Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, March 25, the 85th day of 2016. There are 281 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 25, 1776, Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was awarded the first Congressional Gold Medal by the Continental Congress.

On this date:

In 1306, Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scots.

In 1865, during the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked Fort Stedman in Virginia but were forced to withdraw because of counterattacking Union troops.

In 1911, 146 people, mostly young female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York.

In 1947, a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois, claimed 111 lives.

In 1954, RCA announced it had begun producing color television sets at its plant in Bloomington, Indiana.

In 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 people to the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery after a five-day march from Selma to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Later that day, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a white Detroit homemaker, was shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen.

In 1975, King Faisal (FY’-suhl) of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded in June 1975.)

In 1985, “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Milos (MEE’-lohsh) Forman and best actor for F. Murray Abraham.

In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.

In 1991, “Dances with Wolves” won seven Oscars, including best picture, at the 63rd annual Academy Awards; Kathy Bates won best actress for “Misery” while Jeremy Irons received best actor for “Reversal of Fortune.”

In 1996, an 81-day standoff by the anti-government Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, Montana.

In 2001, at the 73rd Academy Awards, “Gladiator” won best picture; its star, Russell Crowe, was named best actor; Julia Roberts received the best actress Oscar for “Erin Brockovich”; Steven Soderbergh won best director for “Traffic.”

Ten years ago: In Los Angeles, half a million people marched to protest federal legislation to make illegal immigration a felony and build more walls along the border. In Seattle, Aaron Kyle Huff opened fire in a house full of ravers, killing six of them before killing himself. Kimmie Meissner won the ladies’ World Figure Skating Championships title in Calgary, Alberta. Country music star Buck Owens died in Bakersfield, California, at age 76. Movie director Richard Fleischer died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 89.

Five years ago: Canadian opposition parties brought down the Conservative government in a no-confidence vote, triggering an election that gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper a clear Conservative majority in Parliament. Olga Ulyanova, 89, a chemist and niece of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin who’d written several books praising her uncle and family, died in Moscow.

One year ago: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked the U.S. Congress for billions of American tax dollars and vowed his war-wracked country would be self-reliant within the decade. British singer Zayn Malik shocked his fans by announcing he was quitting the chart-topping band One Direction.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 90. Former astronaut James Lovell is 88. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 82. Singer Anita Bryant is 76. Singer Aretha Franklin is 74. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 73. Singer Elton John is 69. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 68. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 63. Actor James McDaniel is 58. Former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is 58. Movie producer Amy Pascal is 58. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 56. Actress Brenda Strong is 56. Actor Fred Goss is 55. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 55. Actress Marcia Cross is 54. Author Kate DiCamillo is 52. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 52. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 51. Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine is 50. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas is 49. Actor Laz Alonso is 45. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 41. Actor Domenick Lombardozzi is 40. Actor Lee Pace is 37. Actor Sean Faris is 34. Auto racer Danica Patrick is 34. Actress-singer Katharine McPhee is 32. Singer Jason Castro is 29. Rapper Big Sean is 28. Rap DJ/producer Ryan Lewis is 28. Actor Matthew Beard is 27. Actress-singer Aly (AKA Alyson) Michalka (mish-AL’-kah) is 27. Actor Kiowa Gordon is 26. Actress Seychelle Gabriel is 25.

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