• On March 6, 1475, Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, is born. His most important early work was the Pieta (1498), a sculpture that showed the body of Christ in the lap of the Virgin Mary. Demonstrating masterful skill, Michelangelo extracted the two perfectly balanced figures of the Pieta from a single block of marble.
• On March 3, 1873, Congress enacts the so-called Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd or lascivious” book through the mails. The law was named after Anthony Comstock, a salesman from Connecticut, who devoted his life to fighting what he perceived as vice, particularly obscenity and gambling.
• On March 4, 1888, Knute Rockne is born in Voss, Norway. He would go on to become one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football. In his 13 years as coach of Notre Dame, he recorded 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties for a winning percentage of .881, the highest in the history of college or professional football.
• On March 1, 1897, the Winton Motor Carriage Company is organized in Cleveland, with Alexander Winton as president. A year later, Winton won a race at Daytona Beach, Fla., driving his Winton Bullet to an average speed of 68 mph and becoming the first person to break the mile-per-minute barrier.
• On March 2, 1925, the first nationwide highway numbering system is instituted to minimize confusion. Later, interstate highway numbering would be improved by colored signs and the odd-even demarcation that distinguishes between north-south and eastwest travel, respectively.
(c) 2010 King Features Synd.