Today in History

  • Friday, March 21, 2014 1:05pm
  • Life

Today is Saturday, March 22, the 81st day of 2014. There are 284 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 22, 1934, the first Masters Tournament opened under the title “Augusta National Invitation Tournament,” which was won three days later by Horton Smith.

On this date:

In 1312, Pope Clement V issued a papal bull ordering dissolution of the Order of the Knights Templar.

In 1638, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for defying Puritan orthodoxy.

In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act of 1765 to raise money from the American colonies, which fiercely resisted the tax. (The Stamp Act was repealed a year later.)

In 1820, U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Washington, D.C.

In 1894, hockey’s first Stanley Cup championship game was played; home team Montreal defeated Ottawa, 3-1.

In 1933, during Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to 3.2 percent alcohol legal.

In 1943, the Khatyn Massacre took place during World War II as German forces killed 149 residents of the village of Khatyn, Belarus, half of them children.

In 1958, movie producer Mike Todd, the husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor, and three other people were killed in the crash of Todd’s private plane near Grants, N.M.

In 1963, The Beatles’ debut album, “Please Please Me,” was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone.

In 1978, Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotel towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1984, seven people were indicted on charges of sexually abusing children at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Charges were later dropped against five defendants; school administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey was acquitted at trial, while her son, Raymond Buckey, was acquitted of 40 counts, and a jury deadlocked on another eight counts against him in a second trial.)

In 1994, “Woody Woodpecker” creator Walter Lantz died in Burbank, Calif., at age 93 (some sources say 94).

Ten years ago: Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, enraging Palestinians. Terry Nichols went on trial for his life in the Oklahoma City bombing. (Nichols, already serving a life sentence for his conviction on federal charges, was found guilty of 161 state murder charges, but was again spared the death penalty when the jury couldn’t agree on his sentence.)

Five years ago: A single-engine turboprop plane headed to a Montana ski resort nose-dived into a cemetery short of a runway in Butte, killing all 14 aboard, including seven children. The Mount Redoubt volcano in Alaska began erupting (it took about six months to settle down). British reality TV star Jade Goody died in Essex at age 27 after battling cervical cancer. Friends and family gathered in a small Hudson Valley, N.Y., town to say a final farewell to Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson, 45, who had died in a skiing accident.

One year ago: Anxious to keep Syria’s civil war from spiraling into even worse problems, President Barack Obama said during a visit to Jordan that he worried about the country becoming a haven for extremists when — not if — President Bashar Assad was ousted from power. The Internal Revenue Service said it was a mistake for employees to have made a $60,000 training video spoofing “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”

Associated Press

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