Fun Facts for Today – March 9

March 9

It’s National Crabmeat Day and Panic Day and Employee Appreciation Day


1611 Johannes Fabricius observed the rising sun through his telescope, and observed several dark spots on it; this was perhaps the first ever observation of sunspots
1776 The still hugely influential economics book The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith is published
1796 Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais were married; they were divorced in 1809
1820 The US Congress passed the Land Act that paved the way for westward expansion of North America
1822 Charles M. Graham received the first patent for artificial teeth
1832 Abraham Lincoln announced that he would run for a political office for the first time; he was unsuccessful in his run for a seat in the Illinois state legislature
1834 French Foreign Legion is founded
1841 Captured slaves who mutinied and took over the Spanish slave ship Amistad are declared free men by the Supreme Court; following the verdict, the slave leader, Joseph Cinqué (inspiration for Symbionese Liberation Army Field Marshall Cinque) will return to Africa to become a slaver trader
1858 Albert Potts was awarded a patent for the letter box
1862 During the Civil War the first battle between two ironclad warships occurred; a five-hour battle near Hampton Roads, Virginia between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, results in a draw
1863 General Ulysses Grant was appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces
1932 Eamon De Valera was elected president of the Irish Free State and pledged to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown
1933 The US Congress begins its first 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation; President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress
1935 Hitler announces the creation of a new air force
1936 The German press warned that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections would be arrested
1948 John Ford’s Fort Apache starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Shirley Temple opens in US theaters
1954 CBS-TV broadcasts the See It Now episode, “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy,” produced by Edward R. Murrow
1959 The Barbie doll debuts
1964 The first Ford Mustang rolled off of the Ford assembly line
1967 Josef Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defects to the United States
1969 The Smothers Brothers’ Comedy Hour was canceled by CBS-TV
1975 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins
1976 West Point Military Academy accepts its first female cadet
1984 Touchstone Pictures releases its first film, Splash, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks
1985 Gone With The Wind went on sale in video stores across the US for the first time
1986 US Navy divers find the largely intact but heavily-damaged crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger; the bodies of all seven astronauts were still inside
1987 U2 released their album “The Joshua Tree” in the US
2006 Liquid water is discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn

1454 Amerigo Vespucci, merchant, explorer and cartographer
1676 Zabdiel Boylston, physician who introduced smallpox inoculation into the American colonies
1758 Franz Joseph Gall, anatomist and physiologist who pioneered in linking cerebral functions to localized areas of the brain and associated with underlying attributes of the human personality
1824 Leland Stanford, tycoon, politician and founder of Stanford University; US Senator from California (1885–1893)
1862 Fernand-Isidore Widal, physician and bacteriologist who made important contributions to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of many diseases
1900 Howard Hathaway Aiken, mathematician who invented the Harvard Mark I, forerunner of the modern electronic digital computer
1902 Will Geer, Emmy Award-winning actor (The Waltons, Jeremiah Johnson, In Cold Blood, The President’s Analyst, Seconds)
1918 Mickey Spillane, author of crime novels, many featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer
1928 Keely Smith, jazz and popular music singer who enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s and 1960s
1934 Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin, cosmonaut who became the first man to travel into space
1940 Raúl Juliá, Emmy Award-winning theater, film and television actor (The Burning Season, The Addams Family, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Street Fighter)
1942 Mark Lindsay, singer-songwriter (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
1943 Bobby Fischer, chess Grandmaster, who became famous as a teenager for his chess-playing ability; he became the first, and so far the only, American to win the official World Chess Championship
1945 Trish Van Devere, actress (Where’s Poppa?, The Day of the Dolphin, Messenger of Death)
1945 Dennis Rader, serial killer
1958 Linda Fiorentino, actress (Dogma, Men in Black, Vision Quest)
1964 Juliette Binoche, Academy Award-winning actress (The English Patient, Chocolat, Dan in Real Life)
1971 Emmanuel Lewis, actor (Webster)
1972 Kerr Smith, actor (As the World Turns, Final Destination, Dawson’s Creek, Charmed, E-Ring)

1942 Robert Bosch, engineer and industrialist who was responsible for the invention of the spark plug and magneto for automobiles and whose firm produced a wide range of precision machines and electrical equipment in plants throughout the world, dies at 80
1954 V. Walfrid Ekman, physical oceanographer and mathematical physicist whose research into the dynamics of ocean currents led to his name remaining associated with terms for particular phenomena of the ocean or atmosphere, including Ekman spiral, Ekman transport and Ekman layer, dies at 79
1989 Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer, known for his large-scale, highly stylized black & white portraits, photos of flowers and male nudes, dies at 42
1994 Charles Bukowski, influential Los Angeles poet and novelist, dies at 73
1994 Fernando Rey, actor (The French Connection, Cervantes, That Obscure Object of Desire), dies at 76
1996 George Burns, Academy Award-winning actor, comedian, and vaudevillian (The Sunshine Boys, Oh, God!, Going in Style), dies at 100
1997 Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks and Blake’s 7, dies at 66
1997 Notorius B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace), rapper, was killed in a drive-by shooting at the age of 24
2007 Brad Delp, musician (Boston), commits suicide at the age of 55

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