Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 15, the 74th day of 2015. There are 291 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 15, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, addressing a joint session of Congress, called for new legislation to guarantee every American’s right to vote – the result was passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On this date:

In 44 B.C., Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1767, the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was born in Waxhaw, South Carolina.

In 1820, Maine became the 23rd state.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson met with about 100 reporters for the first formal presidential press conference.

In 1935, the Busby Berkeley movie musical “Gold Diggers of 1935” was released by Warner Bros.

In 1945, “Going My Way” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1944, and its star, Bing Crosby, was named best actor; Ingrid Bergman was named best actress for “Gaslight.”

In 1956, the Lerner and Loewe musical play “My Fair Lady,” based on Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” opened on Broadway.

In 1964, actress Elizabeth Taylor married actor Richard Burton in Montreal; it was her fifth marriage, his second.

In 1975, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis died near Paris at age 69.

In 1985, the first Internet domain name, symbolics.com, was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp. of Massachusetts.

In 1990, Iraq executed London-based journalist Farzad Bazoft, whom it had accused of spying.

Ten years ago: Former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers was convicted in New York of engineering the largest corporate fraud in U.S. history. (He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.) In a symbolic but stunning rebuke, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a motion saying it lacked confidence in President Lawrence Summers – the first such action in the nearly 400-year history of the university.

Five years ago: Michael David Barrett, an insurance executive who’d shot surreptitious hotel videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles to 2 1/2 years in prison. (He was released in July 2012.) The United States demanded that Israel call off a contentious building project in east Jerusalem.

One year ago: Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, said a Malaysian jetliner missing for a week had deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than seven hours after severing contact with the ground, meaning it could have gone as far northwest as Kazakhstan or into the Indian Ocean’s southern reaches. Comedian David Brenner, 78, died in New York.

Today’s Birthdays: Musician DJ Fontana is 84. Former astronaut Alan L. Bean is 83. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 82. Actor Judd Hirsch is 80. Rock musician Phil Lesh is 75. Singer Mike Love (The Beach Boys) is 74. Rock singer-musician Sly Stone is 72. Rock singer-musician Howard Scott (War; Lowrider Band) is 69. Rock singer Ry Cooder is 68. Actor Craig Wasson is 61. Rock singer Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) is 60. Actor Joaquim de Almeida is 58. Actress Park Overall is 58. Movie director Renny Harlin is 56. Model Fabio is 54. Singer Terence Trent D’Arby (AKA Sananda Maitreya) is 53. Rock singer Bret Michaels (Poison) is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rockwell is 51. Actor Chris Bruno is 49. Rock singer Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) is 47. Actress Kim Raver is 46. Rock musician Mark Hoppus is 43. Actress Eva Longoria is 40. Rapper-musician will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) is 40. Rock DJ Joseph Hahn (Linkin Park) is 38. Rapper Young Buck is 34. Actor Sean Biggerstaff is 32. Rock musician Ethan Mentzer is 32. Actor Kellan Lutz is 30. Actress Caitlin Wachs is 26.

Thought for Today: “You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling.” – Billie Holiday, American singer (1915-1959).

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