Events - March 3
1845 - The U.S. Congress passed legislation overriding a President’s veto. It was the first time Congress had done so. President John Tyler was in office at the time.
1845 - Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America. The word ‘Florida’ comes from the Spanish ‘feast of flowers’. But we call it the Sunshine State. The capital of the Sunshine State is ... no, not Walt Disney World ... Tallahassee. The state flower is the fragrant orange blossom and the mockingbird is the state bird. Do you think the mockingbird can mimic Donald Duck? Or maybe it sings the Florida state song, "Suwannee River". The Florida state motto is: “In God we trust.”
1915 - The now-famous film, "The Birth of a Nation", debuted in New York City. The motion picture brought Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh and Wallace Reid to the silver screen in what has frequently been called the greatest silent film ever produced.
1923 - The first issue of the weekly periodical "TIME" appeared on newsstands. The first issue was 32 pages and featured a charcoal sketch of Congressman Joseph Gurney Cannon on the cover. It was the United States’ first, modern, news magazine. Today, the worldwide news weekly, founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, is printed in several languages and is among the most popular magazines in history with readership of 3.3 million.
1930 - Bert Lahr ("The Wizard of Oz") and Kate ("God Bless America") Smith starred in "Flying High" as it opened at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. The show had a run of 45 weeks at what is now the most famous black entertainment theatre in America.
1931 - Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded "Minnie the Moocher" on Brunswick Records. It was the first recording of the famous bandleader’s theme song. The song was featured prominently in the motion picture, "The Blues Brothers" (1980), starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
1931 - "The Star-Spangled Banner", written by Francis Scott Key, officially became the national anthem of the United States. Despite the fact that millions sing (in a manner of speaking) the anthem before sporting events, civic club meetings and other public gatherings, it is still ranked as the most difficult national anthem on earth to sing.
1938 - A world record for the indoor mile run was set at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Glenn Cunningham made the distance in 4 minutes, 4.4 seconds.
1939 - Oh, those crazy college kids: A new craze began to sweep college campuses. The much publicized fad began to take shape at the Ivy League’s Harvard University. It was perceived as being kind of ‘fishy’, however, coming from the button-down minds at Harvard. In fact, it was deemed quite unbelievable for such a prestigious school of higher learning. The fad? Goldfish swallowing. (Gulp!)
1943 - The Allies won the Battle of the Bismarck Sea as land-based bombers destroyed a Japanese convoy.
1952 - "Whispering Streets" debuted on ABC radio, remaining on the air until Thanksgiving week, 1960. The end of that show brought down the curtain on what is called “the last day of the radio soap opera” (November 25, 1960).
1959 - The new home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team was officially named Candlestick Park. The name was chosen in a contest to name the newly-built stadium. The contest winner didn’t have to look far, as the windswept and chilly confines of the National League stadium are located just a few hundred feet from Candlestick Point, on San Francisco Bay. In 1995, the venerable name, Candlestick Park was changed to 3Com Park, after a relatively small (at the time) local area computer software developer bid a half-million dollars for the rights to the stadium name -- beating out such giants as Apple Computer, IBM and others.
1962 - The British Antarctic Territory was formed. The territory has no permanent inhabitants, but at any one time there are about 100 researchers working at various stations.
1966 - Lou Christie was striking gold for his hit "Lightnin’ Strikes". Christie was born Lugee Sacco and joined a group called The Classics before making his first recording in 1960. In 1961, he recorded under the name Lugee & The Lions until changing to Lou Christie for a string of hits beginning in 1963. Other notable tunes from Christie’s top 40 appearances include: "The Gypsy Cried", "Two Faces Have I", "Rhapsody in the Rain" and "I’m Gonna Make You Mine" -- all displaying his trademark falsetto voice, similar to that of Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons. "Lightnin’ Strikes" was Christie’s only million seller.
1969 - Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module and docking procedure. Crew: James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart.
1972 - Pioneer 10 was launched towards an asteroid belt and planet Jupiter. This was the first man-made craft sent to the giant planet.
