Today’s Highlight in History
On March 24, 1989: The supertanker Exxon Valdez (vahl-DEEZ’) ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil.
On this date
In 1765: Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.
In 1832: A mob in Hiram, Ohio, attacked, tarred and feathered Mormon leaders Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.
In 1882: German scientist Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis.
In 1934: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.
In 1976: The president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military.
In 1980: One of El Salvador’s most respected Roman Catholic Church leaders, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, was shot to death by a sniper as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.
In 1995: After 20 years, British soldiers stopped routine patrols in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
In 1999: NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days.
In 2010: Keeping a promise he’d made to anti-abortion Democratic lawmakers to assure passage of his historic health care legislation, President Barack Obama signed an executive order against using federal funds to pay for elective abortions covered by private insurance.
In 2015: Germanwings Flight 9525, an Airbus A320, crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board; investigators said the jetliner was deliberately downed by the 27-year-old co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz.
In 2016: A U.N. war crimes court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide and nine other charges for orchestrating a campaign of terror that left 100,000 people dead during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia; Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison. (The sentence was later increased to life in prison.)
In 2020: The International Olympic Committee announced that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo would be postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus.
Ten years ago: Just days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a previously unannounced trip to Baghdad, confronted Iraqi officials for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq’s behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner. Hundreds of thousands marched in Paris protesting the imminent legalization of same-sex marriage. (It would be signed into law just over two months later).
Five years ago: In the streets of the nation’s capital and in cities across the country, hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied against gun violence, spurred by a call to action from student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead. An extreme right-wing group in Greece claimed responsibility for an arson attack on an Afghan community center in Athens.
One year ago: Ukraine accused Moscow of forcibly taking hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia, where some could be used as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv to give up. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would vote against confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson, saying he “cannot and will not” support the groundbreaking nominee for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the internet-popular short-video format, the GIF, died.