Today in History

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:58pm
  • Life

Today is Friday, March 14, the 73rd day of 2014. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 14, 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were later overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

On this date:

In 1743, a memorial service was held at Faneuil Hall in Boston honoring Peter Faneuil, who had donated the building bearing his name.

In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado” premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1923, President Warren G. Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax return, paying a tax of $17,990 on his $75,000 salary.

In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

In 1962, Democrat Edward M. Kennedy officially launched in Boston his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)

In 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1980, a LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.

In 1991, a British court overturned the convictions of the “Birmingham Six,” who had spent 16 years in prison for a 1974 Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

Ten years ago: Opposition Socialists scored a dramatic upset win in Spain’s general election, unseating conservatives stung by charges they’d provoked the Madrid terror bombings that killed 191 people by supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Russian President Vladimir Putin won a second term. Two Palestinian suicide bombers killed eleven Israelis in the port of Ashdod.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama met at the White House with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; afterward, Obama downplayed divisions between the U.S. and Europe over how to tackle the world’s financial crisis. Finance officials from rich and developing countries, meeting in Horsham, England, pledged to do “whatever is necessary” to fix the global economy. Altovise Joanne Gore Davis, a dancer and actress and the widow of Sammy Davis Jr., died in Los Angeles at 65.

One year ago: During his first full day as pontiff, Pope Francis stopped by his Vatican hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself, a day after being elected by his fellow cardinals. Some 10,000 workers from across the European Union protested outside a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, demanding they end years of austerity and focus instead on curbing runaway unemployment with more spending. A nearly 19-hour standoff in Herkimer, N.Y., came to an end inside a cluttered, abandoned bar as police SWAT teams killed the suspect in four fatal shootings. The NHL’s realignment plan was approved by the league’s board of governors.

Associated Press

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