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This Day in U.S. History: March 6


1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

1820 – The Missouri Compromise is signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allows Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, brings Maine into the Union as a free state, and makes the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

1836 – Texas Revolution: Battle of the Alamo – After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.

1857 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case.

1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in the The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series.

1945 – World War II: Cologne is captured by American troops.

1951 – The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.

1964 – Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad officially gives boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali.

1967 – Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defects to the United States.

1968 – The first of the East L.A. walkouts take place at several high schools.

1970 – An explosion at the Weather Underground safe house in Greenwich Village kills three.

1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

1981 – After 19 years of presenting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.

1983 – The first United States Football League game is played.

1990 – Ed Yielding and Joseph T. Vida set the transcontinental speed record flying a SR-71 Blackbird from Los Angeles to Virginia in 64 minutes, averaging 2,124 mph.

1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus begins to affect computers.


1831 – Philip Sheridan, American general (d. 1888)

1885 – Ring Lardner, American journalist and author (d. 1933)

1906 – Lou Costello, American actor, singer, and producer (d. 1959)

1917 – Will Eisner, American illustrator and publisher (d. 2005)

1923 – Ed McMahon, American comedian, game show host, and announcer (d. 2009)

1937 – Ivan Boesky, American businessman

1963 – D. L. Hughley, American actor, producer, and screenwriter


1836 – Deaths at the Battle of the Alamo:

          James Bonham, American lawyer and soldier (b. 1807)

          James Bowie, American colonel (b. 1796)

          Davy Crockett, American soldier and politician (b. 1786)

          William B. Travis, American lieutenant and lawyer (b. 1809)

1888 – Louisa May Alcott, American author and poet (b. 1832)

1899 – KaŹ»iulani of Hawaii (b. 1875)

1932 – John Philip Sousa, American conductor and composer (b. 1854)

1935 – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American colonel, lawyer, and jurist (b. 1841)

1941 – Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor and academic, designed Mount Rushmore (b. 1867)

1973 – Pearl S. Buck, American novelist, essayist, short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)

1986 – Georgia O'Keeffe, American painter (b. 1887)

2006 – Kirby Puckett, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1960)

2007 – Ernest Gallo, American businessman, co-founded E & J Gallo Winery (b. 1909)

2014 – Frank Jobe, American soldier and surgeon (b. 1925)

2016 – Nancy Reagan, American actress, 42nd First Lady of the United States (b. 1921)