March 2 in Pop Culture History
1657 – The Great Fire of Meireki in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, caused more than 100,000 deaths, and lasted three days
1807 – The US Congress passed an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”
1863 – The US Congress authorized a track width of 4-feet, 8-1/2 inches as the standard for the Union Pacific Railroad, which became the standard width for most of the world.
1933 – King Kong (film) opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
1940 – Elmer Fudd made his debut in the animated short Elmer’s Candid Camera.
1944 – Train #8017 stopped in a tunnel near Salerno, Italy, and more than 500 people on board suffocated and died. In the midst of WW II, the story was very much covered up by the Italian government.
1949 – The first round the world nonstop airplane flight was completed in a US Air Force B-50 Superfortress bomber, the Lucky Lady II headed by Captain James Gallagher. They landed back at Carswell Air Force base, Fort Worth, Texas, which they had left on February 26, about 94 hours earlier.
1957 – #1 Hit March 2, 1957 – March 29, 1957: Tab Hunter – Young Love
1960 – Lucille Ball filed for divorce from Desi Arnaz, ending their marriage as well as the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show franchise on CBS.
1962 – Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single basketball game against the New York Knicks. Final score: 169-147, at the Hershey Arena. Although there were only about 6,000 tickets sold, guesstimates are that almost 50% of male sports fans born in the Philadelphia area between 1925 and 1958 claim to have been at the event.
1963 – #1 Hit March 2, 1963 – March 22, 1963: The Four Seasons – Walk Like A Man
1969 – The Concorde SST Supersonic jet aircraft, prototype 001, made its first flight from Toulouse airport in France.
1972 – US spacecraft Pioneer 10 was launched.
1974 – #1 Hit March 2, 1974 – March 22, 1974: Terry Jacks – Seasons in the Sun
1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. (They had previously been available only in Japan.)
1978 – Charlie Chaplin’s body was stolen from a cemetery in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey, near Lausanne, Switzerland. The grave robbers (and the re-buried body) were found a few weeks later.
1982 – Diner was released in theaters.
1984 – Repo Man, This is Spinal Tap and Against All Odds were released in theaters.
1985 – Sheena Easton the first and still only recording artist to score top-10 singles on all five major Billboard singles charts: Pop, Country, Dance, Adult Contemporary and R&B with her hit ‘Sugar Walls.’
1990 – The Hunt for Red October was released in theaters.
1990 – Nelson Mandela was elected deputy President of the African National Congress.
1995 – Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Broadway Review) Opened on March 2, 1995 and Closed: January 16, 2000
2009 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon premiered on NBC.
2012 – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Project X debuted in theaters.
2013 – #1 Hit March 2, 2013 – April 19, 2013: Baauer – Harlem Shake