Today is Sunday, March 22, the 82nd day of 2020. There are 284 days left in the year.
On this date:
• In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies, which fiercely resisted the tax. (The Stamp Act was repealed a year later.)
• In 1820, U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Washington, D.C.
• In 1934, the first Masters Tournament opened under the title “Augusta National Invitation Tournament,” which was won three days later by Horton Smith.
• In 1941, the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state officially went into operation.
• In 1978, Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotel towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In 1987, a garbage barge, carrying 3,200 tons of refuse, left Islip, New York, on a six-month journey in search of a place to unload. (The barge was turned away by several states and three other countries until space was found back in Islip.)
In 1988, both houses of Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.
In 1990, a jury in Anchorage, Alaska, found former tanker captain Joseph Hazelwood not guilty of three major charges in connection with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but convicted him of a minor charge of negligent discharge of oil.
In 1991, high school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of recruiting her teenage lover and his friends to kill her husband, Gregory, was convicted in Exeter, New Hampshire, of murder-conspiracy and being an accomplice to murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In 1997, Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest ladies’ world figure skating champion in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2004, Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin (shayk AKH’-mehd yah-SEEN’) was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, enraging Palestinians. Terry Nichols went on trial for his life in the Oklahoma City bombing. (Nichols, already serving a life sentence for his conviction on federal charges, was found guilty of 161 state murder charges, but was again spared the death penalty when the jury couldn’t agree on his sentence.)
Ten years ago: Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton toured the quake-devastated capital of Haiti, a visit intended to remind donors of the immense needs facing the recovery effort. Google Inc. stopped censoring the internet for China by shifting its search engine off the mainland to Hong Kong.
Five years ago: CIA Director John Brennan, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, said the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force was contributing to instability in Iraq and complicating the U.S. mission against terrorism. The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Jamal Benomar, warned an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in a video briefing from Qatar that events were pushing the Arab country “to the edge of civil war.”
One year ago: Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his Russia investigation with no new charges, delivering his final report to Justice Department officials. Former President Jimmy Carter became the longest-living chief executive in American history; at 94 years and 172 days, he exceeded the lifespan of the late former President George H.W. Bush. People across New Zealand listened to the Muslim call to prayer on live broadcasts, one week after 51 worshippers were shot and killed at two mosques in Christchurch.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 90. Evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson is 90. Actor William Shatner is 89. Former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 86. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 85. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 79. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 77. Writer James Patterson is 73. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 72. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 72. Actress Fanny Ardant is 71. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 68. Country singer James House is 65. Actress Lena Olin is 65. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 63. Actor Matthew Modine is 61. Country musician Tim Beeler is 52. Actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key is 49. Actor Will Yun Lee is 49. Olympic silver medal figure skater Elvis Stojko is 48. Actor Guillermo Diaz is 45. Actress Anne Dudek is 45. Actor Cole Hauser is 45. Actress Kellie Williams is 44. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 44. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 43. Actress Tiffany Dupont is 39. Rapper Mims is 39. Actress Constance Wu is 38. Actor James Wolk is 35. Rock musician Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant) is 30.
Thought for Today: “Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian author (1821-1881).