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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Friday, March 11, the 70th day of 2022. There are 295 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 11, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Bill, providing war supplies to countries fighting the Axis.

On this date:

In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln removed Gen. George B. McClellan as general-in-chief of the Union armies, leaving him in command of the Army of the Potomac, a post McClellan also ended up losing.

In 1918, what were believed to be the first confirmed U.S. cases of a deadly global flu pandemic were reported among U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas; 46 soldiers would die. (The worldwide outbreak of influenza claimed an estimated 20 to 40 million lives.)

In 1942, as Japanese forces continued to advance in the Pacific during World War II, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur left the Philippines for Australia, where he vowed on March 20, "I shall return" — a promise he kept more than 2 1/2 years later.

In 1954, the U.S. Army charged that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., and his subcommittee's chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had exerted pressure to obtain favored treatment for Pvt. G. David Schine, a former consultant to the subcommittee. (The confrontation culminated in the famous Senate Army-McCarthy hearings.)

In 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was chosen to succeed the late Konstantin U. Chernenko as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

In 1997, rock star Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2002, two columns of light soared skyward from Ground Zero in New York as a temporary memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks six months earlier.

In 2004, ten bombs exploded in quick succession across the commuter rail network in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people in an attack linked to al-Qaida-inspired militants.

In 2006, former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH'-dahn mee-LOH'-shuh-vich) was found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell in the Netherlands, abruptly ending his four-year U.N. war crimes trial; he was 64.

In 2010, a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the use of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency.

In 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan's northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 people and severely damaging the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station.

In 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced in New York to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual abuse.

Ten years ago: Sixteen Afghan villagers — mostly women and children — were shot dead as they slept by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Five years ago: Preet Bharara, an outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for crusading against public corruption, announced on his personal Twitter account that he was fired after refusing a request to resign from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had asked that leftover appointees of former President Barack Obama leave.

One year ago: In his first prime-time address, President Joe Biden pledged to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines by May. Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that he said would help defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health; Americans would receive up to $1,400 in direct payments, along with extended unemployment benefits. In a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about 1 in 5 Americans said they had lost a relative or close friend to the coronavirus. Uber and Lyft said they had teamed up to create a database of drivers ousted from their ride-hailing services for complaints about sexual assault and other crimes.

Today's Birthdays: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is 91. Former ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson is 88. Musician Flaco Jimenez (FLAH'-koh hee-MEH'-nez) is 83. Actor Tricia O'Neil is 77. Actor Mark Metcalf is 76. Rock singer-musician Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) is 75. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 72. Movie director Jerry Zucker is 72. Singer Cheryl Lynn is 71. Actor Susan Richardson is 70. Recording executive Jimmy Iovine (eye-VEEN') is 69. Singer Nina Hagen is 67. Country singer Jimmy Fortune (The Statler Brothers) is 67. Actor Elias Koteas (ee-LY'-uhs koh-TAY'-uhs) is 61. Actor-director Peter Berg is 60. Singer Mary Gauthier (GOH'-shay) is 60. Actor Jeffrey Nordling is 60. Actor Alex Kingston is 59. Actor Wallace Langham is 57. Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is 57. Actor John Barrowman is 55. Singer Lisa Loeb is 54. Neo-soul musician Al Gamble (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 53. Singer Pete Droge is 53. Actor Terrence Howard is 53. Rock musician Rami Jaffee is 53. Actor Johnny Knoxville is 51. Rock singer-musicians Benji and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte; The Madden Brothers) are 43. Actor David Anders is 41. Singer LeToya Luckett is 41. Actor Thora Birch is 40. TV personality Melissa Rycroft is 39. Actor Rob Brown is 38. Actor Jodie Comer is 29.