By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, March 15, the 74th day of 2017. There are 291 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 15, 1767, the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was born in the Waxhaw settlement along the North Carolina-South Carolina border.
On this date:
In 44 B.C., Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.
In 1820, Maine became the 23rd state.
In 1917, Czar Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, who declined the crown, marking the end of imperial rule in Russia.
In 1922, Sultan Fuad I proclaimed himself the first king of modern Egypt.
In 1937, America’s first hospital blood bank was opened at Cook County Hospital in Illinois.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied bombers again raided German-held Monte Cassino.
In 1956, the Lerner and Loewe musical play “My Fair Lady,” based on Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” opened on Broadway.
In 1964, actress Elizabeth Taylor married actor Richard Burton in Montreal; it was her fifth marriage, his second. (They divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975, then divorced again in 1976.)
In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day closed-circuit test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television. The situation comedy “Three’s Company,” starring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers, premiered on ABC-TV.
In 1985, the first internet domain name, symbolics.com, was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp. of Massachusetts.
In 1999, an Amtrak train slammed into a steel-filled truck at a crossing in Bourbonnais, Illinois, killing 11 people.
In 2011, the Syrian civil war had its beginnings with Arab Spring protests across the region that turned into an armed insurgency and eventually became a full-blown conflict.
Ten years ago: Senate Republicans easily turned back Democratic legislation requiring a troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin within 120 days. Actress Angelina Jolie adopted a 3-year-old boy from an orphanage in Vietnam (Pax Thien was her fourth child with Brad Pitt). Former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn (BOO’-ee kyoon) died in Jacksonville, Florida, at age 80.
Five years ago: Convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) walked into a federal prison in Colorado, where the 55-year-old Democrat began serving a 14-year sentence for corruption. The American campaign in Afghanistan suffered a double blow as the Taliban broke off talks with the U.S., and President Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) said NATO should pull out of rural areas and speed up the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces nationwide.
One year ago: Democrat Hillary Clinton triumphed in the Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri presidential primaries; Donald Trump strengthened his hand in the Republican race, winning in Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri, but falling in Ohio to that state’s governor, John Kasich (KAY’-sihk), while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ended his campaign after his home-state loss. In a major reversal, the Obama administration barred offshore drilling off the Atlantic Coast. Dallas Seavey won his third straight Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in a record time of 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, 16 seconds. Sylvia Anderson, 88, co-creator of the cult classic science fiction TV puppet show “Thunderbirds,” died in Bray, Berkshire, England.
Today’s Birthdays: Musician DJ Fontana is 86. Former astronaut Alan L. Bean is 85. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84. Actor Judd Hirsch is 82. Jazz musician Charles Lloyd is 79. Rock musician Phil Lesh is 77. Singer Mike Love (The Beach Boys) is 76. Rock singer-musician Sly Stone is 74. Rock singer-musician Howard Scott (War; Lowrider Band) is 71. Rock singer Ry Cooder is 70. Actor Craig Wasson is 63. Rock singer Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) is 62. Actor Joaquim de Almeida is 60. Actress Park Overall is 60. Movie director Renny Harlin is 58. Model Fabio is 56. Singer Terence Trent D’Arby (AKA Sananda Maitreya) is 55. Rock singer Bret Michaels (Poison) is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rockwell is 53. Actor Chris Bruno is 51. Rock singer Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) is 49. Actress Kim Raver is 48. Rock musician Mark Hoppus is 45. Country singer-musician Matt Thomas (Parmalee) is 43. Actress Eva Longoria is 42. Rapper-musician will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) is 42. Rock DJ Joseph Hahn (Linkin Park) is 40. Rapper Young Buck is 36. Actor Sean Biggerstaff is 34. Rock musician Ethan Mentzer is 34. Actor Kellan Lutz is 32. Actress Caitlin Wachs is 28