Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 14, the 73rd day of 2021. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 14, 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

On this date:

In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

In 1883, German political philosopher Karl Marx died in London at age 64.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

In 1962, Democrat Edward M. Kennedy officially launched in Boston his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)

In 1965, Israel’s cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

In 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1980, a LOT (laht) Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.

In 1991, a British court overturned the convictions of the “Birmingham Six,” who had spent 16 years in prison for a 1974 Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

In 2001, inspectors tightened U.S. defenses against foot-and-mouth disease a day after a case was confirmed in France.

In 2015, Robert Durst, a wealthy eccentric linked to two killings and his wife’s disappearance, was arrested by the FBI in New Orleans on a murder warrant a day before HBO aired the final episode of a serial documentary about his life. (Durst’s murder trial in Los Angeles was paused in July 2020 because of the coronavirus; it has yet to resume.)

Ten years ago: In the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and mounting nuclear crisis, President Barack Obama said that he had offered the Japanese government any assistance the United States could provide. Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and Leon Russell were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Olympic champion Evan Lysacek won the 2010 Sullivan Award, becoming the fourth figure skater to be honored as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

Five years ago: The Senate voted 49-40 to confirm John B. King Jr. as the nation’s education secretary; King had been serving as acting secretary since Arne (AR’-nee) Duncan stepped down in Dec. 2015. Europe and Russia launched the ExoMars probe on a joint mission to explore the atmosphere of Mars and hunt for signs of life on the red planet. An Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed west of Dodge City, Kansas, injuring 28 of the 144 people on board.

One year ago: The number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus climbed past 50. President Donald Trump expanded a ban on travel from European countries, adding Britain and Ireland to the list. Trump said he had been tested for the virus after interactions with people who’d been infected; the White House later said the test was negative. Officials in Miami Beach ordered hundreds of college spring breakers and others from around the world to leave the beach. About 3,000 Americans returning from Europe were stuck for hours in the customs area at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, violating social distancing recommendations; they were screened for coronavirus symptoms before they were allowed to leave the airport.

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Frank Borman is 93. Actor Michael Caine is 88. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 88. Actor Raymond J. Barry is 82. Movie director Wolfgang Petersen is 80. Country singer Michael Martin Murphey is 76. Rock musician Walt Parazaider (payr-ah-ZAY’-dur) (formerly with Chicago) is 76. Actor Steve Kanaly is 75. Comedian Billy Crystal is 73. Actor-writer-comedian-radio personality Rick Dees is 70. Country singer Jann Browne is 67. Actor Adrian Zmed is 67. Prince Albert II, the ruler of Monaco, is 63. Actor Laila Robins is 62. Actor Tamara Tunie (tuh-MAH’-ruh TOO’-nee) is 62. Actor Penny Johnson Jerald is 61. Producer-director-writer Kevin Williamson is 56. Actor Elise Neal is 55. Actor Gary Anthony Williams is 55. Actor Megan Follows is 53. Rock musician Michael Bland is 52. Country singer Kristian Bush is 51. Rock musician Derrick is 49. Actor Betsy Brandt is 48. Actor Grace Park is 47. Actor Daniel Gillies is 45. Actor Corey Stoll is 45. Actor Jake Fogelnest is 42. Actor Chris Klein is 42. Actor Ryan Cartwright (TV: “Kevin Can Wait”) is 40. Actor Kate Maberly is 39. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) is 38. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, is 37. Actor Jamie Bell is 35. Rock musician Este Haim (HY’-uhm) (Haim) is 35. NBA star Stephen Curry is 33. Actor Ansel Elgort is 27. Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is 24. Actor James Freedson-Jackson (Film: “The Strange Ones”) is 19.

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