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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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March 15
1965
President Johnson calls for equal voting rights
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing voting rights for all. Using the phrase "we shall overcome," borrowed from African American leaders struggling for equal rights, Johnson declares that "every America... read more
19th Century
1820
Maine enters the Union
American Revolution
1783
George Washington puts an end to the Newburgh Conspiracy
Ancient Rome
44 B.C.
The Ides of March
Art, Literature, and Film History
1972
Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" opens
Inventions & Science
1968
Construction begins on America's highest vehicle tunnel
Russia
1917
Czar Nicholas II abdicates Russian throne
U.S. Presidents
1767
Andrew Jackson is born
World War II
1939
Nazis take Czechoslovakia

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March 16
1968
Vietnamese villagers killed by U.S. soldiers in My Lai Massacre
On March 16, 1968, a platoon of American soldiers brutally kills as many as 500 unarmed civilians at My Lai, one of a cluster of small villages located near the northern coast of South Vie... read more
19th Century
1802
U.S. Military Academy established
21st Century
2008
Bear Stearns collapses, sold to J.P. Morgan Chase
American Revolution
1751
James Madison, "Father of the Constitution," is born
Art, Literature, and Film History
1850
"The Scarlet Letter" is published
1970
Motown soul singer Tammi Terrell dies
Cold War
1988
President Reagan orders troops into Honduras
Crime
1881
18-year-old woman murders her lover
2005
Actor Robert Blake acquitted of wife's murder
Inventions & Science
1926
First liquid-fueled rocket
Middle East
1985
American journalist Terry Anderson kidnapped
Westward Expansion
1903
Judge Roy Bean dies
World War II
1945
Fighting on Iwo Jima ends

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March 17
461
Saint Patrick dies
On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. Much of what is known about Patrick's legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a wel... read more
1960s
1969
Golda Meir elected as Israel's first female prime minster
American Revolution
1776
British evacuate Boston
Art, Literature, and Film History
1901
Van Gogh paintings shown in Paris
2000
Julia Roberts collects $20 million for "Erin Brockovich"
Crime
2011
Raymond Clark pleads guilty in murder of Yale grad student Annie Le
Holidays
1601
First St. Patrick's Day parade
Soviet Union
1990
Lithuania rejects Soviet demand to renounce its independence
U.S. Presidents
1905
Franklin Roosevelt marries Eleanor Roosevelt
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1804
Explorer Jim Bridger born

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March 18
1852
Wells and Fargo start shipping and banking company
On this day in 1852, in New York City, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these ... read more
American Revolution
1766
Parliament repeals the Stamp Act
Art, Literature, and Film History
1911
Irving Berlin copyrights the biggest pop song of the early 20th century
Cold War
1950
Nationalist Chinese forces invade mainland China
Crime
1999
Three women are murdered at Yosemite
France
1962
French-Algerian truce is signed
Inventions & Science
1933
Studebaker goes bankrupt
Natural Disasters & Environment
1925
The Tri-State Tornado
1937
Natural gas explosion kills nearly 300 at Texas school
Vietnam War
1969
U.S. bombs Cambodia for the first time
World War II
1942
War Relocation Authority is established in United States

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March 19
2003
War in Iraq begins
On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq's capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, "At this hour, American and coalition forces are ... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1953
First Academy Awards telecast on NBC
1957
Elvis Presley puts a down payment on Graceland
Civil War
1865
Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina
COld War
1949
East Germany approves new constitution
Great Depression
1931
Nevada legalizes gambling
 
History This Week Podcast
Episode 11: How Lady Luck Saved Vegas
Listen Now
For an in-depth look back at this week in history, tune into the podcast, HISTORY This Week. Each episode turns back the clock to explore the littlest-known corners of the biggest events of our time. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.  
Sports
1966
Texas Western defeats Kentucky in NCAA finals
Vietnam War
1970
National emergency declared in Cambodia
World War I
1916
First U.S. air combat mission begins

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March 20
1965
LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama to protect a civil rights march
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson notifies Alabama's Governor George Wallace that he will use federal authority to call up the Alabama National Guard in order to supervise a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Intimidation and discrimination had earlier prevented Selm... read more
American Revolution
1778
King Louis XVI receives U.S. representatives
Art, Literature, and Film History
1852
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" is published
Civil War
1861
Willie and Tad Lincoln get the measles
Cold War
1953
Nikita Khrushchev begins his rise to power
Crime
1995
Tokyo subways are attacked with sarin gas
Great Britain
1413
Henry V ascends upon father's death
Middle Ages
1345
Black Death is created, allegedly
U.S. Politics
1854
Republican Party founded

