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WebSideStory Pick of the Week! 3/16/98

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Editor: Deryl D. Danner Sr.

Research By: Jeri Maier

    Mar 1: In 1950, Chiang Kai-shek resumed the presidency of the Nationalist Chinese government. In 1954, the United States announced it had conducted a hydrogen bomb test on the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. In 1966, the Soviet spacecraft Venus III landed on Venus. It was the first spacecraft to land on another planet. In 1992, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia unveiled major political reforms, ceding some powers after 10 years of disciplined rule. In 1994, Israel released about 500 Arab prisoners in the hope it would placate Palestinian outrage over the Hebron massacre Mar 2: In 1943, the Battle of the Bismark Sea began. Twelve Japanese ships carrying reinforcements to New Guinea were sunk by Allied planes, killing nearly 4,000. In 1946, Ho Chi Minh was elected president of North Vietnam. In 1956, Morocco's independence was recognized by France. In 1958, Dr. Vivian Fuchs completed the first crossing of Antarctica by land. In 1962, in Burma, the army led by Ne Win seized power in a coup, ousting U Nu. On this day in 1974 military rule ended, a new constitution took effect and Ne Win became president. In 1972, U.S. spacecraft Pioneer 10 was launched. It passed close by Jupiter and Neptune before leaving the solar system. It is now more than 6 billion miles from Earth. Mar 3: In 1931, the Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as the American national anthem. In 1963, a new constitution was approved in Senegal. In 1969, the three-man Apollo 9 spacecraft was launched from Cape Kennedy. The main aim of its 10-day flight was to test the lunar module in Earth's orbit. In 1976, Mozambique closed its border with Rhodesia and put its country on a war footing, after raids by Rhodesia on rebel bases. Mar 4: In 1975, actor Charlie Chaplin was knighted at Buckingham Palace. Mar 5: In 1946, in a speech at Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill said: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent." In 1970, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into force with 45 countries, including the three main nuclear powers, having signed the agreement. Mar 6: In 1944, U.S. bombers began daytime attacks on Berlin from bases in Britain. In 1945, tanks and infantry of the U.S. First Army drove into Cologne, Germany. In 1953, Georgy Malenkov succeeded Stalin as premier and first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. In 1957, Ghana became independent within the Commonwealth. In 1964, King Constantine II of Greece succeeded to the throne after the death of his father, Paul I. In 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin's daughter, requested asy- lum at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. Mar 8 In 1942, Rangoon fell to the Japanese after being evacuated by British forces. In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools violated the constitution. In 1950, the Soviet Union claimed to be in possession of the atomic bomb. Mar 10: In 1945, 300 U.S. B-29 bombers pounded Tokyo. In 1948, Jan Masaryk, Czech statesman and foreign minister, threw himself from a window at the foreign office in Prague in an apparent suicide. In 1952, the government of Cuba was overthrown by former Presi- dent Fulgencio Batista, who ruled until 1959. In 1969, James Earl Ray was sentenced in Memphis, Tennessee, to 99 years in prison for the murder of Martin Luther King in April 1968. Mar 11: In 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Bill, which enabled Britain to borrow money to buy additional food and arms during World War II. In 1960, Pioneer V was launched from Florida into orbit around the sun. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union following the death of Konstantin Chernenko. At 54, he was the youngest member of the ruling Politburo. Mar 12: In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast the first of his weekly radio addresses to the nation. He called them "fireside chats." In 1951, the comic strip "Dennis the Menace" appeared in print for the first time. In 1955, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker died. Known as the father of bebop-style jazz, Parker also served as a composer and bandleader. 1974, the television action-fantasy "Wonder Woman" premiered. 