Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 23, 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
On this date:
In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, California.
In 1965, America’s first two-person space mission took place as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.
In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court, in H.L. v. Matheson, ruled that states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teenage girls seek abortions.
In 1984, the original “Police Academy” was released in theaters.
In 1993, scientists announced they’d found the renegade gene that causes Huntington’s disease.
In 1994, Aeroflot Flight 593, an Airbus A310, crashed in Siberia with the loss of all 75 people on board; it turned out that a pilot’s teenage son who was allowed to sit at the controls had accidentally disengaged the autopilot, causing loss of control.
In 1998, “Titanic” tied an Academy Awards record by winning 11 Oscars, including best picture, director (James Cameron) and song (“My Heart Will Go On”).
In 2003, during the Iraq War, a U.S. Army maintenance convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE’-uh); 11 soldiers were killed, including Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa (py-ES’-tuh-wah); six were captured, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued on April 1, 2003.
In 2010, claiming a historic triumph, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a $938 billion health care overhaul.
In 2020, President Donald Trump said he wanted to reopen the country for business in weeks, not months; he asserted that continued closures could result in more deaths than the coronavirus itself. Britain became the latest European country to go into effective lockdown, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of most retail stores and banned public gatherings.
Ten years ago: Urging Americans to “do some soul searching,” President Barack Obama injected himself into the emotional debate over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” The U.S. Army formally charged Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of 17 villagers, more than half of them children, during a shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan. Pope Benedict XVI landed in Mexico to throngs of faithful who lined more than 20 miles of his route into the city of Leon.
Five years ago: Abandoning negotiations, President Donald Trump demanded a make-or-break vote on health care legislation in the House, threatening to leave “Obamacare” in place and move on to other issues if the next day’s vote failed. (Trump and GOP leaders ended up pulling their bill when it became clear it would fail badly.)
One year ago: A cargo ship the size of a skyscraper ran aground and became wedged in the Suez Canal; hundreds of ships would be prevented from passing through the canal until the vessel was freed six days later. Israeli voters took part in parliamentary elections that would leave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without a majority, forcing him from office. George Segal, nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” died in California at 87; he had worked into his late 80s on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs.”
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Mark Rydell is 93. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Craig Breedlove is 85. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is 70. Singer Chaka Khan is 69. Actor Amanda Plummer is 65. Actor Catherine Keener is 63. Actor Hope Davis is 58. Actor Richard Grieco is 57. Actor Marin Hinkle is 56.
Rock singer-musician Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) is 54. Actor Kelly Perine is 53. Actor-singer Melissa Errico is 52. Rock musician John Humphrey (The Nixons) is 52. Bandleader Reggie Watts (TV: “The Late Late Show With James Corden”) is 50. Actor Randall Park is 48. Actor Michelle Monaghan is 46. Actor Keri Russell is 46. Actor Anastasia Griffith is 44. Gossip columnist-blogger Perez Hilton is 44. Actor Nicholle Tom is 44. Actor Brandon Dirden is 44. Country singer Brett Young is 41. Actor Nicolas Wright is 40. Actor Ben Rappaport is 36. NBA point guard Kyrie Irving is 30.