Today in History: March 16
Today is Thursday, March 16, the 75th day of 2017. There are 290 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 16, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
On this date:
In A.D. 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.
In 1517, the 12th and final session of the Fifth Lateran Council of the Catholic Church took place in Rome, almost five years after the council began.
In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Virginia.
In 1792, Sweden’s King Gustav III was shot and mortally wounded during a masquerade party by a former member of his regiment (he died 13 days later).
In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts.
In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles by ordering the rearming of Germany.
In 1945, during World War II, American forces declared they had secured Iwo Jima, although pockets of Japanese resistance remained.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504.
In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry House opened in Nashville with a concert attended by President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat.
In 1987, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1991, a plane carrying seven members of country singer Reba McEntire’s band and her tour manager crashed into Otay Mountain in southern California, killing all on board. U.S. skaters Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan swept the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Germany.
In 2003, American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to block demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.
Ten years ago: Former CIA operative Valerie Plame told a House committee that White House and State Department officials had “carelessly and recklessly” blown her cover in a politically motivated smear of her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for publicly disputing President George W. Bush’s assertion that Saddam Hussein was on the brink of acquiring a nuclear bomb. Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands, recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food after reports of kidney failure and deaths.
Five years ago: A jury in New Brunswick, New Jersey, convicted former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi in the webcam spying episode that ended in the suicide of his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi. (Ravi served 20 days in jail for invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other counts.) Actor George Clooney and his father, Nick Clooney, were arrested outside the embassy of Sudan in Washington during a protest that accused Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of provoking a humanitarian crisis in his own country.
One year ago: President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to take the seat of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who had died the previous month; Republicans pledged to leave the seat empty until after the presidential election and said they wouldn’t even hold confirmation hearings. Washington, D.C.’s subway system began an unprecedented 29-hour safety shutdown, inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of people. Frank Sinatra Jr., 72, who carried on his famous father’s legacy with his own music career, died while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 91. Country singer Ray Walker (The Jordanaires) is 83. Movie director Bernardo Bertolucci is 76. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 76. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 75. Country singer Robin Williams is 70. Actor Erik Estrada is 68. Actor Victor Garber is 68. Actress Kate Nelligan is 66. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 66. Bluegrass musician Tim O’Brien (Hot Rize; Earls of Leicester) is 63. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 63. World Golf Hall of Famer Hollis Stacy is 63. Actress Isabelle Huppert is 62. Actor Clifton Powell is 61. Rapper-actor Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 58. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 54. Actor Jerome Flynn is 54. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 53. Movie director Gore Verbinski is 53. Country singer Tracy Bonham is 50. Actress Lauren Graham is 50. Actor Judah Friedlander is 48. Actor Alan Tudyk is 46. Actor Tim Kang is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Blu Cantrell is 41. Actress Brooke Burns is 39. Actor Brett Davern (TV: “Awkward”) is 34. Actress Alexandra Daddario is 31. Rhythm and blues singer Jhene Aiko is 29. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 26.
Thought for Today: “Until we lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves.” — Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).