1986, Susan Butcher won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Birthday: Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950), ballet dancer; Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), writer; Edward Albee (1928-), playwright, 72; Andrew Young (1932-), U.S. politician, 68; Al Jarreau (1940-), singer, 60; Liza Minnelli (1946-), singer-actress, 54; James Taylor (1948-), singer-songwriter, 52. Mar 14: In 1945, the heaviest bomb of World War II, the 22,000 pound "Grand Slam," was dropped by the RAF's Dambuster Squadron in Germany on the Bielefeld railway viaduct. In 1964, Jack Ruby was found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Mar 15: In 1975, Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, died. In 1968 he had married Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of U.S. president John F Kennedy. In 1979, Pope John Paul II published his first encyclical, "Redemptor Hominis," in which he warned of the growing gap between rich and poor. Mar 16: In 1942, during World War Two, the U-S government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to detention centers. In 1956, Pakistan became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. In 1965, America's first two-person space flight began as Gemini Three blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. In 1983, President Reagan first proposed development of tech- nology to intercept enemy missiles -- a proposal that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, as well as "Star Wars." In 1983, Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device. Mar 17: In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain accused Adolf Hitler of breaking his word, after German troops crossed the Czech frontier. In 1944, Allied bombing on Austria began with a raid by over 200 planes on targets in Vienna. Mar 18: In 1949, the text of the North Atlantic Treaty was published for the first time. In 1962, the war in Algeria ended when agreements were signed with the French leading to Algeria's independence. In 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov made the first space- walk. Mar 20: In 1934, the first practical tests of radar were carried out at Kiel Harbor, Germany, by Dr. Rudolph Kuenhold. In 1948, Eugene Ormandy conducted the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra on CBS-TV in the first symphony concert to be televised in the United States. In 1956, the full independence of Tunisia was granted under a protocol signed with France. In 1974, an attempt was made to kidnap Britain's Princess Anne in The Mall, London. In 1976, U.S. newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, after an eight-week trial, was found guilty of a 1974 armed robbery. Mar 22: In 1935, the first High Definition Television service was officially inaugurated by the director-general of German broad- casting in Berlin. In 1944, Germany announced its occupation of Hungary and the formation of a new government under Dome Sztojay. In 1945, the Arab League was formed in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. In 1946, Britain recognized the independence of the protectorate of Transjordan. Mar 23: In 1956, under its new constitution Pakistan became an Islamic Republic, with Maj-Gen Iskander Mirza as first provisional president. In 1966, the Archbishop of Canterbury met the pope in Rome, the first meeting between the heads of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches for 400 years. Mar 24: In 1944, the greatest mass escape of WWII occurs at Stalag Luft III when 76 allied airmen tunneled out. Only 3 made it home. In 1949, Walter Huston and son John became first father-and-son team to win Oscars as actor and director of "Treasure of Sierra Madre." In 1958, rock 'n' roll singer Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1974, North Carolina State beat Marquette to win the NCAA basketball championship. Mar 25: In 1953, a resident of Ten Rillington Place, London, discovered a body In a cupboard. It led to the arrest of mass murderer John Christie. In 1965, the U.S. spacecraft Ranger 9 crash-landed on the moon. Some of the 5,000 pictures it sent back were broadcast live on TV for the first time. In 1976, President Isabel Peron of Argentina was deposed in a bloodless military coup; Gen. Jorge Videla was named as president. In 1978, the oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil. Mar 26: In 1945, in World War II, the Battle of Iwo Jima ended. During the battle, about 22,000 Japanese troops were killed or captured and more than 4,500 U.S. troops died. In 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared East Pakistan the independent republic of Bangladesh. In 1973, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt took over the premiership, saying "the stage of total confrontation (with Israel) has become inevitable." In 1973, women were allowed on to the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time. In 1979, in a ceremony at the White House, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel signed a peace treaty ending 30 years of war between the two countries. Mar 27: In 1941, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was deposed in a coup d'etat following his pact with Adolf Hitler. In 1945, Germany launched its last V2 rocket from the Hague in the Netherlands, crashing in Orpington, southeast of London. In 1945, Argentina declared war on Germany and Japan. In 1968, Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space