March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). There are 303 days remaining.
- 1431 - Eugenius IV becomes Pope.
- 1791 - The United States Mint is created by the U.S. Congress.
- 1820 - The U.S. Congress passes the Missouri Compromise.
- 1845 - Florida is admitted as the 27th U.S. state.
- 1845 - For the first time the U.S. Congress passes legislation overriding a presidential veto.
- 1849 - Minnesota Territory organized as a political division of the United States.
- 1849 - The United States Department of the Interior is established.
- 1849 - The U.S. Congress passes the Gold Coinage Act allowing the minting of gold coins.
- 1857 - France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
- 1863 - Idaho Territory organized as a political division of the United States.
- 1865 - The U.S. Congress authorizes formation of the Freedmen's Bureau.
- 1873 - Censorship: The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail.
- 1877 - Rutherford B. Hayes is privately inaugurated as the 19th President of the United States (his public inauguration coming on March 5).
- 1878 - Bulgaria regains its independence from Ottoman Empire.
- 1879 - The United States Geological Survey is created.
- 1885 - The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone . (American Bell would later merge with its subsidiary.)
- 1904 - Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison's cylinder.
- 1905 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agrees to create an elected assembly (the Duma).
- 1910 - Rockefeller Foundation: J.D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he could devote full time to being a philanthropist.
- 1915 - NACA, the predecessor of NASA founded.
- 1918 - Germany, Austria and Russia sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russia's involvement in World War I, and leading to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
- 1923 - TIME magazine is published for the first time.
- 1931 - The United States officially adopts "The Star-Spangled Banner" as its national anthem.
- 1933 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial is dedicated.
- 1938 - Glenn Cunningham breaks the world record for the indoor mile run by completing the distance in 4 minutes, 4.4 seconds.
- 1939 - In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest of the autocratic rule in India.
- 1943 - World War II: In London, 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station.
- 1945 - World War II: Previously neutral Finland declares war on the Axis powers.
- 1945 - World War II: Hundreds of people die in The Hague after the Royal Air Force mistakenly bombs a civilian area in the city.
- 1949 - The Tucker Automobile Corporation folds.
- 1953 - A Canadian Pacific Comet Jet crashes in Karachi, Pakistan killing 11.
- 1955 - Elvis Presley appears on television for the first time.
- 1957 - In Frankfurt. Germany, Corry Brokken wins the second Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands singing "Net als toen" (Like it used to be).
- 1958 - Nuri as-Said becomes the prime minister of Iraq for the 14th time.
- 1959 - The San Francisco Giants officially name their new stadium Candlestick Park.
- 1961 - Hassan II becomes King of Morocco.
- 1969 - Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.
- 1969 - In a Los Angeles, California court, Sirhan Sirhan admits that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
- 1971 - Beginning of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and India's official entry to the Bangladesh Liberation War in support of Mukti Bahini
- 1972 - The space probe Pioneer X is launched by NASA.
- 1974 - A Turkish DC-10 crashes at Ermenonville near Paris, killing all 346 aboard.
- 1974 - Roman Catholic and Lutheran officials reach an agreement for eventual reconciliation into one communion, marking the first agreement between the two churches since the Reformation.
- 1976 - Fleetwood Mac records Rumours, which will be a blockbuster album in 1977.
- 1978 - Charles Chaplin's remains are stolen from Cosier-sur-Vevey , Switzerland but are recovered 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva.
- 1985 - Censorship: Women Against Pornography award their "Pig Award" to Huggies Diapers , claiming that the television ads had "crossed the line between eye-catching and porn."
- 1991 - An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
- 1995 - In Somalia, the United Nations peacekeeping mission ends.
- 1997 - The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, was opened after two and a half years of construction.
- 1999 - LaGrand case: The State of Arizona executes Walter LaGrand , a German despite German legal action in the International Court of Justice.
- 1999 - Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones begin their successful attempt to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon without stopping.
- 2001 - A U.S. Air Force Materials Command C-23 Sherpa transport crashes during stormy weather in the U.S. state of Georgia, killing 21.
- 2002 - Citizens of Switzerland narrowly vote in favour of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.
- 2005 - Mayorthorpe Massacre : Four members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are gunned down during a drug bust near Mayorthorpe, Alberta in the worst attack on the RCMP since 1885 and the North-West Rebellion.
- 2005 - Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane around the world solo without any stops without refuelling - a journey of 40,234 km/25,000 mi completed in 67 hours and 2 minutes.
- 2005 - At 18:17Z, a 3500-tonne freighter, M/V Karen Danielsen, crashes into the Western bridge of the Great Belt Bridge of Denmark, 800 m from Funen. All traffic across the bridge stopped, effectively separating Denmark in two.
