There were a series of firsts on March 1st in history. In 1692 three women were brought before local magistrates in Salem, Massachusetts in the first of the Salem witch trials. In 1872 Yellowstone became the first national park. And in 1966 the Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet.

In official US history the Articles of Confederation went into effect, becoming the first federal government of the US. The Republic of Texas was admitted to the Union by annexation by President Polk in 1845. Nebraska was added to the roster of US states in 1867 as number 37.

And there were a couple scientific firsts on this date: Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio in St Louis. And Henri Becquerel discovered radioactive decay, ushering in the era of radioactivity – both fossil dating and nuclear power.

In 1927 there were a pair of birthdays that demonstrate how people born on the same date can have widely different effects on us all. On that date there was born Harry Belafonte – singer, actor, and activist for justice , and Robert Bork – unsuccessful (thank goodness) Supreme Court nominee – who fought real justice tooth and nail. And in 1922 Yitzhak Rabin was born, the 5th Prime Minister of Israel, who was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing gunman.

American bandleader Glenn Miller (1904) was one of three notable musical talents born this date. He joined Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810) and The Who’s Roger Daltrey (1944).

On the other hand we bid farewell to the original Uncle Fester (Addams Family) Jackie Coogan in 1984, who stated as a child star in the silent film era with Charlie Chaplin. And Edward Land, the inventor of the Polaroid Land (instant) camera faded to black in 1991.’