Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 21, the 80th day of 2021. There are 285 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 21, 2006, the social media website Twitter was established with the sending of the first “tweet” by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who wrote: “just setting up my twttr.”

On this date:

In 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.

In 1918, during World War I, Germany launched its Spring Offensive on the Western Front, hoping to break through the Allied lines before American reinforcements could arrive. (Although successful at first, the Spring Offensive ultimately failed.)

In 1935, Persia officially changed its name to Iran.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany.

In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates and closed at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1965, civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their third, successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, ruled that states may not require at least a year’s residency for voting eligibility.

In 1981, Michael Donald, a Black teenager in Mobile, Alabama, was abducted, tortured and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. (A lawsuit brought by Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, later resulted in a landmark judgment that bankrupted one Klan organization.)

In 1986, Debi Thomas of the United States won the ladies’ title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Geneva, Switzerland, dethroning Katarina Witt of East Germany.

In 1990, Namibia became an independent nation as the former colony marked the end of 75 years of South African rule.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion, but able to agree on slashing nuclear weapons arsenals.

In 2019, President Donald Trump abruptly declared that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy.

Ten years ago: Syrians chanting “No more fear!” held a defiant march after a deadly government crackdown failed to quash three days of mass protests in the southern city of Deraa. Grammy-winning bluesman Pinetop Perkins died in Austin, Texas, at 97.

Five years ago: Laying bare a half-century of tensions, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro prodded each other over human rights and the longstanding U.S. economic embargo during an unprecedented joint news conference in Havana.

One year ago: Negotiators from Congress and the White House held talks on a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package. During a White House briefing, President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, while Dr. Anthony Fauci said the evidence was “anecdotal.” Italy announced nearly 800 new deaths of people with the coronavirus. Hawaii’s governor instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine of all people traveling to the state.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Kathleen Widdoes is 82. Songwriter Chip Taylor (“Wild Thing”) is 81. Folk-pop singer-musician Keith Potger (The Seekers) is 80. Actor Marie-Christine Barrault is 77. Singer-musician Rose Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) is 76. Actor Timothy Dalton is 75. Singer Ray Dorset (Mungo Jerry) is 75. Rock singer-musician Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) is 71. Rock musician Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) is 70. R&B singer Russell Thompkins Jr. is 70. Comedy writer-performer Brad Hall is 63. Actor Sabrina LeBeauf is 63. Actor Gary Oldman is 63. Actor Kassie Depaiva is 60. Actor Matthew Broderick is 59. Comedian-actor Rosie O’Donnell is 59. Actor Cynthia Geary is 56. Hip-hop DJ Premier (Gang Starr) is 55. Rock musician Jonas “Joker” Berggren (Ace of Base) is 54. Rock MC Maxim (Prodigy) is 54. Rock musician Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel) is 53. Actor Laura Allen is 47. Rapper-TV personality Kevin Federline is 43. Actor Sonequa Martin-Green (TV: “The Walking Dead”) is 36. Actor Scott Eastwood is 35. Tennis player Karolina Pliskova is 29. Actor Jasmin Savoy Brown is 27. Actor Forrest Wheeler is 17.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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