Today in History

Today is Monday, March 2, the 61st day of 2015. There are 304 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 2, 1965, the movie version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical "The Sound of Music," starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, had its world premiere at New York's Rivoli Theater.

On this date:

In 1793, the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was born near Lexington, Virginia.

In 1836, the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.

In 1865, Congress established the position of Naval Judge Advocate General.

In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote.

In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.

In 1939, Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (puh-CHEL'-ee) was elected pope on his 63rd birthday; he took the name Pius XII. The Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect. (Georgia and Connecticut soon followed.)

In 1940, the cartoon character Elmer Fudd made his debut in the Warner Bros. animated short "Elmer's Candid Camera," in which the title character finds himself pitted against a rascally rabbit that was a precursor to Bugs Bunny.

In 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks' famous act of defiance, Claudette Colvin, a black high school student in Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white passenger.

In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a game against the New York Knicks, an NBA record that still stands. (Philadelphia won, 169-147.)

In 1972, the United States launched the Pioneer 10 space probe, which flew past Jupiter in late 1973, sending back images and scientific data.

In 1985, the government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply.

In 1990, more than 6,000 drivers went on strike against Greyhound Lines Inc. (The company, later declaring an impasse in negotiations, fired the strikers.)

Ten years ago: The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reached 1,500. The woman who'd accused NBA star Kobe Bryant of rape settled her lawsuit against him, ending the case.

Five years ago: Authorities in San Diego County found the body of 17-year-old Chelsea King, who'd been missing since Feb. 25, 2010. (John Albert Gardner III later pleaded guilty to raping and murdering King and another victim, 14-year-old Amber Dubois; he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)

One year ago: The historical drama "12 Years a Slave" won best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards; one of its stars, Lupita Nyong'o, won best supporting actress. Matthew McConaughey was named best actor for "Dallas Buyers Club" while Cate Blanchett was honored as best actress for "Blue Jasmine"; Alfonso Cuaron received best director for "Gravity."

(Stations: Rock musician Casey, one name, is correct)

Today's Birthdays: Actor John Cullum is 85. Author Tom Wolfe is 85. Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is 84. Actress Barbara Luna is 76. Author John Irving is 73. Actress Cassie Yates is 64. Actress Laraine Newman is 63. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is 62. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is 60. Singer Jay Osmond is 60. Pop musician John Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 59. Tennis player Kevin Curren is 57. Country singer Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) is 56. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 53. Blues singer-musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is 52. Actor Daniel Craig is 47. Actor Richard Ruccolo is 43. Rock musician Casey (Jimmie's Chicken Shack) is 39. Rock singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 38. Actress Heather McComb is 38. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard is 34. NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 33. Actor Robert Iler is 30. Actress Nathalie Emmanuel (TV: "Game of Thrones") is 26.

Thought for Today: "Nothing ever really sets human nature free, but self-control." — Phyllis Bottome, English writer (1884-1963).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, March 2)

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