Monday, March 26, 2007

Today in History....March 26

On this day in …

* 1804, the Louisiana Purchase was divided into the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana

* 1885, Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company in Rochester, New York, begins manufacturing the first movie film. The company was the first to produce, manufacture, and market reels of continuous film

* 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens

* 1937, a 6-foot-tall concrete statue of the cartoon character Popeye was unveiled during the Second Annual Spinach Festival in Crystal City, Texas

* 1941, Italy attacks the British fleet at Suda Bay, Crete, using detachable warheads to sink a British cruiser. This was the first time manned torpedoes had been employed in naval warfare, adding a new weapon to the world's navies' arsenals

* 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. In 1952 -- an epidemic year for polio -- there were 58,000 new cases reported in the United States, and more than 3,000 died from the disease. For promising eventually to eradicate the disease, which is known as "infant paralysis" because it mainly affects children, Dr. Salk was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time

* 1958, the U.S. Army launched America's third successful satellite, Explorer 3

* 1971, East Pakistan proclaimed its independence, taking the name Bangladesh

* 1979, a peace treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House

* 1982, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

* 1997, the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate techno-religious cult who had committed suicide were found inside a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

* 2002, Yasser Arafat, ym"sh, decided not to attend a key Arab summit in Beirut, Lebanon; his Cabinet accused Israel of trying to "blackmail" the Palestinian leader with tough conditions for allowing him to go

* 2006, an Afghan court dismissed the case against Abdul Rahman, who was facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity

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