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Today in History

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Today in History

Today is Monday, March 15, the 74th day of 2021. There are 291 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 15, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, addressing a joint session of Congress, called for new legislation to guarantee every American’s right to vote. The result was passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On this date:

In 44 B.C., Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.

In 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arrived back in the Spanish harbor of Palos de la Frontera, two months after concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1820, Maine became the 23rd state.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson met with about 100 reporters for the first formal presidential press conference.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied bombers again raided German-held Monte Cassino.

In 1964, actor Elizabeth Taylor married actor Richard Burton in Montreal; it was her fifth marriage, his second. (They divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975, then divorced again in 1976.)

In 1972, “The Godfather,” Francis Ford Coppola’s epic gangster movie based on the Mario Puzo novel and starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, premiered in New York.

In 1975, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis died near Paris at age 69.

In 1985, the first internet domain name, symbolics.com, was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp. of Massachusetts.

In 1998, Dr. Benjamin Spock, whose child care guidance spanned half a century, died in San Diego at 94.

In 2005, former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers was convicted in New York of engineering the largest corporate fraud in U.S. history. (He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.)

In 2019, a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, streaming the massacre live on Facebook. (Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to 51 counts of murder and other charges.)

Ten years ago: The Syrian civil war had its beginnings with Arab Spring protests across the region that turned into an armed insurgency and eventually became a full-blown conflict.

Five years ago: Democrat Hillary Clinton triumphed in the Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri presidential primaries; Donald Trump strengthened his hand in the Republican race, winning in Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri, but falling in Ohio to the state’s governor, John Kasich (KAY’-sihk), while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ended his campaign after his home-state loss. In a major reversal, the Obama administration barred offshore drilling off the Atlantic Coast. Dallas Seavey won his third straight Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in a record time of 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, 16 seconds.

One year ago: The Federal Reserve took massive emergency action to help the economy withstand the coronavirus by slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero and saying it would buy $700 billion in treasury and mortgage bonds. After initially trying to keep schools open, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the nation’s largest public school system would close in hopes of curbing the spread of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that gatherings of at least 50 people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. President Donald Trump called on Americans to stop hoarding groceries and other supplies. Pastors across the United States delivered sermons to empty pews; many religious institutions had started using the Internet to stream their services.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Judd Hirsch is 86. Jazz musician Charles Lloyd is 83. Rock musician Phil Lesh is 81. Singer Mike Love (The Beach Boys) is 80. Rock singer-musician Sly Stone is 78. Rock singer-musician Howard Scott (War; Lowrider Band) is 75. Rock singer Ry Cooder is 74. Actor Frances Conroy is 68. Actor Craig Wasson is 67. Rock singer Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) is 66. Actor Joaquim de Almeida is 64. Actor Park Overall is 64. Movie director Renny Harlin is 62. Model Fabio is 60. Singer Terence Trent D’Arby (AKA Sananda Maitreya) is 59. Rock singer Bret Michaels (Poison) is 58. R&B singer Rockwell is 57. Actor Chris Bruno is 55. Actor Kim Raver is 54. Rock singer Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) is 53. Rock musician Mark Hoppus is 49. Country singer-musician Matt Thomas (Parmalee) is 47. Actor Eva Longoria is 46. Rapper-musician will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) is 46. Rock DJ Joseph Hahn (Linkin Park) is 44. Rapper Young Buck is 40. Actor Sean Biggerstaff is 38. Actor Kellan Lutz is 36. Actor Caitlin Wachs is 32.

By The Associated Press

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