Today is Tuesday, March 12, the 71st day of 2013. There are 294 days left in the year.
On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio addresses that came to be known as “fireside chats,” telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation’s economic crisis.
On this date:
In 1664, England’s King Charles II granted an area of land in present-day North America known as New Netherland to his brother James, the Duke of York.
In 1863, Italian writer, poet and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio was born in Pescara.
In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to the rank of general-in-chief of the Union armies in the Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA had its beginnings as Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the first American troop of the Girl Guides.
In 1913, Canberra was officially designated the future capital of Australia.
In 1923, inventor Lee De Forest publicly demonstrated his sound-on-movie-film system, called “Phonofilm,” in New York.
In 1938, the Anschluss merging Austria with Nazi Germany took place as German forces crossed the border between the two countries.
In 1943, Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” had its world premiere with Eugene Goossens conducting the Cincinnati Symphomy.
In 1951, “Dennis the Menace,” created by cartoonist Hank Ketcham, made its syndicated debut in 16 newspapers.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson won the New Hampshire Democratic primary, but Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota placed a strong second. The African island of Mauritius became independent of British rule. (On this date in 1992, Mauritius became a republic.)
In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was sentenced to death; he was executed in May 1994.)
In 1993, Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female U.S. attorney general. A three-day blizzard that came to be known as “The Storm of the Century” began inundating the eastern third of the U.S. A series of bombings in Mumbai, India, killed 257 people (the explosions were allegedly masterminded by India’s most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim).
Ten years ago: Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old girl who’d vanished from her bedroom nine months earlier, was found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb with two drifters, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, who are serving prison terms for kidnapping her. Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated. Author Howard Fast died in Greenwich, Conn., at age 88. Actress Lynne Thigpen died in Los Angeles at age 54.
Five years ago: New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned two days after reports had surfaced that he was a client of a prostitution ring. Former Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, a liberal Ohio Democrat who challenged big business, died near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at age 90. Space shuttle Endeavour docked with the international space station, kicking off almost two weeks of demanding construction work. Lance Mackey won his second consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, completing the 1,100-mile journey in just under 9½ days.
One year ago: A day after the weekend massacre of Afghan civilians allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier, President Barack Obama called the episode “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking,” while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called it “inexplicable.” Greece implemented the biggest debt write-down in history, swapping the bulk of its privately-held bonds with new ones worth less than half their original value.
Today’s birthdays: Playwright Edward Albee is 85. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is 81. Actress Barbara Feldon is 80. Broadcast journalist Lloyd Dobyns is 77. Singer Al Jarreau is 73. Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 67. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is 66. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 65. Former Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is 65. Rock singer-musician Bill Payne (Little Feat) is 64. Actor Jon Provost (“Lassie”) is 63. Author Carl Hiaasen is 60. Rock musician Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) is 57. Actor Jerry Levine is 56. Singer Marlon Jackson (The Jackson Five) is 56. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 53. Actor Titus Welliver is 52. Former MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry is 51. Actress Julia Campbell is 50. Actor Aaron Eckhart is 45. CNNreporter Jake Tapper is 44. Rock musician Graham Coxon is 44. Country musician Tommy Bales (Flynnville Train) is 40. Country singer Holly Williams is 32. Actor Samm Levine is 31. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones is 19. Actress Kendall Applegate is 14.
Thought for today: “‘Home’ is any four walls that enclose the right person.” — Helen Rowland, American writer, journalist and humorist (1876-1950).