Today In History
Today is Monday, March 16, the 76th day of 2020. There are 290 days left in the year.
Today's Highlights in History:
On March 16, 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt Effie's farm in Auburn, Massachusetts.
On this date:
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew reached the Philippines, where Magellan was killed during a battle with natives the following month.
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter" was first published.
In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY') 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 1966, NASA launched Gemini 8 on a mission to rendezvous and dock with Agena, a target vehicle in orbit; although the docking was successful, the joined vehicles began spinning, forcing Gemini to disconnect and abort the flight.
In 1968, the My Lai (mee ly) massacre took place during the Vietnam War as U.S. Army soldiers hunting for Viet Cong fighters and sympathizers killed unarmed villagers in two hamlets of Son My (suhn mee) village; estimates of the death toll vary from 347 to 504. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
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 1994, figure skater Tonya Harding pleaded guilty in Portland, Oregon, to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, avoiding jail but drawing a $100,000 fine.
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.
In 2004, China declared victory in its fight against bird flu, saying it had "stamped out" all its known cases.
Ten years ago: Attorney General Eric Holder told a House Appropriations subcommittee that Osama bin Laden would never face trial in the United States because he would not be captured alive. (The al-Qaida leader was shot dead by Navy SEALs in Pakistan in May 2011.) Lance Mackey won the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to become the first musher in the event's 38-year history to win four consecutive races.
Five years ago: Los Angeles prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge against real estate heir Robert Durst in the killing of his friend, Susan Berman, who had acted as Durst's spokeswoman after his wife, Kathleen, disappeared in 1982. (Durst is now on trial in Los Angeles, but it is delayed due to the virus outbreak)
One year ago: Relatives waited for authorities to release the remains of the 51 Muslim worshippers killed in massacres at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Dick Dale, whose power-chord instrumentals on songs including “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin’” earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, died at the age of 83.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Ray Walker (The Jordanaires) is 86. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 79. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 78. Country singer Robin Williams is 73. Actor Erik Estrada is 71. Actor Victor Garber is 71. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 69. Bluegrass musician Tim O'Brien (Hot Rize; Earls of Leicester) is 66. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 66. World Golf Hall of Famer Hollis Stacy is 66. Actor Clifton Powell is 64. Rapper-actor Flavor Flav is 61. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 57. Actor Jerome Flynn is 57. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 56. Movie director Gore Verbinski is 56. Country singer Tracy Bonham is 53. Actress Lauren Graham is 53. Actor Judah Friedlander (FREED'-lan-duhr) is 51. Actor Alan Tudyk (TOO'-dihk) is 49. Actor Tim Kang is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Blu Cantrell is 44. Actress Brooke Burns is 42. Actress Kimrie Lewis is 38. Actor Brett Davern is 37. Actress Alexandra Daddario is 34. Rhythm and blues singer Jhene Aiko is 32. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 29.