1873 Andrew Hallidie operated his first cable car in San Francisco. (See February 23rd entry.)
1909 The U. S. War Department purchased its first airplane.
1922 Alexander Graham Bell died. (See January 25th, March 3rd, and March 7th entries.)
1939 Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (See March 14th entry.)
1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident took place. (See August 7th entry.)
The future of the world sometimes changes without our even realizing it. That may well have happened on this day back in 1909, when the U. S. War Department bought the first airplane from Wilbur and Orville Wright.
On this day in 1964, the North Vietnamese attacked a U. S. destroyer within the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. That’s the way we were told it happened thereafter by President Lyndon B. Johnson and his aides. As a result, the U. S. Congress adopted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution a few days later, which gave the President broad powers to use the armed forces without a declaration of war.
When the telephone’s inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, died on this day in 1922, he did not receive a twenty-one-gun salute nor a final trumpet call. But the United States phone system did shut down for two whole minutes. It might be the only time in history that telephones throughout this nation went silent in unison for more than two whole seconds.