Today in History

Today is Tuesday, March 16, the 75th day of 2010. There are 290 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 16, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” was first published.

On this date:

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

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 1915, the Federal Trade Commission began operations.

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 by ordering the rearming of Germany.

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 1978, Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by left-wing urban guerrillas, who later murdered him.

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 1985, Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was abducted in Beirut; he was released in Dec. 1991.

Ten years ago: Independent Counsel Robert Ray said he found no credible evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton or senior White House officials had sought FBI background files of Republicans. Thomas Wilson Ferebee, the Enola Gay bombardier who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died in Windermere, Fla. at age 81.

Five years ago: A jury in Los Angeles acquitted actor Robert Blake of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, four years earlier. (A civil court jury later ordered Blake to pay Bakley’s four children $30 million, an award that an appeals court subsequently cut in half; Blake has declared bankruptcy.) A judge in Redwood City, Calif. sent Scott Peterson to death row for the slaying of his pregnant wife, Laci. Norway’s Robert Sorlie won his second Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in one of the closest races in years.

One year 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.)

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 84. Country singer Ray Walker (The Jordanaires) is 76. Movie director Bernardo Bertolucci is 69. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 69. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 68. Country singer Robin Williams is 63. Actor Erik Estrada is 61. Actor Victor Garber is 61. Actress Kate Nelligan is 59. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 59. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 56. Golfer Hollis Stacy is 56. Actress Isabelle Huppert is 55. Actor Clifton Powell is 54. Rapper-actor Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 51. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 47. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 46. Actress Lauren Graham is 43. Actor Judah Friedlander (TV: “30 Rock”) is 41. Actor Alan Tudyk (TOO’-dihk) is 39. Actor Tim Kang (TV: “The Mentalist”) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Blu Cantrell is 34. Actress Brooke Burns is 32. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 19.

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

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Thank You Team

Posted in Today in History.

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