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Today in History

Saturday March 23, 2002

Saturday, March 23, is the 82nd day of 2002. There are 283 days left in the year. 


Highlight in History: 

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry made his famous call for America’s independence from Britain, telling the Virginia Provincial Convention, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” 


On this date: 

In A.D. 752, Pope Stephen II was elected to succeed Pope Zacharias; however, Stephen died only two days later. 

In 1792, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the “Surprise” symphony) was performed publicly for the first time, in London. 

In 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east. 

In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy. 

In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers. 

In 1942, during World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to detention centers. 

In 1956, Pakistan became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. 

In 1965, America’s first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. 

In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls seek abortions. 

In 1983, Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device. 

Ten years ago: The president of the U.N. Security Council announced that Libya had offered to surrender two men suspected in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 to the Arab League. (Libya reversed itself two days later; however, the suspects surrendered for trial seven years later. One was subsequently convicted, the other found innocent.) 

Five years ago: Amid renewed violence, Israel’s Cabinet called on the Palestinian Authority to crack down on Islamic militant groups, but stopped short of suspending peace talks. The American Cancer Society recommended that women begin annual mammograms at age 40. 

One year ago: Russia’s orbiting Mir space station ended its 15-year odyssey with a fiery plunge into the South Pacific. Russia said it was expelling 50 U.S. diplomats in retaliation for the expulsion of 50 Russians by the U.S. Newspaper columnist Rowland Evans died in Washington D.C. at age 79. Greenpeace International co-founder David McTaggart died in Umbria, Italy, at age 68. 

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Marty Allen is 80. Movie director Mark Rydell is 68. Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 53. Singer Chaka Khan is 49. Actress Amanda Plummer is 45. Comedian John Pinnett is 38. Actor Richard Grieco is 37. Country musician Kevin Griffin (Yankee Grey) is 37. Rock singer-musician Damon Albarn (Blur) is 34. Rock musician John Humphrey (The Nixons) is 32. Actress Keri Russell (“Felicity”) is 26. Actress Nicholle Tom is 25. Country singer Paul Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 24. 

Thought for Today: “I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more, as I grow older.” — Catherine Drinker Bowen, American author (1897-1973). 

For release Saturday, March 23