Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 14, the 73rd day of 2015. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 14, 1923, President Warren G. Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax return, paying a levy of $17,990 on his $75,000 salary.

On this date:

In 1743, a memorial service was held at Faneuil Hall in Boston honoring Peter Faneuil, who had donated the building bearing his name.

In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado” premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

In 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

In 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1975, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” a sendup of the legend of King Arthur, had its world premiere in Los Angeles. Academy Award-winning actress Susan Hayward, 57, died in Los Angeles.

In 1980, a LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.

In 1991, a British court overturned the convictions of the “Birmingham Six,” who had spent 16 years in prison for a 1974 Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

Ten years ago: A judge in San Francisco ruled that California’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional (a state appeals court later reversed the decision). China’s parliament enacted a law authorizing force to stop rival Taiwan from pursuing formal independence. About 1 million people rallied in Beirut, Lebanon, demanding Syrian withdrawal and the arrest of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s killers. U2, The Pretenders, The O’Jays, Percy Sledge and blues legend Buddy Guy were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: French voters, scarred by their country’s economic crisis, dealt President Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative leadership a stern blow by strongly favoring leftist candidates in regional elections. Actor Peter Graves died in Los Angeles at age 83, four days short of his birthday.

One year ago: The West braced for a vote by the Crimean Peninsula to secede from Ukraine; calling the results all but a foregone conclusion, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia’s parliament against accepting any offer to claim Crimea as its own. Tony Benn, 88, a committed socialist who irritated and fascinated Britons through a political career spanning five decades, died in London.

(Stations: “Derrick,” one name only, is correct)

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Phil Phillips (Song: “Sea of Love”) is 89. Former astronaut Frank Borman is 87. Actor Michael Caine is 82. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 82. Former astronaut Eugene Cernan is 81. Actor Raymond J. Barry is 76. Movie director Wolfgang Petersen is 74. Country singer Michael Martin Murphey is 70. Rock musician Walt Parazaider (Chicago) is 70. Actor Steve Kanaly is 69. Comedian Billy Crystal is 67. Former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is 67. Actor/writer/comedian/radio personality Rick Dees is 64. Country singer Jann Browne is 61. Actor Adrian Zmed is 61. Prince Albert II, the ruler of Monaco, is 57. Actress Laila Robins is 56. Actress Tamara Tunie (tuh-MAH’-ruh TOO’-nee) is 56. Actress Penny Johnson Jerald is 54. Producer-director-writer Kevin Williamson is 50. Actress Elise Neal is 49. Actor Gary Anthony Williams is 49. Actress Megan Follows is 47. Rock musician Michael Bland is 46. Country singer Kristian Bush is 45. Rock musician Derrick (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 43. Actress Betsy Brandt is 42. Actress Grace Park is 41. Actor Daniel Gillies is 39. Actor Corey Stoll (TV: “House of Cards”) is 39. Actor Jake Fogelnest is 36. Actor Chris Klein is 36. Actress Kate Maberly is 33. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) is 32. Actor Jamie Bell is 29. Rock musician Este Haim (HYM) is 29.

Thought for Today: “Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.” – Ayn Rand, American author (1905-1982).

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