Today in History

The Associated Press
·5-min read

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2021. There are 282 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 24, 1976, the president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military.

On this date:

In 1765, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

In 1882, German scientist Robert Koch (kohk) announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis.

In 1913, New York’s Palace Theatre, the legendary home of vaudeville, opened on Broadway.

In 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army at the draft board in Memphis, Tennessee, before boarding a bus for Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. (Presley underwent basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, before being shipped off to Germany.)

In 1965, Ranger 9, a lunar probe launched three days earlier by NASA, crashed into the moon (as planned) after sending back more than 5,800 video images.

In 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez (vahl-DEEZ’) ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil.

In 1995, after 20 years, British soldiers stopped routine patrols in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1999, NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days.

In 2002, at the 74th Academy Awards, Halle Berry became the first Black performer to win a Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Monster’s Ball,” while Denzel Washington became the second Black actor, after Sidney Poitier, to win in the best actor category for “Training Day.” “A Beautiful Mind” won four Oscars, including best picture and best director for Ron Howard.

In 2010, keeping a promise he’d made to anti-abortion Democratic lawmakers to assure passage of his historic health care legislation, President Barack Obama signed an executive order against using federal funds to pay for elective abortions covered by private insurance.

In 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525, an Airbus A320, crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board; investigators said the jetliner was deliberately downed by the 27-year-old co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz.

In 2019, Attorney General William Barr reported that special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Democrats pointed out that Mueller had found evidence for and against obstruction, and they demanded to see his full report. (The report would be released in April.)

Ten years ago: The Census Bureau released its first set of national-level findings from the 2010 count on race and migration, showing that Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the previous decade, exceeding estimates in most states as they crossed a new census milestone: 50 million, or 1 in 6 Americans. A private funeral was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery for Elizabeth Taylor (the service began 15 minutes behind schedule in accordance with the actor’s wish to be late for her own funeral).

Five years ago: A U.N. war crimes court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide and nine other charges for orchestrating a campaign of terror that left 100,000 people dead during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia; Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison. (The sentence was later increased to life in prison.) Comedian Garry Shandling died at age 66; writer Earl Hamner Jr., creator of “The Waltons,” died at age 92.

One year ago: The International Olympic Committee announced that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo would be postponed until 2021. President Donald Trump said he hoped the United States would be reopened by Easter, even as some public health officials called for tougher, not looser, restrictions. Amid hopes of a deal on a relief package for businesses and ordinary Americans, stocks soared, with the Dow industrials surging more than 2,100 points, or 11.4%, for their best day since 1933. Three of America’s best-known national parks – Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains – closed their gates to visitors. Tony-award winning playwright Terrence McNally died in Florida of complications from the coronavirus at the age of 81.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Smith is 88. Fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie is 82. Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is 74. Rock musician Lee Oskar is 73. Singer Nick Lowe is 72. Rock musician Dougie Thomson (Supertramp) is 70. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is 70. Comedian Louie Anderson is 68. Actor Donna Pescow is 67. Actor Robert Carradine is 67. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, is 67. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is 65. Actor Kelly LeBrock is 61. TV personality Star Jones is 59. Country-rock musician Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) is 57. Actor Peter Jacobson is 56. Rock singer-musician Sharon Corr (The Corrs) is 51. Actor Lauren Bowles is 51. Actor Lara Flynn Boyle is 51. Rapper Maceo (AKA P.A. Pasemaster Mase) is 51. Actor Megyn Price is 50. Actor Jim Parsons is 48. Christian rock musician Chad Butler (Switchfoot) is 47. Actor Alyson Hannigan is 47. Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is 45. Actor Amanda Brugel (TV: “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is 44. Actor Olivia Burnette is 44. Actor Jessica Chastain is 44. Actor Amir Arison is 43. Actor Lake Bell is 42. Rock musician Benj Gershman (O.A.R.) is 41. Neo-soul musician Jesse Phillips (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 41. Actor Philip Winchester (TV: “Strike Back”) is 40. Dancer Val Chmerkovskiy is 35. Actor Keisha Castle-Hughes is 31.