March 2nd in history:
Just days before President Ulysses S. Grant was scheduled to leave office in 1877, Americans still didn’t know who the next president would be. A dispute over electoral votes ended March 2nd, three days before the inauguration ceremony, when a special commission declared Rutherford B. Hayes the new president by just one electoral vote. Samuel Tilden had won the popular vote in the 1876 election.
It took just three ballots to choose a new pope on March 2nd, 1939. On his 63rd birthday, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli became Pope Pius XII. Pacelli was assigned to Rome for most of his priesthood, and he was welcomed to the Vatican in 1901 by Pope Leo XIII, born Vincenzo Pecci on this day in 1810.
Leo was the first pope to appear in a motion picture, and to have his voice recorded. That pope shares a birthday with a “Carpenter” who was famous for recordings: singer Karen Carpenter, born March 2nd, 1950. Teamed with her brother Richard, Karen sang lead on several hit songs in the 1970s, including “Close to You,” “Superstar,” and “Top of the World.”
Wilt Chamberlain was already a basketball superstar in 1962, as the NBA’s all-time scoring king for a single game, but he was on top of the world on March 2nd of that year. On that day, Chamberlain became the first (and so far, only) player in the league to ever score 100 points in one game, leading the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 win over the New York Knicks. The game played in Hershey, Pennsylvania, was broadcast on the radio, but not on TV.
January 13th in history:
On January 13th, 1953, Josip Broz, the prime minister of Yugoslavia, took on a new job title. That day, he became the president of Yugoslavia, and held the job until his death in 1980. Broz was better known by the title “Marshal Tito.”
Another man from Eastern Europe took an important leadership position on January 13th of 1964. Polish Bishop Karol Wojtyla officially became the Archbishop of Krakow. Fourteen years later, Wojtyla took on a new job, and a new name: Pope John Paul II.
Actor Patrick Dempsey is better known to many TV fans by the title “Dr. McDreamy” on the series “Grey’s Anatomy.” Dempsey was born on January 13, 1966 — making him exactly four years older than “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes (1970). It’s also the birthday of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, alias “Elaine”, “Old Christine” and “Veep” (1961).