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This Day in U.S. History: March 3


1776 – American Revolutionary War: The first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps begins the Battle of Nassau.

1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army is routed at the Battle of Brier Creek near Savannah, Georgia.

1820 – The U.S. Congress passes the Missouri Compromise.

1845 – Florida is admitted as the 27th U.S. state.

1873 – Censorship in the United States: The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail.

1885 – The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York.

1910 – Rockefeller Foundation: John D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can devote all his time to philanthropy.

1913 – Thousands of women march in a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.

1915 – NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded.

1923 – TIME magazine is published for the first time.

1931 – The United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

1945 – World War II: American and Filipino troops recapture Manila in the Philippines.

1951 – Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, records "Rocket 88", often cited as "the first rock and roll record", at Sam Phillips's recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

1969 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.

1980 – The USS Nautilus is decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

1991 – An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.

2005 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.


1831 – George Pullman, American engineer and businessman, founded the Pullman Company (d. 1897)

1895 – Matthew Ridgway, American general (d. 1993)

1911 – Jean Harlow, American actress and singer (d. 1937)

1962 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee, American heptathlete and long jumper


1959 – Lou Costello, American actor and comedian (b. 1906)

1966 – William Frawley, American actor (b. 1887)

1991 – Arthur Murray, Austrian-American dancer and educator (b. 1895)

1998 – Fred W. Friendly, American journalist and broadcaster (b. 1915)