1974 - All 346 people aboard a Turkish Airlines DC-10 died when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris. The aircraft suffered an explosive decompression while climbing through 11,000 feet after takeoff. Due to a design flaw in the locking mechanism of the cargo door, a ground crew member was able to force the locking arm into position, while the door was not really locked. Climbing into thinner air, the door burst open. The outrush of air caused the cabin floor to collapse, severing all control cables, leading to a loss of control by the flight crew.
1985 - Kevin McHale from the University of Minnesota set a Boston Celtics scoring record this night as he poured in 56 points in a 138-129 win over the Detroit Pistons.
1987 - Actor, singer, dancer, comedian, broadcaster and American entertainment icon, Danny Kaye, died in Los Angeles at the age of 74.
1991 - Motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers after a high-speed chase. The scene was captured on home video by George Holliday. Four officers were acquitted in 1992 of almost all charges in a state trial, sparking deadly riots in Los Angeles. Two were convicted in a federal trial.
1993 - Dr. Albert Sabin, the medical pioneer who helped conquer polio, died of heart failure at age 86. Sabin’s oral vaccine, introduced in 1957, was effective and did not require booster doses. Sabin refused to patent his vaccine insisting that the vaccine and its delivery be free of charge. Sabin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
1998 - Microsoft head Bill Gates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that his company was not a monopoly out to crush rivals in the Internet software market.
2001 - John Ruiz becamethe first Hispanic WBA heavyweight champion by defeating Evander Holyfield in a unanimous 12-round decision.
2004 - Hundreds of gay couples applied for marriage licenses in Portland, OR following an overnight policy change by county commissioners.
2006 - Research by NASA showed that shrinkage Antarctic ice sheet over the previous three years had raised the global sea level by 1.2 millimeters.
2008 - The U.N. Security Council tightened its sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran vowed to continue its nuclear program, which it insisted was aimed only at generating electrical power.
Birthdays - March 3
1831 - George Pullman (inventor: railroad sleeping car; industrialist: Pullman Palace Car Company; died Oct 19, 1897)
1847 - Alexander Graham Bell (teacher of the deaf, inventor: telephone; founder of Bell Telephone Company; died Aug 2, 1922)
1872 - Willie (William Henry) Keeler (‘Wee Willie’: National Baseball Hall of Famer: NY Giants, Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Baltimore Orioles [record for singles hit in single season: 206: 1898], Brooklyn Superbas, NY Highlanders; died Jan 1, 1923)
1895 - Matthew Ridgway (Commander of the U.S. 8th Army in Korea ; Supreme Allied Commander of NATO ; US Army Chief of Staff; died July 26, 1993)
1904 - Mayo Methot (actress: Goodbye Love, Marked Woman; died June 9, 1951)
1911 - Jean Harlow (Harlean Carpenter) (actress: Platinum Blonde, Red Dust, Bombshell, Dinner at Eight, China Seas, Libeled Lady; died June 7, 1937)
1916 - Robert Whitehead (Tony Award-winning producer: Terrence McNally’s Master Class ; Whitehead’s long producing career inspired the Robert Whitehead Award, established in 1993 by the Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) to honor “outstanding achievement in commercial producing” by a graduate of CTI [US’s only formal training program for commercial theatre producers; died June 15, 2002)
1920 - Julius Boros (golfer: U.S. Open Champion [1952. 1963]; PGA Champion ; died May 28, 1994)
1920 - James Doohan (actor: Star Trek TV series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: Generations, Loaded Weapon 1, Bug Buster; died July 20, 2005)
1921 - Diana (Blanche) Barrymore (Blythe) (actress: The Mob, Hollywood Canteen, Fired Wife, Between Us Girls, Eagle Squadron, Nightmare; died Jan 25, 1960)
1931 - Paul Clayton (folk singer, songwriter: “Paul was just an incredible songwriter and singer. He must have known a thousand songs.” - Bob Dylan; died Mar 30, 1967)
