Today in History: March 16

Dr. Robert H. Goddard is pictured working on his experimental rockets in Roswell, N.M. in an undated photo. (AP Photo)
On March 16, 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts. Here, Goddard is pictured working on his experimental rockets in Roswell, N.M. in an undated photo. (AP Photo) (AP)
Astronauts David R. Scott, pilot, left, and Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot, sit in their Gemini 8 spacecraft after their emergency landing at 10:23 p.m. in the western Pacific Ocean, March 16, 1966.  Navy divers, who jumped into the ocean to attach flotation collar under the spacecraft, stand outside the capsule awaiting the destroyer USS Mason.  The scheduled three-day mission was terminated following complications.  The mission objective of rendezvous and dock with the Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) was accomplished.  (AP Photo/NASA)
In 1966, Gemini 8 was launched on a mission to rendezvous and dock with Agena, a target vehicle in orbit; although the docking was successful, the joined vehicles began spinning, forcing Gemini to disconnect and abort the flight. Here, astronauts David R. Scott, pilot, left, and Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot, sit in their Gemini 8 spacecraft after their emergency landing at 10:23 p.m. in the western Pacific Ocean, March 16, 1966.  (AP Photo/NASA) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Reba McEntire, left, hugs Trisha Yearwood after Yearwood performed "If I Had Only Known" during taping of "CMT Giants" honoring Reba McEntire, Thursday night, Oct. 26, 2006, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. McEntire originally recorded the song as a tribute to band members that were killed in a plane crash. The show is scheduled to air on Saturday, Nov. 18. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
In 1991, a plane carrying seven members of country singer Reba McEntire’s band and her tour manager crashed into Otay Mountain in southern California, killing all on board Here, McEntire, left, hugs Trisha Yearwood after Yearwood performed “If I Had Only Known” during taping of “CMT Giants” honoring Reba McEntire, Oct. 26, 2006, in Los Angeles. McEntire originally recorded the song as a tribute to band members that were killed in a plane crash. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (AP/MARK J. TERRILL)
American skaters (L to R) Tonya Harding, silver; Kristi Yamaguchi, gold; and Nancy Kerrigan, bronze, display their medals after the finals of the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Saturday, March 12, 1991. (AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)
On this date in 1991, U.S. skaters Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan swept the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Germany. (L to R) Tonya Harding, silver; Kristi Yamaguchi, gold; and Nancy Kerrigan, bronze, display their medals after the finals of the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Saturday, March 12, 1991. (AP Photo/Diether Endlicher) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/DIETHER ENDLICHER)
In this Wednesday, March 14, 2018, photo, foot prints of villagers and U.S soldiers' combat boots are reconstructed in My Lai memorial site in Son My, Vietnam. On March 16, 1968, U.S soldiers of Charlie Company, sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies, met no resistance, but over the course of three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, in My Lai and a neighboring community. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)
On March 16, 1968, the My Lai (mee ly) massacre took place during the Vietnam War as U.S. Army soldiers hunting for Viet Cong fighters and sympathizers killed unarmed villagers in two hamlets of Son My (son mee) village; estimates of the death toll vary from 347 to 504. In this Wednesday, March 14, 2018, photo, foot prints of villagers and U.S soldiers’ combat boots are reconstructed in My Lai memorial site in Son My, Vietnam. On March 16, 1968, U.S soldiers of Charlie Company, sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies, met no resistance, but over the course of three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, in My Lai and a neighboring community. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh) (AP/Hau Dinh)
iStock/Thinkstock
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. (iStock/Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/nancykennedy)
Tonya Harding
In 1994, figure skater Tonya Harding pleaded guilty in Portland, Oregon, to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, avoiding jail but drawing a $100,000 fine. Tonya Harding arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Jordan Strauss)
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Dr. Robert H. Goddard is pictured working on his experimental rockets in Roswell, N.M. in an undated photo. (AP Photo)
Astronauts David R. Scott, pilot, left, and Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot, sit in their Gemini 8 spacecraft after their emergency landing at 10:23 p.m. in the western Pacific Ocean, March 16, 1966.  Navy divers, who jumped into the ocean to attach flotation collar under the spacecraft, stand outside the capsule awaiting the destroyer USS Mason.  The scheduled three-day mission was terminated following complications.  The mission objective of rendezvous and dock with the Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) was accomplished.  (AP Photo/NASA)
Reba McEntire, left, hugs Trisha Yearwood after Yearwood performed "If I Had Only Known" during taping of "CMT Giants" honoring Reba McEntire, Thursday night, Oct. 26, 2006, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. McEntire originally recorded the song as a tribute to band members that were killed in a plane crash. The show is scheduled to air on Saturday, Nov. 18. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
American skaters (L to R) Tonya Harding, silver; Kristi Yamaguchi, gold; and Nancy Kerrigan, bronze, display their medals after the finals of the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Saturday, March 12, 1991. (AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)
In this Wednesday, March 14, 2018, photo, foot prints of villagers and U.S soldiers' combat boots are reconstructed in My Lai memorial site in Son My, Vietnam. On March 16, 1968, U.S soldiers of Charlie Company, sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies, met no resistance, but over the course of three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, in My Lai and a neighboring community. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)
iStock/Thinkstock
Tonya Harding

