On This Day, March 1, 1692 – Trials for Witches in Salem Begins
1562 – In Vassy, France, Catholics massacred over 1,000 Huguenots. The event started the First War of Religion.
1692 – In Salem Village, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Salem witch trials began. Four women were the first to be charged. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft — the Devil’s magic — and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Since then, the story of the trials has become synonymous with paranoia and injustice, and it continues to beguile the popular imagination more than 300 years later.ß
1781 – In America, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
1864 – Louis Ducos de Hauron patented a machine for taking and projecting motion pictures. du Hauron was the son of a tax collector. He began experimenting in his 20s and on March 1, 1864, patented (but did not build) a device for taking and projecting motion pictures. Four years later, on November 23, 1868, he was granted a patent on a process for making colour photographs. He photographed each scene through green, orange, and violet filters, then printed his three negatives on thin sheets of bichromated gelatin containing carbon pigments of red, blue, and yellow, the complementary colours of the negatives. When the three positives, usually in the form of transparencies, were superimposed, a full-colour photograph resulted. Another French experimenter,Charles Cros, discovered the process independently, publishing his findings just 48 hours after Ducos du Hauron received his patent.
1872 – The U.S. Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park. It was the world’s first national park.
1873 – E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, NY, began the manufacturing the first practical typewriter.
1912 – Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
1932 – The 22-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was kidnapped. The child was found dead in May.
1941 – FM Radio began in Nashville, TN, when station W47NV began operations.
1949 – Joe Louis announced that he was retiring from boxing as world heavyweight boxing champion.
1961 – The Peace Corps was established by U.S. President Kennedy.
1966 – The Soviet probe, Venera 3 crashed on the planet Venus. It was the first unmanned spacecraft to land on the surface of another planet.
1969 – Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1974 – Seven people were indicted in connection with the Watergate break-in. The charge was conspiring to obstruct justice.
The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members. In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned. His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon for all the crimes he “committed or may have committed” while in office
1993 – The U.S. government announced that the number of food stamp recipients had reached a record number of 26.6 million.
2003 – In the U.S., approximately 180,000 personnel from 22 different organizations around the government became part of the Department of Homeland Security. This completed the largest government reorganization since the beginning of the Cold War.
Sources: OnThisDay.com; britannica.com; smithsonianmag.com; History.com