Today is Tuesday, March 31, the 91st day of 2020. There are 275 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 31, 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.”
On this date:
In 1811, German scientist Robert Bunsen, who helped develop the Bunsen burner, was born.
In 1880, Wabash, Ind., became the first town in the world to be illuminated by electrical lighting.
In 1931, Notre Dame college football coach Knute Rockne (noot RAHK’-nee), 43, was killed in the crash of a TWA plane in Bazaar, Kan.
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 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 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 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.
In 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu took office as Israel’s new prime minister after the Knesset approved his government.
In 2014, 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.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama threw open a huge swath of East Coast waters and other protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil drilling. A Chechen militant claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on the Moscow subway two days earlier that claimed 40 lives; the claim came hours after two more suicide bombers struck in the southern Russian province of Dagestan, killing a dozen people.
Five years ago: Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) rested their case in his federal death penalty trial, a day after they began presenting testimony designed to show his late older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind of the 2013 terror attack. Muhammadu Buhari (moo-HAH’-mah-doo boo-HAH’-ree), a former general who once rose to power in a military coup, won Nigeria’s presidential election, defeating President Goodluck Jonathan.
One year ago: Rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside the clothing store he had founded to help rebuild his troubled South Los Angeles neighborhood; he was 33. Former Vice President Joe Biden defended his interactions with women; saying he didn’t believe he had ever acted inappropriately. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30-day plan to ration electricity, following nationwide power cuts that had inflicted misery on millions of people and ignited protests. Michigan State reached the NCAA Final Four by knocking out overall top seed Duke, 68-67, marking the end of Duke star Zion Williamson’s college career; Auburn beat Kentucky 77-71 in overtime to win the Midwest Region finals and reach the Final Four for the first time in school history
Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 93. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 86. Actress Shirley Jones is 86. Musician Herb Alpert is 85. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 80. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 80. Actor Christopher Walken is 77. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 76. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is 76. Rock musician Mick Ralphs (Bad Company; Mott the Hoople) is 76. Former Vice President Al Gore is 73. Author David Eisenhower is 72. Actress Rhea Perlman is 72. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 70. Actor Ed Marinaro is 70. Rock musician Angus Young (AC/DC) is 65. Actor Marc McClure is 63. Actor William McNamara is 55. Alt-country musician Bob Crawford (The Avett (AY’-veht) Brothers) is 49. Actor Ewan (YOO’-en) McGregor is 49. Actress Erica Tazel is 45. Actress Judi Shekoni is 42. Rapper Tony Yayo is 42. Actress Kate Micucci is 40. Actor Brian Tyree Henry (TV: “Atlanta” Stage: “Book of Mormon”) is 38. Actress Melissa Ordway is 37. Jazz musician Christian Scott is 37. Pop musician Jack Antonoff (fun.) is 36. Actress Jessica Szohr is 35.
Thought for Today: “An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?” — Rene Descartes, French philosopher (born this date in 1596, died 1650).