Today in History: March 7

U.S. Patent Number 174,465 was awarded to Alexander Graham Bell 140 years ago today. It carried the mundane title, “Improvement in telegraphy,” but for all intents and purposes the patent is for the telephone, and so is one of the most noteworthy patents in history.

One key description describes the intent of the invention: Bell’s “improved” technology provides a new “method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound.” On March 7, 1876, however, the intention was all Bell and his lab assistants had. He ha not developed an operational device. Three days later, on March 10, Bell’s assistant Thomas Watson heard his boss’ voice transmitted on the experimental apparatus in a legendary moment: “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you.”

* * * *
The first march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, took place on this date in 1965. About 600 marchers were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers and various posse members. The governor of Alabama, George Wallace, refused to protect the marchers.

* * * *
Charlie Sheen was fired from the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men” five years ago today.

* * * *
Mikhail Bakhtin died on this date in 1975. Senator Jacob Javits died 30 years ago today. Ali Farka Touré died 10 years ago today. Gordon Parks died 10 years ago today.

* * * *
Piet Mondrian was born on this date in 1872. Maurice Ravel was born on this date in 1875. James Broderick was born on this date in 1927. Georges Perec was born 80 years ago today. Townes Van Zandt was born on this date in 1944. Here he plays a “medley of his hit,” which was “Pancho and Lefty”:

 
Rik Mayall was born on this date in 1958.

* * * *
Fr. Thomas Keating is 93 today. Lord Snowdon is 86 today. Willard Scott is 82 today. Michael Eisner is 74 today. John Heard is 71 today. Peter Wolf is 70 today.

 
Lewis J. Stadlen is 69 today.

 
Franco Harris is 66 today. Lynn Swann is 64 today. Jules Shear is 64 today. Bryan Cranston is 60 today. Ivan Lendl is 56. Joe Carter is 56 today. Bret Easton Ellis is 52. Wanda Sykes is 52 today. Rachel Weisz is 46 today. Peter Sarsgaard is 45 today.

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2 comments

  1. GettingrealwithPTSD · March 7, 2016

    Thanks for mentioning Rick Mayal. I loved him in the movie “Drop Dead Fred”. I was so sorry to hear that he died in 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Today in History: March 10 | The Gad About Town

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