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History's Happenings for March 19

U.S. Goes to War in Iraq
2003

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

First U.S. Bank Robbery
1831

After surviving its first fifty-five years with no recorded bank robberies, the new United States suffered its first such ugly deed on this date in 1831, as robbers relieved New York City's City Bank of $245,000.

In modern dollars, the heist would be worth between $25 and 50 million -- no chicken change! Fortunately -- or unfortunately -- since stick-ups are so much more common these days, the likelihood of escaping with any such sum from one institution is remote.

Supreme Court Upholds 8-Hour Day
1917

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

Congress Approves Daylight Savings Time
1918

Daylight Savings Time -- originally termed "summer time" -- was cooked up in the mind of Benjamin Franklin while he was U.S.envoy to France in the 1780's. Like most new ideas, it was resisted until, a century later, the Brits decided to try it out, advancing their clocks 80 minutes over a period of four Sundays in the spring. During World War I, England was placed on "double summer time" -- two hours ahead -- year-round.

The U.S. took a little longer but, on this date in 1918, Congress passed the Standard Time Act. The primary purpose of the Act was to establish standard time zones across the country -- already in use by the railroads since 1883 -- but also to advance the notion of Daylight Savings Time. The time zones stuck. DST did not -- it was repealed in 1919, and left to the whims of the states and localities.

But the idea got another boost during WWII, when President Roosevelt placed the country on year-round Daylight Savings Time from 1942 to 1945.

The start and end dates for DST were standardized by the Uniform Time Act of 1966, and have been altered by law twice since, the most recent expanding DST in 2005.

Under the law, states may still exempt themselves from observing Daylight Savings Time through an act of the legislature. Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii and the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa do just that.

Senate Rejects Versailles Treaty
1920

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

Nevada Legalizes Gambling
1931

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Hitler Orders Destruction of Reich
1945

Adolf Hitler

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

CSpan Goes on the Air in the House
1979

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