in 1961, was killed in a plane crash near Moscow. In 1972, Tom Batiuk launched his comic strip "Funky Winkerbean." In 1977, the world's worst aircraft disaster occurred when two Boeing 747s, owned by KLM and Pan-Am, collided and burst into flames on the runway at Tenerife in the Canary Islands; 583 people died. In 1980, 147 people died when the Alexander Kielland, a floating platform for off-duty oil workers, capsized in the Norwegian sec- tor of the North Sea. Mar 28: In 1941, British author and critic Virgina Woolf committed sui- cide. In 1941, in World War II, the Italian navy was defeated in the Battle of Cape Matapan. In 1942, the drydock at St Nazaire in France was destroyed in a combined raid by the British navy, army and airforce. In 1959, 11 days after an uprising began in Tibet, China dissolved the country's government and installed an autonomous authority under the Panchen Lama. In 1967, U.N. Secretary General U Thant made public proposals for bringing about peace in Vietnam; President Lyndon Johnson accepted them. In 1969, extensive anti-Soviet demonstrations were held in Prague. In 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army commander, Republican statesman and president from 1953-1961, died. He was commander-in-chief of the allied armies during World War II. In 1970, 1,100 people were killed and 3,000 were injured when an earthquake struck the town of Gediz in western Anatolia, Turkey, nearly destroying the town and surrounding villages. In 1973, Marlon Brando rejected his Oscar for "The Godfather," sending Indian actress Sacheen Littlefeather to the Academy Awards platform to describe the plight of American Indians. Mar 29: In 1932, comedian Jack Benny, appeared on radio for the first time. In 1951, "The King and I" opened in New York City, starring Yul Brynner. In 1955, Theodore Bikel make his TV acting debut with an appearance in "Sandal at Peppernut" on the "U.S. Steel Hour" on ABC-TV. In 1962, Jack Paar left his highly successful late night TV talk one who would ultimately win the coveted position of host of "The Tonight Show." He was Johnny Carson. In 1967, the first nationwide strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) began this day, lasting for 13 days. In 1973, "Hommy", the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera "Tommy", opened in New York City. The production was staged at Carnegie Hall. In 1985, after 21 years of jokes at their expense, The Porkettes changed their name to The National Pork Council Women. In 1987, Hulk Hogan took 11 minutes, 43 seconds to pin Andre the Giant before 93,136 "Wrestlemania III" fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI. The event was the biggest indoor sports /entertainment promotion ever; 2.5 million people watched on pay-per-view TV, as well. Mar 30: In 1945, the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (Gdansk) was captured by the Russians. In 1966, Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami resigned because of protests that he was the only member of the government in parliament. In 1967, the Greek government resigned after it found itself unable to pass an agreed electoral law. In 1972, the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act came into force decreeing direct rule from London. Brian Faulkner, prime minister of Northern Ireland, resigned. In 1979, Airey Neave, opposition Conservative spokesman on Northern Ireland, died when a bomb exploded in his car in the House of Commons car park. In 1979, in a two-day referendum, the people of Iran voted overwhelmingly in favor of establishing an Islamic Republic. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by would-be assassin John Hinckley. In 1987, "Sunflowers" by Vincent van Gogh was sold at auction in London for $39.7 million. March 31: In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain undertook to defend Poland in an Anglo-French alliance if attacked. In 1949, Newfoundland joined the Canadian Federation as the tenth province. In 1954, the Soviet Union offered to join NATO. In 1959, the Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, arrived at the Indian border and was granted political asylum. In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced he would not stand for re-election. In 1970, Lesotho's prime minister, Leabua Jonathan, announced that King Moshoeshoe II was leaving the country indefinitely and Queen Mamohato would act as Regent. In 1971, U.S. Lt. William Calley was sentenced to life imprison- ment (later reduced to 20 years) for the killings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968. In 1979, the military relationship between Britain and Malta ended after 181 years with the departure of the destroyer HMS London from Valetta Harbor. SOURCES: CNN Archive Judy Goldsmith's Timeline Bill Murrey's Timeline History Channel Web Site Life Magazine CD, Compton Encyclophedia Dick Goodwin's web page. Internet Research - Jeri
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