On This Day

What Happened in March 1956

Historical Events

  • Mar 1 The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • Mar 1 "Crazy Arms" single released by Ray Price - his 1st no.1 (Billboard Song of the Year 1956)
  • Mar 2 Morocco tears up the Treaty of Fez, declaring independence from France

Music Single

Mar 2 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" single cover released by Elvis Presley

  • Mar 3 Elvis Presley's 1st hit in Billboard's top 10: "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • Mar 3 Dutch swimmer Cockie Gastelaars breaks 20-year old world record for 100m freestyle (1:04.2)
  • Mar 3 Indonesian government of Harahap resigns
  • Mar 3 Morocco gains independence from France (Anniversary of throne)
  • Mar 3 Manhattan Borough President Hulan Jack makes plans for a new 110,000-seat stadium to entice Giants to stay in NY
  • Mar 3 3rd ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats Wake Forest, 76-64
  • Mar 5 "King Kong" 1st televised
  • Mar 9 Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus arrested & exiled to Seychelles
  • Mar 9 Weather forecasting phone line set up in London England
  • Mar 10 General strike in Cyprus protesting exile of archbishop Makarios
  • Mar 10 Peter Twiss sets new world air record 1,132 mph (1,823 kph)
  • Mar 11 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Louise Suggs wins her 3rd Titleholders title by 1 stroke from Patty Berg
  • Mar 12 Dow Jones closes above 500 for 1st time (500.24)
  • Mar 13 NZ bowl out WI for 77 at Eden Park to score their 1st Test Cricket win

Film Release

Mar 13 "The Searchers" American western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood is released

Contract of Interest

Mar 14 50-year-old baseball pitching star Satchel Paige signs a contract to play for and manage the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro National League

  • Mar 15 "My Fair Lady" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 2,715 performances

Pro Wrestling

Mar 15 Whipper Billy Watson beats Lou Thesz in Toronto, to become NWA wrestling champion

  • Mar 16 US Ladies Figure Skating championship won by Tenley Albright
  • Mar 16 US Mens Figure Skating championship won by Hayes A Jenkins
  • Mar 19 Biggest NBA margin of victory - Minn Lakers-133, St Louis Hawks-75
  • Mar 20 Edward Ochab succeeds Bolesław Bierut as 1st secretary of the Polish Communist Party
  • Mar 20 Mount Bezymianny on Kamchatka Peninsula (USSR) erupts
  • Mar 20 Tunisia gains independence from France when the Protocol agreement signed between the two countries
  • Mar 20 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Mar 20 Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp
  • Mar 21 "The Rose Tattoo" wins 3 Academy awards, including Anna Manini for Best Actress and Cinematography (Black & White)

Music Premiere

Mar 22 Musical "Mr Wonderful" with Sammy Davis, Jr. and father Sammy Davis, Sr. opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 383 performances

  • Mar 23 Pakistan proclaimed an Islamic republic in Commonwealth (National Day)
  • Mar 23 Sudan becomes independent
  • Mar 24 18th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: San Francisco beats Iowa, 83-71; Dons' back-to-back National titles
  • Mar 24 Wales beats France, 5-3 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch their 13th Five Nations Rugby Championship
  • Mar 24 110th Grand National: race best remembered for Devon Loch's inexplicable fall on final straight, just 40 yards from a certain victory; Dave Dick wins aboard E.S.B.
  • Mar 26 Medic Alert Foundation forms
  • Mar 26 Red Buttons stars as an angel on TV anthology series "Studio One" episode "Tale of St. Emergency"
  • Mar 27 French commandos land in Algeria
  • Mar 30 USSR performs nuclear test

Famous Birthdays

  • Mar 1 Mark Todd, New Zealand equestrian rider (Olympic gold individual eventing 1984, 88), born in Cambridge, New Zealand
  • Mar 1 Timothy Daly, American actor (Joe-Wings, Diner, Made in Heaven), born in Sufferin, New York
  • Mar 1 Jan Van der Roost, Belgian composer (Chemical Suite for Trombone Quartet), born in Duffel, Belgium
  • Mar 2 John Cowsill, American rock drummer (The Cowsills - "We Can Fly"; Beach Boys, 2000-present), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Mar 2 Mark Evans, Australian rock bassist (AC/DC), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Mar 2 Eusebio Pedroza, Panamanian boxer (WBA featherweight champion 1978-85), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2019)
  • Mar 2 Gary Pearce, English rugby union prop (36 caps; Northampton Saints), born in Dinton, England
  • Mar 3 John F Reid, New Zealand cricket batsman (19 Tests, 1296 runs @ 46.28, 6 x 100s), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2020)
  • Mar 3 Zbigniew Boniek, Polish footballer
  • Mar 3 Stephanie McCallum, Australian concert pianist and educator, born in Sydney
  • Mar 4 Kermit Driscoll, American jazz bassist (Bill Frissell), born in Kearney, Nebraska
  • Mar 5 Mark Handley, writer (Nell)
  • Mar 5 Adriana Barraza, Mexican actress
  • Mar 5 Teena Marie, American singer
  • Mar 6 Peter Roebuck, English cricketer and journalist, born in Oddington, Oxfordshire, England (d. 2011)

