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Today in History: March 12, jazz legend Charlie 'Bird' Parker dies at 34

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, March 12, the 72nd day of 2024. There are 294 days left in the year.

Today's highlight in history:

On March 12, 1955, legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker died in New York at age 34.

On this date:

In 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assumed command as General-in-Chief of the Union armies in the Civil War.

In 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA had its beginnings as Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia, founded the first American troop of the Girl Guides.

In 1925, Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen died in Beijing.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman announced what became known as the "Truman Doctrine" to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.

In 1971, Hafez Assad was confirmed as president of Syria in a referendum.

In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was sentenced to death; he was executed in May 1994.)

In 1987, the musical play "Les Miserables" opened on Broadway.

In 1994, the Church of England ordained its first women priests.

In 2003, Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom nine months earlier, was found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb with two drifters, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. (Mitchell is serving a life sentence; Barzee was released from prison in September 2018.)

In 2009, disgraced financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in New York to pulling off perhaps the biggest swindle in Wall Street history; he would be sentenced to 150 years behind bars. (Madoff died in prison in April 2021.)

In 2011, fifteen passengers were killed when a tour bus returning from a Connecticut casino scraped along a guard rail on the outskirts of New York City, tipped on its side and slammed into a pole that sheared it nearly end to end.

In 2012, Greece implemented the biggest debt write-down in history, swapping the bulk of its privately held bonds with new ones worth less than half their original value.

In 2017, a bus plowed into people taking part in an early morning street festival in Haiti, killing at least 34 of them.

In 2013, black smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals had failed on their first vote of the papal conclave to choose a new leader of the Catholic Church to succeed Benedict XVI.

In 2018, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said they'd completed a draft report concluding that there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.

In 2021, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd's family over the Black man's death in police custody.

In 2020, as the coronavirus crisis deepened in the U.S., the stock market had its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987, the NCAA canceled its basketball tournaments after earlier planning to play in empty arenas and the NHL joined the NBA in suspending play.

In 2022, Russian forces pounding the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol shelled a mosque that was sheltering more than 80 people, including children.

In 2023, "Everything, Everywhere All at Once" won seven Oscars, including best picture and three of the four acting awards.

Today's Birthdays: Politician, diplomat and civil rights activist Andrew Young is 92. Actor Barbara Feldon is 91. Actor-singer Liza Minnelli is 78. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is 77. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 76. Former Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is 76. Rock singer-musician Bill Payne (Little Feat) is 75. Actor Jon Provost (TV: "Lassie") is 74. Author Carl Hiaasen is 71. Rock musician Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) is 68. Actor Lesley Manville is 68. Actor Jerry Levine is 67. Singer Marlon Jackson (The Jackson Five) is 67. Actor Jason Beghe is 64. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 64. Actor Titus Welliver is 62. Former MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry is 62. Actor Julia Campbell is 61. Actor Jake Weber is 61. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is 56. Actor Aaron Eckhart is 56. CNN reporter Jake Tapper is 55. Rock musician Graham Coxon is 55. Actor Rhys Coiro is 45. Country singer Holly Williams is 43. Actor Samm (cq) Levine is 41. Actor Jaimie Alexander is 40. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones is 30.