Today is Monday, March 23, the 82nd day of 2015. There are 283 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 23, 1965, America’s first two-person space mission took place as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.
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 1914, the first installment of “The Perils of Pauline,” the legendary silent film serial starring Pearl White, premiered in the greater New York City area.
In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
In 1940, the radio program “Truth or Consequences,” hosted by Ralph Edwards, was first broadcast over four CBS radio stations in New York and New England.
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 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
In 1973, before sentencing a group of Watergate break-in defendants, Chief U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica read aloud a letter he’d received from James W. McCord Jr. which said there had been “political pressure” to “plead guilty and remain silent.”
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan first proposed developing technology to intercept incoming enemy missiles – an idea that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a Jarvik permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.
In 1990, the romantic comedy “Pretty Woman,” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, was released by Buena Vista Pictures.
In 2011, Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at age 79.
Ten years ago: A federal appeals court refused to reinsert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube and the Florida Legislature decided not to intervene in the epic struggle over the brain-damaged woman; Schiavo’s parents then filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court. An explosion at a BP oil refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 people. Truck driver Tyrone Williams was convicted in federal court in Houston for his role in the 2003 deaths of 19 immigrants he was smuggling across Texas. (After initially receiving a life sentence, Williams was resentenced in Jan. 2011 to nearly 34 years in prison.)
Five years ago: Claiming a historic triumph, President Barack Obama signed a $938 billion health care overhaul, declaring “a new season in America.” President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in an unusual pair of low-profile meetings at the White House amid a serious dispute about settlement construction. The National Football League changed its overtime rules for playoff games.
One year ago: During a visit to Beijing, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama told Chinese professors, students and parents that she wouldn’t have risen to where she was if her parents hadn’t pushed for her to get a good education. Adolfo Suarez, Spain’s first democratically elected prime minister after decades of right-wing rule under Gen. Francisco Franco, died in Madrid at age 81.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Marty Allen is 93. Sir Roger Bannister, the runner who broke the 4-minute mile in 1954, is 86. Movie director Mark Rydell is 86. Motorsports Hall of Famer Craig Breedlove is 78. Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 66. Singer Chaka Khan is 62. Actress Amanda Plummer is 58. Actress Catherine Keener is 56. Actress Hope Davis is 51. Actor Richard Grieco is 50. Country musician Kevin Griffin (Yankee Grey) is 50. Actress Marin Hinkle is 49. Rock singer-musician Damon Albarn (Blur) is 47. Actress-singer Melissa Errico is 45. Rock musician John Humphrey (The Nixons) is 45. Actor Randall Park (Film: “The Interview”; TV: “Fresh Off the Boat”) is 41. Actress Michelle Monaghan is 39. Actress Keri Russell is 39. Actress Anastasia Griffith is 37. Gossip columnist-blogger Perez Hilton is 37. Actress Nicholle Tom is 37. Country singer Paul Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 37. Actor Nicolas Wright (TV: “Manhattan Love Story”) is 33.
Thought for Today: “What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease.” – Alexander Pope, English poet (1688-1744).