Bryan Cranston

Mar 7 Bryan Cranston, American actor (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle), born in Canoga Park, California

  • Mar 8 John Kapelos, Canadian actor
  • Mar 8 Laurie Cunningham, English former footballer (d. 1989)
  • Mar 8 David Malpass, American economist (President of the World Bank 2019-), born in Petoskey, Michigan
  • Mar 9 Shashi Tharoor, Indian politician and diplomat (United Nations Under-Secretary General), born in London
  • Mar 9 Mark Dantonio, American football coach for Michigan State University, born in El Paso, Texas
  • Mar 9 David Willetts, English Conservative Party politician, born in Birmingham, England
  • Mar 10 Janet Alex-Anderson, American golfer (US Open 1982), born in West Sunbury, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 10 Mitchell Lichtenstein, American actor; son of Roy Lichtenstein
  • Mar 11 Curtis L Brown Jr, NC, astronaut (STS 47, STS 66, 77, 85, sk:95)
  • Mar 11 D. J. MacHale, American author and television writer
  • Mar 11 Rob Paulsen, American voice actor (Pinky and The Brain), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mar 12 Dale Murphy, American baseball slugger (NL MVP 1982–83; Silver Slugger Award 1982–85; Gold Glove Award 1982–86; 7 x MLB All-Star; NL HR leader 1984, 85; NL; Atlanta Braves), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Mar 12 Steve Harris, English hard rock bassist (Iron Maiden - "Gypsy's Kiss"), born in London, England
  • Mar 13 Dana Delany, American actress (Colleen McMurphy-China Beach, Exit to Eden), born in NYC, New York

Jamie Dimon

Mar 13 Jamie Dimon, American business executive and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, born in NYC, New York

  • Mar 14 Natalya Kuleshova, Russian cosmonaut, born in Moscow, Soviet Union
  • Mar 14 Tessa Sanderson, British javelin thrower (Olympic gold. 1984), born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Mar 14 Colin Ayre, British football player (Newcastle United), born in Ashington, Northumberland
  • Mar 14 Alexey Pajitnov, Russian video game designer and computer engineer (Tetris), born in Moscow, Soviet Union
  • Mar 14 Patrick Leonard, American songwriter, film composer and music producer (Madonna), born in Crystal Falls, Michigan
  • Mar 15 Clay Matthews, NFL linebacker (Atlanta Falcons)
  • Mar 16 Ozzie Newsome, NFL tight end (Cleveland Browns)
  • Mar 16 Vladimír Godár, Slovak contemporary classical music and film music composer, born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
  • Mar 17 Will Rigby, American rock drummer and percussionist (The dB's)
  • Mar 17 Patrick McDonnell, American cartoonist (Mutts), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • Mar 17 Rory McGrath, British comedian, television personality, and writer (Who Dares Wins, They Think It's All Over), born in Redruth, Cornwall
  • Mar 17 Luca Francesconi, Italian classical and electronic music composer (Wanderer; Unexpected End of Formula), born in Milan, Italy
  • Mar 18 "The Model" Rick Martel [Richard Vignault], wrestler (WWF/AWA)
  • Mar 18 Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier (2 Olympic gold 1980), born in Joesjö, Sweden
  • Mar 18 Deborah Jeane Palfrey, American escort owner, born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania (d. 2008)
  • Mar 19 Alina Castro, Havanna Cuba, daughter of Fidel
  • Mar 19 Yegor Gaidar, Russian politician and economist.
  • Mar 20 Phillip Oppenheim, British MP (C), born in London, England
  • Mar 20 Alphonso Martin, British reggae percussionist and vocalist (Steel Pulse, 1977-91 - "Prodigal Son"), born in Birmingham, England
  • Mar 21 Ingrid Kristiansen, Norwegian long distance athlete (World C'ship gold 10,000m 1987; WR 5,000m, 10,000m, marathon; NYC 1989; Boston Marathon 1986, 89), born in Trondheim, Norway
  • Mar 22 Lena Olin, Swedish actress (Enemies A Love Story), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mar 22 Generosa Ammon, American widow of murdered multimillionaire Ted Ammon, suspect in his death, born in Laguna Beach, California (d. 2003)
  • Mar 23 Andrew Mitchell, British MP
  • Mar 23 Laura Thorne, chef (named one of 10 best American chefs)
  • Mar 23 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission
  • Mar 24 Ijaz Faqih, cricketer (Pakistan off-spin all-rounder in 5 Tests 80-88)
  • Mar 25 Sonia M Lannaman, England, 4X100m relayer (Olympic bronze 1980)
  • Mar 25 Matthew Garber, English child actor (Mary Poppins), born in London, England (d. 1977)
  • Mar 26 Charly McClain, American country singer (Radio Heart), born in Jackson, Tennessee
  • Mar 26 Tatyana Kochergina, Ukrainian handball player (Olympic gold 1976, 80 USSR), born in Ovidiopol, Ukraine
  • Mar 27 Brian Kelly, American CFL wide receiver (Edmonton Eskimos), born in Arcadia, California
  • Mar 27 Thomas Wassberg, Swedish cross country skier (4 Olympic gold 1980, 84, 88), born in Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden
  • Mar 27 (Paul) "Wix" Wickens, British session and touring keyboard player (Paul McCartney; Nik Kershaw; Kevin Coyne), born in Brentwood, Essex, England
  • Mar 28 Asoka De Silva, Sri Lankan cricket leg-spinner (Sri Lanka in 10 Tests 1985-91), born in Kalutara, Sri Lanka
  • Mar 28 Evelin Jahl, German discus thrower (Olympic-2 gold-1976), born in Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany
  • Mar 28 T A Sekar, Indian cricket pace-bowler (2 Tests 1982-83 little impact), born in Chennai, India
  • Mar 28 April Margera, American TV personality, Bam Margera's mother, born in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 29 Kurt Thomas, American gymnast (first American male to win gold medal at World Championships, floor 1978; floor, horizontal bars 1979), and actor (Gymkata), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2020)
  • Mar 29 Patty Donahue, American new wave rock singer (The Waitresses - "I Know What Boys Like"; "Christmas Wrapping), born in Akron, Ohio (d. 1996)
  • Mar 30 Bill Butler, Scottish politician
  • Mar 31 Bruce Sinofsky, American documentary film director (Brother's Keeper), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2015)

