Today is Wednesday, March 17, the 76th day of 2010. There are 289 days left in the year. This is St. Patrick’s Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 17, A.D. 461 (or A.D. 493, depending on sources), St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul.
On this date:
In 1776, British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
In 1860, the Kanrin Maru became the first official Japanese ship to reach U.S. soil as it arrived in San Francisco. (The ship arrived 12 days ahead of the USS Powhatan, which was carrying a Japanese embassy delegation.)
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt first likened crusading journalists to a man with “the muckrake in his hand” in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.
In 1910, the Camp Fire Girls organization was formed. (It was formally presented to the public on this date two years later.) The U.S. National Museum, a precursor to the National Museum of Natural History, opened in Washington, D.C.
In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C.
In 1950, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, “californium.”
In 1960, a Northwest Orient Lockheed L-188C Electra crashed near Cannelton, Ind., killing all 63 people on board.
In 1966, a U.S. midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.
In 1970, the United States cast its first veto in the U.N. Security Council. (The U.S. killed a resolution that would have condemned Britain for failure to use force to overthrow the white-ruled government of Rhodesia.)
In 1992, 29 people were killed in the truck bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ten years ago: In a decision that outraged many gun rights supporters, Smith & Wesson signed an unprecedented agreement with the Clinton administration to, among other things, include safety locks with all of its handguns to make them more childproof; in return, the agreement called for federal, state and city lawsuits against the gun maker to be dropped. The United States lifted a ban on imports of Iranian luxury goods. More than 500 members of a doomsday cult were burned to death in a makeshift church in southwestern Uganda.
Five years ago: Baseball players told Congress that steroids were a problem in the sport; stars Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa testified they hadn’t used them while Mark McGwire refused to say whether he had. (McGwire owned up to steroid use in January 2010.) Rapper Lil’ Kim was convicted of lying to a grand jury about a shootout outside a New York radio station. (Lil’ Kim was sentenced to 366 days in prison; she served nearly 10 months.) Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland won the men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.
One year ago: U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained by North Korea while reporting on North Korean refugees living across the border in China. (Both were convicted of entering North Korea illegally and were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor; both were freed in Aug. 2009 after former President Bill Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.) The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its final print edition.
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz/New Age musician Paul Horn is 80. The former national chairwoman of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams, is 77. Rock musician Paul Kantner is 69. Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly is 67. Singer-songwriter John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful) is 66. Rock musician Harold Brown (War; Lowrider Band) is 64. Actor Patrick Duffy is 61. Actor Kurt Russell is 59. Country singer Susie Allanson is 58. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 56. Country singer Paul Overstreet is 55. Actor Gary Sinise is 55. Former basketball and baseball player Danny Ainge is 51. Actress Vicki Lewis is 50. Actor Casey Siemaszko (sheh-MA’-zshko) is 49. Writer-director Rob Sitch is 48. Actor Rob Lowe is 46. Rock singer Billy Corgan is 43. Rock musician Van Conner (Screaming Trees) is 43. Actor Mathew St. Patrick is 42. Actor Yanic (YAH’-neek) Truesdale is 41. Rock musician Melissa Auf der Maur is 38. Soccer player Mia Hamm is 38. Rock musician Caroline Corr (The Corrs) is 37. Actress Marisa Coughlan is 36. Rapper Swifty (D12) is 35. Actress Natalie Zea (zee) is 35. Actress Brittany Daniel is 34. Actress Eliza Hope Bennett is 18.
Thought for Today: “Television is a device that permits people who haven’t anything to do to watch people who can’t do anything.” â€” Fred Allen, American comedian (1894-1956).