Today's History Trivia for March 16
1995 Mississippi Abolishes Slavery (almost) Mississippi ratifies the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. However, they never officially notified the US Archivist, therefore, the ratification was not official. This was corrected in 2013. The 13th Amendment received the necessary ¾ of state ratifications needed to pass in 1865.
1968 Vietnam War - My Lai Massacre U.S. troops kill between 300 and 500 unarmed civilians in My Lai, South Vietnam. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley Jr. was convicted. He was found guilty of killing 22 villagers and given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest.
2003 Iraq War Vice Pres. Dick Cheney when asked how long the war would last states, "Weeks rather than months." Later that day he commented, "my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
1994 Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding Harding pleads guilty. She admitted to meeting with her bodyguard and her ex-husband, four days after the attack on fellow Olympic figure skater Kerrigan, to make plans to cover up their involvement.
1979 China Syndrome The movie about about a nuclear plant disaster is released. Twelve days later the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor has a melt down.
1974 Nixon Performs at the Grand Ole Opry The U.S. President plays piano for the opening of the famous radio show's new theater.
1970 New English Bible The complete version is published. It had been translated directly into English from the original text.
1966 First successful space docking Gemini 8 and Agena connect. After an unexpected tumbling ensued, the TV show Lost in Space was preempted to show coverage of this event, prompting over 2,000 complain calls from viewers.
1955 Nuclear War U.S. President Eisenhower announces the U.S.'s willingness to use nuclear weapons in the event of war.
1926 Space Flight First liquid fuel rocket is launched, by Dr. Robert H. Goddard in Massachusetts, demonstrating the practicality of rockets. It covered a distance of 184 feet and attained a height of 41 feet during its 2.5-second flight.
1827 First African-American U.S. Newspaper Freedom's Journal, by Samuel Cornish and J.B. Russworm, begins publication.
1802 West Point Military Academy Established by Congress. It opened July 4th.
1621 First Indian chief to visit the new Plymouth Colony, Samoset.
Today's Birthdays for March 16
1751 James Madison d. 1836 4th U.S. President (1809-17), author of the Bill of Rights, and at five foot four inches he is the shortest of the U.S. presidents. His portrait graces the U.S. $5,000 bill.
1954 Nancy Wilson American guitarist, with Heart. Music: Barracuda (1978) and Dog & Butterfly (1978).
1949 Erik Estrada American actor. TV: CHiPS (Ponch).
1946 J.Z. Knight (Judith Darlene Hampton), American psychic. She claims to be able to channel a 35,000-year-old man named Ramtha. She runs Ramtha's School of Enlightenment.
1927 Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov d. 1967 Soviet cosmonaut. He became the first person to die during a space mission when his spacecraft became entangled in its parachute and plummeted to the Earth.
1927 Dick Beals d. 2012 (Richard Lee Beals), American actor. TV: Davey and Goliath (1960-64, voice of Davey) and Gumby (first actor to voice Gumby). He was also the voice of Speedy in the Alka-Seltzer radio and TV commercials, and sang the I'd love to be an Oscar Meyer wiener song.
1916 Mercedes McCambridge d. 2004 American Oscar-winning actress. Film: All the King's Men (1949, Oscar), Giant (1956), and The Exorcist (1973, voice of the demon-child).
1912 Pat Nixon d. 1993 (Thelma Catherine Ryan), American First Lady.
1908 Robert Rossen d. 1966 American Oscar-winning director. Film: All the King's Men (1949, Best Picture Oscar) and The Hustler (1961).
1906 Henny Youngman d. 1998 British-born American comedian, Quote: "Women today are crazy! I mean, take my wife… please!"
1836 Andrew Smith Hallidie d. 1900 English-born American engineer, invented the first cable streetcar (1871, San Francisco).
1789 Georg Simon Ohm d. 1854 German physicist. Creator of "Ohm's Law," and for whom the electrical measurements ohm and mho (Ohm spelled backwards) are named.
1739 George Clymer d. 1813 American politician, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Deaths for March 16
2008 Ivan Dixon b. 1931 (Ivan Nathaniel Dixon III), American actor. TV: Hogan's Heroes (1965-70, Sgt. Kinchloe).
1983 Arthur Godfrey b. 1903 American radio and TV personality. He dominated the air waves in the 1950s.
1975 T-Bone Walker b. 1910 (Aaron Walker), American singer, Daddy of the Blues.
1971 Thomas E. Dewey b. 1902 American politician. As governor of New York, he enacted the nation's first state law banning racial and religious discrimination in employment. His loss of the 1948 presidential election to Truman surprised many, including the newspapers - The Chicago Daily Tribune mistakenly ran "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" as its front page headline.
1940 Selma Lagerlof b. 1858 Swedish author, first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature (1909).
1935 John James Rickard MacLeod b. 1876 Scottish physiologist. He shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of insulin (1921), although his primary role was only to provide the lab in which the work was done.
1926 Sergeant Stubby b. 1917 the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant. Smuggled aboard the USS Minnesota, he served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months, participated in 4 offensives, and 17 battles. Stubby learned to warn his unit of gas attacks, located wounded soldiers, and could hear incoming shells long before the rest of the unit. He was even responsible for single-handedly capturing a German spy.
1925 August von Wassermann b. 1866 German bacteriologist. He developed the Wassermann test for syphilis (1906).
1520 Martin Waldseemüller b. circa 1470 German geographer, first to refer to the New World as America (1507, in honor of explorer Amerigo Vespucci).
A.D. 37 Tiberius b. 42 B.C. Roman Emperor (14-37 A.D.), known for his vices and cruelty to his enemies.