Today is Wednesday, March 25, the 85th day of 2020. There are 281 days left in the year.
On March 25, 1931, in the so-called “Scottsboro Boys” case, nine young black men were taken off a train in Alabama, accused of raping two white women; after years of convictions, death sentences and imprisonment, the nine were eventually vindicated.
On this date:
In 1634, English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore arrived in present-day Maryland.
In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an “army” of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., to demand help from the federal government.
In 1911, 146 people, mostly young female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York.
In 1915, the U.S. Navy lost its first commissioned submarine as the USS F-4 sank off Hawaii, claiming the lives of all 21 crew members.
In 1947, a coal-dust explosion inside the Centralia Coal Co. Mine No. 5 in Washington County, Illinois, claimed 111 lives; 31 men survived.
In 1960, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled that the D.H. Lawrence novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” was not obscene and could be sent through the mails. Ray Charles recorded “Georgia on My Mind” as part of his “The Genius Hits the Road” album in New York.
In 1963, private pilot Ralph Flores and his 21-year-old passenger, Helen Klaben, were rescued after being stranded for seven weeks in brutally cold conditions in the Yukon after their plane crashed.
In 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 people to the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery after a five-day march from Selma to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Later that day, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a white Detroit homemaker, was shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen.
In 1985, “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Milos Forman and best actor for F. Murray Abraham.
In 1988, in New York City’s so-called “Preppie Killer” case, Robert Chambers Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. (Chambers received 5 to 15 years in prison; he was released in 2003 after serving the full sentence.)
In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.
In 2018, in an interview with “60 Minutes,” adult film star Stormy Daniels said she had been threatened and warned to keep silent about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006. A fire at a shopping mall in a Siberian city in Russia killed more than 60 people, including 41 children.
Ten years ago: Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message to kill any Americans al-Qaida captured if the U.S. executed Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, or other al-Qaida suspects. Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved new rules easing enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. Daisuke Takahashi gave Japan its first men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy.
Five years ago: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked the U.S. Congress for billions of American tax dollars and vowed his war-wracked country would be self-reliant within the decade. British singer Zayn Malik shocked his fans by announcing he was quitting the chart-topping band One Direction.
One year ago: UFC superstar Conor McGregor announced his retirement on social media. Apple announced the launch of a video streaming service, Apple TV Plus, that could compete with Netflix and Amazon with ad-free original series and films.
Today’s birthdays: Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 94. Former astronaut James Lovell is 92. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 86. Singer Anita Bryant is 80. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 77. Singer Sir Elton John is 73. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 72. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 67. Actor James McDaniel is 62. Former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is 62. Movie producer Amy Pascal is 62. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 60. Actress Brenda Strong is 60. Actor Fred Goss is 59. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 59. Actress Marcia Cross is 58. Author Kate DiCamillo is 56. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 56. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 55. Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine is 54. TV personality Ben Mankiewicz is 53. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas is 53. Actor Laz Alonso is 49. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 45. Actor Domenick Lombardozzi is 44. Actor Lee Pace is 41. Actor Sean Faris is 38. Comedian-actor Alex Moffat (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 38. Former auto racer Danica Patrick is 38. Actress-singer Katharine McPhee is 36. Comedian-actor Chris Redd (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 35. Singer Jason Castro is 33. Rapper Big Sean is 32. Rap DJ-producer Ryan Lewis is 32. Actor Matthew Beard is 31. Actress-singer Aly Michalka is 31. Actor Kiowa Gordon is 30. Actress Seychelle Gabriel is 29.
Thought for today: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally.” — Flannery O’Connor, American author (1925-1964)