Today in history


By the Associated Press



Today is Sunday, March 31, the 90th day of 2019. There are 275 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo (SHY’-voh), 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die court fight.

On this date:

In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish soil, except those willing to convert to Christianity.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1943, “Oklahoma!,” the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.

In 1968, at the conclusion of a nationally broadcast address on Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned listeners by declaring, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

In 1975, “Gunsmoke” closed out 20 seasons on CBS with its final first-run episode, “The Sharecroppers.”

In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)

In 1986, 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.

In 1991, the Warsaw Pact was formally dissolved.

In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming of a movie in Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had become lodged inside a prop gun.

In 1995, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2004, Four American civilian contractors were killed in Fallujah, Iraq; frenzied crowds dragged the burned, mutilated bodies and strung two of them from a bridge.

In 2008, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced his resignation amid the wreckage of the national housing crisis.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama arrived in London with his wife, Michelle, at the start of a trip to Europe, his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months earlier. Benjamin Netanyahu took office as Israel’s new prime minister after the Knesset approved his government. Former Argentine President Raul Alfonsin died at age 82.

Five years ago: In a flood of last-minute sign-ups, hundreds of thousands of Americans rushed to apply for health insurance as deadline day for President Barack Obama’s overhaul brought long waits and a new spate of website ills. An umpire’s call was overturned for the first time under Major League Baseball’s expanded replay system, with Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun ruled out instead of safe in a game against the Atlanta Braves. (The Brewers won, 2-0.) Charles H. Keating Jr., 90, the notorious financier who’d served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure in the U.S., died in Phoenix.

One year ago: Amid tight security, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and her family returned to her hometown in Pakistan for the first time since she was shot in the head in 2012 for her work as an advocate for young women’s education. The Mormon church injected some diversity into what had been an all-white leadership panel by selecting the first-ever Latin American apostle and the first-ever apostle of Asian ancestry. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets of Cambridge, England, as a hearse carried the remains of physicist and author Stephen Hawking to a private funeral.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 92. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 85. Actress Shirley Jones is 85. Musician Herb Alpert is 84. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 79. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 79. Actor Christopher Walken is 76. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 75. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is 75. Rock musician Mick Ralphs (Bad Company; Mott the Hoople) is 75. Former Vice President Al Gore is 72. Author David Eisenhower is 71. Actress Rhea Perlman is 71. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 69. Actor Ed Marinaro is 69. Rock musician Angus Young (AC/DC) is 64. Actor Marc McClure is 62. Actor William McNamara is 54. Alt-country musician Bob Crawford (The Avett (AY’-veht) Brothers) is 48. Actor Ewan (YOO’-en) McGregor is 48. Actress Judi Shekoni is 41. Rapper Tony Yayo is 41. Actress Kate Micucci is 39. Actor Brian Tyree Henry (TV: “Atlanta” Stage: “Book of Mormon”) is 37. Actress Melissa Ordway is 36. Jazz musician Christian Scott is 36. Pop musician Jack Antonoff (fun.) is 35. Actress Jessica Szohr is 34.

Thought for Today: “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” — Rene Descartes (ren-AY’ day-KART’), French philosopher and mathematician (born this date in 1596, died in 1650).

By the Associated Press