25 Years Ago
March 30, 1981 President Ronald W. Reagan is shot by a mentally disturbed man with a crush on the actress Jodie Foster. The President recovers swiftly and is out of the hospital in less than two weeks.
50 Years Ago
February 3, 1956 Autherine Lucy becomes the first African-American to enroll at the University of Alabama. After three days of violent unrest on campus, she is suspended. On March 1 she is expelled for making “outrageous” charges against the university in a lawsuit for reinstatement.
75 Years Ago
March 3, 1931 Congress officially adopts “The Star-Spangled Banner” as America’s national anthem.
March 25, 1931 In Alabama, nine black youths are arrested and charged with raping a white woman. The “Scottsboro Boys” will be convicted on flimsy charges, but in 1935 the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn their convictions.
150 Years Ago
February 11, 1856 As pro-slavery and antislavery settlers in Kansas Territory form militias following the antis’ election of their own governor and legislature, President Franklin Pierce calls on both sides to disarm.
February 22, 1856 The newly formed Republican party convenes its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The delegates agree to hold a nominating convention in June.
225 Years Ago
March 15, 1781 At Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, 1,900 seasoned British troops led by Gen. Charles Cornwallis defeat 4,400 Continentals, many of them militia and raw recruits, led by Gen. Nathanael Greene. Both sides suffer heavy casualties, which on the British side will lead to a decision to abandon the Carolinas campaign.