Today in History: March 6

The Battle of the Alamo concluded 180 years ago today. The 13-day-long siege of the Alamo Mission near San Antonio, Texas, ended with the utter defeat of the Texas independence fighters (all but a handful of the Texian defenders died on this date, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie), but an ironic, existential, conclusion: the fight for independence was now seen as something worth fighting and dying for, so enlistments in the Texas Army boomed, and the Texas army defeated Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto just five weeks later.

* * * *
On March 6, 1899, a chemist named Felix Hoffmann received a patent for his new synthetic form of acetylsalicylic acid for his employer, Bayer AG. His new drug was trademarked under the name aspirin.

* * * *
Silly Putty was introduced to the public on this date in 1951.

* * * *
On this date in 1990, a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird set four long-distance speed records in its final official flight. Angry at Congress for defunding the plane, the United States Air Force made its point with a coast-to-coast flight that only took an hour. The speed records still stand: 1. Los Angeles, CA, to Washington, DC, average speed 2,144.8 miles per hour, elapsed time of 64 minutes 20 seconds. 2. West Coast to East Coast, distance 2,404 miles, average speed 2,124.5 MPH, elapsed time of 67 minutes 54 seconds. 3. Kansas City, Missouri, to Washington, DC, distance 942 miles, average speed 2,176 MPH, elapsed time of 25 minutes 59 seconds. 4. St. Louis, Missouri, to Cincinnati, Ohio, distance 311.4 miles, average speed 2,189.9 MPH, elapsed time of 8 minutes 32 seconds.

The plane flew from New York to London once in under two hours and it is claimed that in the U.S. bombing of Libya in 1986, one of the planes evaded a missile fired directly at it by outrunning it: it is claimed that it reached a speed of Mach 3.5.

* * * *
Georgia O’Keeffe died 30 years ago today at the age of 98. Kirby Puckett died 10 years ago today. Dana Reeve died 10 years ago today.

* * * *

This is my last broadcast as the anchorman of The CBS Evening News; for me, it’s a moment for which I long have planned, but which, nevertheless, comes with some sadness. For almost two decades, after all, we’ve been meeting like this in the evenings, and I’ll miss that. But those who have made anything of this departure, I’m afraid have made too much. This is but a transition, a passing of the baton. … The person who sits here is but the most conspicuous member of a superb team of journalists: writers, reporters, editors, producers, and none of that will change. Furthermore, I’m not even going away! I’ll be back from time to time with special news reports and documentaries. … Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away; they just keep coming back for more. And that’s the way it is: Friday, March 6, 1981. I’ll be away on assignment, and Dan Rather will be sitting in here for the next few years. Good night.

Walter Cronkite retired as anchor of the CBS Evening News 35 years ago tonight. He anchored the news on that network for 19 years.

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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on this date in 1475. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on this date in 1806. Lou Costello was born on this date in 1906. Ed McMahon was born on this date in 1923. Gabriel García Márquez was born on this date in 1927. Marion Barry was born 80 years ago today.

* * * *
Alan Greenspan is 90 today. Ivan Boesky is 79. Valentina Tereshkova is 79. David Gilmour is 70 today. Kiki Dee is 69. Rob Reiner is 69 today. Jackie Zeman is 63.
Tom Arnold is 57. D. L. Hughley is 53. Shaquille O’Neal is 44 today.

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  1. rogershipp · March 6, 2016

    Silly Putty…. One of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

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