Today's History Trivia for March 3
1991 Rodney King He becomes a beating victim of the Los Angeles police with the incident caught on videotape. The following year, L.A. street riots erupted after the four white police officers involved were acquitted.
1934 John Dillinger The bank robber escapes from the "escape proof" Indiana Crown Point Maximum Security Prison. According to FBI files, he used a fake gun carved from a potato; however, he claimed it was carved out of wood and others say he had a real gun.
1931 The Star-Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key's song is adopted as the American national anthem by Congress. Key wrote the song in 1814 after seeing the American flag flying following the British bombardment of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812.
2006 President Bush The President proclaims in a speech, "I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India, and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world." However, Pakistan is neither democratic nor Arab.
1977 Bing Crosby The singer falls 20 feet into the orchestra pit while receiving a standing ovation at the Ambassador Auditorium.
1951 First Rock and Roll Song 19-year-old Ike Turner and his band The Kings of Rhythm record Rocket 88. It eventually reached #1 on the R&B charts and is considered by many to be the first rock and roll recording.
1951 Watch Mr. Wizard The long-running children's science show debuts, starring Don Herbert as Mr. Wizard.
1901 National Bureau of Standards is established by Congress.
1899 First use of wireless telegraphy to save lives at sea Rescuers are called after a British lightship is struck by a steamer.
1899 First U.S. admiral George Dewey is appointed to the newly created position of Admiral of the Navy.
1887 Helen Keller Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen. She would eventually learn the manual alphabet, braille, and earn a B.A. degree (1904).
1885 Special Delivery Congress authorizes the U.S. Post Office to begin its new service.
1879 First U.S. postage-due stamps Congress authorizes denominations of 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, and 5¢. They were first issued in May.
1873 Comstock Act The U.S. Federal law making it illegal to possess or distribute obscene materials is enacted. This included contraceptives and information pertaining to them.
1871 Civil Service Commission The agency is authorized by Congress, but it was ineffective since no appropriations were made for expenses.
1861 Serfdom abolished by Czar Alexander II of Russia The peasant farmers became tenant farmers.
1849 U.S. Department of the Interior is established.
1847 First stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office Department Congress authorizes a 5¢ stamp featuring Ben Franklin and a 10¢ stamp featuring George Washington. They went on sale in July.
1845 Florida becomes the 27th state.
1835 Currency U.S. establishes branch mints in New Orleans, Louisiana, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dahlonega, Georgia.
1815 The U.S. declares war against Algeria The Dey of Algiers had begun plundering U.S. ships.
1812 First U.S. foreign aid bill Congress passes a bill authorizing $50,000 for the relief of Venezuelan earthquake victims.
1791 Whiskey Rebellion Congress passes its first internal revenue law - an excise duty of 11 to 30 cents a gallon on stills and spirits distilled in the U.S. - prompting a revolt by western Pennsylvania farmers in 1794.
1791 District of Columbia is established by Congress.
1692 Salem Witch Trials Sarah Good and a female slave are sent to jail for witchcraft. Sarah was later hanged. In the following months 19 others would be executed for witchcraft.
Today's Birthdays for March 3
1974 David Faustino American actor. TV: Married… with Children (Bud Bundy).
1962 Jackie Joyner-Kersee American track athlete, winner of Olympic gold medals for the heptathlon (1988, 1992) and long jump (1988).
1962 Herschel Walker American football player, 1982 Heisman Trophy winner.
1950 Tim Kazurinsky American comedian. TV: Saturday Night Live.
1918 Arnold Newman d. 2006 American photographer. Contributor to Life, Look, Esquire, etc. Newman is credited with being the first photographer to use environmental portraiture, in which the background setting is used to capture the essence of the individual's life and work.
1911 Jean Harlow d. 1937 (Harlean Carpenter), American actress, Hollywood's original blond bombshell. Film: Platinum Blonde (1931) and Bombshell (1933).
1895 Matthew Bunker Ridgway d. 1993 American four-star general, "Father of the 82nd Airborne" and Army chief of staff (1953-55). He created the 82nd Airborne - the Army's first airborne division - during World War II.
1845 Georg Cantor d. 1918 German mathematician. He founded the theory of infinite ensembles, was one of the first to define real numbers, and co-developed the Cantor-Dedekind axiom describing the one-to-one correspondence between real numbers and points on a line.
1831 George Mortimer Pullman d. 1897 American inventor. He invented the railroad sleeping car (1864) with its folding upper bed.
1826 Joseph Wharton d. 1909 American steel magnate. He founded Bethlehem Steel Co. and the world's first business school: Wharton School of Finance and Political Economy at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1881).
Deaths for March 3
1959 Lou Costello b. 1906 (Louis Francis Cristillo), American Comedian, Abbott's partner. He and Bud Abbott are the only two non-sportsmen honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame - for their "Who's On First" routine.
1993 Albert Sabin b. 1906 Russian-born American microbiologist. He developed the oral Polio vaccine, which was administered by sugar cube to millions.
1991 Arthur Murray b. 1895 (Moses Teichman), American ballroom dance instructor.
1605 Clement VIII b. 1536 Italian religious leader, 231st Pope (1592-1605). It is claimed he is responsible for the popularity of coffee among Catholics. Believed by some to be the "bitter invention of Satan" due to its use among Muslims. However, Pope Clement VIII declared that, "This Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it."