Today in History
Today is Thursday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2021. There are 302 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America’s 32nd president.
On this date:
In 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)
In 1797, John Adams was inaugurated the second president of the United States.
In 1863, the Idaho Territory was created.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term of office; with the end of the Civil War in sight, Lincoln declared: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.”
In 1964, Teamsters president James Hoffa and three co-defendants were found guilty by a federal court in Chattanooga, Tennessee, of jury tampering.
In 1974, the first issue of People magazine, then called People Weekly, was published by Time-Life Inc.; on the cover was actor Mia Farrow.
In 1981, a jury in Salt Lake City convicted Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed racist and serial killer, of violating the civil rights of two Black men, Ted Fields and David Martin, who’d been shot to death. (Franklin received two life sentences for this crime; he was executed in 2013 for the 1977 murder of a Jewish man, Gerald Gordon.)
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had “deteriorated” into an arms-for-hostages deal.
In 1994, in New York, four extremists were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured more than a thousand. Actor-comedian John Candy died in Durango, Mexico, at age 43.
In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment at work can be illegal even when the offender and victim are of the same gender.
In 2015, the Justice Department cleared Darren Wilson, a white former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a Black 18-year-old, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law enforcement practices.
In 2018, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench in the southwestern English city of Salisbury; both survived what British authorities said was a murder attempt using a nerve agent.
Ten years ago: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime struck back at its opponents with a powerful attack on Zawiya (ZOW’-ee-yuh), the closest opposition-held city to Tripoli, and a barrage of tear gas and live ammunition to smother new protests in the capital. NASA launched its Glory satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on what was supposed to have been a three-year mission to analyze how airborne particles affect Earth’s climate; however, the rocket carrying Glory plummeted into the southern Pacific several minutes after liftoff.
Five years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of a Louisiana clinic regulation law placing new restrictions on abortion. Bud Collins, the tennis historian and American voice of the sport in print and on TV for decades, died in Brookline, Massachusetts, at age 86. Pat Conroy, author of “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides,” died in Beaufort, South Carolina, at age 70.
One year ago: The House easily passed an $8.3 billion measure aimed at speeding the development of coronavirus vaccines, paying for containment operations and beefing up preparedness. Federal health officials investigated a suburban Seattle nursing home at the center of a coronavirus outbreak. Italy closed all schools and universities and barred fans from sporting events. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 1,100 points as governments and central banks around the globe took more aggressive measures to deal with the virus and its effects on the economy. After spending more than $500 million of his own fortune in a bid for the presidency, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the Democratic race, but pledged to keep spending in an effort to defeat President Donald Trump. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the United Nations secretary-general who brokered a historic cease-fire between Iran and Iraq in 1988, died at the age of 100.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paula Prentiss is 83. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 80. Singer Shakin’ Stevens is 73. Author James Ellroy is 73. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry is 71. Singer Chris Rea is 70. Actor/rock singer-musician Ronn Moss is 69. Actor Kay Lenz is 68. Musician Emilio Estefan is 68. Movie director Scott Hicks is 68. Actor Catherine O’Hara is 67. Actor Mykelti (MY’-kul-tee) Williamson is 64. Actor Patricia Heaton is 63. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is 63. Actor Steven Weber is 60. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 58. Actor Stacy Edwards is 56. Rapper Grand Puba is 55. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 54. Actor Patsy Kensit is 53. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is 53. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 52. Actor Andrea Bendewald is 51. Actor Nick Stabile (stah-BEEL’) is 51. Country singer Jason Sellers is 50. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 44. Actor Jessica Heap is 38. Actor Scott Michael Foster is 36. TV personality Whitney Port is 36. Actor Audrey Esparza is 35. Actor Margo Harshman is 35. Actor Josh Bowman is 33. Actor Andrea Bowen is 31. Actor Jenna Boyd is 28.