Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 7, the 66th day of 2015. There are 299 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was violently broken up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, by state troopers and a sheriff’s posse in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

On this date:

In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.

In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.

In 1912, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen arrived in Hobart, Australia, where he dispatched telegrams announcing his success in leading the first expedition to the South Pole the previous December.

In 1926, the first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine at Remagen, Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge.

In 1955, the first TV production of the musical “Peter Pan” starring Mary Martin aired on NBC.

In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required two-thirds of senators present.

In 1983, the original version of The Nashville Network (now Spike) made its debut.

In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a parody that pokes fun at an original work can be considered “fair use.” (The ruling concerned a parody of the Roy Orbison song “Oh, Pretty Woman” by the rap group 2 Live Crew.)

In 1999, movie director Stanley Kubrick, whose films included “Dr. Strangelove,” ”A Clockwork Orange” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” died in Hertfordshire, England, at age 70, having just finished editing “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush nominated John Bolton to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, an appointment which ran into Democratic opposition, prompting Bush to make a recess appointment. The presidents of Syria and Lebanon announced that Syrian forces would pull back to Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley by March 31, but that a complete troop withdrawal would be deferred until after later negotiations. A prison fire in the Dominican Republic killed 134 inmates.

Five years ago: The Iraq war thriller “The Hurt Locker” received six Academy Awards including best picture, with Kathryn Bigelow accepting the first directing Oscar awarded to a woman. Iraq held an election in which neither the Sunni-backed coalition nor the Shiite political bloc won a majority, spawning an eight-month deadlock and stalling formation of a new government.

One year ago: Russia was swept up in patriotic fervor in anticipation of bringing Crimea back into its territory, with tens of thousands of people thronging Red Square in Moscow chanting, “Crimea is Russia!”

Today’s Birthdays: Photographer Lord Snowdon is 85. TV personality Willard Scott is 81. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Janet Guthrie is 77. Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 75. Entertainment executive Michael Eisner is 73. Rock musician Chris White (The Zombies) is 72. Actor John Heard is 69. Rock singer Peter Wolf is 69. Rock musician Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) is 69. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris is 65. Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer Lynn Swann is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 63. Actor Bryan Cranston is 59. Actress Donna Murphy is 56. Actor Nick Searcy is 56. Golfer Tom Lehman is 56. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Ivan Lendl is 55. Actress Mary Beth Evans is 54. Singer-actress Taylor Dayne is 53. Actor Bill Brochtrup is 52. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 51. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 51. Actor Jonathan Del Arco is 49. Rock musician Randy Guss (Toad the Wet Sprocket) is 48. Actor Peter Sarsgaard is 44. Actress Rachel Weisz is 44. Classical singer Sebastien Izambard (Il Divo) is 42. Rock singer Hugo Ferreira (Tantric) is 41. Actress Jenna Fischer is 41. Actress Sarayu Rao is 40. Actress Audrey Marie Anderson is 40. Actor TJ Thyne is 40. Actress Laura Prepon is 35.

Thought for Today: “History and experience tells us that moral progress cannot come in comfortable and in complacent times, but out of trial and out of confusion.” – Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States (1913-2006).

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