Today’s moment of history:
On March 15, 44 BC, the Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.
In 1493, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus returned to the Spanish harbor of the Palais de la Frontera two months after completing his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
In 1820, Maine became the 23rd state.
In 1917, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, who renounced the crown that marked the end of imperial rule in Russia.
In 1919, members of the World War I American Expeditionary Force gathered in Paris for a three-day meeting to establish the American Legion.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied bombers again raided German-held Monte Cassino.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at a joint session of Congress, called for new legislation that would guarantee every American the right to vote; the result was the adoption of the 1965 Electoral Rights Act.
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In 1972, the Godfather premiered in New York, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic gangster film based on Mario Puzo’s novel starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
In 1977, ABC-TV premiered the comedy situation “Company Three” starring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Susan Somers.
In 2005, former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers was convicted in New York for the largest corporate fraud in U.S. history. (He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.)
In 2011, the civil war in Syria began with the Arab Spring protests across the region, which turned into an armed uprising and eventually turned into a full-scale conflict.
In 2012, convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagaevich was sent to a federal prison in Colorado, where the 55-year-old Democrat began serving a 14-year sentence for corruption. (He was released in February 2020 after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence.) The US campaign in Afghanistan suffered a double blow when the Taliban cut off talks with the US and President Hamid Karzai said NATO should withdraw from rural areas and speed up the transfer responsibility for the security of Afghan forces across the country.
In 2017, President Donald Trump, speaking in Ypsilanti, Michigan, announced that his administration would review federal requirements governing the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, strongly opposing Obama-era environmental norms that Trump says stifle economic growth; Trump then flew to Nashville to lay a wreath at President Andrew Jackson’s grave. For the second time, a federal court has blocked Trump’s efforts to freeze immigration of refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim countries.
In 2019, gunmen killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, broadcasting the massacre live on Facebook. (Brenton Tarant, an Australian supporter of white supremacy, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to 51 counts of murder and other charges.)
In 2020, the Federal Reserve took massive emergency measures to help the economy fight the coronavirus by lowering the base interest rate to nearly zero and saying it would buy Treasury and mortgage bonds for $ 700 billion. After an initial attempt to keep schools open, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the country’s largest system of public schools would close in hopes of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
In 2021, a poll by the Associated Press-NORC’s Public Relations Research Center found that 42% of Republicans said they probably or definitely would not be vaccinated against COVID, compared to 17% of Democrats. The Senate approved New Mexico MP Deb Haaland as Home Secretary, making her the first Indian person to head a department of the Cabinet. Among the nominees for the Oscars for the first time were two women directors: Emerald Fennel for “Young Promising Woman” and Chloe Zhao (final winner) for “Nomad”. Actor Japheth Cotta, whose films included “The Northern Run”, the James Bond film “Live and Die” and “Alien” died in the Philippines at the age of 81.