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Today in History

Tuesday March 19, 2002

March 19 is the 78th day of 2002. There are 287 days left in the year. This is the date the swallows traditionally return to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California. 


Highlight in History: 

On March 19, 1920, the U.S. Senate rejected, for a second time, the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval. 


On this date: 

In 1859, the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris. 

In 1917, the Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads. 

In 1918, Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time. 

In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling. 

In 1941, Jimmy Dorsey and Orchestra recorded “Green Eyes” and “Maria Elena” for Decca Records. 

In 1945, about 800 people were killed as Kamikaze planes attacked the U.S. carrier Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved. 

In 1945, Adolf Hitler issued his so-called “Nero Decree,” ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands. 

In 1951, Herman Wouk’s war novel “The Caine Mutiny” was first published. 

In 1976, Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage. 

In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business. 

Ten years ago: Democrat Paul Tsongas pulled out of the presidential race, leaving Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton the clear favorite to capture their party’s nomination. 

Five years ago: Following the withdrawal of Anthony Lake, President Clinton nominated acting CIA Director George Tenet to head the nation’s spy agency. President Clinton departed Washington for his summit in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Artist Willem de Kooning, considered one of the 20th century’s greatest painters, died in East Hampton, N.Y., at age 92. 

One year ago: California officials declared a power alert, ordering the first of two days of rolling blackouts. 


Today’s Birthdays: Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 77. Actor-director Patrick McGoohan is 74. Theologian Hans Kung is 74. Author Philip Roth is 69. Actress Renee Taylor is 69. Actress-singer Phyllis Newman is 67. Actress Ursula Andress is 66. Singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry is 65. Rock musician Paul Atkinson (The Zombies) is 56. Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) is 56. Actress Glenn Close is 55. Actor Bruce Willis is 47. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s Choice) is 32. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 13.