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March 22, 2013

Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 23, the 82nd day of 2013. There are 283 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On March 23, 1913, five days of heavy rain began falling in the Ohio River Valley; Dayton, Ohio, saw catastrophic flooding as the rising Great Miami River breached its levees. Hundreds of deaths in the region were blamed on the weather.

On this date:

In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

In 1792, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the “Surprise” symphony) had its first public performance in London.

In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.

In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.

In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, Calif.

In 1965, America’s first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.

In 1973, before sentencing a group of Watergate break-in defendants, Chief U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica read aloud a letter to him from James W. McCord Jr. which said there had been “political pressure” to “plead guilty and remain silent.”

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan first proposed developing technology to intercept incoming enemy missiles — an idea that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a Jarvik permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.

In 1993, scientists announced they’d found the renegade gene that causes Huntington’s disease.

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