Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Week in US History

March 27

1513   Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sights Florida.

1964   The Good Friday Earthquake, the strongest known earthquake in American History, measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale, hits Alaska, killing some 130 people.

damage photo
Five-story J.C. Penney Building, 5th Avenue and Downing Street, Anchorage, Alaska, partly collapsed by the March 28, 1964 earthquake. Note undamaged buildings nearby.

March 28

1800   The frigate USS Essex became the first American warship to round Africa's Cape of Good Hope, as it sailed on a mission to escort merchant ships returning from the Dutch East Indies.

1979   America gets a scare when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania malfunctions; thousands flee, but no one is injured.

March 29

1848   An ice jam at the source of the Niagara River causes Niagara Falls to stop flowing for the first time in recorded history.

1943   The U.S. government began requiring Americans to ration fat, meat, and cheese as part of a massive national program to help win World War II.

March 30

1867   Secretary of State William H. Seward signs an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, about two cents an acre.

1981   President Reagan is shot and seriously wounded by John W. Hinckley Jr. outside a Washington, D.C. hotel.

March 31

1933   Congress establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps to help put men to work during the Depression.

1970   Explorer I, the first U.S. Satellite, reenters the atmosphere after twelve years in orbit.


April 1

1865   Union troops win a victory at the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia, causing Robert E. Lee to tell Jefferson Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be evacuated.

1996   Fast food chain Taco Bell announces it has bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell, and thousands believe the April Fool's Day prank.

April 2

1917   Woodrow Wilson calls for a declaration of war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy."

1953   The journal Nature publishes a paper by British scientist Francis Crick and American scientist James Watson, describing a double helix structure for DNA.



  1. Great and cool facts!

    New Follower from Saturday Stalk! Hope you can stop by and follow back :)

  2. Always enjoy reading about historical events.
    Thanks for the follow--I have reciprocated.

    Glad that you are a part of the A to Z Challenge.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge


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