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March 21
1965
Martin Luther King, Jr. begins the march from Selma to Montgomery
In the name of African American voting rights, 3,200 civil rights demonstrators in Alabama, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., begin a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, the state’s capital. Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march, which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge... read more
19th CENTURY
1871
Journalist begins search for Dr. Livingstone
Africa
1960
Massacre in Sharpeville
American Revolution
1778
Massacre at Hancock's Bridge
Art, Literature, and Film History
1678
Reward offered for identity of pamphlet author
1952
The Moondog Coronation Ball is history's first rock concert
1980
Famous "Dallas" cliffhanger airs
COLD WAR
1980
President Carter announces Olympic boycott
Crime
1963
Alcatraz closes its doors
France
1804
Napoleonic Code approved in France
World War I
1918
Germany begins major offensive on the Western Front
World War II
1943
Another plot to kill Hitler foiled

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March 22
1765
Stamp Act imposed on American colonies
In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act on this day in 1765. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal us... read more
19th Century
1820
American naval hero killed in duel
Art, Literature, and Film History
2007
News Corp and NBC announce new internet venture
Cold War
1947
President Truman orders loyalty checks of federal employees
Crime
1984
Teachers are indicted at the McMartin Preschool
Inventions & Science
1983
The origins of the Hummer
Middle East
1945
Arab League formed
Natural Disasters & Environment
2014
Mudslide in Washington state kills more than 40 people
Sports
1894
First Stanley Cup championship played
U.S. Presidents
1933
FDR legalizes sale of beer and wine
Women's Rights
1972
Equal Rights Amendment passed by Congress

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March 23
1839
"OK" enters national vernacular
On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll korrect," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans. During the late 1830s, it was a favorite prac... read more
American Revolution
1775
Patrick Henry voices American opposition to British policy
Art, Literature, and Film History
1998
James Cameron's "Titanic" wins 11 Academy Awards
2011
Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79
Cold War
1983
President Reagan calls for new antimissile technology
Inventions & Science
1983
Artificial heart patient dies
Mexico
1994
Leading Mexican presidential candidate assassinated
Westward Expansion
1806
Lewis and Clark depart Fort Clatsop
World War I
1919
Mussolini founds the Fascist party
World War II
1944
Germans slaughter Italian civilians

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March 24
1989
Exxon Valdez crashes, causing one of the worst oil spills in history
One of the worst oil spills in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the ma... read more
1990s
1999
NATO bombs Yugoslavia
ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT
1862
Abolitionist Wendell Phillips booed in Cincinnati
American Revolution
1765
Parliament passes the Quartering Act
Art, Literature, and Film History
1955
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens
1958
Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army
Crime
1998
A school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas, kills five
Great Britain
1603
Queen Elizabeth I dies
Latin America
2015
Germanwings pilot intentionally crashes plane, killing 150 people
Space Exploration
1996
Astronaut Shannon Lucid enters Mir space station
Vietnam War
1965
First anti-war teach-in conducted
1975
North Vietnamese launch "Ho Chi Minh Campaign"
World War I
1918
German forces cross the Somme River
World War II
1944
British Army officer Orde Wingate killed in plane crash

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March 25
1911
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 in New York City
In one of the darkest moments of America's industrial history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burns down, killing 146 workers, on this day in 1911. The tragedy led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of factory workers. Th... read more
 
Explore a curated, easy-to-use resource organized around core curriculum topics with videos, stories and study guides.  
American Revolution
1774
Parliament passes the Boston Port Act
Art, Literature, and Film History
1955
U.S. Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl"
2001
Icelandic pop singer Björk makes splash at the Oscars
Cold War
1946
Soviets announce withdrawal from Iran
Colonial America
1634
The settlement of Maryland
Crime
1932
Verdict is announced in Scottsboro case
EUROPE
1957
Europe's Common Market founded in major step toward economic unity
Middle East
1975
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia assassinated
Sports
1958
Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Carmen Basilio for middleweight title
Vietnam War
1967
Martin Luther King, Jr. leads march against the Vietnam War
1968
"Wise Men" advise President Johnson to negotiate peace in Vietnam
World War II
1941
Yugoslavia joins the Axis Powers

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March 26
1979
Israel-Egypt peace agreement signed
In a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties. Less than two years earlier, in an unprecedente... read more
 
As social distancing and virtual classrooms become a necessity, we are committed to educational entertainment.

Stream this collection on HISTORY Vault — plus thousands of HISTORY’s most fascinating series and documentaries, commercial-free — with an extended 30-day free trial.
 
