Today in History

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:46pm
  • Life

Today is Ash Wednesday, March 5, the 64th day of 2014. There are 301 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. Churchill declared: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

On this date:

In 1766, Antonio de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans to asssume his duties as the first Spanish governor of the Louisiana Territory, where he encountered resistance from the French residents.

In 1770, the Boston Massacre took place as British soldiers who’d been taunted by a crowd of colonists opened fire, killing five people.

In 1868, the Senate was organized into a Court of Impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson, who was later acquitted.

In 1933, in German parliamentary elections, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote; the Nazis joined with a conservative nationalist party to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag.

In 1934, the first Mothers-in-Law Day celebration and parade took place in Amarillo, Texas.

In 1953, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died after three decades in power. Composer Sergei Prokofiev died in Moscow at age 61.

In 1960, Cuban newspaper photographer Alberto Korda took the now-famous picture of guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara during a memorial service in Havana for victims of a ship explosion. Elvis Presley was discharged from the U.S. Army.

In 1963, country music performers Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in the crash of their plane, a Piper Comanche, near Camden, Tenn., along with pilot Randy Hughes (Cline’s manager).

In 1970, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.

In 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe flew past Jupiter, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.

In 1982, comedian John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in Hollywood; he was 33.

In 1994, a jury in Pensacola, Fla., convicted anti-abortion activist Michael F. Griffin of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Dr. David Gunn; Griffin was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

Ten years ago: Martha Stewart was convicted in New York of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she’d unloaded her Imclone stock just before the price plummeted; her ex-stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, also was found guilty in the stock scandal. (Each later received a five-month prison sentence.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama hosted a White House summit where he pumped allies and skeptics alike for ways to overhaul the nation’s costly and frustrating health care system. As thousands demonstrated outside, California Supreme Court justices listened to legal arguments over the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. NATO agreed, after intense internal debate, to restore normal relations with Russia seven months after it had frozen ties in response to Moscow’s invasion of Georgia.

One year ago: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Latin America’s most vocal and controversial leader, died at age 58 after a struggle with cancer. The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-3 to approve President Barack Obama’s pick of John Brennan to lead the CIA. Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole announced that airline passengers would be able to carry small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes (the plan was dropped three months later amid fierce congressional and industry opposition). Fox announced its 24-hour sports cable network called Fox Sports 1, which launched Aug. 17, 2013.

Associated Press

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