First Posted: 3/6/2014
The History Channel
* On March 30, 1775, hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III endorses the New England Restraining Act. The Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain. An additional rule would come into effect banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.
* On March 28, 1814, the funeral of Guillotin, namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris. When first used, the crowds seemed to miss the gallows, but the guillotine quickly caught on. The device symbolized equality, as it was used on both commoners and the nobility alike.
* On March 27, 1912, in Washington, D.C., Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, plant two Yoshina cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River. The event was held in celebration of a gift by the Japanese government of 3,020 cherry trees to the United States.
* On March 26, 1920, “This Side of Paradise” is published, immediately launching 23-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald to fame and fortune. While in Europe, Fitzgerald finished his masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” (1925). He also published dozens of short stories in his lifetime.
* On March 24, 1958, Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army after being granted a two-month deferment to finish his third movie, “King Creole.” While stationed in Germany, Presley met his future wife, 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu.
* On March 29, 1971, Lt. William L. Calley is found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial. Calley, an infantry platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, in 1968.
* On March 25, 1983, during filming of the television special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever,” Diana Ross, formerly of the Supremes, shoved singer Mary Wilson out of the spotlight. It later had to be edited out. Smokey Robinson stepped in onstage to keep between the two warring Supremes.