Today in History

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today is Wednesday, March 7, the 66th day of 2018. There are 299 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was violently broken up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, by state troopers and a sheriff’s posse in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Email newsletter signup

On this date:

In 1530, Pope Clement VII threatened to excommunicate England’s King Henry VIII if he went through with plans to marry Anne Boleyn, who became Henry’s second wife after Catherine of Aragon. (The pope made good on his excommunication threat in 1533.)

In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.

In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.

In 1918, Japanese corporation Panasonic had its beginnings as Konosuke Matsushita (maht-soosh-tah) founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works in Osaka. The musical comedy “Oh, Look!” featuring the song “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” opened on Broadway.

In 1926, the first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) and the Locarno Pact.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine at Remagen, Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge.

In 1955, the first TV production of the musical “Peter Pan” starring Mary Martin aired on NBC.

In 1967, the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” based on the “Peanuts” comic strips by Charles M. Schulz, opened in New York’s Greenwich Village, beginning an off-Broadway run of 1,597 performances.

In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required two-thirds of senators present.

In 1981, anti-government guerrillas in Colombia executed kidnapped American Bible translator Chester Bitterman, whom they accused of being a CIA agent.

In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a parody that pokes fun at an original work can be considered “fair use.” (The ruling concerned a parody of the Roy Orbison song “Oh, Pretty Woman” by the rap group 2 Live Crew.)

Ten years ago: On the heels of a gloomy report that 63,000 jobs were lost in February 2008, President George W. Bush said “it’s clear our economy has slowed” as he tried to reassure an anxious public that the long-term outlook was good. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, who was acting as an adviser to Barack Obama, resigned after calling rival Hillary Rodham Clinton “a monster.” Leon Greenman, the only Englishman sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, died in London at age 97.

Five years ago: The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test; a furious Pyongyang threatened a nuclear strike against the United States. The Senate confirmed John Brennan to be CIA director, 63-34, after the Obama administration bowed to demands from Republicans blocking the nomination and stated explicitly there were limits to the president’s power to use drones against U.S. terror suspects on American soil. Sybil Christopher, 83, the wife Richard Burton left in 1963 to marry Elizabeth Taylor, and who became a theater producer and nightclub founder, died in New York.

One year ago: WikiLeaks published thousands of documents described as secret files about CIA hacking tools the government employed to break into users’ computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs from companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. The Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade deficit jumped in January 2017 by 9.6 percent to $48.5 billion, the highest level in nearly five years as a flood of mobile phones and other consumer products widened America’s trade gap with China. A freight train smashed into a charter bus at a rail crossing in Biloxi, Mississippi, leaving four people dead.

Today’s Birthdays: TV personality Willard Scott is 84. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Janet Guthrie is 80. Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 78. Entertainment executive Michael Eisner is 76. Rock musician Chris White (The Zombies) is 75. Rock singer Peter Wolf is 72. Rock musician Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) is 72. Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris is 68. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 66. Rock musician Kenny Aronoff (BoDeans, John Mellencamp) is 65. Actor Bryan Cranston is 62. Actress Donna Murphy is 59. Actor Nick Searcy is 59. Golfer Tom Lehman is 59. International Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl is 58. Actress Mary Beth Evans is 57. Singer-actress Taylor Dayne is 56. Actor Bill Brochtrup is 55. Author E.L. James is 55. Author Bret Easton Ellis is 54. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 54. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 54. Actor Jonathan Del Arco is 52. Rock musician Randy Guss (Toad the Wet Sprocket) is 51. Actress Rachel Weisz (wys) is 48. Actor Peter Sarsgaard is 47. Actor Jay Duplass is 45. Classical singer Sebastien Izambard (Il Divo) is 45. Rock singer Hugo Ferreira (Tantric) is 44. Actress Jenna Fischer is 44. Actor Tobias Menzies is 44. Actress Sarayu Rao is 43. Actress Audrey Marie Anderson is 43. Actor TJ Thyne is 43. Bluegrass singer-musician Frank Solivan is 41. Actress Laura Prepon is 38. Actress Bel Powley is 26. Actress Giselle Eisenberg (TV: “Life in Pieces”) is 11.