• On March 6, 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co. In its primitive form, the active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine.
• On March 2, 1925, the first nationwide highway numbering system is instituted to minimize confusion. Later, interstate highway numbering would be improved by colored signs and the odd-even demarcation that distinguishes between north-south and east-west travel.
• On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signs a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States. Francis Scott Key had composed the lyrics as he witnessed the overnight British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
• On March 4, 1966, Beatle John Lennon’s controversial quote is printed in the London Evening Standard: “We’re more popular than Jesus.” After a reprint in the U.S., Bible belt radio DJs organized Beatles record burnings and protests, declaring Lennon’s remarks blasphemous. Even the Vatican chimed in. Lennon eventually apologized.
• On March 5, 1977, the Dial-a-President radio program, featuring President Jimmy Carter, airs for the first time. Carter answered calls from all over the country from his desk in the Oval Office. Approximately 9 million calls flooded the CBS radio studio during the two-hour broadcast.
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