Today in History Saturday, March 4, 2017


Today is Saturday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2017. There are 302 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 4, 1917, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the same day President Woodrow Wilson took his oath of office for a second term (it being a Sunday, a private ceremony was held inside the U.S. Capitol; a second, public swearing-in took place the next day).

On this date:

In 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)

In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

In 1797, John Adams was inaugurated the second president of the United States.

In 1837, the Illinois town of Chicago was incorporated as a city with a population of 4,170.

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration was broadcast live on 21 radio stations coast-to-coast.

In 1937, at the 9th Academy Awards, “The Great Ziegfeld” was named outstanding production of 1936 and its leading lady, Luise Rainer (RY’-nuhr), best actress; Paul Muni won best actor for “The Story of Louis Pasteur.”

In 1940, Kings Canyon National Park in California was established.

In 1952, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, California.

In 1960, an explosives-laden French freighter, La Coubre, exploded in Havana’s harbor, killing at least 75 people.

In 1977, some 1,500 people were killed in an earthquake that shook southern and eastern Europe.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had “deteriorated” into an arms-for-hostages deal.

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment at work can be illegal even when the offender and victim are of the same gender.

Ten years ago: NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon announced he was quitting the civil rights organization after just 19 months at the helm, citing growing strain with board members over the group’s management style and future operations. Former Sen. Thomas Eagleton, who resigned as George McGovern’s running mate in 1972 after it was revealed he’d been hospitalized for depression, died in St. Louis at age 77.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, said he didn’t want war but that he would not hesitate to attack Iran if that were the only option left to stop it from getting a nuclear weapon. Vladimir Putin scored a decisive victory in Russia’s presidential election to return to the Kremlin and extend his hold on power for six more years. Nearly 300 people in the Republic of Congo were killed after a series of blasts at an arms depot in the capital Brazzaville.

One year ago: The U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of a Louisiana clinic regulation law placing new restrictions on abortion. Bud Collins, the tennis historian and American voice of the sport in print and on TV for decades, died in Brookline, Massachusetts, at age 86. Pat Conroy, author of “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides,” died in Beaufort, South Carolina, at age 70.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Congressional Budget Office director Alice Rivlin is 86. Actress Paula Prentiss is 79. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 76. Singer Shakin’ Stevens is 69. Author James Ellroy is 69. Former Texas Gov. and Energy Secretary-designate Rick Perry is 67. Singer Chris Rea is 66. Actor/rock singer-musician Ronn Moss is 65. Actress Kay Lenz is 64. Musician Emilio Estefan is 64. Movie director Scott Hicks is 64. Actress Catherine O’Hara is 63. Actor Mykelti (MY’-kul-tee) Williamson is 60. Actress Patricia Heaton is 59. Actor Steven Weber is 56. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 54. Actress Stacy Edwards is 52. Rapper Grand Puba is 51. Rock musician Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) is 51. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 50. Actress Patsy Kensit is 49. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 48. Actress Andrea Bendewald is 47. Actor Nick Stabile (stah-BEEL’) is 47. Rock musician Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 46. Country singer Jason Sellers is 46. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 40. Actress Jessica Heap is 34. Actor Scott Michael Foster is 32. TV personality Whitney Port is 32. Actress Margo Harshman is 31. Actor Josh Bowman is 29. Actress Andrea Bowen is 27. Actress Jenna Boyd is 24.

Thought for Today: “It is almost impossible to state what one in fact believes, because it is almost impossible to hold a belief and to define it at the same time.” — William Carlos Williams, American poet (born 1883, died this date in 1963).

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