Art, Literature, and Film History
1920
F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel published
1955
Black music gets whitewashed, as Georgia Gibbs hits the pop charts with "The Wallflower (Dance With Me, Henry)"
Crime
1987
Torture chamber uncovered in Philadelphia
1997
Heaven's Gate cult members found dead
Inventions & Science
1953
Dr. Jonas Salk announces polio vaccine
RED SCARE
1950
Joseph McCarthy charges that Owen Lattimore is a Soviet spy
U.S. Presidents
1804
Thomas Jefferson presented with a "mammoth loaf" of bread
Vietnam War
1969
Antiwar demonstration in Washington
World War II
1941
Naval warfare gets new weapon

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March 27
1912
Japanese cherry trees planted along the Potomac
In Washington, D.C., Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, plant two Yoshino cherry trees on... Read more
1970s
1977
Jumbo jets collide at Canary Islands airport
American Revolution
1775
Thomas Jefferson elected to the Continental Congress
Art, Literature, and Film History
1973
Marlon Brando declines Best Actor Oscar
1979
Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton are married
Civil War
1865
Lincoln, Sherman and Grant plan final stages of Civil War
Crime
1905
Fingerprint evidence is used to solve a British murder case
Inventions & Science
1998
FDA approves Viagra
 
The world's oldest profession turns up where you'd least expect it, including as a major source of revenue for the Catholic Church and as the driving force behind America's first racially integrated neighborhood.  
Stream this episode on HISTORY Vault—plus thousands of HISTORY's most fascinating series and documentaries, commercial-free—with an extended 30-day free trial.
Natural Disasters & Environment
1964
Earthquake rocks Alaska
Russia
1958
Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet premier
Sports
1939
"March Madness" crowns its first men's NCAA Champion
U.S. Presidents
1829
President Jackson appoints John Eaton as secretary of war and starts scandal
Westward Expansion
1836
Mexican army executes 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad

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March 28
1979
Nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island
At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core beg... read more
 
HISTORY This Week Podcast
Episode 12: March 28th, 1939 The Harlem Basketball Team that Beat Jim Crow
Listen Now
For an in-depth look back at this week in history, tune into the brand-new podcast, HISTORY This Week. Each episode turns back the clock to explore the littlest-known corners of the biggest events of our time. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.  
American Revolution
1774
British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts in response to the Boston Tea Party
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1958
W.C. Handy—the "Father of the Blues"—dies
Civil War
1862
Union forces halt Confederates at Battle of Glorieta Pass
Crime
1814
Funeral held for the man behind the guillotine
2006
Duke lacrosse team suspended following sexual assault allegations
Sports
1984
Baltimore Colts move to Indianapolis
 
U.S. Presidents
1834
Congress censures President Jackson
1969
President Eisenhower dies
World War I
1915
First American citizen killed during WWI
1930s
1939
Spanish Civil War ends

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March 29
1973
U.S. withdraws from Vietnam
Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America's direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department ... read more
 
HISTORY Vault
LBJ and Vietnam: In the Eye of the Storm
Start Free Trial
Though Eisenhower and Kennedy charted its course, the Vietnam War quickly became known as Lyndon Johnson's war. Hear phone conversations that reveal his inner torment over the conflict that would become his unwanted legacy.  
Stream this episode on HISTORY Vault—plus thousands of HISTORY's most fascinating series and documentaries, commercial-free—with an extended 30-day free trial.
Civil War
1865
Appomattox, the final campaign in the Civil War, begins
COLD WAR
1951
Rosenbergs convicted of espionage
Crime
1951
The "Mad Bomber" strikes in New York
Space Exploration
1974
U.S. space probe, Mariner, visits Mercury
U.S. Presidents
1929
Herbert Hoover has telephone installed in Oval Office
Vietnam War
1971
Lt. William Calley found guilty of My Lai murders
World War I
1917
Swedish prime minister resigns over WWI policy
World War II
1945
Gen. George Patton takes Frankfurt

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March 30
1981
President Reagan shot
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, ... read more
 
HISTORY Vault
Presidential Assassinations
Start Free Trial
Four American Presidents have lost their lives to some of the most notorious madmen in history. Discover the strange and wild tales of assassination that you just don't know about.  
Stream this episode on HISTORY Vault—plus thousands of HISTORY's most fascinating series and documentaries, commercial-free—with an extended 30-day free trial.
19th Century
1867
U.S. purchase of Alaska ridiculed as "Seward's Folly"
American Revolution
1775
King George endorses New England Restraining Act
Art, Literature, and Film History
1974
John Denver has his first #1 hit with "Sunshine On My Shoulders"
Cold War
1948
Henry Wallace criticizes Truman's Cold War policies
France
1814
Napoleon's forces defeated in Paris
Inventions & Science
2009
President Obama announces auto industry shakeup
Natural Disasters & Environment
1980
Oil workers drown in North Sea
U.S. Politics
1855
Violence disrupts first Kansas election
United States Constitution
1870
15th Amendment adopted
Vietnam War
1965
Bomb explodes outside U.S. Embassy in Saigon

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March 31
1889
Eiffel Tower opens
On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers. In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolutio... read more
 
As social distancing and virtual classrooms become a necessity, we're committed to educational entertainment. Stream 2,000+ commercial-free documentaries and series with an extended 1-month FREE trial.
 
 
American Revolution
1776
Abigail Adams urges husband to "remember the ladies"
Art, Literature, and Film History
1943
"Oklahoma!" premieres on Broadway
1999
"The Matrix" released in theaters
CHINA
1959
Dalai Lama begins exile
Cold War
1991