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Today in History: March 21, Martin Luther King Jr. leads civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery

Today in History

Today is Thursday, March 21, the 81st day of 2024. There are 285 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 21, 1965, civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their third, successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

On this date:

In 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.

In 1935, Persia officially changed its name to Iran.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany.

In 1952, the Moondog Coronation Ball, considered the first rock and roll concert, took place at Cleveland Arena.

In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, ruled that states may not require at least a year's residency for voting eligibility.

In 1990, Namibia became an independent nation as the former colony marked the end of 75 years of South African rule.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion, but able to agree on slashing nuclear weapons arsenals.

In 2006, the social media website Twitter was established with the sending of the first "tweet" by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who wrote: "just setting up my twttr."

In 2007, former Vice President Al Gore made an emotional return to Congress as he pleaded with House and Senate committees to fight global warming; skeptical Republicans questioned the science behind his climate-change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

In 2012, meting out unprecedented punishment for a bounty system that targeted key opposing players, the NFL suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton without pay for the coming season and indefinitely banned the team's former defensive coordinator; Commissioner Roger Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away two draft picks.

In 2013, in the Middle East, President Barack Obama insisted "peace is possible" as he prodded both Israelis and Palestinians to return to long-stalled negotiations with few, if any, pre-conditions.

In 2016, laying bare a half-century of tensions, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro prodded each other over human rights and the longstanding U.S. economic embargo during an unprecedented joint news conference in Havana.

In 2017, at his Senate confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch declared he'd made no promises to President Donald Trump or anyone else about how he would vote on abortion or other issues.

In 2019, President Donald Trump abruptly declared that the U.S. would recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy.

In 2020 during a White House briefing, President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, while Dr. Anthony Fauci said the evidence was "anecdotal."

In 2022, a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in a mountainous area of southern China, setting off a forest fire visible from space in the country's worst air disaster in nearly a decade. (All 123 passengers and nine crew members would later be confirmed dead.)

In 2023, Willis Reed, who dramatically emerged from the locker room minutes before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to spark the New York Knicks to their first championship and create one of sports' most enduring examples of playing through pain, died at age 80.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Kathleen Widdoes is 85. Songwriter Chip Taylor ("Wild Thing") is 84. Folk-pop singer-musician Keith Potger (The Seekers) is 83. Actor Marie-Christine Barrault is 80. Singer-musician Rose Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) is 79. Actor Timothy Dalton is 78. Singer Ray Dorset (Mungo Jerry) is 78. Rock singer-musician Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) is 74. Rock musician Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) is 73. R&B singer Russell Thompkins Jr. is 73. Comedy writer-performer Brad Hall is 66. Actor Sabrina LeBeauf is 66. Actor Gary Oldman is 66. Actor Kassie Depaiva is 63. Actor Matthew Broderick is 62. Comedian-actor Rosie O'Donnell is 62. Actor Cynthia Geary is 59. Hip-hop DJ Premier (Gang Starr) is 58. Rock musician Jonas "Joker" Berggren (Ace of Base) is 57. Rock MC Maxim (Prodigy) is 57. Rock musician Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel) is 56. Actor Laura Allen is 50. Rapper-TV personality Kevin Federline is 46. Actor Sonequa Martin-Green (TV: "The Walking Dead") is 39. Actor Scott Eastwood is 38. Tennis player Karolina Pliskova is 32. Actor Jasmin Savoy Brown is 30. Actor Forrest Wheeler is 20.