March: This Month in History
By Edmund Shryock
There have been a great deal of historical events that have taken place within the month of March. All of us know about the events of last March (2020) which now overshadows previous historical events and achievements. Now let’s take a look back at five historical events that have taken place in the month of March.
- The Ratification of The Articles of Confederation:
- On March 1st, 1781, The Articles of Confederation were ratified, creating the first taste of a Government in the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Articles remained as the governing body of the U.S. Government until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1789, there were major flaws within it. It created economic disorganization among the 13 States and there was no executive leader. This paved a way to a signing of the current U.S. Constitution that is the backbone of current American Politics.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was Inaugurated as the 32nd President of The United States:
- On March 4th, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated and was faced with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. He was offering a New Deal to America and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to this crisis. In his Inauguration Speech, he would go on to say the famous words, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This would rally the American people and cause him to win 3 more elections.
- Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union army:
- As the Civil War had been raging on for almost 3 years, the Union Army was in need of a new general. On March 9th, 1864, Ulysses Grant would be commissioned as the commander of the Union forces. Grant would go on to fight in numerous battles against the Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee. Eventually, Lee was defeated at the hands of General Grant’s army. This popularity of his successes in war helped him win the White House, becoming the 18th President of the United States.
- Obamacare is passed through Congress being signed into law:
- On March 23, 2010 in former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, he helped form a Universal Healthcare Reform Bill. This bill was going to allow healthcare to be offered to all Americans. However, this bill created enormous backlash from the Republican party believing it to be unconstitutional. This was the start of a majority of the division we see today in Washington. However, Obamacare was effective and popular among people who could not afford healthcare, helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
- The United States buys Alaska.
The Russian Empire at the time was looking to sell its Alaska Territory as it was across the Pacific Ocean and hard to defend. Also, Alaska was very sparsely populated. America was willing to purchase Alaska, however the Civil War postponed the sale until after the war. President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State William Seward set a deal to pay $7.2 million for Alaska, which was only about 2 cents per acre. So on March 30, 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. However, Alaska would not be granted statehood until 1959, almost 92 years after the purchase.