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Moments in time

 

• On March 22, 1765, in an effort to raise funds to pay off debts, the British government passes the Stamp Act. It levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice.

• On March 21, 1804, the Napoleonic Code is approved in France. The Code strengthened the authority of men over their families, deprived women of any individual rights, and reduced the rights of illegitimate children. All male citizens also were granted equal rights under the law, but colonial slavery was reintroduced.

• On March 17, 1834, Gottlieb Daimleris is born in Germany. In 1885, he and Wilhelm Maybach developed a new version of the four-stroke internal-combustion engine, which they attached to a wooden bicycle, creating the world’s first motorcycle.

• On March 20, 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” is published. The novel was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe, he reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”

• On March 16, 1903, Roy Bean, the self-proclaimed “law west of the Pecos,” dies in Langtry, Texas. Bean’s claim to fame rested on his often humorous and sometimes-bizarre rulings as a justice of the peace in western Texas during the late 19th century.

• On March 18, 1933, American automaker Studebaker, then heavily in debt, goes into receivership. It eventually rebounded from its financial troubles, only to shut down the assembly line and transition out of the automobile business in 1966.

• On March 19, 1957, Elvis Presley puts a down payment on a home for his parents, a southern Colonial mansion on a 13.8- acre wooded estate. With a $1,000 cash deposit against a sale price of $102,500, Elvis Presley agreed to purchase the home called Graceland.

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