Today is Saturday, March 16, the 75th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On March 16, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew reached the Philippines, where Magellan was killed during a battle with natives the following month.

On this date:

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts.

In 1945, during World War II, American forces declared they had secured Iwo Jima, although pockets of Japanese resistance remained.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent Congress the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as part of his War on Poverty. (The measure was passed by Congress, and was signed by Johnson in August 1964.)

In 1966, NASA launched Gemini 8 on a mission to rendezvous and dock with Agena, a target vehicle in orbit; although the docking was successful, the joined vehicles began spinning, forcing Gemini to disconnect and abort the flight.

In 1968, the My Lai (mee ly) massacre took place during the Vietnam War as U.S. Army soldiers hunting for Viet Cong fighters and sympathizers killed unarmed villagers in two hamlets of Son My (son mee) village; estimates of the death toll vary from 347 to 504. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1984, William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped by Hezbollah militants (he was tortured by his captors and killed in 1985).

In 1985, Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was abducted in Beirut; he was released in December 1991.

In 1991, a plane carrying seven members of country singer Reba McEntire’s band and her tour manager crashed into Otay Mountain in southern California, killing all on board. U.S. skaters Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan swept the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, Germany.

In 1994, figure skater Tonya Harding pleaded guilty in Portland, Oregon, to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, avoiding jail but drawing a $100,000 fine.

In 2003, American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to block demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

In 2005, A jury in Los Angeles acquitted actor Robert Blake of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, four years earlier. (A civil court jury later ordered Blake to pay Bakley’s four children $30 million, an award that an appeals court subsequently cut in half; Blake declared bankruptcy.) A judge in Redwood City, California, sent Scott Peterson to death row for the slaying of his pregnant wife, Laci.

Ten years ago: Joining a wave of public anger, President Barack Obama blistered insurance giant AIG for “recklessness and greed” for handing its executives $165 million in bonuses after taking billions in federal bailout money. British actress Natasha Richardson, 45, was fatally injured in a skiing accident at a resort in Quebec; she died two days later at a Manhattan hospital. Austrian Josef Fritzl pleaded guilty at the start of his trial to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering her seven children. (Two days later, Fritzl pleaded guilty to the remaining charges against him, including negligent homicide; he was sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.)

Five years ago: Crimeans voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia, overwhelmingly approving a referendum that sought to unite the strategically important Black Sea region with the country it was part of for some 250 years. Mitch Leigh, 86, a successful advertising jingle writer whose attempt at writing for a Broadway show became the instant, celebrated hit “Man of La Mancha,” died in New York.

One year ago: Singer Aretha Franklin canceled two upcoming concerts, saying a doctor had told her to stay off the road and rest completely for at least two months. (Franklin died five months later from pancreatic cancer.) Airstrikes in Syria killed more than 100 people as civilians fled besieged areas for a second straight day.

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.

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