March 9. Finally, Friday…
1841 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
1842 – The first documented discovery of gold in California occurs at Rancho San Francisco, six years before the California Gold Rush.
1847 – Mexican-American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz.
1862 – American Civil War: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between two ironclad warships.
1910 – The Westmoreland County Coal Strike, involving 15,000 coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers, begins.
1916 – Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico.
1933 – Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.
1944 – World War II: Japanese troops counter-attack American forces on Hill 700 in Bougainville in a battle that would last five days.
1944 – The Soviet Air Forces conduct heavy bombing on Tallinn, Estonia, killing up to 800 people, mostly civilians.
1945 – The Bombing of Tokyo by the United States Army Air Forces began, one of the most destructive bombing raids in history.
1954 – McCarthyism: CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy“, produced by Fred Friendly.
1959 – The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
1977 – The Hanafi Muslim Siege: In a thirty-nine hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seize three Washington, D.C., buildings, killing two and taking 149 hostage.
1989 – Financially-troubled Eastern Air Lines filed for bankruptcy.
2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights.
1918 – Mickey Spillane, American writer (d. 2006)
1923 – James L. Buckley, American politician
1940 – Raúl Juliá, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1994)
1943 – Charles Gibson, American television journalist
1945 – Dennis Rader, American serial killer
1958 – Linda Fiorentino, American actress
1994 – Fernando Rey, Spanish-born actor (b. 1917)
1996 – George Burns, American actor and singer (b. 1896)
2011 – David Broder, American journalist (b. 1929)