Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

Today is Saturday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2018. There are 303 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 3, 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem of the United States as President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution.

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On this date:

In 1791, Congress passed a measure taxing distilled spirits; it was the first internal revenue act in U.S. history.

In 1845, Florida became the 27th state.

In 1849, the U.S. Department of the Interior was established.

In 1918, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. (The treaty was rendered moot by the November 1918 armistice.)

In 1923, Time magazine, founded by Briton Hadden and Henry R. Luce, made its debut.

In 1943, in London’s East End, 173 people died in a crush of bodies at the Bethnal Green tube station, which was being used as a wartime air raid shelter.

In 1959, the United States launched the Pioneer 4 spacecraft, which flew by the moon. Comedian Lou Costello died in East Los Angeles three days before his 53rd birthday.

In 1960, Lucille Ball filed for divorce from her husband, Desi Arnaz, a day after they had finished filming the last episode of “The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show” (“Lucy Meets the Mustache”) on Arnaz’s 43rd birthday.

In 1974, a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris, killing all 346 people on board.

In 1985, coal miners in Britain voted to end a year-long strike that proved to be the longest and most violent walkout in British history.

In 1991, motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in a scene captured on amateur video. Twenty-five people were killed when a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed while approaching the Colorado Springs airport.

In 2002, voters in Switzerland approved joining the United Nations, abandoning almost 200 years of formal neutrality.

Ten years ago: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said his campaign had never given Canada back-channel assurances that his harsh words about the North American Free Trade Agreement were for political show, despite a Canadian memo indicating otherwise. Four adults and two children were found slain in a Memphis, Tennessee, house; three children survived the rampage. (The brother of one of the victims was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.) A gunman opened fire inside a Wendy’s restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida, killing a paramedic who’d gone back to fetch a missing meal toy for his child; the gunman wounded five others before turning the gun on himself. Operatic tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano died in Santa Maria Hoe, Italy, at age 86.

Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden led civil rights leaders and national political figures in a ceremonial crossing of a Selma, Alabama, bridge where voting rights marchers were beaten by law enforcement officers in 1965. The SpaceX company’s Dragon capsule made good on its latest shipment to the International Space Station, overcoming earlier mechanical difficulty to deliver a ton of supplies. Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown group The Miracles and a songwriting collaborator with Smokey Robinson, died at his suburban Detroit home; he was 73.

One year ago: President Donald Trump toured St. Andrew Catholic School, a private religious facility in Orlando, Florida, praising it as an ideal institution for “disadvantaged children” while re-emphasizing that his education agenda would focus on school choice. The Nintendo Switch, a hybrid game machine that works as both a console at home and a portable tablet on the go, made its debut.

Today’s Birthdays: Socialite Lee Radziwill is 85. Singer-musician Mike Pender (The Searchers) is 77. Movie producer-director George Miller is 73. Actress Hattie Winston is 73. Singer Jennifer Warnes is 71. Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky is 68. Singer-musician Robyn Hitchcock is 65. Actor Robert Gossett is 64. Rock musician John Lilley is 64. Actress Miranda Richardson is 60. Rock musician John Bigham is 59. Radio personality Ira Glass is 59. Actress Mary Page Keller is 57. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 56. Former NFL player and College Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker is 56. Actress Laura Harring is 54. Contemporary Christian musician Duncan Phillips (Newsboys) is 54. Rapper-actor Tone Loc (lohk) is 52. Actress Julie Bowen is 48. Country singer Brett Warren (The Warren Brothers) is 47. Actor David Faustino is 44. Gospel singer Jason Crabb is 41. Singer Ronan Keating (Boyzone) is 41. Rapper Lil’ Flip is 37. Actress Jessica Biel is 36. Rock musician Blower (AKA Joe Garvey) (Hinder) is 34. Musician Brett Hite (Frenship) is 32. Pop singer Camila Cabello is 21. Actor Thomas Barbusca (TV: “The Mick”) is 15.