes the Stamp Act to tax the American colonies
1775 Thomas Paine’s “African Slavery in America” was published; it was the first article in the United States calling for the emancipation of all slaves and the abolition of slavery
1775 Joseph Priestley, having discovered oxygen, experimented with mice in his home
laboratory on whether it is necessary to support life
1790 The French Assembly votes to continue slavery in French colonies
1817 The New York Stock Exchange is founded
1862 The Confederate ironclad “Merrimack” was launched
1884 Susan B. Anthony began her address before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives arguing for an amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote; Anthony’s argument came sixteen years after legislators had first introduced a federal woman’s suffrage amendment
1894 A dog license law was enacted in the state of New York; it was the first animal control law in the US
1917 Riots and strikes break out in St. Petersburg, Russia, marking the start of the Russian Revolution
1926 Douglas Fairbanks’ Technicolor silent swashbuckler The Black Pirate opens in the US
1936 The first stock car race is held in Daytona Beach, FL
1948 The US Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools was unconstitutional
1950 Marshal Voroshilov announces that the Soviet Union possesses the atomic bomb
1952 An artificial heart was used for the first time on a 41-year-old man which kept him alive for 80 minutes
1957 Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal
1958 Chuck Jones’ Robin Hood Daffy starring Daffy Duck and Porky Pig opens in US theaters
1959 Groucho, Chico and Harpo made their final TV appearance together on CBS-TV’s G.E. Theater’s episode “The Incredible Jewel Robbery”
1964 The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price and based on Richard Matheson’s novel I am Legend, opens in US theaters
1965 3,500 United States Marines arrive in South Vietnam, becoming the first American combat troops in Vietnam
1969 Rankin/Bass animated Mad Monster Party? premieres in the US
1974 Charles de Gaulle Airport opens in Paris, France
1979 Volcanoes on Io were discovered by Voyager 1
1993 Beavis and Butthead premiered on MTV as a series
1996 “I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper.” The Coen Brother’s Fargo opens in the US

1712 John Fothergill, physician who was first to describe coronary arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arterial wall, with a loss of elasticity and reduced blood flow) associated with angina pectoris
1787 Karl Ferdinand von Gräfe, surgeon who helped to create modern plastic surgery
1841 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States (1902 -1932)
1859 Kenneth Grahame, author (The Wind in the Willows, The Reluctant Dragon)
1879 Otto Hahn, chemist who, with the radiochemist Fritz Strassmann, is credited with the discovery of nuclear fission
1902 Tom Blake, inventor of the hollow-core surfboard which dominated the surfing world until the late 1940’s and became standard rescue equipment in California’s early lifeguard corps
1923 Cyd Charisse, one of the greatest female dancers in the history of the movie musical (Singing in the Rain, Brigadoon, The Band Wagon, Silk Stockings)
1943 Lynn Redgrave, actress (Georgy Girl, The Happy Hooker, Shine, Gods and Monsters)
1943 Mickey Dolenz, musician-actor-director (The Monkees, Circus Boy, The Tick, Rob Zombie’s Halloween)
1945 Bruce Broughton, multiple Emmy Award-winning film and television composer (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, JAG, Young Sherlock Holmes, Silverado)
1958 Gary Numan, singer, composer, musician, electronic music pioneer and pilot (“Cars”, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”, Tubeway Army)
1959 Aidan Quinn, actor (Crusoe, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Michael Collins)
1976 Freddie Prinze Jr., actor (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scooby-Doo, Freddie)
1977 James Van Der Beek, actor (Dawson’s Creek, Varsity Blues, Scary Movie, Clive Barker’s The Plague)

1874 Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States (1850-1953) and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office, dies at 74
1889 John Ericsson, engineer and inventor of the screw propeller, built the first armoured turret warship, the USS Monitor, dies at 85
1917 Ferdinand Count von Zeppelin, engineer, the first notable builder of rigid dirigible airships, known then and now by his name, dies at 73
1930 William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States (1909-1913) and the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930), dies at 72
1946 Frederick William Lanchester, automobile and aeronautics pioneer who built the first British petrol automobile, patented disc brakes and he also founded mathematical modelling for military gaming, dies at 107
1971 Harold Lloyd, film legend whose films frequently contained “thrill sequences” of extended chase scenes and daredevil physical feats, for which he is best remembered today (The Freshman, Safety Last!, Speedy), dies at 77
1975 George Stevens, two-time Academy Award-winning director (Giant, A Place in the Sun, Shane, Kentucky Kernels), dies at 70
1999 Peggy Cass, actress and comedian (Auntie Mame, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Match Game), dies at 74
1999 Joe DiMaggio, nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper”, was a Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire MLB career (1936–1951) for the New York Yankees, dies at 84
2003 Adam Faith, singer and actor (Beat Girl, Stardust, Budgie, McVicar, Love Hurts), dies at 62
2004 Robert Pastorelli, actor (Beverly Hills Cop II, Dances with Wolves, Eraser, Michael), dies at 49
2006 Rhoda Williams, actress who also provided voices for many Disneyland’s animatronic creations (Cinderella, High School Hellcats), dies at 75
2007 John Inman, actor best remembered for his role as Mr. Humphries on Are You Being Served?, dies at 71

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