Today In History Spotlights Mar. 2, 1965, Operation Rolling Thunder Begins

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Operation Rolling Thunder begins. This was one of the deadliest campaigns waged during the Cold War era. The operation began in part due to the Gulf of Tonkin incident which occurred in August 1964. In an effort to prevent further Communist attacks on South Vietnam, as well as to stop the resupplying of Viet Cong forces, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the campaign.

It lasted until October 1968, though the Vietnam War did not end until 1975. The Vietnam War was the longest-lasting conflict of the Cold War, lasting roughly two decades.

What Happened On This Day – March 2

  • 1995 The top quark is discovered. The existence of this elementary particle, the bottom quark’s counterpart, had been presumed since the 1970’s.
  • 1970 Rhodesia declares itself an independent republic. By severing the country’s ties with the United Kingdom, white Prime Minister Ian Smith attempted to prevent the institution of black majority rule.
  • 1969 Concorde takes off on its maiden flight. The supersonic airliner was retired in 2003, after Air France Flight 4590 crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000.
  • 1959 Miles Davis records Kind of Blue. It is considered the best-selling jazz album in history and one of the most influential works of jazz music ever produced.
  • 1933 The film King Kong premieres. The black and white movie marked a milestone in the history of film, especially due to Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects.

Births On This Day – March 2

  • 1968 Daniel Craig – English actor
  • 1962 Jon Bon Jovi – American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actor
  • 1931 Mikhail Gorbachev – Soviet lawyer, politician, President of the Soviet Union, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1904 Dr. Seuss – American author, poet, illustrator
  • 1900 Kurt Weill – German/American composer

Deaths On This Day – March 2

  • 1999 Dusty Springfield – English singer, producer
  • 1991 Serge Gainsbourg – French singer-songwriter, actor, director
  • 1982 Philip K. Dick – American author
  • 1930 D. H. Lawrence – English novelist
  • 1619 Anne of Denmark

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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