This day in history
Today is Monday, March 19, the 78th day of 2018. There are 287 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 93. Theologian Hans Kung is 90. Author Philip Roth is 85. Actress-singer Phyllis Newman is 85. Actress Ursula Andress is 82. Singer Ruth Pointer is 72. Actress Glenn Close is 71. Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is 66. Actor Bruce Willis is 63. Playwright Neil LaBute is 55. MLB pitcher Clayton Kershaw is 30.
In 1687, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle — the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River — was killed by mutineers in present-day Texas.
In 1920, the Senate rejected, for a second time, the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.
In 1931, Nevada Governor Fred Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling.
In 1953, the Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time; ‘‘The Greatest Show on Earth’’ was named best picture of 1952.
In 1979, the US House of Representatives began televising its floor proceedings; the live feed was carried by C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network), which was making its debut.
In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.
In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)
In 2008, five years after launching the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush strongly signaled he wouldn’t order troop withdrawals beyond those already planned because he refused to ‘‘jeopardize the hard-fought gains’’ of the past year.
In 2013, Pope Francis officially began his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole exemplifying his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock during a Mass at the Vatican. Insurgents carried out a wave of bombings across Iraq that killed at least 65 people.
Last year, fire broke out in the foothills near downtown Boulder, Colo., forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents. Author-columnist Jimmy Breslin, the legendary street-smart chronicler of wise guys and underdogs, died at his Manhattan home at age 87.