Today's History Trivia for March 18
1314 End of the Knights Templar Grand Master of the Knights Templar Jacques de Molay and other Templars are burned at the stake, bringing about an end to the order. In 1307, King Philip IV of France, who was deeply in debt to the Knights Templars, arrested Molay and tortured him into making a false confession. When Molay recanted his confession, Philip had him burned at the stake in front of Notre Dame de Paris.
2005 Terri Schiavo After a lengthy legal battle over the right of her husband to do so, Terri's feeding tube is removed resulting in her death 13 days later. She had suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 that left her severely brain damaged.
2003 Iraq War "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - Former First Lady Barbara Bush commenting on the impending war on the TV show Good Morning America.
1990 Largest Art Theft A pair of thieves dressed as policeman steal $500,000,000 in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including works by Rembrandt, Manet, and Degas. The case and whereabouts of the artwork remains unsolved.
1986 Money The U.S. Treasury announced that U.S. currency would undergo its first major change in 50 years, including micro printing on the paper and on threads woven into the paper.
1974 Arab Oil Embargo The embargo on the U.S. is ended. It had started in October, 1973.
1972 First U.S. Navy ship named in honor of a black naval officer The USS Jesse L. Brown is launched. Jesse Brown was the first black American naval aviator and the first black naval officer killed in combat (1950, Korea).
1965 First space walk By Soviet cosmonaut Alexi A. Leonov.
1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization The text of the treaty that would establish NATO is made public. It would be signed by 12 nations the following month. It was put together by World War II allies. Moscow called it a weapon of war.
1945 First flight of the Douglas A-1 It was the U.S. Navy's first single-seat, carrier-based dive bomber.
1766 The Stamp Act of 1765 is repealed.
Today's Birthdays for March 18
22nd and 24th U.S. President (1885-89, 1893-97). He avoided the Civil War draft by hiring someone to take his place. In 1893, Pres. Cleveland had a tumor in mouth secretly removed. Under the guise of going on a fishing trip, he had doctors remove the tumor while about a friend's yacht. They removed the tumor along with about five teeth and a large part of his upper left jaw. When a reporter uncovered the story, Cleveland denied it and launched a smear campaign to discredit the reporter.
1782 John Caldwell Calhoun d. 1850 7th U.S. Vice-President (1824-32). After a disagreement with Pres. Jackson, he became the first U.S. Vice-President to resign. He then went on to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate.
1963 Vanessa Williams Miss New York, the first black Miss America (1983). She was forced to relinquish her crown (July 1984) after Penthouse magazine announced it would publish nude photos of her with another woman. Film: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) and Eraser (1996).
1959 Irene Cara Grammy-winning singer, actress.
1943 Kevin Dobson American actor. TV: Kojak (Lt. Crocker) and Knots Landing (Mack).
1941 Wilson Pickett d. 2006 American American R&B and soul singer. Music: In the Midnight Hour (1965, #1), Mustang Sally (1966), and 634-5789 (1966, #1).
1934 Charley Pride American Hall of Fame Grammy-winning country singer, baseball player (Memphis Red Sox, 1954). He is considered the most successful black country singer. He was the first country singer to perform the national anthem at a Super Bowl (1974). He became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley.
1932 John Updike d. 2009 American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: The Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom series which included Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest, each of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1926 Peter Graves d. 2010 (Peter Duesler Aurness), American actor. TV: Mission Impossible (Jim Phelps). Film: Airplane! (1980).
1920 Pierre Plantard d. 2000 French "historian." His claims about the Priory of Sion were the basis of such books as Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) and The Da Vinci Code (2003). He also claimed he was descended from King Dagobert II, and therefore was a Merovingian claimant to the throne of France.
1911 Smiley Burnette d. 1967 (Lester Alvin Burnette), American actor. Film: He was Gene Autry's comic partner in 81 Western films. TV: Petticoat Junction (train engineer Charlie Pratt).
1905 Robert Donat d. 1958 English Oscar-winning actor. Film: The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), The 39 Steps (1935, Richard Hannay), and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939, Oscar, title role).
1858 Rudolf Diesel d. 1913 German engineer and inventor of the diesel engine (1892).
1813 Joshua Ballinger Lippincott d. 1886 American publisher. Founder of J.B. Lippincott & Co. (1836).
1800 Francis Lieber d. 1872 German-born American historian, political economist. Creator and first editor of the Encyclopaedia Americana (1829-33). He created the Lieber Code during the American Civil War (1863, aka Code for the Government of Armies in the Field). The Lieber Code is considered the first document to comprehensively outline rules regulating the conduct of war, and laid the foundation for the Geneva Conventions.
Deaths for March 18
2017 Chuck Berry b. 1926 (Charles Edward Anderson Berry), American rock 'n' roller. He served two years in prison (1962-64) for transporting a 14-year-old across state lines to work as a hat-check girl in his St. Louis nightclub. Music: Roll Over Beethoven (1956), Sweet Little Sixteen (1958), Johnny B Goode (1958), and My Ding-A-Ling (1972, #1).
1845 Johnny Appleseed b. 1774 (John Chapman), American folk hero. He devoted his life to planting apple seeds. It is said that his usual dress consisted of bare feet, a burlap sack for a shirt, and a tin pan hat.
2003 Adam Osborne b. 1939 personal computer pioneer. He created the first commercially available portable computer, the Osborne 1 (1981). He is also credited with the "Osborne Effect," after announcing the development of his company's new advanced computers. This killed sales of the Osborne 1, bankrupting the company.
2001 John Phillips b. 1935 American folk singer, with The Mamas and the Papas. Music: California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday.
1947 William Crapo Durant b. 1861 American auto manufacturer, founder of Buick Motor Car Co. (1905), General Motors (1908), Chevrolet Motor Co (1915) and Durant Motors Inc (1921).
1584 Ivan the Terrible b. 1530 (Ivan IV), Czar of Russia (1533-84).
1314 Jacques de Molay b. circa 1243 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar (1292-1307).
1227 Honorius III b. ???? Italian religious leader, 177th Pope (1216-27).