Today in History

The Associated Press
·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 28, the 87th day of 2021. There are 278 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 28, 1979, America’s worst commercial nuclear accident occurred with a partial meltdown inside the Unit 2 reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania.

On this date:

In 1797, Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire received a patent for a washing machine.

In 1898, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, ruled 6-2 that Wong, who was born in the United States to Chinese immigrants, was an American citizen.

In 1935, the notorious Nazi propaganda film “Triumph des Willens” (Triumph of the Will), directed by Leni Riefenstahl, premiered in Berlin with Adolf Hitler present.

In 1941, novelist and critic Virginia Woolf, 59, drowned herself near her home in Lewes, East Sussex, England.

In 1942, during World War II, British naval forces staged a successful raid on the Nazi-occupied French port of St. Nazaire in Operation Chariot, destroying the only dry dock on the Atlantic coast capable of repairing the German battleship Tirpitz.

In 1969, the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, died in Washington, D.C., at age 78.

In 1977, “Rocky” won best picture at the 49th Academy Awards; Peter Finch was honored posthumously as best actor for “Network” while his co-star, Faye Dunaway, was recognized as best actress.

In 1978, in Stump v. Sparkman, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld, 5-3, the judicial immunity of an Indiana judge against a lawsuit brought by a young woman who’d been ordered sterilized by the judge when she was a teenager.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the widow of U.S. Olympic legend Jesse Owens.

In 1999, NATO broadened its attacks on Yugoslavia to target Serb military forces in Kosovo in the fifth straight night of airstrikes; thousands of refugees flooded into Albania and Macedonia from Kosovo.

In 2000, in a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court, in Florida v. J.L., sharply curtailed police power in relying on anonymous tips to stop and search people.

In 2003, American-led forces in Iraq dropped thousand-pound bombs on Republican Guard units guarding the gates to Baghdad and battled for control of the strategic city of Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE’-uh). President George W. Bush warned of “further sacrifice” ahead in the face of unexpectedly fierce fighting.

Ten years ago: Vigorously defending American attacks in Libya, President Barack Obama declared in a nationally broadcast address that the United States intervened to prevent a slaughter of civilians; he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a mistake as costly as the war in Iraq.

Five years ago: The FBI said it had successfully used a mysterious technique without Apple Inc.’s help to hack into the iPhone used by a gunman in a mass shooting in California, effectively ending a pitched court battle. Officers shot and wounded a man who had pulled a weapon at a security checkpoint as he entered the underground U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Actor James Noble, 94, died in Norwalk, Connecticut.

One year ago: The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in the U.S. topped 2,000, twice the number from just three days earlier; five countries had higher death tolls, including Italy with more than 10,000. New York’s presidential primary was delayed from April 28 to June 23. President Donald Trump considered and then rejected ordering a quarantine for residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Russia announced a full border closure. The U.N. donated 250,000 face masks to New York City. Lonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for decades, died in a California prison at the age of 67. Former Sen. Tom Coburn died at 72; the Oklahoma Republican was a conservative political maverick known for railing against federal earmarks.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Mario Vargas Llosa is 85. Country musician Charlie McCoy is 80. Movie director Mike Newell is 79. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is 76. Actor Dianne Wiest (weest) is 75. Country singer Reba McEntire is 66. Olympic gold medal gymnast Bart Conner is 63. Actor Alexandra Billings (TV: “Transparent”) is 59. Rapper Salt (Salt-N-Pepa) is 55. Actor Tracey Needham is 54. Actor Max Perlich is 53. Movie director Brett Ratner is 52. Country singer Rodney Atkins is 52. Actor Vince Vaughn is 51. Rapper Mr. Cheeks (Lost Boyz) is 50. Singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson is 48. Rock musician Dave Keuning is 45. Actor Annie Wersching is 44. Actor Julia Stiles is 40. Singer Lady Gaga is 35. Electronic musician Clayton Knight (Odesza) is 33.