This Day in History: March 6

Cassius Clay officially changes name to Muhammad Ali; Alex Trebek reveals his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer

On this day, March 6 …

2019: "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek reveals he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. (Trebek would die of the disease on Nov. 8, 2020.)

Also on this day:

  • 1475: Italian artist and poet Michelangelo is born in Caprese in the Republic of Florence.
  • 1836: The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, falls as Mexican forces led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna storm the fortress after a 13-day siege; all of the nearly 200 Texan defenders, including William Travis, James Bowie and Davy Crockett, die in battle.
  • 1857: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, rules 7-2 that Scott, a slave, is not an American citizen and therefore cannot sue for his freedom in federal court.

(iStock)

  • 1912: Oreo sandwich cookies are first introduced by the National Biscuit Co.
  • 1944: During World War II, U.S. heavy bombers stage the first full-scale American raid on Berlin.
  • 1953: Georgy Malenkov is named premier of the Soviet Union a day after the death of Josef Stalin.
  • 1964: Heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay officially changes his name to Muhammad Ali.
  • 1970: A bomb being built inside a Greenwich Village, New York, townhouse by the radical Weathermen (aka the Weather Underground) accidentally goes off, destroying the house and killing three group members.
  • 1995: "The Jenny Jones Show" tapes an episode on same-sex crushes during which Jonathan Schmitz learns his secret admirer is an acquaintance, Scott Amedure. (Three days later, Schmitz would fatally shoot Amedure, later telling police that Amedure had embarrassed him on national TV and the case would generate notoriety nationwide.)
  • 2009: NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft, Kepler, rockets into space on a voyage to track down other Earths in a faraway patch of the Milky Way galaxy.
  • 2009: The government reports the jobless rate reached 8.1 percent in Feb. 2009. While acknowledging an "astounding" number of job losses, President Obama tells critics of his $787 billion economic recovery plan in Columbus, Ohio, that it is saving jobs and says, "I know we did the right thing."
  • 2016: Former first lady Nancy Reagan dies in Los Angeles at age 94.
  • 2018: Economic adviser Gary Cohn announces that he is leaving the White House after breaking with President Trump on trade policy. 
  • 2018: Schoolteachers in West Virginia announce an end to a nine-day walkout after state lawmakers approve a 5% pay raise.