Today in History
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-03-16 09:01 AM

Today is Sunday, March 23, the 82n day of 2014 There are 283 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1568 - Treaty of Longjumean ends Second War of Religion in France.

1743 - George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" has its London premiere.

1775 - Patrick Henry calls for America's independence from Britain, telling the Virginia Provincial Convention, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

1792 - Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major, also known as the "Surprise Symphony," is performed publicly for the first time, in London.

1801 - Russia's Czar Paul I is assassinated by Russian aristocrats and succeeded by Alexander I.

1806 - Explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the U.S. Pacific coast, begin their journey back east.

1848 - First organized band of settlers lands at Dunedin, New Zealand.

1861 - Italy institutes its first government under Count Camillo di Cavour.

1918 - Lithuania proclaims its independence.

1919 - Benito Mussolini founds fascist movement in Italy.

1933 - German Reichstag grants Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers until April 1937.

1935 - Soviet Union sells its interest in Chinese Eastern railway to Japan.

1942 - Program of moving Japanese-Americans from their homes on U.S. West Coast to inland detention centers during World War II begins.

1956 - Pakistan becomes an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.

1962 - French government uses fighter planes and tanks in attempt to end insurrection by European rightists in Algeria.

1978 - U.S. Senate raises the mandatory retirement age to 70.

1981 - U.S. Supreme Court rules that states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teenage girls seek abortions.

1988 - Contra guerrillas sign a cease-fire agreement with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

1989 - Police clash with thousands of ethnic Albanian demonstrators in Kosovo province, Yugoslavia.

1990 - Soviet government orders Western diplomats to leave and restricts entry of foreigners into Lithuania.

1992 - Tens of thousands of jubilant Albanians celebrate a crushing election victory by the Democratic party, marking the end of Communist power.

1994 - Luis Donaldo Colosio, presidential candidate of Mexico's governing party, is assassinated in Tijuana.

1995 - After months of political wrangling, Renato Ruggiero is named the first head of the World Trade Organization.

1998 - President Boris Yeltsin fires his prime minister and the entire Cabinet in Russia's biggest government shake-up since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

1999 - Gunmen open fire on the car of Vice President Luis Argana of Paraguay, killing him and throwing the young democracy into turmoil.

2000 - Clearing the last major obstacle to compensating aging victims of Nazi-era forced and slave labor, negotiators agree on how to divide a US$5 billion German fund with hopes of starting payments by year's end.

2001 - The Mir space station returns to Earth, ending its 15-year, 3.5 billion-kilometer odyssey with a fiery plunge into the South Pacific.

2002 - Egypt's state security court finds Sherif al-Filali, an Egyptian engineer, guilty of spying on behalf of Israel, and sentences him to 15 years in prison with hard labor.

2003 - Slovenia votes to support its 2004 induction into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

2004 - Former chief weapons inspector Hans Blix says U.N. inspectors would have been able to determine that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction had the United States and Britain allowed more time for them to work before going to war.

2005 - Marxist rebels in southern Colombia ambush a military convoy with explosives and gunfire, killing 10 Colombian Marines.

2006 - A tour bus swerves to avoid an approaching truck and tumbles 300 feet down a mountainside in northern Chile, killing 12 American tourists.

2007 - Iranian naval vessels seize 15 British sailors and marines who had boarded a merchant ship in Iraqi waters of the Persian Gulf. Britain immediately protested the detentions, which come at a time of high tension between the West and Iran.

2008 - A man sets himself on fire at Yangon's most famous landmark, the Shwedagon pagoda, in a political protest against Myanmar's military junta.

2010 - In a major triumph for his presidency, a jubilant Barack Obama signs a massive, nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul that will for the first time cement insurance coverage as the right of every U.S. citizen and begin to reshape the way virtually all Americans receive and pay for treatment.

2011 - Egypt's public prosecutor makes an unprecedented sweep against the top security brass, charging the former interior minister and other officials with aiding the killing and the attempted killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

2012 - Tens of thousands of Syrians brave tear gas and gunfire to protest across the country, vowing to storm the capital Damascus to oust President Bashar Assad as the European Union ramps up pressure on the regime by imposing sanctions on his wife and other close relatives.

2013 - Hundreds of rebels penetrate Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, posing the gravest threat to President Francois Bozize's government in a decade.

Today's Birthdays:

Erich Fromm, German-born U.S. psychoanalyst (1900-1980); Joan Crawford, U.S. actress (1908-1977); Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director (1910-1998); Wernher von Braun, German-born rocket expert (1912-1977); Ric Ocasek, British rock singer/producer (1949--); Chaka Khan, U.S. singer (1953--); Keri Russell, U.S. actress (1976--).

Thought For Today:

In human relations, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths -- Graham Greene (1904-1991).

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