Today in History: March 11

The awning of a grocery store is damaged from the weight of the snow during the blizzard of 1888 in New York City.  The blizzard on March 12-14 paralyzed the city with about 40" of snow and winds that reached up to 60 miles per hour, creating drifts as high as fifty feet.  (AP Photo)
On March 11, 1888, the Blizzard of ’88, also known as the “Great White Hurricane,” began inundating the northeastern United States, resulting in some 400 deaths. Here, the awning of a grocery store is damaged from the weight of the snow during the blizzard of 1888 in New York City. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Joseph Yeldell, right, who formerly headed the District’s Department of Human Resources, embraces an unidentified man at the District of Columbia Building in Washington on Friday, March 11, 1977 after the man was released by terrorists who had held a group in the building since Wednesday. (AP Photo)
In 1977, more than 130 hostages held in Washington D.C. by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations. Joseph Yeldell, right, who formerly headed the District’’s Department of Human Resources, embraces an unidentified man at the District of Columbia Building in Washington on Friday, March 11, 1977 after the man was released. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Anonymous)
Workers stand next to a bomb damaged passenger train a day after a number of explosions  in Madrid, in this March 12, 2004, file photo. A Spanish judge on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, handed down the first indictments in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, charging 29 people with murder, terrorism or other crimes after a two-year probe. (AP Photo/Peter DeJong)
In 2004, ten bombs exploded in quick succession across the commuter rail network in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people in an attack linked to al-Qaida-inspired militants. Here, workers stand next to a bomb damaged passenger train a day after a number of explosions in Madrid, in this March 12, 2004, file photo. (AP Photo/Peter DeJong) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/PETER DEJONG)
FILE - In this March 27, 2011 file photo, a man walks through the destroyed neighborhood below Weather Hill in Natori, Japan. The hill was originally built to give fishermen a view of sea conditions but now offers an unforgettable look out over the vastness of the mass destruction left from tsunami caused by the March 11 earthquake. As Japan’s "triple disaster" - quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis - unfolded after March 11, 2011, Associated Press journalists fanned out across the northern region of Tohoku to report and record what had happened in pictures, stories and video footage. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)
On this date in 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan’s northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 people and severely damaging the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. In this March 27, 2011 file photo, a man walks through the destroyed neighborhood below Weather Hill in Natori, Japan.  (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File) (AP/Wally Santana)
Janet Reno
In 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be U.S. attorney general. FILE – In this Tuesday, March 9, 1993, file photo, U.S. Attorney General-designate Janet Reno is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, has died early Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. She was 78. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File) (AP)
In this November 1918 photo made available by the Library of Congress a girl stands next to her sister lying in bed. The girl became so worried she telephoned the Red Cross Home Service who came to help the woman fight the influenza virus. No one knows the ultimate origin of that terrifying 1918 flu. But researchers hope they're finally closing in on stronger flu shots, ways to boost much-needed protection against ordinary winter influenza and guard against future pandemics at the same time. (Library of Congress via AP)
On March 11, 1918, what are believed to be the first confirmed U.S. cases of a deadly global flu pandemic were reported among U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas; 46 would die. (The worldwide outbreak of influenza claimed an estimated 20 to 40 million lives.) In this November 1918 photo made available by the Library of Congress a girl stands next to her sister lying in bed. The girl became so worried she telephoned the Red Cross Home Service who came to help the woman fight the influenza virus. No one knows the ultimate origin of that terrifying 1918 flu. But researchers hope they’re finally closing in on stronger flu shots, ways to boost much-needed protection against ordinary winter influenza and guard against future pandemics at the same time. (Library of Congress via AP) (AP/Library of Congress; The Crowley Company)
Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, signs the decree relinquishing control of nuclear weapons to Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 1991. Gorbachev, whose reforms gave Soviet citizens freedom, ended the Cold War and ultimately led to the destruction of his nation. He resigned on Wednesday as president of an empire that no longer exists. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)
On March 11, 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was chosen to succeed the late Konstantin U. Chernenko as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, signs the decree relinquishing control of nuclear weapons to Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 1991. Gorbachev, whose reforms gave Soviet citizens freedom, ended the Cold War and ultimately led to the destruction of his nation. He resigned on Wednesday as president of an empire that no longer exists. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing) (AP/Liu Heung Shing)
(1/7)
The awning of a grocery store is damaged from the weight of the snow during the blizzard of 1888 in New York City.  The blizzard on March 12-14 paralyzed the city with about 40" of snow and winds that reached up to 60 miles per hour, creating drifts as high as fifty feet.  (AP Photo)
Joseph Yeldell, right, who formerly headed the District’s Department of Human Resources, embraces an unidentified man at the District of Columbia Building in Washington on Friday, March 11, 1977 after the man was released by terrorists who had held a group in the building since Wednesday. (AP Photo)
Workers stand next to a bomb damaged passenger train a day after a number of explosions  in Madrid, in this March 12, 2004, file photo. A Spanish judge on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, handed down the first indictments in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, charging 29 people with murder, terrorism or other crimes after a two-year probe. (AP Photo/Peter DeJong)
FILE - In this March 27, 2011 file photo, a man walks through the destroyed neighborhood below Weather Hill in Natori, Japan. The hill was originally built to give fishermen a view of sea conditions but now offers an unforgettable look out over the vastness of the mass destruction left from tsunami caused by the March 11 earthquake. As Japan’s "triple disaster" - quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis - unfolded after March 11, 2011, Associated Press journalists fanned out across the northern region of Tohoku to report and record what had happened in pictures, stories and video footage. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)
Janet Reno
In this November 1918 photo made available by the Library of Congress a girl stands next to her sister lying in bed. The girl became so worried she telephoned the Red Cross Home Service who came to help the woman fight the influenza virus. No one knows the ultimate origin of that terrifying 1918 flu. But researchers hope they're finally closing in on stronger flu shots, ways to boost much-needed protection against ordinary winter influenza and guard against future pandemics at the same time. (Library of Congress via AP)
Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, signs the decree relinquishing control of nuclear weapons to Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 1991. Gorbachev, whose reforms gave Soviet citizens freedom, ended the Cold War and ultimately led to the destruction of his nation. He resigned on Wednesday as president of an empire that no longer exists. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)

