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Today in History

Mar 23, 2020

Today in History

  • Today is Monday, March 23, the 83rd day of 2020. There are 283 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On March 23, 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

On this date:

  • In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
  • In 1792, Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the "Surprise" symphony) had its first public performance in London.
  • In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
  • In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
  • In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, California.
  • In 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
  • In 1965, America's first two-person space mission took place as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.
  • In 1990, the romantic comedy "Pretty Woman," starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, was released by Buena Vista Pictures.
  • In 1993, scientists announced they'd found the renegade gene that causes Huntington's disease.
  • In 2003, during the Iraq War, a U.S. Army maintenance convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE'-uh); 11 soldiers were killed, including Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa (py-ES'-tuh-wah); six were captured, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued on April 1, 2003.
  • In 2005, truck driver Tyrone Williams was convicted in federal court in Houston for his role in the 2003 deaths of 19 immigrants he was smuggling across Texas. (After initially receiving a life sentence, Williams was resentenced in Jan. 2011 to nearly 34 years in prison.)
  • In 2011, Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at age 79.
  • Ten years ago: Claiming a historic triumph, President Barack Obama signed a $938 billion health care overhaul, declaring "a new season in America." President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in an unusual pair of low-profile meetings at the White House amid a serious dispute about settlement construction. The National Football League changed its overtime rules for playoff games.
  • Five years ago: Sen. Ted Cruz launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination at Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who was feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired worldwide for turning the city-state into one of the world's richest nations while in power for 31 years, died at age 91.
  • One year ago: U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria after capturing the last pocket of territory that had been held by the militants. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued an apology after being charged in a Florida massage parlor prostitution investigation. Rescue workers off Norway's western coast evacuated 1,300 passengers and crew from a disabled cruise ship by helicopter, lifting them to safety one-by-one as waves tossed the ship from side to side.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Mark Rydell is 91. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Craig Breedlove is 83. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is 68. Singer Chaka Khan is 67. Actress Amanda Plummer is 63. Actress Catherine Keener is 61. Actress Hope Davis is 56. Actor Richard Grieco is 55. Country musician Kevin Griffin (Yankee Grey) is 55. Actress Marin Hinkle is 54. Rock singer-musician Damon Albarn (Blur) is 52. Actor Kelly Perine is 51. Actress-singer Melissa Errico is 50. Rock musician John Humphrey (The Nixons) is 50. Bandleader Reggie Watts (TV: "The Late Late Show With James Corden") is 48. Actor Randall Park is 46. Actress Michelle Monaghan is 44. Actress Keri Russell is 44. Actress Anastasia Griffith is 42. Gossip columnist-blogger Perez Hilton is 42. Actress Nicholle Tom is 42. Country singer Paul Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 42. Country singer Brett Young is 39. Actor Nicolas Wright is 38. Actor Ben Rappaport is 34. NBA point guard Kyrie Irving is 28.

  • Thought for Today: "When people say, 'She's got everything,' I've got one answer — I haven't had tomorrow." — Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).