Today in History 3/4/20

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Today is Wednesday, March 4, the 64th day of 2020. There are 302 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term of office; with the end of the Civil War in sight, Lincoln declared: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.”

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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 1793, George Washington was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States during a ceremony in Philadelphia.

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

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America’s 32nd president.

In 1964, Teamsters president James Hoffa and three co-defendants were found guilty by a federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., of jury tampering.

In 1966, John Lennon of The Beatles was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying, “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” (After his comments caused an angry backlash in the United States, Lennon sought to clarify his remarks, telling reporters, “If I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it.”)

In 1974, the first issue of People magazine, then called People Weekly, was published by Time-Life Inc.; on the cover was actress Mia Farrow.

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 1994, in New York, four extremists were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured more than a thousand. Actor-comedian John Candy died in Durango, Mexico, at age 43.

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: A Hollister, Calif., man with a history of severe psychiatric problems opened fire at a Pentagon security checkpoint; John Patrick Bedell, 36, wounded two police officers before being killed by police. Two Germans and two Turkish men were convicted in Duesseldorf over a foiled 2007 plot to attack U.S. targets in Germany and given prison sentences ranging up to 12 years. Turkey, a key Muslim ally of the United States, angrily withdrew its ambassador after a congressional committee approved a resolution branding the World War I killing of Armenians a genocide. (The measure, however, was never taken up by the 111th Congress.)

Five years ago: The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged in the Boston Marathon bombing, began with a statement from his attorney that the 21-year-old former college student committed the crime but did not deserve to die due to the malevolent influence of his dead older brother, Tamerlan; prosecutors called to the witness stand three women who suffered severe injuries in the blasts. (Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death.) The Justice Department cleared Darren Wilson, a white former Ferguson, Mo., police officer, in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law enforcement practices. A House committee investigating the Benghazi, Libya, attacks issued subpoenas for the emails of Hillary Rodham Clinton; the subpoenas from the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi came the same day The Associated Press reported the existence of a personal email server traced back to the Chappaqua, N.Y., home of Clinton.

One year ago: Lottery officials announced that a South Carolina resident had come forward to claim the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot from the previous October but chose to remain anonymous; the jackpot was the largest payout to a single winner in U.S. history. Actor Luke Perry, who’d gained instant heartthrob status on the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died in Los Angeles after suffering a massive stroke; he was 52. Juan Corona, who’d gained the nickname “The Machete Murderer” for hacking to death dozens of migrant farm laborers in California in the early 1970s, died at the age of 85; he’d been serving a life sentence in state prison.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Paula Prentiss is 82. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 79. Singer Shakin’ Stevens is 72. Author James Ellroy is 72. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry is 70. Singer Chris Rea is 69. Actor/rock singer-musician Ronn Moss is 68. Actress Kay Lenz is 67. Musician Emilio Estefan is 67. Movie director Scott Hicks is 67. Actress Catherine O’Hara is 66. Actor Mykelti Williamson is 63. Actress Patricia Heaton is 62. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is 62. Actor Steven Weber is 59. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 57. Actress Stacy Edwards is 55. Rapper Grand Puba is 54. Rock musician Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) is 54. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 53. Actress Patsy Kensit is 52. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is 52. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 51. Actress Andrea Bendewald is 50. Actor Nick Stabile is 50. Rock musician Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 49. Country singer Jason Sellers is 49. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 43. Actress Jessica Heap is 37. Actor Scott Michael Foster is 35. TV personality Whitney Port is 35. Actress Audrey Esparza is 34. Actress Margo Harshman is 34. Actor Josh Bowman is 32. Actress Andrea Bowen is 30. Actress Jenna Boyd is 27.

Thought for Today: “I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.” — D.H. Lawrence, English author (1885-1930).