Today is Monday, March 11, the 70th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 11, 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was chosen to succeed the late Konstantin U. Chernenko as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

On this date:

In 1513, Giovanni de’ Medici was proclaimed pope, succeeding Julius II; he took the name Leo X.

In 1888, the Blizzard of `88, also known as the “Great White Hurricane,” began inundating the northeastern United States, resulting in some 400 deaths.

In 1918, what are believed to be the first confirmed U.S. cases of a deadly global flu pandemic were reported among U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas; 46 would die. (The worldwide outbreak of influenza claimed an estimated 20 to 40 million lives.)

In 1935, the Bank of Canada began operations, issuing its first series of bank notes.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Bill, providing war supplies to countries fighting the Axis.

In 1954, the U.S. Army charged that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., and his subcommittee’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had exerted pressure to obtain favored treatment for Pvt. G. David Schine, a former consultant to the subcommittee. (The confrontation culminated in the famous Senate Army-McCarthy hearings.)

In 1959, the Lorraine Hansberry drama “A Raisin in the Sun” opened at New York’s Ethel Barrymore Theater.

In 1977, more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations.

In 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be U.S. attorney general.

In 2003, a U.S. Army helicopter crashed near Fort Drum in upstate New York, killing 11 soldiers. Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), the leader of Turkey’s governing party, was named prime minister. After a four-day walkout that cost New York City $10 million, Broadway musicians settled the first strike on the Great White Way in nearly 30 years.

In 2004, ten bombs exploded in quick succession across the commuter rail network in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people in an attack linked to al-Qaida-inspired militants.

In 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan’s northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 people and severely damaging the Fukushima Dai-ichi (foo-koo-SHEE’-mah dy-EE’-chee) nuclear power station.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama signed a $410 billion spending package to keep the government running through September 2009, even as he called it “imperfect” because of the number of earmarks it contained. A teenager, Tim Kretschmer, went on a shooting rampage starting at a school in Winnenden, Germany, killing 15 people before committing suicide.

Five years ago: In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declared the CIA had interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency’s possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration. Swedish Radio reporter Nils Horner was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan, in an attack claimed by a Taliban splinter group. Dallas Seavey ran a blistering pace and took the lead just hours before the finish to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

One year ago: The White House pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers, and renewed its call for an improved background check system, as part of a new plan to prevent school shootings like the one that left 17 people dead at a Florida high school four weeks earlier; the plan did not include a push to boost the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons to 21. British officials investigating the nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his adult daughter said limited traces of contamination were found in a restaurant and a pub in the English city of Salisbury. Lawmakers in China abolished presidential term limits that had been in place for more than 35 years, opening up the possibility of Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) holding power for life.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up