Famous Weddings

Rupert Murdoch

Mar 1 Media magnate Rupert Murdoch marries first wife Patricia Booker

Bob Hawke

Mar 3 Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke (26) weds first wife Hazel Masterson (26) at Perth Trinity Church in Australia

Aldous Huxley

Mar 19 British "The Doors of Perception" author Aldous Huxley (62) weds American musician and author Laura Archera (45)


Famous Deaths

  • Mar 1 Henriette Renié, French harp prodigy, composer, and teacher, dies at 80
  • Mar 3 Willem Hendrik Keesom, Dutch physicist (Helium I/II), dies at 79
  • Mar 5 Erich Itor Kahn, German composer of Jewish descent, dies at 50
  • Mar 9 Amanda Aldridge, British opera singer, pianist, teacher, and composer of parlour songs and light orchestral pieces music, dies at 89
  • Mar 11 Sergey Nikiforovich Vasilenko, Russian opera composer, dies at 83
  • Mar 16 Joseph John Richards, American composer, dies at 77
  • Mar 17 Fred Allen, American comedian (Fred Allen Radio Show), dies at 61

Irene Joliot-Curie

Mar 17 Irene Joliot-Curie, French physicist (Nobel laureate 1935) and daughter of Marie Curie, dies at 58

  • Mar 18 Friedrich Panzer, German germanist (Hilde-Gudrun), dies at 85
  • Mar 18 Louis Bromfield, writer, dies at 59
  • Mar 20 Wilhelm Miklas, Austrian politician and 3rd President of Austria (1928-38), dies at 83
  • Mar 22 George Al Sarton, Belgian-American chemist and historian, dies at 71
  • Mar 24 Edmund Taylor Whittaker, British mathematician (applied mathematics and the theory of special functions), dies at 82
  • Mar 25 George Luther Foote, American composer, dies at 70
  • Mar 25 Robert Newton, British actor (Treasure Island, Henry V, Around the World in 80 Days), dies from a heart attack at 50
  • Mar 26 Thomas de Hartmann, Russian composer, dies at 70
  • Mar 27 Frans Beelaerts van Blokland, minister of Foreign affairs, dies at 84
  • Mar 29 Infante Alfonso of Spain, younger brother of King Juan Carlos, dies from an accidental gunshot at 14
  • Mar 31 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA National Dirt Track C'ship 1908-11), dies of cancer at 73