On March 14, 1794: Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.
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In 1879: Physicist Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany.
In 1939: The republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia.
In 1951: During the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.
In 1962: Democrat Edward M. Kennedy officially launched in Boston his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)
In 1964: A jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)
In 1967: The body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
In 1980: A LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.
In 1990: The Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.
In 1995: American astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American to enter space aboard a Russian rocket as he and two cosmonauts blasted off aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, headed for the Mir space station.
In 2011: Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and Leon Russell were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2015: Robert Durst, a wealthy eccentric linked to two killings and his wife’s disappearance, was arrested by the FBI in New Orleans on a murder warrant a day before HBO aired the final episode of a serial documentary about his life. (Durst would be convicted in the shooting death of his friend, Susan Berman; he died in January 2022 while serving a life sentence in California.)
In 2018: Stephen Hawking, the best-known theoretical physicist of his time, died at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76; he had stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness ALS for more than 50 years.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, hosted a White House state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha. Earlier, the two leaders announced that NATO forces would hand over the lead combat role in Afghanistan to Afghan forces in 2013 as the U.S. and its allies aimed to get out by the end of 2014.
Five years ago: A blustery late-season storm plastered the Northeast with sleet and snow, paralyzing much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor but falling well short of predicted snow totals in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Declaring “enough is enough,” Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, told senators that he intended to fix the problem that led to current and former Corps members sharing nude photos of female Marines online and making lewd or threatening comments about them. Mitch Seavey won his third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, becoming the fastest and oldest champion at age 57.
One year ago: U.S. authorities arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 riot. (Sicknick collapsed and died at a hospital the next day; a medical examiner determined that he suffered a stroke and died from natural causes.) Myanmar’s ruling junta declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city as security forces killed dozens of protesters in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to the previous month’s military coup. Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift swept the top honors at the Grammy Awards; Beyoncé’s 28th win made her the most decorated woman in Grammy history. Record-setting New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement after 20 NFL seasons.