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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, March 10, the 69th day of 2022. There are 296 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 10, 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tennessee, to assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.

On this date:

In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln assigned Ulysses S. Grant, who had just received his commission as lieutenant-general, to the command of the Armies of the United States.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant, Thomas Watson, heard Bell say over his experimental telephone: "Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you" from the next room of Bell's Boston laboratory.

In 1906, about 1,100 miners in northern France were killed by a coal-dust explosion.

In 1913, former slave, abolitionist and Underground Railroad "conductor" Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York; she was in her 90s.

In 1965, Neil Simon's play "The Odd Couple," starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney, opened on Broadway.

In 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, who was the Soviet Union's leader for 13 months, died at age 73; he was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1988, pop singer Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, at age 30 of heart inflammation.

In 2015, breaking her silence in the face of a growing controversy over her use of a private email address and server, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded that she should have used government email as secretary of state but insisted she had not violated any federal laws or Obama administration rules.

In 2019, a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from the capital, Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board; the crash was similar to one in October 2018 in which a 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesia's Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on the plane. (The aircraft would be grounded worldwide after the two disasters, bringing fierce criticism to Boeing over the design and rollout of the jetliner.)

In 2020, clusters of the coronavirus swelled on both U.S. coasts, with more than 70 cases linked to a biotech conference in Boston and infections turning up at 10 nursing homes in the Seattle area. Members of a choir in Washington state gathered for a rehearsal that was later found to have been a superspreader event; disease trackers said a choir member with coronavirus symptoms attended, and 52 of the 60 others who were there got sick with confirmed or probable COVID-19, including two who died. (Experts said the public health investigation that followed was key in concluding that the virus was spreading through the air.)

Ten years ago: Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses in a rout and Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney countered in Wyoming. Israel pounded Gaza for a second day, trading airstrikes and rocket fire with Palestinian militants, killing 15 of them. F. Sherwood Rowland, 84, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer, died in Corona del Mar, California.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump chose Scott Gottlieb, a conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry, to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Two girls, ages 10 and 3, were killed in a fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, blamed on an exploding hoverboard; a firefighter died in a traffic accident en route to the blaze. South Korea's Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal.

One year ago: The House gave final congressional approval to a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill; Republicans in both chambers opposed the measure unanimously, describing it as bloated and crammed with liberal policies. The Senate confirmed Merrick Garland to be U.S. attorney general with a strong bipartisan vote; senators also confirmed longtime Ohio lawmaker Marcia Fudge as housing secretary.

Today's Birthdays: Bluegrass/country singer-musician Norman Blake is 84. Actor Chuck Norris is 82. Playwright David Rabe is 82. Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) is 82. Actor Katharine Houghton (Film: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?") is 80. Actor Richard Gant is 78. Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) is 75. Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell is 75. TV personality/businesswoman Barbara Corcoran (TV: "Shark Tank") is 73. Actor Aloma Wright is 72. Blues musician Ronnie Earl (Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters) is 69. Producer-director-writer Paul Haggis is 69. Alt-country/rock musician Gary Louris is 67. Actor Shannon Tweed is 65. Pop/jazz singer Jeanie Bryson is 64. Actor Sharon Stone is 64. Rock musician Gail Greenwood is 62. Magician Lance Burton is 62. Actor Jasmine Guy is 60. Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is 59. Music producer Rick Rubin is 59. Britain's Prince Edward is 58. Rock singer Edie Brickell is 56. Actor Stephen Mailer is 56. Actor Philip Anthony-Rodriguez is 54. Actor Paget Brewster is 53. Actor Jon Hamm is 51. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 50. Actor Cristián (kris-tee-AHN') de la Fuente is 48. Rock musician Jerry Horton (Papa Roach) is 47. Actor Jeff Branson is 45. Singer Robin Thicke is 45. Actor Bree Turner is 45. Olympic gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller is 45. Contemporary Christian singer Michael Barnes (Red) is 43. Actor Edi Gathegi is 43. Actor Thomas Middleditch is 40. Country singer Carrie Underwood is 39. Actor Olivia Wilde is 38. R&B singer Emeli Sandé (EH'-mihl-ee SAN'-day) is 35. Country singer Rachel Reinert is 33. Country musician Jared Hampton (LANCO) is 31. Actor Emily Osment is 30.