Today's Holidays for March 19
Feast Day of Joseph husband of the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Universal Church and workmen.
Today's History Trivia for March 19
2003 Iraq War The war begins when Pres. George W. Bush announces, "…coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."
1995 Japanese Subway Attack Members of Aum Shinrikyo religious group release sarin gas in five coordinated attacks on Tokyo subways. Five people are killed and thousands are injured. The motive for the attacks is still unclear, although some speculate that the leader of the group was trying to distract authorities in order to stall an investigation into his activities.
1991 Longest Fingernails The fingernails of Shridhar Chillal's left hand are measured to have a combined length of 181 inches. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1987 Jim Bakker The televangelist leader of the PTL Club resigns his ministry as a result of accusations of sexual misconduct. He was later convicted of defrauding his followers out of $158 million.
1981 Space Shuttle Columbia Two workers are killed while making preparations for a ground test. Twenty-two years later in 2003, the ill-fated shuttle would disintegrate upon reentry killing all seven crew members.
1979 C-SPAN The United States House of Representatives begins broadcasting its day-to-day business on C-SPAN. It's first broadcast was a speech by congressman Al Gore.
1954 First color TV broadcast of a prizefight Joe Giardello knocks out Willie Troy at Madison Square Garden, broadcast by WNBT. Source: Famous First Facts
1953 First TV broadcast of the Academy awards The Greatest Show on Earth wins the Oscar for Best Picture.
1945 World War II - Heaviest casualties sustained by a U.S. ship during the war The USS Franklin is hit by a Kamikaze bomber, killing 832 sailors.
1931 Gambling Nevada legalizes gambling. It was intended to be a temporary fix to help the ailing economy during the depression.
1931 Divorce Nevada signs into law its 6-week easy divorce law. It became effective on May 1.
1928 Amos and Andy debuts on radio, starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correl.
1925 First U.S. fractional-denomination postage stamp goes on sale, the 1½¢ light brown Warren Harding.
1918 Daylight savings time is passed by Congress. This version of the law was later repealed.
1916 First U.S. Air Combat Mission Eight planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa.
1915 Pluto While searching for the cause of perturbations in the orbit of Uranus, the Lowell Observatory in Arizona photographs the dwarf planet. However, the photographs were not recognized for what they were and Pluto remained undiscovered for another 15 years. Unfortunately, Lowell died in 1916, before the discovery. Source: Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System
1831 First U.S. bank robbery $245,000 is stolen from the City Bank of New York City by Edward Smith. He was arrested and sentenced to five years hard labor.
1787 Steamboat New York State grants John Fitch the sole right to make steamboats.
Today's Birthdays for March 19
1955 Bruce Willis American Emmy-winning actor. Film: Die Hard (1988). TV: Moonlighting (David Addison).
1947 Glenn Close American Tony-winning actress. Film: The Big Chill (1983) and Fatal Attraction (1987).
1937 Clarence "Frogman" Henry American rhythm and blues singer. He opened 18 concerts for The Beatles in 1964.
1936 Ursula Andress Swiss actress. Film: Dr. No (1962, Honey Ryder).
1933 Philip Roth American author. Writings: Portnoy's Complaint (1969).
1928 Patrick McGoohan d. 2009 American-born Irish Emmy-winning actor. Luckily for Sean Connery, in 1962 McGoohan turned down the role of James Bond. Later, he also turned down the roles of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. TV: Secret Agent (secret agent John Drake), The Prisoner (Prisoner Number 6), The Man in the Iron Mask (1977, Fouquet). Film: Escape From Alcatraz (1969).
1920 Tige Andrews d. 2007 (Tiger Andrews), American actor. TV: The Mod Squad (Capt. Adam Greer).
1916 Irving Wallace d. 1990 American novelist. His books have sold over 120,000,000 copies.
1906 Adolf Eichmann d. 1962 German war criminal. As a member of the SS, he organized the transportation of Jews to concentration camps for "the final solution." After the war he was discovered hiding in Argentina. He was then smuggled to Israel where he was hanged for his war crimes.
1894 Jackie "Moms" Mabley d. 1975 (Loretta Mary Aiken), American comedienne. She was one the most successful entertainers of the black vaudeville stage and was billed as "The Funniest Woman in the World."
1891 Earl Warren d. 1974 American Chief Justice of the United States. Quote: "It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defense of our nation worthwhile."
1883 Dr. Evarts Ambrose Graham d. 1957 American physician. He performed the first successful lung removal operation by removing the cancerous lung of a fellow physician, curing the patient (1933). He was one of the first to note that almost all lung cancer patients were habitual smokers. He himself, a long term-smoker before quitting, died of lung cancer.
1860 William Jennings Bryan d. 1925 American orator, called the Great Commoner, made his famous "Cross of Gold" speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention, and was one of the prosecuting attorneys at the John Scopes Monkey Trial.
1821 Sir Richard Francis Burton d. 1890 English explorer. He discovered Lake Tanganyika and translated The Arabian Nights into English.
1813 David Livingstone d. 1873 Scottish explorer, missionary. In 1871 he was found in Africa by reporter Henry Stanley, prompting the famous quote "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
1734 Thomas McKean d. 1817 American politician, member of (1774-83) and 8th president (1781) of the Continental Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Although present during its drafting, he didn't sign until 1781.
1590 William Bradford d. 1657 American historian, signer of the Mayflower Compact (1620). He is called "The Father of American History" for his writings of the early Plymouth Colony. He was elected governor of Plymouth Colony 30 times.
Deaths for March 19
2008 Sir Arthur C. Clarke b. 1917 British science fiction author. Writings: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
2005 John DeLorean b. 1925 American auto executive. In 1982 he was arrested for possession of 59 pounds of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He plead not guilty and was acquitted. He was responsible for Pontiac's GTO and Firebird and the DeLorean (as featured in the Back to the Future movies) automobiles.
2004 Brian Maxwell b. 1953 Canadian athlete and founder of PowerBar. He died of a heart attack.
1979 Al Hodge b. 1913 American actor. Radio: The Green Hornet (title role). TV: Captain Video and His Video Rangers (second person to play the captain).
1974 Edward C. Platt b. 1916 American actor. TV: Get Smart (1965-70, Chief).
1950 Edgar Rice Burroughs b. 1875 American novelist, creator of Tarzan (1914).
1930 Henry Faulds b. 1843 Scottish scientist, "Father of Fingerprinting." He was the first to suggest using fingerprints for criminal investigations (1880).
1721 Clement XI b. 1649 Italian religious leader, 243rd Pope (1700-21).
1687 Robert de La Salle b. 1643 French explorer. He explored the Mississippi Basin and claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.