on this day … 3/23 1889 – U.S. President Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization.

1026 – Koenraad II crowned himself king of Italy.

1066 – The 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet took place.

1490 – The first dated edition of Maimonides “Mishna Torah” was published.

1657 – France and England formed an alliance against Spain.

1775 – American revolutionary Patrick Henry declared, “give me liberty, or give me death!”

1794 – Josiah G. Pierson patented a rivet machine.

1806 – Explorers Lewis and Clark, reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east.

1808 – Napoleon’s brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.

1835 – Charles Darwin reached Los Arenales, in the Andes.

1836 – The coin press was invented by Franklin Beale.

1839 – The first recorded printed use of “OK” [oll korrect] occurred in Boston’s Morning Post.

1840 – The first successful photo of the Moon was taken.

1848 – Hungary proclaimed its independence of Austria.

1857 – Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.

1858 – Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar.

1861 – John D. Defrees became the first Superintendent of the United States Government Printing Office.

1861 – London’s first tramcars began operations.

1868 – The University of California was founded in Oakland, CA.

1880 – John Stevens patented the grain crushing mill. The mill increased flour production by 70 percent.

1881 – The Boers and Britain signed a peace accord ending the first Boer war.

1881 – A gas lamp caused a fire in an opera house in Nice, France. 70 people were killed.

1889 – U.S. President Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization.

1901 – Dame Nellie Melba, revealed the secret of her now famous toast.

1901 – It was learned that Boers were starving in British concentration camps in South Africa.

1901 – Shots were fired at Privy Councilor Pobyedonostzev, who was considered to be Russia’s most hated man.

1902 – In Italy, the minimum legal working age was raised from 9 to 12 for boys and from 11 to 15 for girls.

1903 – The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent.

1903 – U.S. troops were sent to Honduras to protect the American consulate during revolutionary activity.

1909 – British Lt. Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.

1909 – Theodore Roosevelt began an African safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.

1910 – In the Canary Islands, women offered candidates for legislative elections.

1912 – The Dixie Cup was invented.

1917 – Austrian Emperor Charles I made a peace proposal to French President Poincare.

1917 – In the Midwest U.S., four tornadoes kill 211 people over a four day period.

1918 – Lithuania proclaimed independence.

1919 – Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.

1920 – Britain denounced the U.S. because of their delay in joining the League of Nations.

1920 – The Perserikatan Communist of India (PKI) political party was formed.

1921 – Arthur G. Hamilton set a new parachute record when he safely jumped from 24,400 feet.

1922 – The first airplane landed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

1932 – In the U.S., the Norris-LaGuardia Act established workers’ right to strike.

1933 – The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act. The act effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.

1934 – The U.S. Congress accepted the independence of the Philippines in 1945.

1936 – Italy, Austria & Hungary signed the Pact of Rome.

1937 – The L.A. Railway Co. started using PCC streetcars.

1940 – “Truth or Consequences” was heard on radio for the first time.

1942 – The Japanese occupy the Andaman Islands.

1942 – During World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers.

1950 – “Beat the Clock” premiered on CBS-TV.

1951 – U.S. paratroopers descended from flying boxcars in a surprise attack in Korea.

1956 – Pakistan became the first Islamic republic. It was still within the British Commonwealth.

1956 – Sudan became independent.

1957 – The U.S. Army sold the last of its homing pigeons.

1965 – America’s first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3.

1965 – The Moroccan Army shot at demonstrators. About 100 people were killed.

1967 – Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement.

1970 – Mafia “Boss” Carlo Gambino was arrested for plotting to steal $3 million.

1972 – The U.S. called a halt to the peace talks on Vietnam being held in Paris.

1972 – Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after successfully jumping 35 cars.

1973 – The last airing of “Concentration” took place. The show had been on NBC for 15 years.

1980 – The deposed shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left Panama for Egypt.

1981 – U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law making statutory rape a crime for men but not women.

1981 – CBS Television announced plans to reduce “Captain Kangaroo” to a 30-minute show each weekday morning.

1983 – U.S. President Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. The proposal became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and “Star Wars.”

1983 – Dr. Barney Clark died after 112 days with a permanent artificial heart.

1989 – A 1,000-foot diameter asteroid missed Earth by 500,000 miles.

1989 – Joel Steinberg was sentenced to 25 years for killing his adopted daughter.

1989 – Two electrochemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman, announced that they had created nuclear fusion in a test tube at room temperature.

1990 – Former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill.

1993 – U.N. experts announced that record ozone lows had been registered over a large area of the Western Hemisphere.

1994 – Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexico’s leading presidential candidate, was assassinated in Tijuana. Mario Aburto Martinez was arrested at the scene and confessed to the killing.

1994 – Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe‘s National Hockey League (NHL) career record with his 802nd goal.

1994 – Howard Stern formally announced his Libertarian run for New York governor.

1996 – Taiwan held its first democratic presidential elections.

1998 – Germany’s largest bank pledged $3.1 million to Jewish foundations as restitution for Nazi looting.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that term limits for state lawmakers were constitutional.

1998 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his Cabinet.

1998 – The movie “Titanic” won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards.

1998 – The German company Bertelsmann AG agreed to purchase the American publisher Random House for $1.4 billion. The merger created the largest English-language book-publishing company in the world.

1999 – Paraguay’s Vice President Luis Maria Argana was shot to death by two gunmen.

1999 – NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana gave formal approval for air strikes against Serbian targets.

1999 – Near Mandi Bahauddin, Pakistan, a bus fell into a fast-moving canal. Nine were confirmed dead, 31 were missing and presumed dead, and 20 were injured.

2001 – Russia’s orbiting Mir space station plunged into the South Pacific after its 15-years of use.