• On March 2, 1807, the U.S. Congress passes an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States … from any foreign kingdom, place or country.” Great Britain also banned the African slave trade in 1807.
• On March 7, 1876, 29- year-old Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for his revolutionary new invention — the telephone. Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message — the famous “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you” — from Bell to his assistant.
• On March 3, 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching 6- year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist.
• On March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his famous inaugural address, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal” and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
• On March 5, 1966, a jet breaks apart in mid-air and plummets into Japan’s Mount Fuji. All 124 people on board the aircraft were killed. The plane’s pilot apparently flew close to the mountain in order to give the passengers a better view, and severe turbulence literally blew the plane apart.
• On March 6, 1986, Georgia O’Keefe, the artist who gained worldwide fame for her austere minimalist paintings of the American southwest, dies in Santa Fe, N.M., at the age of 98. O’Keefe’s paintings of cow skulls and calla lilies gained particular attention and won her an enthusiastic audience.
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.