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March 15, 2013

Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 16, the 75th day of 2013. There are 290 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504.

On this date:

In A.D. 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.

In 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines, where he was killed by natives the following month.

In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Va.

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

In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” was first published.

In 1912, future first lady Pat Nixon was born Thelma Catherine Ryan in Ely, Nev.

In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Mass.

In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles by ordering the rearming of Germany.

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

In 1972, in a nationally broadcast address, President Richard M. Nixon called for a moratorium on court-ordered school busing to achieve racial desegregation.

In 1983, radio and television star Arthur Godfrey died in New York at age 79.

In 1988, Protestant extremist Michael Stone launched a one-man gun-and-grenade attack on an Irish Republican Army funeral at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing three of the mourners.

Ten years ago: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein warned that if Iraq were attacked, it would take the war anywhere in the world “wherever there is sky, land or water.” President George W. Bush gave the United Nations one more day to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff. 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.

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