Today in History
Today is Monday, March 22, the 81st day of 2021. There are 284 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On March 22, 1941, the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state officially went into operation.
On this date:
In 1820, U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Washington, D.C.
In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed a measure outlawing polygamy.
In 1894, hockey’s first Stanley Cup championship game was played; home team Montreal defeated Ottawa, 3-1.
In 1945, the Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.
In 1976, principal photography for the first “Star Wars” movie, directed by George Lucas, began in Tunisia.
In 1987, a garbage barge, carrying 3,200 tons of refuse, left Islip, New York, on a six-month journey in search of a place to unload. (The barge was turned away by several states and three other countries until space was found back in Islip.)
In 1988, both houses of Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.
In 1991, high school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of recruiting her teenage lover and his friends to kill her husband, Gregory, was convicted in Exeter, New Hampshire, of murder-conspiracy and being an accomplice to murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In 1993, Intel Corp. unveiled the original Pentium computer chip.
In 1997, Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest ladies’ world figure skating champion in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2010, Google Inc. stopped censoring the internet for China by shifting its search engine off the mainland to Hong Kong.
In 2019, special counsel Robert Mueller closed his Russia investigation with no new charges, delivering his final report to Justice Department officials. Former President Jimmy Carter became the longest-living chief executive in American history; at 94 years and 172 days, he exceeded the lifespan of the late former President George H.W. Bush.
Ten years ago: Yemen’s U.S.-backed president, Ali Abdullah Saleh (AH’-lee ahb-DUH’-luh sah-LEH’), his support crumbling among political allies and the army, warned that the country could slide into civil war as the opposition rejected his offer to step down by the end of the year. NFL owners meeting in New Orleans voted to make all scoring plays reviewable by the replay official and referee; also, kickoffs would be moved up 5 yards to the 35-yard line.
Five years ago: Capping a remarkable visit to Cuba, President Barack Obama sat beside President Raul Castro at a baseball game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays (the Rays won, 4-1); Obama left the game early to fly to Argentina for a state visit there. Suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and subway system, killing 32 people. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton padded their delegate troves with victories in Arizona; Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders won caucuses in Utah and Idaho and Republican Ted Cruz claimed his party’s caucuses in Utah. Rob Ford, the troubled former mayor of Toronto, died at age 46.
One year ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential businesses in the state to close and nonessential workers to stay home. The Senate voted against advancing a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that Democrats said was tilted toward corporations, but negotiations continued. (Approval would come by week’s end.) Kentucky Republican Rand Paul became the first member of the U.S. Senate to report testing positive for the coronavirus; his announcement led Utah senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney to place themselves in quarantine. The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic was first detected, went a fourth consecutive day without reporting any new or suspected cases of the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 91. Evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson is 91. Actor William Shatner is 90. Former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 87. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 86. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 80. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 78. Writer James Patterson is 74. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 73. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 73. Actor Fanny Ardant is 72. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 69. Country singer James House is 66. Actor Lena Olin is 66. Singer-actor Stephanie Mills is 64. Actor Matthew Modine is 62. Actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key is 50. Actor Will Yun Lee is 50. Olympic silver medal figure skater Elvis Stojko is 49. Actor Guillermo Diaz is 46. Actor Anne Dudek is 46. Actor Cole Hauser is 46. Actor Kellie Williams is 45. Actor Reese Witherspoon is 45. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 44. Actor Tiffany Dupont is 40. Rapper Mims is 40. Actor Constance Wu is 39. Actor James Wolk is 36.