on this day … 3/12

1496 – Jews were expelled from Syria.

1609 – The Bermuda Islands became an English colony.

1664 – New Jersey became a British colony. King Charles II granted land in the New World to his brother James (The Duke of York).

1755 – In North Arlington, NJ, the steam engine was used for the first time.

1789 – The U.S. Post Office was established.

1809 – Britain signed a treaty with Persia forcing the French to leave the country.

1857 – “Simon Boccanegra” by Verdi debuted in Venice.

1884 – The State of Mississippi authorized the first state-supported college for women. It was called the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College.

1863 – President Jefferson Davis delivered his State of the Confederacy address.

1889 – Almon B. Stowger applied for a patent for his automatic telephone system.

1894 – Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time.

1903 – The Czar of Russia issued a decree providing for nominal freedom of religion throughout his territory.

1905 – In Rome, Premier Giovanni Giolliwas forced out of office by continued civil strife.

1906 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations must yield incriminating evidence in anti-trust suits.

1909 – The British Parliament increased naval appropriations for Britain.

1909 – Three U.S. warships were ordered to Nicaragua to stem the conflict with El Salvador.

1911 – Dr. Fletcher of Rockefeller Institute discovered the cause of infantile paralysis.

1912 – The Girl Scout organization was founded. The original name was Girl Guides.

1923 – Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated phonofilm. It was his technique for putting sound on motion picture film.

1930 – Ghandi began his 200-mile march to the sea that symbolized his defiance of British rule over India.

1933 – President Paul von Hindenburg dropped the flag of the German Republic and ordered that the swastika and empire banner be flown side by side.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt presented his first presidential address to the nation. It was the first of the “Fireside Chats.”

1935 – Parimutuel betting became legal in the State of Nebraska.

1938 – The “Anschluss” took place as German troops entered Austria.

1940 – Finland surrendered to Russia ending the Russo-Finnish War.

1944 – Britain barred all travel to Ireland.

1947 – U.S. President Truman established the “Truman Doctrine” to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.

1959 – The U.S. House joined the U.S. Senate in approving the statehood of Hawaii.

1966 – Bobby Hull, of the Chicago Blackhawks, became the first National Hockey League (NHL) player to score 51 points in a single season.

1974 – “Wonder Woman” debuted on ABC-TV. The show later went to CBS-TV.

1984 – Lebanese President Gemayel opened the second meeting in five years calling for the end to nine-years of war.

1985 – The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. began arms control talks in Geneva.

1985 – Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) scored a club-record 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks.

1985 – Former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announced that he planned to drop Secret Service protection and hire his own bodyguards in an effort to lower the deficit by $3 million.

1987 – “Les Miserables” opened on Broadway.

1989 – Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi of Sudan formed a new cabinet to end civil war.

1989 – About 2,500 veterans and supporters marched at the Art Institute of Chicago to demand that officials remove an American flag placed on the floor as part of an exhibit.

1992 – Mauritius became a republic but remained a member of the British Commonwealth.

1993 – In the U.S., the Pentagon called for the closure of 31 major military bases.

1993 – Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female U.S. attorney general.

1994 – A photo by Marmaduke Wetherell of the Loch Ness monster was confirmed to be a hoax. The photo was taken of a toy submarine with a head and neck attached.

1994 – The Church of England ordained its first women priests.

1998 – Astronomers cancelled a warning that a mile-wide asteroid might collide with Earth saying that calculations had been off by 600,000 miles.

1999 – Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). All three countries were members of the former Warsaw Pact.

2002 – U.S. homeland security chief Tom Ridge unveiled a color-coded system for terror warnings.

2002 – Conoco and Phillips Petroleum stockholders approved a proposed merger worth $15.6 billion.

2003 – In Utah, Elizabeth Smart was reunited with her family nine months after she was abducted from her home. She had been taken on June 5, 2002, by a drifter that had previously worked at the Smart home.

2003 – The U.S. Air Force announced that it would resume reconnaissance flights off the coast of North Korea. The flights had stopped on March 2 after an encounter with four armed North Korean jets.

2009 – It was announced that the Sears Tower in Chicago, IL, would be renamed Willis Tower.

2010 – In the U.S., Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPad.