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This Day in U.S. History: March 7


1850 – Senator Daniel Webster gives his "Seventh of March" speech endorsing the Compromise of 1850 in order to prevent a possible civil war.

1862 – American Civil War: Union forces defeat Confederate troops at the Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the "telephone".

1912 – Roald Amundsen announces that his expedition had reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

1936 – Prelude to World War II: In violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.

1945 – World War II: American troops seize the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine river at Remagen.

1951 – Korean War: Operation Ripper: United Nations troops led by General Matthew Ridgway begin an assault against Chinese forces.

1965 – Bloody Sunday: a group of 600 civil rights marchers is brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.

1968 – Vietnam War: The United States and South Vietnamese military begin Operation Truong Cong Dinh to root out Viet Cong forces from the area surrounding Mỹ Tho.

1985 – The song "We Are the World" receives its international release.

1986 – Challenger Disaster: Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of Challenger on the ocean floor.

2009 – The Kepler space observatory, designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, is launched.


1849 – Luther Burbank, American botanist and author (d. 1926)

1885 – Milton Avery, American painter (d. 1965)

1934 – Willard Scott, American journalist, actor, and author

1942 – Michael Eisner, American businessman


1838 – Robert Townsend, American spy (b. 1753)

1967 – Alice B. Toklas, American memoirist (b. 1877)

1991 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player (b. 1903)

1999 – Stanley Kubrick, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1928)

2006 – Gordon Parks, American photographer, director, and composer (b. 1912)