Today in History


Today is Thursday, March 2, the 61st day of 2023. There are 304 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a game against the New York Knicks, an NBA record that still stands. Philadelphia won the game, 169-147.

On this date:

In 1861, the state of Texas, having seceded from the Union, was admitted to the Confederacy.

In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote.

In 1917, actor, producer, director and bandleader Desi Arnaz was born in Santiago de Cuba.

In 1932, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which moved the date of the presidential inauguration from March 4 to Jan. 20, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

In 1939, John Ford’s classic Western “Stagecoach,” starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne, opened in New York.

In 1943, the three-day Battle of the Bismarck Sea began in the southwest Pacific during World War II; U.S. and Australian warplanes were able to inflict heavy damage on an Imperial Japanese convoy.

In 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks’ famous act of defiance, Claudette Colvin, a Black high school student in Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white passenger.

In 1985, the government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply.

In 1989, representatives from the 12 European Community nations agreed to ban all production of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), the synthetic compounds blamed for destroying the Earth’s ozone layer, by the end of the 20th century.

In 1990, more than 6,000 drivers went on strike against Greyhound Lines Inc. (The company, later declaring an impasse in negotiations, fired the strikers.)

In 1995, the Internet search engine website Yahoo! was incorporated by founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, that a grieving father’s pain over mocking protests at his Marine son’s funeral had to yield to First Amendment protections for free speech in a decision favoring the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

In 2012, Some 40 people were killed by tornadoes that struck Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Ten years ago: The day after $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts went into effect, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans refused to concede any culpability for failing to stave off the sequester. Alaska’s 41st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race kicked off with a festive ceremonial start in Anchorage.

Five years ago: At a funeral before an invitation-only crowd of approximately 2,000 in Charlotte, North Carolina, the children of the Rev. Billy Graham remembered “America’s Pastor” as a man devoted to spreading the Gospel, and one who lived his life at home as he preached it in stadiums. A nor’easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow, grounding flights and leaving more than 2 million homes and businesses without power from North Carolina to Maine.

One year ago: Russian forces laid siege to two strategic Ukrainian seaports and pressed their bombardment of the country’s second-biggest city, while the huge armored column threatening Kyiv appeared to be stalled outside the capital. Moscow’s isolation deepened as most of the world lines up against it at the United Nations. Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student to enroll at the University of Alabama, died at age 92.

Today’s birthdays: Actor John Cullum is 93. Actor Barbara Luna is 84. Author John Irving is 81. Actor Cassie Yates is 72. Actor, comedian Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live) is 71. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is 70. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is 68. Singer Jay Osmond is 68. Pop musician John Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 67. Former tennis player Kevin Curren is 65. Country singer Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) is 64. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 61. Blues singer-musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is 60. Actor Daniel Craig is 55. Actor Richard Ruccolo is 51. Rock singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 46. Actor Heather McComb is 46. Actor Rebel Wilson is 43. Actor Bryce Dallas Howard is 42. Former NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 41. Actor Robert Iler is 38. Actor Nathalie Emmanuel is 34. Country singer Luke Combs is 33. Singer-rapper-actor Becky G is 26.

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