Today is Wednesday, March 22, the 81st day of 2017. There are 284 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight: On March 22, 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies, which fiercely resisted the tax. (The Stamp Act was repealed a year later.)
On this date:
In 1638, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for defying Puritan orthodoxy.
In 1894, hockey’s first Stanley Cup championship game was played; home team Montreal defeated Ottawa, 3-1.
In 1929, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel sank a Canadian-registered schooner, the I’m Alone, which was suspected of carrying bootleg liquor, in the Gulf of Mexico.
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 1941, the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state officially went into operation.
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, New Mexico.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson named Gen. William C. Westmoreland to be the U.S. Army’s new Chief of Staff.
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 1987, a garbage barge, carrying 3,200 tons of refuse, left Islip, New York, on a six-month journey in search of a place to unload. (The barge was turned away by several states and three other countries until space was found back in Islip.)
In 1991, high school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of recruiting her teenage lover and his friends to kill her husband, Gregory, was convicted in Exeter, New Hampshire, of murder-conspiracy and being an accomplice to murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In 1992, 27 people were killed when a USAir Fokker F-28 jetliner bound for Cleveland crashed on takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport; 24 people survived.
In 1997, Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest ladies’ world figure skating champion in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Ten years ago: John and Elizabeth Edwards announced that her cancer had returned, but that the North Carolina Democrat planned to continue his presidential campaign. A rocket exploded 50 yards from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a news conference in Baghdad’s Green Zone just minutes after Iraq’s prime minister said the visit showed the city was “on the road to stability.” Brian Joubert became the first Frenchman in 42 years to win the world title by taking the men’s event at the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo.
Five years ago: Coroner’s officials ruled singer Whitney Houston died by drowning the previous February, but that heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors. In a dramatic end to a 32-hour standoff, a French SWAT team slipped into the Toulouse apartment of an Islamic extremist suspected of seven killings, sparking a firefight that ended with the suspect jumping out the window and being fatally shot in the head.
One year ago: Capping a remarkable visit to Cuba, President Barack Obama sat beside President Raul Castro at a baseball game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays (the Rays won, 4-1); Obama left the game early to fly to Argentina for a state visit there. Suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and subway system, killing 32 people. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton padded their delegate troves with victories in Arizona; Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders won caucuses in Utah and Idaho and Republican Ted Cruz claimed his party’s caucuses in Utah. Death claimed Rob Ford, the troubled former mayor of Toronto, at age 46; actress Rita Gam at age 88; and rapper Phife Dawg at age 45.
Today’s birthdays: Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 87. Evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson is 87. Actor William Shatner is 86. Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 83. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 82. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 76. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 74. Writer James Patterson is 70. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 69. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 69. Actress Fanny Ardant is 68. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 65. Country singer James House is 62. Actress Lena Olin is 62. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 60. Actor Matthew Modine is 58. Country musician Tim Beeler is 49. Actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key is 46. Actor Will Yun Lee (“Hawaii Five-0”) is 46. Olympic silver medal figure skater Elvis Stokjo is 45. Actor Guillermo Diaz is 42. Actress Anne Dudek is 42. Actor Cole Hauser is 42. Actress Kellie Williams is 41. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 41. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 40. Actress Tiffany Dupont is 36. Rapper Mims is 36. Actress Constance Wu is 35. Actor James Wolk is 32. Rock musician Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant) is 27.
Thought for today: “Kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.” — Joseph Joubert, French moralist (1754-1824).