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23rd March: Today In History

Today is Thursday, March 23rd, the 82nd day of 2017. There are 283 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
1792:  Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major (known as the “Surprise” symphony because of an unexpected crashing chord in the second movement) had its first public performance in London.
1775:  Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
1806:  Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
1914:  The first installment of “The Perils of Pauline,” the legendary silent film serial starring Pearl White, premiered in the greater New York City area.
1933:  The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
1942:  The first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, California.
1956:  Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
1965:  America’s first two-person space mission took place as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.
1973:  Before sentencing a group of Watergate break-in defendants, Chief U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica read aloud a letter he’d received from James W. McCord Jr. which said there was “political pressure” to “plead guilty and remain silent.”
1983: President Ronald Reagan first proposed developing technology to intercept incoming enemy missiles — an idea that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a Jarvik permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.
1994:  Aeroflot Flight 593, an Airbus A310, crashed in Siberia with the loss of all 75 people on board; it turned out that a pilot’s teenage son who was allowed to sit at the controls had accidentally disengaged the autopilot, causing the jetliner to go out of control.
2001:  Russia’s orbiting Mir space station ended its 15-year odyssey with a planned fiery plunge into the South Pacific.
2011:  Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at age 79.
Comedian Marty Allen is 95.
Sir Roger Bannister (the runner who broke the 4-minute mile in 1954) is 88.
Movie director Mark Rydell is 88.
International Motorsports Hall of Famer Craig Breedlove is 80.
Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 68.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is 65.
Singer Chaka Khan is 64.
Actress Amanda Plummer is 60.
Actress Catherine Keener is 58. 

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