Today is Friday, March 18, the 77th day of 2011. There are 288 days left in the year.
Today's Highlights in History:
On March 18, 1911, Irving Berlin's first major hit song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," was first published by Ted Snyder & Co. of New York. The Theodore Roosevelt Dam in Arizona was dedicated by its namesake, the former president.
On this date:
In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.
In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.
In 1861, Sam Houston stepped down as governor of Texas after refusing to accept the state's decision to secede from the Union.
In 1910, the first filmed adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein," produced by Thomas Edison's New York movie studio, was released.
In 1931, Schick Inc. marketed the first electric razor.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany's war against France and Britain.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959.)
In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.
In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States.
In 2009, Tony-winning actress Natasha Richardson, 45, died at a New York hospital two days after suffering a head injury while skiing in Canada.
Ten years ago: The Socialists conquered Paris in municipal elections, ending a century of nearly unbroken rule by the right. John Phillips, who co-founded the Mamas and the Papas and wrote its biggest hits, including "California Dreamin'" and "Monday Monday," died in Los Angeles at age 65.
Five years ago: Thousands of anti-war protesters took to the streets around the world, marking the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Students and activists clashed with police in Paris as demonstrations against a government plan to loosen job protections spread across France. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH'-dahn mee-LOH'-shuh-vich) was laid to rest in his hometown of Pozarevac (POH'-zhuh-ray-vahts) in Serbia-Montenegro.
One year ago: President Barack Obama signed into law a $38 billion jobs bill containing a modest mix of tax breaks and spending designed to encourage the private sector to start hiring again. Actor Fess Parker, 85, died in Santa Ynez, Calif. Jerome York, an Apple, Inc. board member and a financial wizard credited with turning around Chrysler and IBM, died in Pontiac, Mich. at age 71.
Today's Birthdays: Composer John Kander ("Chicago") is 84. Nobel peace laureate and former South African president F.W. de Klerk is 75. Country singer Charley Pride is 73. Actor Kevin Dobson is 68. Actor Brad Dourif is 61. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 60. Singer Irene Cara is 52. Movie writer-director Luc Besson is 52. Actor Thomas Ian Griffith is 49. Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is 49. Singer-actress Vanessa L. Williams is 48. Olympic gold medal speedskater Bonnie Blair is 47. Country musician Scott Saunders (Sons of the Desert) is 47. Rock musician Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) is 45. Rock singer-musician Miki Berenyi is 44. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 41. Actor-comedian Dane Cook is 39. Rock musician Stuart Zender is 37. Singers Evan and Jaron Lowenstein are 37. Singer Devin Lima (LFO) is 34. Rock singer Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 32. Actor Adam Pally is 29.
Thought for Today: "It's easy to be independent when you've got money. But to be independent when you haven't got a thing _ that's the Lord's test." _ Mahalia Jackson, American gospel singer (1911-1972).
(Above Advance for Use Friday, March 18)
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