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Today in History

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • March 15, 2014 - 11:05 PM

Today is Sunday, March 16, the 75th day of 2014. There are 290 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 16, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent Congress the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as part of his War on Poverty. (The measure was passed by Congress, and was signed by Johnson in August 1964.)

On this date:

In A.D. 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.

In 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines, where he was killed by natives the following month.

In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Va.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1894, the opera "Thais" (THAY'-ihs), composed by Jules Massenet (ma-suh-NAY'), premiered in Paris.

In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Mass.

In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY') by ordering the rearming of Germany.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces declared they had secured Iwo Jima, although pockets of Japanese resistance remained.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai (mee ly) Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504.

In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry House opened in Nashville with a concert attended by President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat.

In 1984, William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped by terrorists (he was tortured by his captors and killed in 1985).

In 1994, figure skater Tonya Harding pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, avoiding jail but drawing a $100,000 fine.

Ten years ago: China declared victory in its fight against bird flu, saying it had "stamped out" all its known cases. Mitch Seavey won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in nine days, 12 hours, 20 minutes and 22 seconds.

Five years ago: Joining a wave of public anger, President Barack Obama blistered insurance giant AIG for "recklessness and greed" for handing its executives $165 million in bonuses after taking billions in federal bailout money. British actress Natasha Richardson, 45, was fatally injured in a skiing accident at a resort in Quebec; she died two days later at a Manhattan hospital. Austrian Josef Fritzl pleaded guilty at the start of his trial to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering her seven children. (Two days later, Fritzl pleaded guilty to the remaining charges against him, including negligent homicide; he was sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.)

One year ago: Police said a Swiss woman who was on a cycling trip in central India with her husband was gang-raped by eight men; the reported attack came three months after the fatal gang-rape of a woman aboard a New Delhi bus outraged Indians. Yuna Kim, back at the World Figure Skating Championships after a two-year absence, won the women's title in London, Ontario, Canada. British actor Frank Thornton, 92, best known as Captain Peacock, a mustachioed, pompous department store floor manager in the long-running television comedy "Are You Being Served?," died in London.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 88. Country singer Ray Walker (The Jordanaires) is 80. Movie director Bernardo Bertolucci is 73. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 73. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 72. Country singer Robin Williams is 67. Actor Erik Estrada is 65. Actor Victor Garber is 65. Actress Kate Nelligan is 63. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 63. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 60. World Golf Hall of Famer Hollis Stacy is 60. Actress Isabelle Huppert is 59. Actor Clifton Powell is 58. Rapper-actor Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 55. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 51. Actor Jerome Flynn is 51. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 50. Movie director Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean" films) is 50. Country singer Tracy Bonham is 47. Actress Lauren Graham is 47. Actor Judah Friedlander (FREED'-lan-duhr) is 45. Actor Alan Tudyk (TOO'-dihk) is 43. Actor Tim Kang is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Blu Cantrell is 38. Actress Brooke Burns is 36. Actress Alexandra Daddario is 28. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 23.

Thought for Today: "Nearly all our disasters come from a few fools having the 'courage of their convictions.'" — Coventry Patmore, English poet (1823-1896).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, March 16)

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