Today is Thursday, March 18, the 77th day of 2010. There are 288 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 18, 1910, the first filmed adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein,” produced by Thomas Edison’s New York movie studio, was released, with Charles Ogle as the Monster.
On this date:
In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.
In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.
In 1922, Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced in India to six years’ imprisonment for civil disobedience. (He was released after serving two years.)
In 1937, some 300 people, mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas.
In 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized his country’s petroleum reserves and took control of foreign-owned oil facilities.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany’s war against France and Britain.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.)
In 1962, France and Algerian rebels signed a cease-fire agreement, which took effect the next day.
In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.
In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States.
Ten years ago: Taiwan ended more than a-half century of Nationalist Party rule, electing an opposition leader (Chen Shui-bian) whose party favored Taiwan’s formal independence from the rest of China.
Five years ago: Doctors in Florida, acting on orders of a state judge, removed Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube. (Despite the efforts of congressional Republicans to intervene and repeated court appeals by Schiavo’s parents, the brain-damaged woman died on March 31, 2005, at age 41.) Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months under house arrest for selling his office in a corruption scandal (he served 10 months behind bars).
One year ago: Under intense pressure from the Obama administration and Congress, the head of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, Edward Liddy, told Congress that some of the firm’s executives had begun returning all or part of bonuses totaling $165 million. Tony-winning Actress Natasha Richardson, 45, died at a New York hospital two days after suffering a head injury while skiing in Canada.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer John Kander (“Chicago”) is 83. Nobel peace laureate and former South African president F.W. de Klerk is 74. Country singer Charley Pride is 72. Actor Kevin Dobson is 67. Actor Brad Dourif is 60. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 59. Singer Irene Cara is 51. Movie writer-director Luc Besson is 51. Actor Thomas Ian Griffith is 48. Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is 48. Singer-actress Vanessa L. Williams is 47. Olympic gold medal speedskater Bonnie Blair is 46. Country musician Scott Saunders (Sons of the Desert) is 46. Rock musician Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) is 44. Rock singer-musician Miki Berenyi is 43. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 40. Actor-comedian Dane Cook is 38. Rock musician Stuart Zender is 36. Singer Devin Lima (LFO) is 33. Rock singer Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 31.
Thought for Today: “I take a simple view of living. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it.” â€” Laurence Olivier, British actor (1907-1989).