Today is Thursday, March 22, the 81st day of 2018. There are 284 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On March 22, 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.
On this date:
In 1312, Pope Clement V issued a papal bull ordering dissolution of the Order of the Knights Templar.
In 1638, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for defying Puritan orthodoxy.
In 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 (The Stamp Act was repealed a year later.)
In 1894, hockey’s first Stanley Cup championship game was played; home team Montreal defeated Ottawa, 3-1.
In 1929, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel sank a Canadian-registered schooner, the I’m Alone, which was suspected of carrying bootleg liquor, in the Gulf of Mexico.
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 1958, movie producer Mike Todd, the husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor, and three other people were killed in the crash of Todd’s private plane near Grants, New Mexico.
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 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 1992, 27 people were killed when a USAir Fokker F-28 jetliner bound for Cleveland crashed on takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport; 24 people survived.
Ten years ago: Vice President Dick Cheney, visiting the Middle East, said the U.S. had an “enduring and unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security and its right to defend itself against those bent on destroying the Jewish state. Endeavour’s astronauts embarked on the fifth and final spacewalk of their mission, this time to attach a 50-foot inspection pole to the international space station for use by the next shuttle visitors. Jeffrey Buttle of Canada won the men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Goteborg, Sweden.
Five years ago: Anxious to keep Syria’s civil war from spiraling into even worse problems, President Barack Obama said during a visit to Jordan that he worried about the country becoming a haven for extremists when — not if — President Bashar Assad was ousted from power. The Internal Revenue Service said it was a mistake for employees to have made a $60,000 six-minute training video spoofing “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
One year ago: A knife-wielding man plowed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, then stabbed an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament before being shot dead by authorities. A northern Wisconsin man went on a shooting rampage, killing two of his wife’s co-workers, her divorce attorney and a police officer before being shot by police; he died 10 days later in the hospital. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch wrapped up two days of Senate questioning to glowing GOP reviews but complaints from frustrated Democrats that he had concealed his views from the American public.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 88. Evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson is 88. Actor William Shatner is 87. Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 84. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 83. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 77. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 75. Writer James Patterson is 71. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 70. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 70. Actress Fanny Ardant is 69. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 66. Country singer James House is 63. Actress Lena Olin is 63. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 61. Actor Matthew Modine is 59. Country musician Tim Beeler is 50. Actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key is 47. Actor Will Yun Lee is 47. Olympic silver medal figure skater Elvis Stojko is 46. Actor Guillermo Diaz is 43. Actress Anne Dudek is 43. Actor Cole Hauser is 43. Actress Kellie Williams is 42. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 42. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 41. Actress Tiffany Dupont is 37. Rapper Mims is 37. Actress Constance Wu is 36. Actor James Wolk is 33. Rock musician Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant) is 28.
Thought for Today: “Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?” — Marcel Marceau, French mime (1923-2007).