Feb. 28– 1854: Republican Party officially organized in Ripon, WI. 1953: Molecular biologists Francis Crick and James Watson discover DNA’s double-helix structure. 1983: The final episode of the television series “MASH” draws 125 million viewers.

Feb. 29– 1692: First recorded accusations of witchcraft in Salem, MA. 1904: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt appoints a Panama Canal Commission to complete construction of a canal through the isthmus. (Because “canal” is SO MUCH easier to say than “isthmus!”) 1940: Actress Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Oscar when she is selected as Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards ceremony for her role as Mammy in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.”

Mar. 1– 1869: The first US postage stamps with “scenes” became available. A first-class letter cost 3¢.

Photo credit: National Postal Museum

1872: Yellowstone becomes first National Park, designated by Congress. 1932: The baby boy of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh and his wife Ann Morrow Lindbergh is kidnapped from their home in Hopewell, NJ.

Mar. 2– 1904: Theodor Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss,” is born in Springfield, MA. 1933: The movie “King Kong,” starring actress Fay Wray, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 1962: Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors as they defeat the NY Knicks 169-147 in Hershey, PA. 2016: The longest non-stop commercial flight takes place as Emirates A380 flies 8,824 miles from Dubai, UAE to Aukland, NZ. The trip takes 17 hours, 15 minutes, and surely produced many stiff legs!

Mar. 3– 1875: Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” premieres in Paris, France. 1887: Anne Sullivan begins teaching her deaf and blind pupil Helen Keller. 2018: Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes, dies at his home in Oxfordshire, UK at the age of 88.

Mar. 4– 1902: The American Automobile Association is founded in Chicago, IL, much to the relief of generations of stranded motorists. 1918: The first case of “Spanish flu” is reported at Funston Army Camp in Kansas. The flu would eventually kill more than 670,000 Americans and more than 50 million worldwide. 1924: The melody and lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” by Claydon Sunny are published. The copyrighted song still brings in an estimated $2 million annually to publisher Time Warner! 1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as 32nd president of the United States and famously asserts in his speech that Americans “have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Mar. 5– 1770: British troops fire on a group of unarmed colonists, killing five in what became known as the “Boston Massacre.” The first casualty was Crispus Attucks, an American sailor of African and Native American descent. 1946: Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivers a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, MO warning that “an iron curtain has descended” across Europe, ushering in the “Cold War” era. 1963: Arthur “Spud” Melin and Richard P. Knerr, co-founders of the Wham-O toy company, receive a patent for the Hula Hoop. 20 million were sold for $1.98 each in the next six months!