Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, March 11, the 71st day of 2016. There are 295 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 11, 1888, the Blizzard of ‘88, also known as the “Great White Hurricane,” began inundating the northeastern United States, resulting in some 400 deaths.

On this date:

In 1861, the Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Confederate Congress in Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1865, during the Civil War, Union forces under General William T. Sherman occupied Fayetteville, North Carolina.

In 1916, future British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England.

In 1935, the Bank of Canada began operations, issuing its first series of bank notes.

In 1942, as Japanese forces continued to advance in the Pacific during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur left the Philippines for Australia. (MacArthur, who subsequently vowed, “I shall return,” kept that promise more than 2½ years later.)

In 1954, the U.S. Army charged that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., and his subcommittee’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had exerted pressure to obtain favored treatment for Pvt. G. David Schine, a former consultant to the subcommittee. (The confrontation culminated in the famous Senate Army-McCarthy hearings.)

In 1965, the Rev. James J. Reeb, a white minister from Boston, died two days after being beaten by whites during civil rights disturbances in Selma, Alabama.

In 1977, more than 130 hostages held in Washington D.C. by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations.

In 1986, the state of Georgia pardoned Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman who had been lynched in 1915 for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan.

In 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be attorney general.

In 2004, ten bombs exploded in quick succession across the commuter rail network in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people in an attack linked to al-Qaida-inspired militants.

In 2012, sixteen Afghan villagers – mostly women and children – were shot dead as they slept by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Ten years ago: Former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH’-dahn mee-LOH’-shuh-vich) was found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell in the Netherlands, abruptly ending his four-year U.N. war crimes trial for orchestrating a decade of conflict that had killed a quarter of a million people; he was 64. Michelle Bachelet (bah-cheh-LET’) was sworn in as Chile’s first female president.

Five years ago: A magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan’s northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 people and severely damaging the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a measure to eliminate most union rights for public employees, a proposal which had provoked three weeks of loud, relentless protests. NFL owners and players broke off labor negotiations hours before their contract expired; the union decertified and the league imposed a lockout that lasted 4½ months. Songwriter Hugh Martin, whose works included “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song,” died in Encinitas, California, at age 96.

One year ago: The police chief of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. Jimmy Greenspoon, 67, the keyboardist for rock band Three Dog Night, died in North Potomac, Maryland.

Today’s Birthdays: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is 85. ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson is 82. Musician Flaco Jimenez (FLAH’-koh hee-MEH’-nez) is 77. Actress Tricia O’Neil is 71. Actor Mark Metcalf is 70. Rock singer-musician Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) is 69. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 66. Movie director Jerry Zucker is 66. Actress Susan Richardson is 64. Recording executive Jimmy Iovine (eye-VEEN’) is 63. Singer Nina Hagen is 61. Country singer Jimmy Fortune (The Statler Brothers) is 61. Singer Cheryl Lynn is 59. Actor Elias Koteas (ee-LY-uhs koh-TAY-uhs) is 55. Actor-director Peter Berg is 54. Actor Jeffrey Nordling is 54. Actress Alex Kingston is 53. Country musician David Talbot is 53. Actor Wallace Langham is 51. Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is 51. Actor John Barrowman is 49. Singer Lisa Loeb is 48. Neo-soul musician Al Gamble (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 47. Singer Pete Droge is 47. Actor Terrence Howard is 47. Rock musician Rami Jaffee is 47. Actor Johnny Knoxville is 45. Rock singer-musicians Joel and Benji Madden (Good Charlotte; The Madden Brothers) are 37. Actor David Anders is 35. Singer LeToya is 35. Actress Thora Birch is 34. TV personality Melissa Rycroft is 33. Actor Rob Brown is 32. Actor Anton Yelchin is 27.

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