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 3 is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 303 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936.
Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild, stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller’s hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller’s hands under water from a pump and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” in Keller’s palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.
Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled.
1284 – The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporates the Principality of Wales into England.
1575 – Indian Mughal Emperor Akbar defeats Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.
1585 – The Olympic Theatre, designed by Andrea Palladio, is inaugurated in Vicenza.
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.
1857 – Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
1861 – Alexander II of Russia signs the Emancipation Manifesto, freeing serfs.
1865 – Opening of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the founding member of the HSBC Group.
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.
1875 – Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen receives its premiere at the Opera Comique in Paris.
1875 – The first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey is played in Montreal, Canada as recorded in The Montreal Gazette.
1878 – Bulgaria regains its independence from Ottoman Empire according to the Treaty of San Stefano; shortly after Congress of Berlin stripped its status to an autonomous state of the Ottoman Empire.
1885 – The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York.
1904 – Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison’s phonograph cylinder.
1905 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agrees to create an elected assembly, the Duma.
1910 – Rockefeller Foundation: J.D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can devote all his time to philanthropy.
1915 – NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded.
1918 – Germany, Austria and Russia sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russia’s involvement in World War I, and leading to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
1923 – TIME magazine is published for the first time.
1924 – The 1400-year-old Islamic caliphate is abolished when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire is deposed. The last remnant of the old regime gives way to the reformed Turkey of Kemal Ataturk.
1931 – The United States officially adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.
1938 – Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
1939 – In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.
1942 – World War II: Ten Japanese warplanes raid the town of Broome, Western Australia, killing more than 100 people.
1943 – World War II: In London, England, 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station.
1945 – World War II: American and Filipino troops recapture Manila in the Philippines.
1945 – World War II: A former Armia Krajowa unit massacres at least 150 Ukrainian civilians in Pawlokoma, Poland.
1951 – Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, records “Rocket 88”, often cited as “the first rock and roll record”, at Sam Phillips’ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
1958 – Nuri as-Said becomes the prime minister of Iraq for the 14th time.
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.
1985 – Arthur Scargill declares that the National Union of Mineworkers national executive voted to end the longest-running industrial dispute in Great Britain without any peace deal over pit closures.
1985 – A magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck the Valparaiso Region of Chile, killing 177 and leaving nearly a million people homeless.
1991 – An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
1991 – In concurrent referenda, 74% of the population of Latvia votes for independence from the Soviet Union, and 83% in Estonia.
1997 – The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, opens after two-and-a-half years of construction.
2002 – Citizens of Switzerland narrowly vote in favor of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.
2004 – Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agree to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that forms InBev, the world’s largest brewer.
2005 – Mayerthorpe Incident: James Roszko murders four Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables during a drug bust at his property in Rochfort Bridge, Alberta, then commits suicide. It is the deadliest peace-time incident for the RCMP since 1885 and the North-West Rebellion.
2005 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Hinamatsuri or “Girl’s Day” (Japan)
* Liberation Day (Bulgaria)
* Mother’s Day (Georgia)
* Sportsmen’s day (Egypt)