Almost March. 308 days left in 2012.
A lot of American history today. One or two tidbits from elsewhere…
1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.
1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor.
The Republican Party
1854 – The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.
1883 – The first vaudeville theater opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
1885 – The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. (American Bell would later merge with its subsidiary.)
1893 – The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched.
1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.
1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).
1942 – The heavy cruiser USS Houston is sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed, along with HMAS Perth which lost 375 men.
1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children die in what remains the worst school bus accident in U.S. history.
1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object to achieve a polar orbit, is launched.
1972 – Sino-American relations: The United States and People’s Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué.
1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place, resulting in the injury of 19 people and the deaths of both perpetrators.
1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early
North Hollywood Shootout
evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.
1923 – Charles Durning, American actor
1942 – Brian Jones, English musician (The Rolling Stones) (d. 1969)
1943 – Charles Bernstein, American composer
1955 – Gilbert Gottfried, American comedian
1957 – John Turturro, American actor
1958 – Jack Abramoff, American businessman, political figure and convict
1960 – Dorothy Stratten, Canadian actress (d. 1980)
2009 – Paul Harvey, American radio broadcaster (b. 1918)
2011 – Jane Russell, American actress (b. 1921)