Today is Wednesday, March 25, the 84th day of 2015. There are 281 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 people to the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery after a five-day march from Selma to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Later that day, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a white Detroit homemaker, was shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen as she drove a black volunteer to the airport.
On this date:
In 1306, Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scots.
In 1634, English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore arrived in present-day Maryland.
In 1776, Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was awarded the first Congressional Gold Medal by the Continental Congress.
In 1865, during the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked Fort Stedman in Virginia but were forced to withdraw because of counterattacking Union troops.
In 1911, 146 people, mostly young female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York.
In 1915, the U.S. Navy lost its first commissioned submarine as the USS F-4 sank off Hawaii, claiming the lives of all 21 crew members.
In 1924, the Second Hellenic Republic was proclaimed in Greece.
In 1947, a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois, claimed 111 lives.
In 1954, RCA announced it had begun producing color television sets at its plant in Bloomington, Indiana.
In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded in June 1975.)
In 1985, “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Milos Forman and best actor for F. Murray Abraham.
In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.
Ten years ago: Losing still more legal appeals, Terri Schiavo’s father, Bob Schindler, said his severely brain-damaged daughter was “down to her last hours” as she entered her second week without the feeding tube that had sustained her life for 15 years. An ailing, silent Pope John Paul II appeared to the faithful via video for Good Friday services at the Vatican.
Five years ago: Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message to kill any Americans al-Qaida captured if the U.S. executed Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, or other al-Qaida suspects. Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved new rules easing enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. Daisuke Takahashi gave Japan its first men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy.
One year ago: Following a two-day security summit in The Netherlands, President Barack Obama declared that the gathering had taken “concrete steps” to prevent nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists even though Russia and China failed to sign an agreement to beef up inspections.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 89. Former astronaut James Lovell is 87. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 81. Singer Anita Bryant is 75. Singer Aretha Franklin is 73. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 72. Singer Elton John is 68. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 67. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 62. Actor James McDaniel is 57. Former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is 57. Movie producer Amy Pascal is 57. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 55. Actress Brenda Strong is 55. Actor Fred Goss is 54. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 54. Actress Marcia Cross is 53. Author Kate DiCamillo is 51. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 51. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 50. Former MLB All-Star pitcher Tom Glavine is 49. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas, M.D., is 48. Actor Laz Alonso (TV: “The Mysteries of Laura”) is 44. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 40. Actor Domenick Lombardozzi is 39. Actor Lee Pace is 36. Actor Sean Faris is 33. Auto racer Danica Patrick is 33. Actress-singer Katharine McPhee is 31. Singer Jason Castro (“American Idol”) is 28. Rapper Big Sean is 27. Rap DJ/producer Ryan Lewis is 27. Actor Matthew Beard (Film: “The Imitation Game”) is 26. Actress-singer Aly (AKA Alyson) Michalka is 26. Actor Kiowa Gordon is 25. Actress Seychelle Gabriel is 24.
Thought for Today: “Scratch a pessimist, and you find often a defender of privilege.” – Lord Beveridge, British economist (1879-1963).