today in history
Today is Sunday March 19, the 78th day of 2023. There are 287 days left in the year.
Today’s highlights in history:
On March 19, 1945, during World War II, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the aircraft carrier USS Franklin off Japan (the ship was saved). Adolf Hitler ordered the destruction of German installations that could fall into Allied hands in his so-called “Nero Decree”, which was largely ignored.
In this day:
In 1859 the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.
In 1931, Nevada Governor Fred B. Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling.
In 1942, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered men between the ages of 45 and 64 inclusive to register for non-military duties.
In 1977, the series finale of “Mary Tyler Moore” aired on CBS-TV, ending the sitcom’s seven seasons.
In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as president of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.
In 1991, Polish President Lech Walesa arrived in Washington for his first state visit to the United States.
In 1995, after a 21-month hiatus, Michael Jordan returned to professional basketball with his former team, the Chicago Bulls.
In 1997, the artist Willem de Kooning, considered one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, died in East Hampton, New York, at the age of 92.
In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of the war against Iraq. (Due to the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)
In 2007, a methane gas explosion at a Siberian coal mine killed 110 workers.
In 2020, President Donald Trump focused attention on a malaria drug, chloroquine, as a possible treatment for the coronavirus; the FDA issued a statement saying there were “no FDA-approved therapies” to treat COVID-19.
Ten years ago: Pope Francis officially began his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole exemplifying his role as shepherd of his 1.2 billion strong flock during a Mass at the Vatican. Insurgents carried out a wave of airstrikes in Iraq that killed at least 65 people. Harry Reems, 65, a co-star in the 1972 adult film classic “Deep Throat,” died in Salt Lake City.
Five years ago: Speaking in New Hampshire, a state ravaged by opioids, President Donald Trump called for tougher penalties for drug dealers, including the death penalty. Former tennis star Martina Navratilova said she was “extremely angry” to learn that the BBC paid John McEnroe at least 10 times more than she did for her Wimbledon broadcasting duties. Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced that she would challenge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary in September. (Cuomo easily rose to the challenge.)
One year ago: Russian forces pushed deeper into the besieged and battered Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western aid. Four US Marines were killed when their Osprey plane crashed in a Norwegian city in the Arctic Circle during a NATO exercise unrelated to the Ukraine war. A former Apple employee has been charged with defrauding the tech giant of more than $10 million by taking bribes, stealing equipment and laundering money, federal prosecutors said.
Today’s Birthday: Actress Renee Taylor is 90 years old. Actress Ursula Andress is 87. Singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry is 86. Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) is 77. Actor Glenn Close is 76. Actor Bruce Willis is 68. Actor-comedian Mary Scheer is 60 years. Playwright Neil LaBute is 60. Actor Connor Trinneer is 54. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s Choice) is 53. Rapper Bun B is 50. Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy Eat World) is 47. Actress Virginia Williams is 45. Actor Abby Brammell is 44 years old. MLB pitcher Clayton Kershaw is 35. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor is 34. Actor Philip Bolden is 28.