Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 9, 2019

Today is Saturday, March 9, the 68th day of 2019. There are 297 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 9, 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of enacting New Deal legislation.

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On this date:

In 1796, the future emperor of the French, Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple later divorced.)

In 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. The Amistad, ruled 7-1 in favor of a group of illegally enslaved Africans who were captured off the U.S. coast after seizing control of a Spanish schooner, La Amistad; the justices ruled that the Africans should be set free.

In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In 1916, more than 400 Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans. During the First World War, Germany declared war on Portugal.

In 1935, the animated cartoon character Porky Pig first appeared in the Warner Bros. animated short “I Haven’t Got a Hat.”

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers began launching incendiary bomb attacks against Tokyo, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.

In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign on “See It Now.”

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, raised the standard for public officials to prove they’d been libeled in their official capacity by news organizations.

In 1976, a cable car in the Italian ski resort of Cavalese fell some 700 feet to the ground when a supporting line snapped, killing 43 people.

In 1977, about a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)

In 1989, the Senate rejected President George H.W. Bush’s nomination of John Tower to be defense secretary by a vote of 53-47. (The next day, Bush tapped Wyoming Rep. Dick Cheney, who went on to win unanimous Senate approval.)

In 1997, gangsta rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles; he was 24.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama lifted George W. Bush-era limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research.

Five years ago: The search continued for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 that had gone missing the day before while over the South China Sea with 239 people on board. (The plane was never found.)

One year ago: A combat veteran who’d been expelled from a treatment program at a California veterans home fatally shot three mental health workers there before taking his own life. Weeks after the shooting that left 17 people dead at a Florida high school, Gov. Rick Scott signed a school-safety bill that included new restrictions on guns, prompting a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association; the bill raised to 21 the minimum age to buy rifles and created a program enabling some teachers and other school employees to carry guns. Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO who’d been vilified for jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug, was sentenced in New York to seven years in prison for securities fraud. A Kentucky neighbor of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Rene Boucher, pleaded guilty to a federal charge for tackling the lawmaker in an attack his attorney said was triggered by a dispute over lawn maintenance; Boucher served a 30-day prison sentence.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. James L. Buckley, Conservative-N.Y., is 96. Singer Lloyd Price is 86. Actress Joyce Van Patten is 85. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 83. Actress Trish Van Devere is 78. Singer-musician John Cale (The Velvet Underground) is 77. Singer Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders) is 77. Former ABC anchorman Charles Gibson is 76. Rock musician Robin Trower is 74. Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 71. Country musician Jimmie Fadden (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 71. Actress Jaime Lyn Bauer is 70. Magazine editor Michael Kinsley is 68. TV newscaster Faith Daniels is 62. Actress Linda Fiorentino is 61. Actor Tom Amandes is 60. Actor-director Lonny Price is 60. Country musician Rusty Hendrix (Confederate Railroad) is 59. Actress Juliette Binoche is 55. Rock musician Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five) is 51. Rock musician Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) is 49. Rapper C-Murder (AKA C-Miller) is 48. Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 48. Actress Jean Louisa Kelly is 47. Actor Kerr Smith is 47. Actor Oscar Isaac is 40. Comedian Jordan Klepper (TV: “The Daily Show”) is 40. Rapper Chingy is 39. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler is 39. Rock musician Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory) is 38. Roots rock musician Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) is 36. Actress Brittany Snow is 33. Rapper Bow Wow is 32. Rapper YG is 29. Actor Luis Armand Garcia is 27. Actress Cierra Ramirez is 24.