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Today in History

Today is Friday, March 22, the 81st day of 2019. There are 284 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On March 22, 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies, which fiercely resisted the tax. (The Stamp Act was repealed a year later.)

On this date:

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 1933, during Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to 3.2 percent alcohol legal.

In 1941, the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state officially went into operation.

In 1963, The Beatles’ debut album, “Please Please Me,” was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the commander of American forces in Vietnam, would leave that post to become the U.S. Army’s new Chief of Staff. Students at the University of Nanterre in suburban Paris occupied the school’s administration building in a prelude to massive protests in France that began the following May. The first Red Lobster restaurant opened in Lakeland, Florida.

In 1978, Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotel towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1988, both houses of Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.

In 1990, a jury in Anchorage, Alaska, found former tanker captain Joseph Hazelwood not guilty of three major charges in connection with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but convicted him of a minor charge of negligent discharge of oil.

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 1997, Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and ten months, became the youngest ladies’ world figure skating champion in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 2004, Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin (shayk AKH’-mehd yah-SEEN’) was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, enraging Palestinians. Terry Nichols went on trial for his life in the Oklahoma City bombing. (Nichols, already serving a life sentence for his conviction on federal charges, was found guilty of 161 state murder charges, but was again spared the death penalty when the jury couldn’t agree on his sentence.)

Ten years ago: A single-engine turboprop plane headed to a Montana ski resort nose-dived into a cemetery short of a runway in Butte, killing all 14 aboard, including seven children. The Mount Redoubt volcano in Alaska began erupting (it took about six months to settle down). Friends and family gathered in a small Hudson Valley, N.Y., town to say a final farewell to Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson, 45, who had died in a skiing accident.

Five years ago: A massive mudslide in Oso, Washington, killed 43 people and destroyed or damaged four dozen homes. A barge and cargo ship collision in the Houston Ship Channel dumped nearly 170,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil. Pope Francis named the first members of a commission to advise him on sex abuse policy. The Los Angeles Dodgers opened the Major League Baseball season with a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Sydney Cricket Ground in MLB’s first regular-season game in Australia.

One year ago: President Donald Trump announced that he would replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton; McMaster became the sixth close Trump adviser or aide to depart in a turbulent six weeks. Trump set in motion tariffs on as much as $60 billion in Chinese imports, and China threatened retaliation; the heightening trade tensions brought a selloff on Wall Street, where the Dow industrials plunged more than 700 points. H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment and three professional sports franchises, died at his Florida home at the age of 80.

Today’s Birthdays: Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 89. Evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson is 89. Actor William Shatner is 88. Former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 85. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 84. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 78. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 76. Writer James Patterson is 72. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 71. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 71. Actress Fanny Ardant is 70. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 67. Country singer James House is 64. Actress Lena Olin is 64. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 62. Actor Matthew Modine is 60. Country musician Tim Beeler is 51. Actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key is 48. Actor Will Yun Lee is 48. Olympic silver medal figure skater Elvis Stojko is 47. Actor Guillermo Diaz is 44. Actress Anne Dudek is 44. Actor Cole Hauser is 44. Actress Kellie Williams is 43. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 43. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 42. Actress Tiffany Dupont is 38. Rapper Mims is 38. Actress Constance Wu is 37. Actor James Wolk is 34. Rock musician Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant) is 29.

Thought for Today: “Better to be alone than with a bad companion.” — Spanish expression.

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