Today in History

Today is Tuesday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2015. There are 282 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 24, 1765, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

On this date:

In 1832, a mob in Hiram, Ohio, attacked, tarred and feathered Mormon leaders Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

In 1913, New York’s Palace Theatre, the legendary home of vaudeville, opened on Broadway.

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.

In 1944, in occupied Rome, the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before that had killed 32 German soldiers.

In 1955, the Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opened on Broadway.

In 1958, rock-and-roll singer Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1975, Muhammad Ali defeated Chuck Wepner with a technical knockout in the 15th round of a fight in Richfield, Ohio. (Wepner, a journeyman known as the “Bayonne Bleeder,” inspired Sly Stallone to make his “Rocky” films.)

In 1976, the president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military.

In 1980, one of El Salvador’s most respected Roman Catholic Church leaders, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, was shot to death by a sniper as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.

In 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil.

In 1995, after 20 years, British soldiers stopped routine patrols in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1999, NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from the parents of Terri Schiavo to have a feeding tube reinserted into the severely brain-damaged woman. The president of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, fled the country after opposition activists stormed his headquarters, seized control of state television and rampaged through government offices. Chess legend Bobby Fischer was freed after being detained nine months in Japan for trying to leave the country with an invalid U.S. passport; he boarded a flight to his new home, Iceland. The American version of “The Office,” based on a BBC-TV series, premiered on NBC.

Five years ago: Keeping a promise he’d made to anti-abortion Democratic lawmakers to assure passage of his historic health care legislation, President Barack Obama signed an executive order against using federal funds to pay for elective abortions covered by private insurance. Actor Robert Culp died in Los Angeles at age 79. Singer Johnny Maestro died in Florida at age 70.

One year ago: President Barack Obama began a week of international travel as he arrived in the Netherlands with Russia’s Crimean incursion at the top of his agenda. An Egyptian court sentenced to death nearly 530 suspected backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi over a deadly attack on a police station, capping a swift, two-day mass trial in which defense attorneys were not allowed to present their case. Five former employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff were convicted at the end of a six-month trial in New York that cast them as the long arms of their boss.

Today’s Birthdays: Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 96. Actor William Smith is 82. Fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie is 76. Actor R. Lee Ermey is 71. Movie director Curtis Hanson is 70. Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is 68. Rock musician Lee Oskar is 67. Singer Nick Lowe is 66. Rock musician Dougie Thomson (Supertramp) is 64. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is 64. Comedian Louie Anderson is 62. Actress Donna Pescow is 61. Actor Robert Carradine is 61. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is 59. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 55. Rhythm-and-blues DJ Rodney “Kool Kollie” Terry (Ghostown DJs) is 54. TV personality Star Jones is 53. Country-rock musician Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) is 51. Actor Peter Jacobson is 50. Rock singer-musician Sharon Corr (The Corrs) is 45. Actress Lauren Bowles is 45. Actress Lara Flynn Boyle is 45. Rapper Maceo (AKA P.A. Pasemaster Mase) is 45. Actress Megyn Price is 44. Actor Jim Parsons is 42. Christian rock musician Chad Butler (Switchfoot) is 41. Actress Alyson Hannigan is 41. NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is 39. Actress Olivia Burnette is 38. Actress Jessica Chastain is 38. Actor Amir Arison (TV: “The Blacklist”) is 37. Actress Lake Bell is 36. Rock musician Benj Gershman (O.A.R.) is 35. Neo-soul musician Jesse Phillips (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 35. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes is 25.

Thought for Today: “If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.” – William James, American psychologist (1842-1910).

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