Today in History: March 2 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: March 2

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


1776   Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.
1781   Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation. It is the last state to sign.
1797   The Directory of Great Britain authorizes vessels of war to board and seize neutral vessels, particularly if the ships are American.
1815   To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declares war on Algiers.
1836   Texas declares independence from Mexico on Sam Houston’s 43rd birthday.
1853   The Territory of Washington is organized.
1865   President Abraham Lincoln rejects Confederate General Robert E. Lee‘s plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender.
1867   The first Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress.
1877   Rutherford B. Hayes is declared president by one vote the day before the inauguration.
1889   Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Bill, proclaiming unassigned lands in the public domain; the first step toward the famous Oklahoma Land Rush.
1896   Bone Mizell, the famed cowboy of Florida, is sentenced to two years of hard labor in the state pen for cattle rustling. He would only serve a small portion of the sentence.
1901   Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.
1908   An international conference on arms reduction opens in London.
1908   Gabriel Lippmann introduces the new three-dimensional color photography process at the Academy of Sciences.
1917   Congress passes the Jones Act making Puerto Rico a territory of the United States and makes its inhabitants U.S. citizens.
1923   In Italy, Mussolini admits that women have a right to vote, but declares that the time is not right.
1930   Novelist D.H. Lawrence dies of tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Vence, France, at the age of 45.
1943   The center of Berlin is bombed by the RAF. Some 900 tons of bombs are dropped in a half hour.
1945   MacArthur raises the U.S. flag on Corregidor in the Philippines.
1946   Ho Chi Minh is elected president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1951   The U.S. Navy launches the K-1, the first modern submarine designed to hunt enemy submarines.
1955   Claudette Colvin refuses to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks‘ famous arrest for the same offense.
1956   France grants independence to Morocco.
1962   The Burmese military, led by General Ne Win, seizes power in a successful coup d’état, replacing the civilian government headed by Prime Minister U Nu. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1965   More than 150 U.S. and South Vietnamese planes bomb two bases in North Vietnam in the first of the “Rolling Thunder” raids.  
1968   The siege of Khe Sanh ends in Vietnam. The U.S. Marines stationed there are still in control of the mountain top.
1973   Federal forces surround Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which is occupied by members of the militant American Indian Movement who are holding at least 10 hostages.
1974   A grand jury in Washington, D.C. concludes that President Nixon was indeed involved in the Watergate cover-up.
1978   Czech pilot Vladimir Remek becomes the first non-Russian, non-American in space.
1981   The United States plans to send 20 more advisors and $25 million in military aid to El Salvador.
Born on March 2
1793   Sam Houston, president of Texas, later Texas senator and governor.
1810   Leo XIII, 256th Roman Catholic Pope.
1829   Carl Schurz, Civil War general, political reformer and anti-imperialist.
1900   Kurt Weill, German-born composer (The Threepenny Opera).
1904   Henry Dreyfuss, industrial designer of everything from telephones to the interior of the Boeing 707.
1904   Theodor Seuss Geisel [Dr. Seuss], author of numerous children’s books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
1923   Doc Watson, singer and guitarist.
1931   Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary General of the Soviet Union. Responsible for restructuring the Soviet economy (perestroika) and openness and information (glasnost).
1942   John Irving, novelist (The World According to Garp).