• On March 30, 1855, in territorial Kansas’ first election, some 5,000 “Border Ruffians” invade the territory from western Missouri and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. Although the votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters, Kansas Gov. Andrew Reeder reluctantly approved the election to prevent further bloodshed.
• On March 28, 1915, the first American is killed eight months into the conflict that would become known as World War I. Leon Thrasher, a 31-yearold mining engineer and native of Massachusetts, drowned when a German submarine torpedoed the cargo-passenger ship Falaba off the coast of England.
• On March 31, 1931, Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame football coach, is killed in a plane crash near Bazaar, Kansas, at age 43. His players included All-American George “Gipper” Gip, the inspiration for Rockne’s now-famous motivational line “Win one for the Gipper.”
• On March 25, 1958, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Carmen Basilio to regain the middleweight championship, the fifth and final title of his career. Robinson is considered by many to be the greatest prizefighter in history.
• On March 26, 1969, a group called Women Strike for Peace demonstrates in Washington, D.C., in the first large antiwar protest since President Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January. Criticism of Nixon’s handling of the Vietnam War mounted steadily during his term in office.
• On March 29, 1971, Lt. William Calley is found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial. Calley, a platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of 200 Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, in Quang Ngai Province in March 1968.
• On March 27, 1990, the U.S. government begins broadcasting TV programs into communist Cuba. TV Marti was conceived in the 1940s to beam news and propaganda throughout the world, particularly to communist nations.
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