This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
March 1 is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 305 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking for permanent funding for the agency, which would send trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist in development efforts. The Peace Corps captured the imagination of the U.S. public, and during the week after its creation thousands of letters poured into Washington from young Americans hoping to volunteer.
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand U.S. culture, and helping Americans understand the cultures of other countries. Generally, the work is related to social and economic development. Each program participant, (aka Peace Corps Volunteer), is an American citizen, typically with a college degree, who works abroad for a period of 24 months after three months of training. Volunteers work with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. After 24 months of service, volunteers can request an extension of service.
Kennedy appointed his brother-in-law Sargent Shriver to be the program’s first director. Shriver fleshed out the organization with the help of Warren Wiggins and others. Shriver and his think tank outlined the organization’s goals and set the initial number of volunteers. The program began recruiting in July, 1962.
Until about 1967, applicants had to pass a placement test that tested “general aptitude” (knowledge of various skills needed for Peace Corps assignments) and language aptitude. After an address from Kennedy, who was introduced by Rev. Russell Fuller of Memorial Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, on August 28, 1961, the first group of volunteers left for Ghana and Tanzania. The program was formally authorized by Congress on September 22, 1961, and within two years over 7,300 volunteers were serving in 44 countries. This number increased to 15,000 in June 1966, the largest number in the organization’s history.
752 BC – Romulus, first king of Rome, celebrates the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses, following The Rape of the Sabine Women.
509 BC – Publius Valerius Publicola, Roman consul, celebrates the first triumph of the Roman Republic after his victory over the deposed king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus at the Battle of Silva Arsia.
86 BC – Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army, enters Athens, removing the tyrant Aristion who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus.
293 – Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appoint Constantius Chlorus as Caesar to Maximian.
317 – Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, are made Caesares
1457 – The Unitas Fratrum is established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is to date the second oldest Protestant denomination.
1562 – 23 Huguenots are massacred by Catholics in Wassy, France, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.
1565 – The city of Rio de Janeiro is founded.
1593 – The Uppsala Synod is summoned to confirm the exact forms of the Lutheran Church of Sweden.
1628 – Writs issued in February by Charles I of England mandate that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.
1633 – Samuel de Champlain reclaims his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.
1642 – Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine), becomes the first incorporated city in the United States.
1692 – Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.
1700 – Sweden introduces its own Swedish calendar, in an attempt to gradually merge into the Gregorian calendar, reverts to the Julian calendar on this date in 1712, and introduces the Gregorian Calendar on this date in 1753.
* 1781 – The Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation.
1790 – The first United States census is authorized.
1803 – Ohio is admitted as the 17th U.S. state.
1805 – Justice Samuel Chase is acquitted at the end of his impeachment trial by the U.S. Senate.
1815 – Napoleon returns to France from his banishment on Elba.
1836 – A convention of delegates from 57 Texas communities convenes in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas, to deliberate independence from Mexico.
1840 – Adolphe Thiers becomes prime minister of France.
1845 – President John Tyler signs a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas.
1847 – The state of Michigan formally abolishes capital punishment.
1852 – Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton is appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
1854 – German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg.
1867 – Nebraska becomes the 37th U.S. state; Lancaster, Nebraska is renamed Lincoln and becomes the state capital.
1872 – Yellowstone National Park is established as the world’s first national park.
1873 – E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York begins production of the first practical typewriter.
1886 – The Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore is founded by Bishop William Oldham.
1893 – Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.
1896 – Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeats an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo-Ethiopian War.
1896 – Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity.
1910 – The worst avalanche in United States history buries a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.
1912 – Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
1914 – The Republic of China joins the Universal Postal Union.
1917 – The U.S. government releases the unencrypted text of the Zimmermann Telegram to the public.
1919 – March 1st Movement begins in Korea.
1932 – The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped.
1936 – The Hoover Dam is completed.
1936 – A strike occurs aboard the S.S. California, leading to the demise of the International Seamen’s Union and the creation of the National Maritime Union.
1939 – Trans-Canada Air Lines (forerunner of Air Canada) begins transcontinental operations (between Vancouver and Montreal).
1941 – World War II: Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact, allying itself with the Axis powers.
1941 – W47NV (now known as WSM-FM) begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee becoming the first FM radio station in the U.S..
1946 – The Bank of England is nationalised.
1947 – The International Monetary Fund begins financial operations.
1950 – Cold War: Klaus Fuchs is convicted of spying for the Soviet Union by disclosing top secret atomic bomb data.
1953 – Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses. He dies four days later.
1954 – Nuclear testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.
1954 – Puerto Rican nationalists attack the United States Capitol building, injuring five Representatives.
1956 – The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
1961 – President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
1961 – Uganda becomes self-governing and holds its first elections.
1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface.
1971 – A bomb explodes in a men’s room in the United States Capitol: the Weather Underground claims responsibility.
1971 – President of Pakistan Yahya Khan indefinitely postpones the pending national assembly session, precipitating massive civil disobedience in East Pakistan.
1973 – Black September storms the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, resulting in the assassination of three Western hostages.
1974 – Watergate scandal: Seven are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.
1981 – Provisional Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands begins his hunger strike in HM Prison Maze.
1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina declares its independence from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1995 – Yahoo! was incorporated.
2000 – Hans Blix assumes the position of Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC.
2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reaches an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).
2003 – Management of the United States Customs Service and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
2003 – The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague.
2006 – English-language Wikipedia reaches its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station.
* Beer Day, marked the end of beer prohibition in 1989 (Iceland)
* Earliest day on which Casimir Pulaski Day can fall, while March 7 is the latest; celebrated on the first Monday in March. (Illinois)
* Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.
* 1st Movement Remembrance Day or Samiljeol (South Korea)
* Martenitsa (Bulgaria)
* Martisor (Romania and Moldova)
* National Pig Day, a minor observance (United States)