March 7 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the telephone.
In 1918, Finland signed a peace treaty with Germany shortly after declaring independence from Russia.
In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered Nazi troops into the Rhineland, violating the Treaty of Versailles.
In 1945, the U.S. 1st Army crossed the Rhine at Remagen, Germany after capturing the strategically important, Ludendorff Bridge (also known as the Bridge at Remagen). World War II in Europe ended two months later.
In 1965, hundreds of civil rights marchers trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., were turned back by state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. Dozens of people were beaten and injured in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Marchers voluntarily turned around on a ceremonial walk to the bridge two days later and, on March 21, with protection by federal and National Guard troops, the main Selma-to-Montgomery march began.
In 1984, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Wilson as the first U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in 117 years.
In 1985, “We Are the World,” a song composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by a series of high-profile music stars was released worldwide with the goal of generating funds for the USA for Africa charity. The song and related promotions eventually raised about $63 million.
In 2002, More than 600 people were reported dead after several days of Hindu-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat, India.
In 2004, the openly gay V. Gene Robinson became the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.
In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for her film The Hurt Locker.
In 2012, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a controversial bill requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the procedure.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed John Brennan as director of the CIA.
In 2014, Saudi Arabia designated several organizations as terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, of which ex-Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was a member.
In 2017, Malta’s iconic Azure Window, a natural rock arch, collapsed into the sea during a storm.