• On March 13, 1781, English astronomer William Hershel discovers Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun. It was the first discovery of a new planet in modern times, and the first to be made using a telescope.
• 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 14, 1914, stock-car racer Lee Arnold Petty is born near Randleman, North Carolina. In 1959, he won the Daytona 500. Lee Petty never lost a race on account of being too kind to his competitors, even if they were family.
• On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his first national radio address broadcast from the White House, in which he explained his recent decision to close the nation’s banks.
• On March 8, 1971, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier meet for the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout marked Ali’s return after the boxing commission revoked his license over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War. Frazier won by a unanimous decision.
• On March 9, 1981, a nuclear accident at a Japan Atomic Power Company plant in Tsuruga, Japan, exposes 59 workers to radiation. Sixteen tons of waste spilled into Wakasa Bay, but Japan’s Atomic Power Commission made no mention of the accident until more than a month later. By then, radioactive levels of seaweed in the area were found to be 10 times greater than normal.
• On March 11, 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of Beatles, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.” McCartney became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London.
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