Today is Friday, March 19, the 78th day of 2010. There are 287 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 19, 1860, lawyer, congressman, three-time Democratic presidential nominee and U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Ill.
On this date:
In 1859, the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.
In 1917, the Supreme Court, in Wilson v. New, upheld the eight-hour work day for railroad workers.
In 1918, Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time.
In 1920, the Senate rejected, for a second time, the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.
In 1931, Nevada Governor Fred B. Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling.
In 1945, during World War II, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the carrier USS Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved. Adolf Hitler issued his so-called “Nero Decree,” ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.
In 1953, the Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time; “The Greatest Show on Earth” was named best picture of 1952.
In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.
In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.
In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20th in Iraq.)
Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton arrived outside New Delhi on the first presidential visit to India in 22 years as he opened a six-day trip through troubled South Asia.
Five years ago: Police in Citrus County, Fla. found the body of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, more than three weeks after she’d disappeared from her bedroom. (Convicted sex offender John Evander Couey was later sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and burying Jessica alive; he died of natural causes in Sept. 2009.) Irina Slutskaya won the gold medal for the second time at the World Figure Skating Championships, held in Moscow; Sasha Cohen of the United States won the silver medal for the second straight year. Automaker John Z. DeLorean died in Summit, N.J. at age 80.
One year ago: An Austrian jury sentenced Josef Fritzl, 73, to life in a psychiatric ward for locking his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years, fathering her seven children and letting one die in captivity as a newborn. Pope Benedict XVI, visiting Cameroon, told Muslim leaders that true religion rejected violence; the pontiff also held up peaceful coexistence between Christianity and Islam in the country as “a beacon to other African nations.”
Today’s Birthdays: Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 85. Theologian Hans Kung is 82. Jazz musician Ornette Coleman is 80. Author Philip Roth is 77. Actress Renee Taylor is 77. Actress-singer Phyllis Newman is 77. Actress Ursula Andress is 74. Singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry is 73. Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) is 64. Actress Glenn Close is 63. Film producer Harvey Weinstein is 58. Actor Bruce Willis is 55. Playwright Neil LaBute is 47. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s Choice) is 40. Rappper Bun B is 37. Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy Eat World) is 34. Actress Abby Brammell is 31. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor is 21. Actor Philip Bolden is 15.
Thought for Today: “No one is such a liar as the indignant man.” â€” Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900).