On this March Day in History

March 1, 1781. The Articles of Confederation were ratified by Congress. Under the Articles, Congress was the sole governing body of the new American national government, which consisted of the 13 original states. They remained in effect throughout  the Revolutionary War, until the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1789.

March 1, 1932. The 20-month-old son of  Charles A. Lindbergh was kidnapped from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey.

March 1, 1974.  Seven former high-ranking officials of the Nixon White House  - including former chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, top aide John Ehrichman, and former attorney general, John Mitchell - were indicted for conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the Watergate break-in.

March 4, 1933.  Newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office and delivered his first inaugural address. Attempting to restore public confidence during the Great Depression, he stated, "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."" Roosevelt went on to be reelected to three more terms as president.

March 5, 1770.  The incident known as the  Boston Massacre took place as a group of rowdy Americans verbally abused and harassed British soldiers who then opened fire, killing five and injuring six. The first man killed was an African American named Crispus Attucks.

March 5, 1946.  Winston Churchill delivered his "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill used the term in describing the division  in Europe between the free countries of the West and the nations of Eastern Europe which were under the control of Soviet Russia.

March 6, 1836. The Alamo fell to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna. The The siege of the Texas fort had begun on February 23rd, and ended with the death of the last defender.

March 11, 1918. The 'Spanish' influenza first reached America when over one hundred soldiers become sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. Eventually one quarter of the U.S. population would become ill from the deadly virus, resulting in 500,000 deaths. Worldwide, nearly 22 million would die from the disease by the end of the decade.

March 12, 1888. The Northeastern United States was struck by the Great Blizzard of '88, paralyzing the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. The storm lasted 36 hours and the snowfall totaled over 40 inches in New York City, where over 400 persons died as a result of the storm.

1938 : Hitler's gamble by Giles MacDonogh

March 12, 1938. The Nazis invaded Austria, "absorbing" the country into Hitler's Reich.

March 15, 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate chamber in Rome by Brutus and several fellow conspirators. Caesar was then the dictator of the Roman Republic, having recently been declared "dictator perpetuo" by the Senate, making  several senators fear that he wanted to overthrow the Senate in favor of tyranny. Beware the Ides of March!

March 16, 1968. The My Lai Massacre was committed during the Vietnam War, as American soldiers of Charlie Company murdered 504 Vietnamese men, women, and children. Twenty-five U.S. Army officers were later charged with complicity in the massacre and subsequent cover-up, but only one was convicted.

March 23, 1933. Hitler became dictator of Germany with the passage of Hitler's Enabling Act. Officially called the "Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich," it  in effect voted democracy out of existence in Germany and established the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. The vote was taken – 441 for, and only 84 against. Democracy was ended.

March 23, 1775.  Patrick Henry's speech before the Second Virginia Convention in Richmond, ignited the American Revolution. He was quoted as stating, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

March 25, 1807. The British Parliament abolished the slave trade.

March 25, 1911. A raging fire erupted inside a garment factory in New York City killed 123 young women employed as low-paid seamstresses at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in lower Manhattan. The fast-spreading flames engulfed the 8th and 9th floors in just a few minutes. About 50 of the victims jumped to their deaths rather than perish from the flames.

March 26, 1979. Prime Minster Menachem Begin of Israel and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a  treaty of mutual recognition and peace - the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. This followed the 1978 Camp David Accords, which had been fostered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

March 31, 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corps, was founded. The CCC was a public work relief program that operated in the United States from 1933 to 1942 for unemployed, unmarried men as part of the New Deal.