Today in History

  • Thu Mar 15th, 2012 10:33pm
  • Life

Today is Friday, March 16, the 76th day of 2012. There are 290 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 16, 1912, future first lady Pat Nixon was born Thelma Catherine Ryan in Ely, Nev.

On this date:

In A.D. 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.

In 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines, where he was killed by natives the following month.

In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Va.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” was first published.

In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Mass.

In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles 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 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504.

In 1972, in a nationally broadcast address, President Richard Nixon called for a moratorium on court-ordered school busing to achieve racial desegregation.

In 1982, Claus Von Bulow was found guilty in Newport, R.I., of trying to kill his comatose wife, Martha, with insulin. (Von Bulow was acquitted in a retrial; his former wife, who was also known as “Sunny,” died in December 2008.)

In 2003, American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to block the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Associated Press