• On March 15, 1820, Maine is admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. Administered as a province of Massachusetts since 1647, the entrance of Maine as a free state was agreed to by Southern senators in exchange for the entrance of Missouri as a slave state.
• On March 12, 1894, Coca-Cola is sold in glass bottles for the first time. It had been available only as a fountain drink. A bottle of Coke cost 5 cents, and it stayed that way until 1959.
• On March 11, 1918, a U.S. Army soldier reports to the hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas, complaining of cold-like symptoms. By noon, over 100 of his fellow soldiers had reported similar symptoms, marking what are believed to be the first cases in the influenza pandemic of 1918. The Spanish flu would eventually kill 675,000 Americans and up to 50 million people worldwide.
• On March 9, 1959, the first Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, named the doll after her daughter, Barbara.
• On March 14, 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy is moved to a permanent spot at Arlington National Cemetery. The president had been assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. The gravesite includes a natural gas line with a continuous electronic flashing spark that reignites the flame in case it is extinguished by rain or wind.
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