Here's what happened on March 30th!
- 1746: Spanish painter Francisco Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Spain. Goya rejected the obsessive detail and technical precision esteemed in his era. Capturing color and emotion triumphed over exactness and polish for Goya.
- 1842: Dr. Crawford Long conducted the first test of anesthesia when he painlessly removed a tumor from the neck of a patient. He would go on to conduct many tests over the next 7 years, but would not reveal his findings until 1849. This proved to be too late, since another doctor had already claimed the discovery.
- 1880: U.S. Army Lieutenant General Walter C. Short was born in Fillmore, Illinois. He was the commander of the Army’s Hawaiian Department at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following an official inquiry into the attack, it was concluded that Short was guilty of dereliction of duty—a willful failure to perform his expected duties due to negligence or inefficiency. This caused him to lose his rank and be relieved of his command.
- 1931: During a series of cases called the Scottsboro Cases, an all-white grand jury indicted nine African American men on the charge of rape following a March 25th incident where two white girls made accusations against them. By April 9, all but one of the boys had been sentenced to death. The trial was a national scandal and for the next few years was appealed and argued in court. Ultimately, all but one of the boys were freed, but the decisions marked a turning point in the battle for civil rights.
- 1940: Professional basketball player Jerry Ray Lucas as born in Middletown, Ohio. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was later named to the NBA’s list of the 50 Greatest Players.
- 1969: Following his death on March 28th, 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower laid in repose in Bethlehem Chapel before the funeral procession to the Capitol Rotunda to lie in state. His body was then transported by funeral train to Abilene, Kansas, for burial.
(Shapers of Society)
- 1981: An assassination attempt was made on President Ronald Reagan. He underwent surgery, but made a quick recovery from his wounds. His confident and courageous response to the attack increased his esteem in the eyes of the public.
(American History, World Biography)