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This Day in U.S. History: March 2


1561 – Mendoza, Argentina is founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: Patriot militia units arrest the Royal Governor of Georgia James Wright and attempt to prevent capture of supply ships in the Battle of the Rice Boats.

1807 – The U.S. Congress passes the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country.

1825 – Roberto Cofresí, one of the last successful Caribbean pirates, is defeated in combat and captured by authorities.

1836 – Texas Revolution: Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico.

1867 – The U.S. Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act.

1877 – U.S. presidential election, 1876: Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.

1901 – United States Steel Corporation is founded as a result of a merger between Carnegie Steel Company and Federal Steel Company which became the first corporation in the world with a market capital over $1 billion.

1901 – The U.S. Congress passes the Platt Amendment limiting the autonomy of Cuba, as a condition of the withdrawal of American troops.

1903 – In New York City the Martha Washington Hotel opens, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.

1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

1937 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee signs a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel, leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.

1943 – World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea: United States and Australian forces sink Japanese convoy ships.

1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.

1949 – The first automatic street light is installed in New Milford, Connecticut.

1961 – John F. Kennedy announces the creation of the Peace Corps in a nationally televised broadcast.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.

1965 – The US and South Vietnamese Air Force begin Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam.

1972 – The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets.

1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.

1991 – Battle at Rumaila oil field brings an end to the 1991 Gulf War.

1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

2002 – U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins, (ending on March 19 after killing 500 Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, with 11 Western troop fatalities).

2012– A tornado outbreak occurred over a large section of the Southern United States and into the Ohio Valley region, resulting in 40 tornado-related fatalities


1769 – DeWitt Clinton, American lawyer and politician  (d. 1828)

1793 – Sam Houston, American soldier and politician, 1st President of the Republic of Texas (d. 1863)

1900 – Kurt Weill, German-American pianist and composer (d. 1950)

1904 – Dr. Seuss, American author, poet, and illustrator (d. 1991)

1931 – Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author


1896 – Jubal Early, American general (b. 1816)

1958 – Fred Merkle, American baseball player and manager (b. 1888)

2004 – Marge Schott, American businesswoman (b. 1928)