Today is Sunday, March 18, the 77th day of 2018. There are 288 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gideon v. Wainwright, ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.
On this date:
In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.
In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, New Jersey.
In 1925, the Tri-State Tornado struck southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southwestern Indiana, resulting in some 700 deaths.
In 1937, in America’s worst school disaster, nearly 300 people, most of them children, were killed in a natural gas explosion at the New London Consolidated School in Rusk County, Texas.
In 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized his country’s petroleum reserves and took control of foreign-owned oil facilities.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany’s war against France and Britain.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.)
In 1962, France and Algerian rebels signed the Evian Accords, a cease-fire agreement which took effect the next day, ending the Algerian War.
In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.
In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their 5-month-old embargo against the United States that had been sparked by American support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War.
In 1980, Frank Gotti, the 12-year-old youngest son of mobster John Gotti, was struck and killed by a car driven by John Favara, a neighbor in Queens, New York. (The following July, Favara vanished, the apparent victim of a gang hit.)
In 1990, thieves made off with 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (the crime remains unsolved).
Ten years ago: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama confronted America’s racial divide head-on with a speech in Philadelphia in which he urged the nation to break “a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) earned a standing ovation from Israel’s parliament with a speech that included a tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. Oscar-winning filmmaker Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient”) died in London at age 54.
Five years ago: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her support for gay marriage in an online video released by the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. A mortar shell explosion killed seven Marines from Camp Lejeune and injured eight other people during mountain warfare training at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
One year ago: Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music’s joy and rebellion in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” died at his home west of St. Louis at age 90. Yelling that he wanted to kill and die for Allah, a man attacked a French soldier at Paris’ Orly Airport, wrestling away her assault rifle before two other soldiers shot him dead. Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin 65-62 in the East region.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer John Kander is 91. Country singer Charley Pride is 84. Nobel peace laureate and former South African president F.W. de Klerk is 82. Country singer
Margie Bowes is 77. Actor Kevin Dobson is 75. Actor Brad Dourif is 68. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 67. Singer Irene Cara is 59. Alt-country musician Karen Grotberg (The Jayhawks) is 59. Movie writer-director Luc Besson is 59. Actor Geoffrey Owens is 57. Actor Thomas Ian Griffith is 56. Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is 56. TV personality Mike Rowe is 56. Singer-actress Vanessa L. Williams is 55. Olympic gold medal speedskater Bonnie Blair is 54. Country musician Scott Saunders (Sons of the Desert) is 54. Actor David Cubitt is 53. Rock musician Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) is 52. Rock singer-musician Miki Berenyi (ber-EN’-ee) is 51. Actor Michael Bergin is 49. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 48. Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) is 46. Actor-comedian Dane Cook is 46. Country singer Philip Sweet (Little Big Town) is 44. Rock musician Stuart Zender is 44. Singers Evan and Jaron Lowenstein are 44. Actress-singer-dancer Sutton Foster is 43. Singer Devin Lima (LFO) is 41. Rock singer Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 39. Rock musician Daren Taylor (Airborne Toxic Event) is 38. Olympic gold medal figure skater Alexei Yagudin is 38. Actor Adam Pally is 36. Actor Cornelius Smith Jr. is 36. Actor Duane Henry (TV: “NCIS”) is 33. Actress Lily Collins is 29. Actress-dancer Julia Goldani Telles is 23. Actress Ciara Bravo is 21. Actor Blake Garrett Rosenthal is 14.
Thought for Today: “I take a simple view of living. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it.” — Laurence Olivier, British actor (1907-1989).