Men in History

1914        Joshua Chamberlain (85) died. He was the Bowdoin College Maine professor whose incredible defense of Little Round Top at Gettysburg and other heroics earned him promotion to Major General and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1917        The British presented the decoded Zimmermann telegram, a German plot for Mexican help, to Pres. Wilson and an enraged Wilson released the document to the American public on March 1. On April 6, 1917, America formally declared war on Germany and her Allies.

1942        The Voice of America went on the air for the first time with broadcasts in German. The US State Dept. made William Winter (d.1999) its first Voice of America three months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

1945        Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed in Parliament after reading a decree.

1947       Franz von Papen was sentenced to eight years in a labor camp for war crimes. Pompous scion of an old aristocratic family, he became chancellor of Germany in 1932.

1955       Steve Jobs, co-founder (Apple Computer), was born.

1966       A military coup overthrew Ghana’s Pres. Kwame Nkrumah. He fled to Guinea.

1981       Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

1990       Malcolm Forbes (70), magazine publisher died in Far Hills, N.J.

2001       Mathematician and computer scientist Claude Shannon, whose theories about binary code became the basis for modern mass communications networks, died in Medford, Mass., at age 84.

2001        Ugyen Thinley Dorje (15), the 17th Karmapa Lama, led prayers to mark the Tibetan year of the iron snake in northern India.

2002       Leo Ornstein (b.1893), Russian-born Futurist composer, died in Green Bay, Wisc. In 1918 Frederick H. Martens authored “Leo Ornstein: The Man, His Ideas, His Work.” In 1990 Ornstein composed his last work: the Eighth Piano Sonata.

2003        Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein via satellite and Hussein proposed a live debate with Pres. Bush. Hussein said he would rather die than leave his country and that he would not destroy its wealth by setting fire to its oil wells in the event of a U.S.-led invasion.

2006       California’s Gov. Schwarzenegger issued an emergency declaration to speed improvement on 24 severely eroded portions of Bay Area delta levees.

2006        Rodney MacDonald (34), Canada’s youngest premier, was sworn into office in Nova Scotia.

2008       Joel and Ethan Coen’s crime saga “No Country for Old Men” won a leading four Academy Awards, including best picture. All four acting prizes went to Europeans: Frenchwoman Marion Cotillard, the best-actress winner for “La Vie En Rose”; Spaniard Javier Bardem, who took supporting actor for “No Country”; and Brits Daniel Day-Lewis and Tilda Swinton, he claiming his second best-actor honor for “There Will Be Blood,” she winning supporting actress for “Michael Clayton.”

2008       In Cuba Raul Castro became the new president. The island’s parliament tapped revolutionary leader Jose Ramon Machado (77) for the government’s No. 2 spot.

2010       Nigeria’s ailing Pres. Umaru Yar’Adua returned home after a three-month stay in a Saudi Arabian hospital. An advisor said the leader needed time to recuperate and so the vice president would remain in charge.

2014       Harold Ramis (b.1944), American writer, director and actor, died at his Chicago-area home. His film work included Meatballs” (1979), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Ghostbusters”  (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993), and “Analyze This” (1999).

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