Today in history

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, March 2, the 61st day of 2019. There are 304 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 2, 1933, the motion picture “King Kong” had its world premiere at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy.

On this date:

In 1793, the first (and third) president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was born near Lexington, Virginia.

In 1836, the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.

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, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.

In 1939, Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (puh-CHEL’-ee) was elected pope on his 63rd birthday; he took the name Pius XII. The Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect. (Georgia and Connecticut soon followed.)

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 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, 169-147.)

In 1978, the remains of comedian Charles Chaplin were stolen by extortionists from his grave in Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. (The body was recovered near Lake Geneva 11 weeks later.)

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.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama introduced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice to be secretary of health and human services. Soldiers assassinated the president of Guinea-Bissau, Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira.

Five years ago: The historical drama “12 Years a Slave” won best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards; one of its stars, Lupita Nyong’o, won best supporting actress. Matthew McConaughey was named best actor for “Dallas Buyers Club” while Cate Blanchett was honored as best actress for “Blue Jasmine”; Alfonso Cuaron received best director for “Gravity.”

One year 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.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Cullum is 89. Former Soviet President and Nobel peace laureate Mikhail S. Gorbachev is 88. Actress Barbara Luna is 80. Author John Irving is 77. Actress Cassie Yates is 68. Actress Laraine Newman is 67. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is 66. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is 64. Singer Jay Osmond is 64. Pop musician John Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 63. Former tennis player Kevin Curren is 61. Country singer Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) is 60. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 57. Blues singer-musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is 56. Actor Daniel Craig is 51. Actor Richard Ruccolo is 47. Rock musician Casey (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 43. Rock singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 42. Actress Heather McComb is 42. Actress Rebel Wilson is 39. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard is 38. NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 37. Musician Mike “McDuck” Olson (Lake Street Dive) is 36. Actor Robert Iler is 34. Actress Nathalie Emmanuel is 30. Country singer Luke Combs is 29. Singer-rapper-actress Becky G is 22.

Thought for Today: “Nothing ever really sets human nature free, but self-control.” — Phyllis Bottome, English writer (1884-1963).

Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

By The Associated Press