Today in History

Today is Thursday, March 25, the 84th day of 2010. There are 281 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.

On this date:

In 1634, English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore arrived in present-day Maryland.

In 1865, during the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked Fort Stedman in Virginia but were forced to withdraw by counterattacking Union troops.

In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an “army” of unemployed from Massillon (MA’-sih-luhn), Ohio, to Washington D.C., to demand help from the federal government.

In 1911, 146 people, mostly female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York.

In 1918, French composer Claude Debussy (dehb-yoo-SEE’) died in Paris.

In 1947, a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Ill., claimed 111 lives.

In 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.

In 1960, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled that the D.H. Lawrence novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” was not obscene and could be sent through the mails. Ray Charles recorded “Georgia on My Mind” as part of his “The Genius Hits the Road” album in New York.

In 1975, King Faisal (FY’-suhl) of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded in June 1975.)

In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.

Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton briefly visited Pakistan, where he met with the new military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ’ MOO’-shuh-ruhv). A weary Pope John Paul II traveled the ancient streets of Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood town, and celebrated Mass in the soaring Basilica of the Annunciation.

Five years ago: Losing still more legal appeals, Terri Schiavo’s father, Bob Schindler, said his severely brain-damaged daughter was “down to her last hours” as she entered her second week without the feeding tube that had sustained her life for 15 years. An ailing, silent Pope John Paul II appeared to the faithful via video for Good Friday services at the Vatican.

One year ago: Pirates seized the Panama-registered, Greek-owned Nipayia with 18 Filipino crew members and a Russian captain off the Somali coastline. (The ship and crew were released in May 2009.) John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar of African-American studies, died in Durham, N.C. at age 94. Dan Seals, half of the pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, later a top country singer (“You Still Move Me”), died in Nashville at age 61.

Today’s Birthdays: Modeling agency founder Eileen Ford is 88. Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 84. Former astronaut James Lovell is 82. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 76. Singer Anita Bryant is 70. Singer Aretha Franklin is 68. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 67. Singer Elton John is 63. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 62. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 57. Actor James McDaniel is 52. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is 52. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 50. Actress Brenda Strong is 50. Actor Fred Goss is 49. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 49. Actress Marcia Cross is 48. Author Kate DiCamillo (Book: “Because of Winn-Dixie”) is 46. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 46. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 45. Former MLB All-Star pitcher Tom Glavine is 44. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Dr. Debi Thomas is 43. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 35. Actor Lee Pace is 31. Actor Sean Faris is 28. Auto racer Danica Patrick is 28. Singer Katharine McPhee (“American Idol”) is 26. Singer Jason Castro (“American Idol”) is 23. Actress-singer Aly (AKA Alyson) Michalka (mish-AL’-kah) is 21.

Thought for Today: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” — Andre Gide (zheed), French author and critic (1869-1951).

Posted in Today in History.

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