On March 24, 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil.
On this date:
In 1765, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.
In 1832, a mob in Hiram, Ohio, attacked, tarred and feathered Mormon leaders Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.
In 1882, German scientist Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis.
In 1913, New York’s Palace Theatre, the legendary home of vaudeville, opened on Broadway.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.
In 1939, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the first Sherlock Holmes movie adaptation featuring Basil Rathbone as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed detective (and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson), premiered at the Roxy Theatre in New York.
In 1944, in occupied Rome, the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before that had killed 32 German soldiers.
In 1958, rock-and-roll singer Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tenn.
In 1964, the racial drama “Dutchman” by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) opened in Greenwich Village, N.Y.
In 1976, the president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military.
In 1980, one of El Salvador’s most respected Roman Catholic Church leaders, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, was shot to death by a sniper as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.
In 1999, NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days.
Ten years ago: Former top terrorism adviser Richard Clarke, testifying before the federal 9/11 Commission, accused the Bush administration of scaling back the campaign against Osama bin Laden before the attacks and undermining the fight against terrorism by invading Iraq; the White House redoubled efforts to undermine Clarke, the author of a book critical of President George W. Bush. The European Union slapped Microsoft with a $613 million fine for abusively wielding its Windows software monopoly. (In 2007, following a legal battle, Microsoft agreed to key parts of the antitrust ruling.)
Five years ago: In his second prime-time news conference since taking office, President Barack Obama claimed early progress in his aggressive campaign to lead the nation out of economic chaos and declared that despite obstacles ahead, “we’re moving in the right direction.” Citing the AIG debacle, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a rare joint appearance before a House committee, asked for unprecedented powers to regulate complex nonbank financial institutions. Baseball Hall of Famer George Kell died in Swifton, Ark. at age 86.
One year ago: Just days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Baghdad for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq’s behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner. Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf returned home hoping to make a political comeback despite Taliban death threats and looming arrest warrants. Rebels overthrew Francois Bozize, Central African Republic’s president for a decade.
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