This day in history

Today is Tuesday, March 31, the 91st day of 2020. There are 275 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 93. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 86. Actress Shirley Jones is 86. Musician Herb Alpert is 85. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is 80. Former Democratic representative Barney Frank of Newton is 80. Actor Christopher Walken is 77. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 76. Independent Senator Angus King of Maine is 76. Former vice president Al Gore is 73. Author David Eisenhower is 72. Actress Rhea Perlman is 72. Actor Ed Marinaro is 70. AC/DC guitarist Angus Young is 65. Actor Ewan McGregor is 49. Actor Brian Tyree Henry is 38. Actress Melissa Ordway is 37. Pop singer-guitarist Jack Antonoff (fun.) is 36.


In 1880, Wabash, Ind., became the first town in the world to be illuminated by electrical lighting.

In 1906, Gorton’s announced it would merge with three smaller Gloucester fishing businesses to form what would become the largest fishing business on the Atlantic Coast, with about 1,000 fishermen on 55 vessels and another 1,000 processing the fish.

In 1931, Notre Dame college football coach Knute Rockne, 43, was killed in the crash of a TWA plane in Bazaar, Kan.

In 1933, President Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1943, ‘‘Oklahoma!,’’ the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.

In 1968, at the conclusion of a nationally broadcast address on Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned listeners by declaring, ‘‘I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.’’

In 1975, ‘‘Gunsmoke’’ closed out 20 seasons on CBS with its final episode, ‘‘The Sharecroppers.’’

In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)


In 1995, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2004, four American civilian contractors were killed in Fallujah, Iraq; frenzied crowds dragged the burned, mutilated bodies and strung two of them from a bridge.

In 2005, Terri Schiavo, 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die court fight.

In 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu took office as Israel’s new prime minister after the Knesset approved his government.

In 2010, President Obama threw open a huge swath of East Coast waters and other protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil drilling.

In 2015, lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested their case in his federal death penalty trial, a day after they began presenting testimony designed to show his late older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind of the 2013 terror attack.

Last year, Rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside the clothing store he had founded to help rebuild his troubled South Los Angeles neighborhood; he was 33.