On This Day March 28
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1915 – The first American is killed during World War I, before the U.S. had even entered the conflict. Leon Thrasher, a 31-year-old mining engineer from Massachusetts, drowns when a German U-boat (submarine) torpedoes the British steamship RMS Falaba off the coast of England. The vessel was on its way from Liverpool to West Africa when the Germans attacked. The sinking is reported by American media as the “Thrasher Incident.”
1979 – The worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history takes place at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, PA. A mechanical failure in the Unit 2 reactor, compounded by human error, forces thousands to evacuate and triggers a public backlash against the nuclear power industry.
1964 – “She Loves You,” by The Beatles, tops the U.S. pop chart. It is the second of three consecutive singles that keep The Beatles at No. 1 from the beginning of February through the beginning of May of that year.
1981 – “Rapture,” by Blondie featuring Debbie Harry, becomes the first rap song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track, off the band’s “Autoamerican” album, claims the top spot for two weeks.
2001 – Sean Combs, the Grammy-winning artist formerly known as both Puffy and Puff Daddy, tells MTV that he now wants to be known as P. Diddy. In August 2005, he changes his stage name to simply Diddy.