- 1455 - King John II of Portugal, (d. 1495)
- 1606 - Edmund Waller, English poet (d. 1687)
- 1792 - Jean-Jacques Willmar , luxembourgish politician (d. 1866)
- 1805 - Jonas Furrer, Swiss politician and first President of the Swiss Confederation, (d. 1861)
- 1831 - George Pullman, inventor, industrialist, (d. 1897)
- 1839 - Jamshedji Tata, industrialist, father of Indian Industry,Philanthropist (d. 1904)
- 1845 - Georg Cantor, German mathematician, (d. 1918)
- 1847 - Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish inventor, (d. 1922)
- 1873 - William Green, labor union leader, President of the American Federation of Labor, (d. 1952)
- 1892 - Fred A. Busse, mayor of Chicago (d. 1914)
- 1893 - Beatrice Wood, artist, ceramicist, (d. 1998)
- 1895 - Matthew Ridgway, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, United States Army Chief of Staff, (d. 1993)
- 1911 - Jean Harlow, actress, (d. 1937)
- 1918 - Fritz Thiedemann, equestrian, (d. 2000)
- 1920 - Ronald Searle, illustrator
- 1920 - James Doohan, actor
- 1920 - Julius Boros, golfer (d. 1994)
- 1923 - Barney Martin, American actor
- 1923 - Doc Watson, American bluegrass musician
- 1926 - James Merrill, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, (d. 1995)
- 1926 - Lys Assia, singer, Eurovision Song Contest winner
- 1928 - France Križanič , Slovene mathematician, (d. 2002)
- 1930 - Heiner Geißler, German politician
- 1930 - Ion Iliescu, former President of Romania
- 1933 - Lee Radziwill, socialite, fashion executive
- 1937 - Bobby Driscoll, American actor (d. 1968)
- 1940 - Perry Ellis , fashion designer (d. 1986)
- 1941 - Jutta Hoffmann , actress
- 1945 - George Miller, Australian film director
- 1946 - John Virgo, English snooker player
- 1947 - Jennifer Warnes, American singer, songwriter
- 1949 - Jüri Allik, Estonian psychologist
- 1949 - Gloria Hendry, actress
- 1950 - Tim Kazurinsky, American actor, comedian
- 1953 - Robyn Hitchcock, musician
- 1958 - Miranda Richardson, actress
- 1959 - Ira Glass, radio host
- 1962 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee, athlete
- 1962 - Herschel Walker, American football player
- 1966 - Tone-Loc, musician
- 1970 - Julie Bowen, American actress
- 1974 - David Faustino, actor
- 1977 - Ronan Keating, Irish singer
- 1981 - Lil' Flip, rap musician
- 1982 - Jessica Biel, American actress
- 1111 - Bohemund I, prince of Antioch
- 1703 - Robert Hooke, scientist (b. 1635)
- 1706 - Johann Pachelbel, German composer (b. 1653)
- 1707 - Aurangzeb, Mughal emperor (b. 1618)
- 1792 - Robert Adam, architect, (b. 1728)
- 1850 - Oliver Cowdery, American religious leader (b. 1806)
- 1937 - Amelia Earhart, American aviatrix, apparently disappeared over the Pacific Ocean
- 1943 - George Thompson, English cricketer (b. 1877)
- 1959 - Lou Costello, actor, comedian (b. 1906)
- 1961 - Paul Wittgenstein, pianist (b. 1887)
- 1966 - Maxfield Parrish, American artist (b. 1870)
- 1966 - Alice Pearce, American actress
- 1966 - William Frawley, American actor
- 1982 - Georges Perec, novelist and essayist (b. 1936)
- 1983 - Hergé, Belgian comics creator (b. 1907)
- 1987 - Danny Kaye, American actor, singer, and comedian (b. 1913)
- 1988 - Sewall Wright, biologist, (b. 1889)
- 1990 - Gerard Blitz , Belgian swimmer
- 1991 - Arthur Murray, dancer, dance instructor (b. 1895)
- 1993 - Albert Sabin, Polish-American medical researcher
- 1993 - Carlos Marcello, gangster
- 1994 - Howard W. Hunter, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1907)
- 1994 - Anita Morris , American actress, dancer
- 1996 - John Cardinal Krol, American Catholic clergyman
- 1998 - Fred Friendly, American broadcast executive
- 1999 - Walter LaGrand , German national, (executed)
- 1999 - Gerhard Herzberg, German-Canadian chemist
- 2001 - Louis Edmonds, American actor
- 2002 - Harlan Howard, American country musician
- 2003 - Horst Buchholz, German actor (b. 1933)
- 2003 - Peter Smithson, architect (b. 1923)
- 2003 - Hank Ballard, American singer
- 2005 - Rinus Michels, Dutch football coach (b.1928)
Holidays and observances
March 2 - March 4 - February 3 - April 3 -- listing of all days
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