Today is Saturday, March 14, the 74th day of 2020. There are 292 days left in the year.
On March 14, 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.
On this date:
In 1883, German political philosopher Karl Marx died in London at age 64.
In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado” premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the United States as part of a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Japan.
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 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 overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)
In 1965, Israel’s cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.
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 Virginia.
In 1976, movie musical director and choreographer Busby Berkeley, 80, died in Palm Springs, California.
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 2001, inspectors tightened U.S. defenses against foot-and-mouth disease a day after a case was confirmed in France.
In 2002, the government charged the Arthur Andersen accounting firm with obstruction of justice, securing its first indictment in the collapse of Enron. (Although Arthur Andersen was later found guilty, its conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court; however, the damage to the firm’s reputation was enough to put it out of business.)
Ten years ago: French voters, scarred by their country’s economic crisis, dealt President Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative leadership a stern blow by strongly favoring leftist candidates in regional elections. Actor Peter Graves died in Los Angeles at age 83, four days short of his birthday.
Five years ago: Robert Durst, a wealthy eccentric linked to two killings and his wife’s disappearance, was arrested by the FBI in New Orleans on a murder warrant a day before HBO aired the final episode of a serial documentary about his life. (Durst is now on trial for murder in Los Angeles.) Math enthusiasts observed “Pi Day,” in which the date — 3-14-15 — lined up with the first five digits of the mathematical constant pi: 3.1415.
One year ago: Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke jumped into the 2020 Democratic presidential race. (His candidacy would fail to recapture the enthusiasm and interest generated by his 2018 Senate bid, and he would drop out of the race in November.) The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that gun-maker Remington could be sued over how it marketed the rifle that was used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. (The U.S. Supreme Court later rejected an appeal from Remington Arms and allowed the lawsuit to go forward.) Former Sen. Birch Bayh, a liberal Democrat who championed the Title IX federal law banning discrimination against women in college sports, died at his Indiana home at the age of 91.
Today’s birthdays: Singer Phil Phillips (Song: “Sea of Love”) is 94. Former astronaut Frank Borman is 92. Actor Michael Caine is 87. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 87. Actor Raymond J. Barry is 81. Movie director Wolfgang Petersen is 79. Country singer Michael Martin Murphey is 75. Rock musician Walt Parazaider (payr-ah-ZAY’-dur) (formerly with Chicago) is 75. Actor Steve Kanaly is 74. Comedian Billy Crystal is 72. Former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is 72. Actor-writer-comedian-radio personality Rick Dees is 69. Country singer Jann Browne is 66. Actor Adrian Zmed is 66. Prince Albert II, the ruler of Monaco, is 62. Actress Laila Robins is 61. Actress Tamara Tunie (tuh-MAH’-ruh TOO’-nee) is 61. Actress Penny Johnson Jerald is 60. Producer-director-writer Kevin Williamson is 55. Actress Elise Neal is 54. Actor Gary Anthony Williams is 54. Actress Megan Follows is 52. Rock musician Michael Bland is 51. Country singer Kristian Bush is 50. Rock musician Derrick is 48. Actress Betsy Brandt is 47. Actress Grace Park is 46. Actor Daniel Gillies is 44. Actor Corey Stoll is 44. Actor Jake Fogelnest is 41. Actor Chris Klein is 41. Actor Ryan Cartwright (TV: “Kevin Can Wait”) is 39. Actress Kate Maberly is 38. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) is 37. Cong. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, is 36. Actor Jamie Bell is 34. Rock musician Este Haim (HY’-uhm) (Haim) is 34. NBA star Stephen Curry is 32. Actor Ansel Elgort is 26. Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is 23. Actor James Freedson-Jackson (Film: “The Strange Ones”) is 18.
Thought for today: “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” — Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist (born this date in 1879, died 1955)