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March 17, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, March 18, the 77th day of 2013. There are 288 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gideon v. Wainwright, ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.

On this date:

In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.

In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.

In 1913, King George I of Greece was assassinated in Thessaloniki.

In 1937, some 300 people, mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas.

In 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized his country’s petroleum reserves and took control of foreign-owned oil facilities.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the War Relocation Authority, which was put in charge of interning Japanese-Americans, with Milton S. Eisenhower (the younger brother of Dwight D. Eisenhower) as its director.

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.)

In 1962, France and Algerian rebels signed the Evian Accords, a cease-fire agreement which took effect the next day, ending the Algerian War.

In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.

In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States.

In 1980, Frank Gotti, the 12-year-old youngest son of mobster John Gotti, was struck and killed by a car driven by John Favara, a neighbor in Queens, N.Y. (The following July, Favara vanished, the apparent victim of a gang hit.)

In 1990, thieves made off with 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (the crime remains unsolved).

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