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Today in History: March 19, Michael Jordan returns to basketball

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, March 19, the 79th day of 2024. There are 287 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 19, 1995, after a 21-month hiatus, Michael Jordan returned to professional basketball with his former team, the Chicago Bulls. (He would go on to win three more NBA championships to go with the three he and the Bulls had already won.)

On this date:

In 1859, the opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.

In 1931, Nevada Gov. Fred B. Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling in the state.

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 duty.

In 1945, during World War II, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the carrier USS Franklin off Japan (the ship was saved).

In 1977, the series finale of "Mary Tyler Moore" aired on CBS-TV, ending the situation comedy's seven-season run.

In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman 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 1997, artist Willem de Kooning, considered one of the 20th century's greatest painters, died in East Hampton, New York, at age 92.

In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)

In 2007, a methane gas explosion in a Siberian coal mine killed 110 workers.

In 2012, the Justice Department announced it had begun an investigation into the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. (No federal civil rights charges were filed; Zimmerman was acquitted of a state charge of second-degree murder after claiming self-defense.)

In 2013, 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.

In 2020, President Donald Trump focused attention on a malaria drug, chloroquine, as a possible coronavirus treatment; the FDA issued a statement saying that there were "no FDA-approved therapeutics" to treat COVID-19.

In 2022, Russian forces pushed deeper into Ukraine's besieged and battered port city of Mariupol, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Renee Taylor is 91. Actor Ursula Andress is 88. Singer Clarence "Frogman" Henry is 87. Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) is 78. Actor Glenn Close is 77. Actor Bruce Willis is 69. Actor-comedian Mary Scheer is 61. Playwright Neil LaBute is 61. Actor Connor Trinneer is 55. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K's Choice) is 54. Rapper Bun B is 51. Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy Eat World) is 48. Actor Virginia Williams is 46. Actor Abby Brammell is 45. MLB pitcher Clayton Kershaw is 36. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor is 35. Actor Philip Bolden is 29.