1933 - Princess Lee Radziwill (Caroline Lee Bouvier) (sister of U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy [Onassis])
1934 - Gia Scala (Giovanna Sgoglio) (actress: Don’t Go Near the Water, Tunnel of Love, The Guns of Navarone; died Apr 30, 1972)
1938 - Willie Chambers (musician: guitar, singer group: The Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today)
1941 - John Thomas (Olympic medalist: high jump [1960 & 1964]; 2nd athlete to clear 7’ [indoor high jump 1959]; Track & Field Hall of Famer; died Jan 15, 2013)
1942 - Mike Pender (Michael John Prendergast) (musician: guitar, singer: group: The Searchers: Sweets for My Sweet, Needles and Pins, Don’t Throw Your Love Away, Love Potion No. 9)
1943 - Paul Schaal (baseball: LA Angels, California Angels, KC Royals)
1944 - Jance Garfat (musician: bass, singer: group: Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Sylvia’s Mother, The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’, A Little Bit More, When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman, Sharing the Night Together, Sexy Eyes, Better Love Next Time)
1947 - Dave Mount (musician: drums, singer: group: Mud; died Dec 3, 2006)
1947 - Dennis Shaw (football: San Diego State Univ., Buffalo Bills)
1947 - Jennifer Warnes (singer: Right Time of the Night, Up Where We Belong [w/Joe Cocker], [I’ve Had] The Time of My Life [w/Bill Medley])
1949 - Joey Johnston (hockey: NHL: Minnesota North Stars, California Golden Seals, California Seals, Chicago Blackhawks)
1949 - David Pritchard (jazz/classical guitarist: group: Contraband: LP: Time and Space; solo: LPs: Lightyear, City Dreams, Air Patterns; author: Music for the Contemporary Guitarist, composer: Four Clockworks)
1950 - Tim Kazurinsky (actor, comedian, writer: Saturday Night Live, Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, The Cherokee Kid)
1952 - Randy Gradishar (football: Denver Broncos LB: Super Bowl XII)
1958 - Miranda Richardson (actress: Fatherland, The Crying Game, Empire of the Sun, Dance with a Stranger)
1962 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Olympic gold medalist & 1st woman to hold world record in the heptathlon: 7,044 points ; 1st athlete to win multi-event medals in 3 Olympics [pentathlon, long jump])
1962 - Herschel Walker (football: Heisman Trophy winner: Univ of Georgia ; NFL: Philadelphia Eagles)
1966 - Tone-Loc (rapper: Wild Thing; actor: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Spy Hard)
1970 - Julie Bowen (actress: Modern Family, Crazy on the Outside, Kids in America, Joe Somebody, Multiplicity, Runaway Daughters, Five Spot Jewel, Boston Legal)
1976 - Eric Warfield (football [cornerback]: Univ of Nebraska; NFL: Kansas City Chiefs)
1982 - Jessica Biel (actress: 7th Heaven, The Illusionist, Elizabethtown, Stealth, London, Blade: Trinity, Cellular, Summer Catch, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Sinner)
1984 - Santonio Holmes (football [wide receiver]: Ohio State Univ; NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers [2006-2009]: 2009 Super Bowl XLIII MVP; New York Jets [2010-2013]; Chicago Bears )
Chart Toppers - March 3
Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Bing Crosby
There’s No Tomorrow - Tony Martin
Music, Music, Music - Teresa Brewer
Chatanoogie Shoe Shine Boy - Red Foley
Don’t/I Beg of You - Elvis Presley
A Wonderful Time Up There/It’s Too Soon to Know - Pat Boone
Tequila - The Champs
Ballad of a Teenage Queen - Johnny Cash
These Boots are Made for Walkin’ - Nancy Sinatra
The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
My World is Empty Without You - The Supremes
Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line - Buck Owens
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Spiders & Snakes - Jim Stafford
Boogie Down - Eddie Kendricks
Another Lonely Song - Tammy Wynette
Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
Open Arms - Journey
Shake It Up - The Cars
Lord, I Hope This Day is Good - Don Williams
Escapade - Janet Jackson
Dangerous - Roxette
Roam - The B-52’s
No Matter How High - The Oak Ridge Boys
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.