This Day in History

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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2021. 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.

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 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the National Academy of Sciences.

In 1887, Anne Sullivan arrived at the Tuscumbia, Alabama, home of Captain and Mrs. Arthur H. Keller to become the teacher for their deaf-blind 6-year-old daughter, Helen.

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 1945, the Allies fully secured the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese forces during World War II.

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.”

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

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 1996, Israel declared “total war” against the militant group Hamas after a bus bomb in Jerusalem killed 19 people, including the bomber, the third such suicide attack in eight days.

In 2001, a plane carrying members of a National Guard engineering crew crashed in heavy rain near Macon, Ga., killing all 21 people on board.

In 2019, a tornado roared into the small community of Beauregard, Alabama, killing 23 people; it was the nation’s deadliest tornado in nearly six years.

Ten years ago: Seeking to repair damaged relations, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon agreed during a White House meeting to deepen their cooperation in combating drug violence and declared a breakthrough in efforts to end a long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking. Soldiers backing Ivory Coast’s defiant leader, Laurent Gbagbo, mowed down women protesting his refusal to leave power in a hail of gunfire, killing seven.

Five years ago: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz leveled withering criticism at Donald Trump’s “flexible” policy positions and personal ethics during a Republican presidential debate in Detroit. President Barack Obama visited Milwaukee to highlight how his signature health insurance overhaul had helped millions of Americans gain coverage. North Korea fired six short-range projectiles into the sea hours after the U.N. Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on Pyongyang in two decades.

One year ago: In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by a half-point, its largest cut in more than a decade, to support the economy in the face of the spreading coronavirus. Stocks rallied briefly on the news, then went into another steep slide. The known virus death toll in the United States climbed to nine; most victims were residents of a Seattle-area nursing home. The number of virus patients who had died in Italy rose to 79, the most of any nation outside of China. The head of the World Health Organization asked people to stop hoarding masks, saying they were needed by health care workers. A series of tornadoes struck middle Tennessee, including one that carved a 60-mile path in and around Nashville; the storms left 24 people dead. Joe Biden scored wins in states across the Democrats’ Super Tuesday presidential primary map.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-musician Mike Pender (The Searchers) is 80. Movie producer-director George Miller is 76. Actor Hattie Winston is 76. Singer Jennifer Warnes is 74. Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky is 71. Singer-musician Robyn Hitchcock is 68. Actor Robert Gossett is 67. Rock musician John Lilley is 67. Actor Miranda Richardson is 63. Rock musician John Bigham is 62. Radio personality Ira Glass is 62. Actor Mary Page Keller is 60. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 59. Former NFL player and College Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker is 59. Actor Laura Harring is 57. Contemporary Christian musician Duncan Phillips (Newsboys) is 57. Rapper-actor Tone Loc is 55. Actor Julie Bowen is 51. Country singer Brett Warren (The Warren Brothers) is 50. Actor David Faustino is 47. Gospel singer Jason Crabb is 44. Singer Ronan Keating (Boyzone) is 44. Rapper Lil’ Flip is 40. Actor Jessica Biel is 39. Rock musician Blower (AKA Joe Garvey) (Hinder) is 37. Musician Brett Hite (Frenship) is 35. Pop singer Camila Cabello is 24. Actor Thomas Barbusca (TV: “The Mick”) is 18. Actor Reylynn Caster is 18.

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