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Daily History - by Craig Hill

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March 14 1879 Albert Einstein Born

March 14th 2012 00:01
On March 14th 1879, Albert Einstein was born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein's theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man's view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

After a childhood in Germany and Italy, Einstein studied physics and mathematics at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a Swiss citizen and in 1905 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Zýrich while working at the Swiss patent office in Bern. That year, which historians of Einstein's career call the annus mirabilis--the "miracle year"--he published five theoretical papers that were to have a profound effect on the development of modern physics.

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Albert Einstein


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On March 13th 1868, for the first time in US history, the impeachment trial of an American president got underway in the US Senate. President Andrew Johnson, reviled by the Republican-dominated Congress for his views on Reconstruction, stood accused of having violated the controversial Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress over his veto in 1867.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Johnson, a US senator from Tennessee, was the only senator from a seceding state who remained loyal to the Union. Johnson's political career was built on his defense of the interests of poor white Southerners against the landed classes; of his decision to oppose secession, he said, "Damn the negroes; I am fighting those traitorous aristocrats, their masters." For his loyalty, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee in 1862, and in 1864 Johnson was elected vice president of the United States.

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Andrew Johnson




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On March 12th 1969, the London drug squad appeared at house of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd with a warrant and drug-sniffing canines. Boyd immediately used the direct hotline to Beatles headquarters, and George returned to find his home turned upside down. He is reported to have told the officers "You needn't have turned the whole bloody place upside down. All you had to do was ask me and I would have shown you where I keep everything."

Without his assistance, the constables, including Sergeant Pilcher who had directed the drug-related arrest of John Lennon the previous year, had already found a considerable amount of hashish. Harrison and Boyd were arrested and as they were being escorted to the police station, a photographer began shooting pictures of the famous couple. Harrison chased after the photographer, with the cops trailing right behind him down the London street. Finally, the man dropped his camera and George stomped on it before the officers subdued him.

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George Harrison Pattie Boyd
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd


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On March 11th 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his "services to music." The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London.

Fans waited outside in a scene reminiscent of Beatlemania of the 1960s. Crowds screamed as McCartney swept through the gates in his chauffeur-driven limousine and he answered with a thumbs-up. McCartney's wife, Linda, who was fighting breast cancer, did not accompany him, but three of their four children were at the palace. "I would have loved the whole family to be here, but when we heard there were only three tickets, we had to draw straws,"McCartney said.

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Paul McCartney


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On March 10th 1959, Tibetans banded together in revolt, surrounding the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces.

China's occupation of Tibet began nearly a decade before, in October 1950, when troops from its People's Liberation Army (PLA) invaded the country, barely one year after the Communists gained full control of mainland China.

The Tibetan government gave into Chinese pressure the following year, signing a treaty that ensured the power of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the country's spiritual leader, over Tibet's domestic affairs.

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Dalai Lama 1959
The Dalai Lama In 1959


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March 9 1959 First Barbie Doll

March 9th 2012 00:01
On March 9th 1959, the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City.

Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. After seeing her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women, Handler realized there was an important niche in the market for a toy that allowed little girls to imagine the future.

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Barbie 1959
1959 Barbie


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March 8 1669 Mount Etna Erupts

March 8th 2012 00:01
On March 8th 1669, Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily in modern-day Italy, began rumbling. Multiple eruptions over the next few weeks killed more than 20,000 people and left thousands more homeless. Most of the victims could have saved themselves by fleeing, but stayed, in a vain attempt to save their city.

Mount Etna dominates the island of Sicily. Rising 11,000 feet above sea level in the northeast section of Sicily, it can be seen from just about every part of the 460-square-mile island. The geologic history of Mount Etna demonstrates that it has been periodically spewing ash and lava for thousands of years; the first recorded eruption of the volcano was in 475 BCE. It is the most active volcano in Europe. In 1169, an earthquake just prior to an eruption killed 15,000 people on Sicily. Despite the dangers of living near an active volcano, the eruptions made the surrounding soil very fertile, so many small villages developed on the slopes of the mountain.

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Mt Etna


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On March 7th 1876, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his revolutionary new invention, the telephone.

The Scottish-born Bell worked in London with his father, Melville Bell, who developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf. In the 1870s, the Bells moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where the younger Bell found work as a teacher at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf. He later married one of his students, Mabel Hubbard.

While in Boston, Bell became very interested in the possibility of transmitting speech over wires. Samuel F.B. Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1843 had made nearly instantaneous communication possible between two distant points. The drawback of the telegraph, however, was that it still required hand-delivery of messages between telegraph stations and recipients, and only one message could be transmitted at a time.

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Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell



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On March 6th 1857, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision on Sanford v Dred Scott, a case that intensified national divisions over the issue of slavery.

In 1834, Dred Scott, a slave, had been taken to Illinois, a free state, and then Wisconsin territory, where the Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery. Scott lived in Wisconsin with his master, Dr John Emerson, for several years before returning to Missouri, a slave state. In 1846, after Emerson died, Scott sued his master's widow for his freedom on the grounds that he had lived as a resident of a free state and territory.

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Dred Scott

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March 5 1963 Hula-hoop Patented

March 5th 2012 00:01
On March 5th 1963, the Hula-Hoop was patented by Wham-O co-founder Arthur "Spud" Melin. The hip-swiveling toy became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed in 1958, and sold an estimated 25 million in its first four months of production alone.

In 1948, friends Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr founded a company in California to sell a slingshot they created to shoot meat up to falcons they used for hunting. The company’s name, Wham-O, came from the sound the slingshots supposedly made. Wham-O eventually branched out from slingshots, selling boomerangs and other sporting goods. Its first hit toy, a flying plastic disc known as the Frisbee, debuted in 1957. The Frisbee was originally marketed under a different name, the Pluto Platter, in an effort to capitalize on America's fascination with UFOs.

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Hula Hoops

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