Today in History

  • Sun Mar 18th, 2012 3:41pm
  • Life

Today is Monday, March 19, the 79th day of 2012. There are 287 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 19, 1962, Bob Dylan’s first album, eponymously titled “Bob Dylan,” was released by Columbia Records. (Of the 13 songs recorded for the album, two were Dylan originals: “Talkin’ New York” and “Song to Woody,” a tribute to Woody Guthrie.)

On this date:

In 1687, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle — the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River — was murdered by mutineers in present-day Texas.

In 1859, the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.

In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was observed with rallies and parades in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland.

In 1918, Congress approved Daylight Saving Time.

In 1920, the Senate rejected, for a second time, the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.

In 1931, Nevada Gov. Fred B. Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling.

In 1942, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered men between the ages of 45 and 64, inclusive, to register for non-military duty.

In 1945, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the carrier USS Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved. Adolf Hitler issued his so-called “Nero Decree,” ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.

In 1951, Herman Wouk’s World War II novel “The Caine Mutiny” was first published.

In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.

In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)

Ten years ago: U.S. intelligence analyst Ana Belen Montes pleaded guilty in federal court to spying for Cuba; she was later sentenced to 25 years in prison. Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina claimed victory in the nasty proxy fight over the $20 billion purchase of Compaq Computer Corp.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush marked the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war with a plea for patience to let his revised battle plan work; Congress’ new Democratic leaders retorted that no patience remained. A methane gas explosion in a Siberian coal mine killed 110 workers. Death claimed rhythm-and-blues singer-songwriter Luther Ingram at age 69 and TV performer Calvert DeForest, aka “Larry ‘Bud’ Melman,” at age 85.

One year ago: The U.S. fired more than 100 cruise missiles from the sea while French fighter jets targeted Moammar Gadhafi’s forces from the air, launching the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising. President Barack Obama arrived in Brazil for the start of a three-country, five-day tour of Latin America. The Berlin Zoo’s beloved polar bear Knut died at age 4.

Associated Press