Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 7:28 PM

Today is Friday, March 4, the 64th day of 2016. There are 302 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 4, 1966, John Lennon of The Beatles was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying, "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock 'n' roll or Christianity." (After his comments caused an angry backlash in the United States, Lennon sought to clarify his remarks, telling reporters, "If I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it.")

On this date:

In 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)

In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term of office; with the end of the Civil War in sight, Lincoln declared: "With malice toward none, with charity for all."

In 1913, the "Buffalo nickel" officially went into circulation.

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge's inauguration was broadcast live on 21 radio stations coast-to-coast.

In 1930, Coolidge Dam in Arizona was dedicated by its namesake, former President Calvin Coolidge.

In 1940, Kings Canyon National Park in California was established.

In 1952, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, California.

In 1960, an explosives-laden French freighter, La Coubre, exploded in Havana's harbor, killing at least 75 people.

In 1974, the first issue of People magazine, then called People Weekly, was published by Time-Life Inc.; on the cover was actress Mia Farrow.

In 1981, a jury in Salt Lake City convicted Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed racist and serial killer, of violating the civil rights of two black men, Ted Fields and David Martin, who'd been shot to death. (Franklin received two life sentences for this crime; he was executed in 2013 for the 1977 murder of a Jewish man, Gerald Gordon.)

In 1996, comedian Minnie Pearl died in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 83.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, visiting Islamabad, praised Pakistan's fight against terrorism as unfaltering, but turned down an appeal for the same civilian nuclear help the United States intended to give India.

Five years ago: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime struck back at its opponents with a powerful attack on Zawiya (ZOW'-ee-yuh), the closest opposition-held city to Tripoli, and a barrage of tear gas and live ammunition to smother new protests in the capital. NASA launched its Glory satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on what was supposed to have been a three-year mission to analyze how airborne particles affect Earth's climate; however, the rocket carrying Glory plummeted into the southern Pacific several minutes after liftoff.

One year ago: The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv), charged in the Boston Marathon bombing, began with an acknowledgement from his attorney that the 21-year-old former college student committed the crime but did not deserve to die due to the malevolent influence of his dead older brother, Tamerlan (TAM'-ehr-luhn); prosecutors called to the witness stand three women who suffered severe injuries in the blasts. The Justice Department cleared Darren Wilson, a white former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law enforcement practices. A House committee investigating the Benghazi, Libya, attacks issued subpoenas for the emails of Hillary Rodham Clinton; the subpoenas from the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi came the same day The Associated Press reported the existence of a personal email server traced back to the Chappaqua, New York, home of Clinton.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Paula Prentiss is 78. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 75. Singer Shakin' Stevens is 68. Author James Ellroy is 68. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is 66. Singer Chris Rea is 65. Actor/rock singer-musician Ronn Moss is 64. Actress Kay Lenz is 63. Musician Emilio Estefan is 63. Movie director Scott Hicks is 63. Actress Catherine O'Hara is 62. Actor Mykelti (MY'-kul-tee) Williamson is 59. Actress Patricia Heaton is 58. Actor Steven Weber is 55. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 53. Actress Stacy Edwards is 51. Rapper Grand Puba is 50. Rock musician Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) is 50. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 49. Actress Patsy Kensit is 48. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 47. Actress Andrea Bendewald is 46. Actor Nick Stabile (stah-BEEL') is 46. Rock musician Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 45. Country singer Jason Sellers is 45. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 39. Actress Jessica Heap is 33. Actor Scott Michael Foster is 31. TV personality Whitney Port is 31. Actress Margo Harshman is 30. Actor Josh Bowman is 28. Actress Andrea Bowen is 26. Actress Jenna Boyd is 23.

Thought for Today: "I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets." — D.H. Lawrence, English author (1885-1930).