• On March 10, 1876, the first discernible speech is transmitted over a telephone system when inventor Alexander Graham Bell summons his assistant in another room by saying, “Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.”
• On March 11, 1888, in one of the worst blizzards in U.S. history, New York City grinds to a near halt, with elevated trains blocked by snow drifts and unable to move. Up to 15,000 people were stranded on the elevated trains.
• On March 14, 1914, stockcar racer Lee Arnold Petty (father of Richard Petty) is born near Randleman, N.C. In 1959, he won the Daytona 500. Lee Petty never lost a race on account of being too kind to his competitors, even if those competitors were family.
• On March 13, 1942, during World War II, the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army begins training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or “K-9 Corps.” The most famous dog to emerge from the World War I was Rin Tin Tin, an abandoned puppy of German war dogs found in France in 1918 and taken to the United States, where he made his film debut in the 1922 silent film “The Man from Hell’s River.”
• On March 12, 1969, the London drug squad appears at the house of Beatle George Harrison and wife Pattie Boyd with a warrant and drug-sniffing canines. Sergeant Norman Pilcher, the man behind the raid, was convicted of planting drugs in other cases and went to jail in 1972.
• On March 16, 1978, one of the world’s worst supertanker disasters takes place when the Amoco Cadiz wrecks off the coast of Portsall, France. Although it later became a more commonplace feature of television news, this was the first time that images of oil-coated sea birds were seen by the world.
(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.