Today In History Spotlights Mar. 9, 1862, Battle of Hampton Roads is Fought

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Today’s History Spotlight

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The Battle of Hampton Roads is fought. This battle was significant in that it was the first to feature the fighting of ironclad warships. During the Civil War, ironclads dominated the Mississippi River and Atlantic coast. Ironclads proved to be very successful and paved the way for the Dreadnought battleship several decades later.

The Battle of Hampton Roads ended with a tactical Confederate victory, but with a strategic Union victory, as Union forces maintained a blockade of the James River.

What Happened On This Day – March 9

  • 2011 Space Shuttle Discovery completes its final mission. The shuttle touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after its journey to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • 1976 The deadliest cable car accident in history occurs in Italy. Forty-three people died when the cable car plunged 160 ft (50 meters) to the ground after the steel cable had snapped. 14-year-old Alessandra Piovesana was the only survivor.
  • 1961 Ivan Ivanovich, a human dummy, travels into space. On its test flight on board the Soviet spacecraft Korabl-Sputnik 4 (also known as Sputnik 9), the mannequin was accompanied by a dog, reptiles, mice, and guinea pigs.
  • 1959 The Barbie doll goes on sale. The American toy company Mattel claims that more than one billion Barbie dolls have been sold so far, with about 3 dolls being sold every second.
  • 1931 The electron microscope is invented. German physicist Ernst Ruska is credited with the invention of the microscope. His first instrument allowed a resolution of 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter).

Births On This Day – March 9

  • 1964 Juliette Binoche – French actress, dancer
  • 1943 Bobby Fischer – American chess player
  • 1934 Yuri Gagarin – Russian pilot, astronaut
  • 1915 Johnnie Johnson – English pilot
  • 1890 Vyacheslav Molotov – Soviet politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs fr the Soviet Union

Deaths On This Day – March 9

  • 1997 The Notorious B.I.G.American rapper
  • 1996 George Burns – American actor
  • 1994 Charles Bukowski – American poet
  • 1992 Menachem Begin – Israeli politician, 6th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1825 Anna Laetitia Barbauld – English poet, author, critic

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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