TodayInHistory

Today is Saturday, March 14, the 74th day of 2020. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history

On March 14, 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

On this date

In 1883, German political philosopher Karl Marx died in London at age 64.

In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado” premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.

In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the United States as part of a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Japan.

In 1962, Democrat Edward M. Kennedy officially launched in Boston his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)

In 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

In 1976, movie musical director and choreographer Busby Berkeley, 80, died in Palm Springs, Calif.

In 1980, a LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.

In 2001, inspectors tightened U.S. defenses against foot-and-mouth disease a day after a case was confirmed in France.

Ten years ago

French voters, scarred by their country’s economic crisis, dealt President Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative leadership a stern blow by strongly favoring leftist candidates in regional elections.

Five years ago

Robert Durst, a wealthy eccentric linked to two killings and his wife’s disappearance, was arrested by the FBI in New Orleans on a murder warrant a day before HBO aired the final episode of a serial documentary about his life.

One year ago

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that gun-maker Remington could be sued over how it marketed the rifle that was used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

(The U.S. Supreme Court later rejected an appeal from Remington Arms and allowed the lawsuit to go forward.)

Today’s birthdays

Former astronaut Frank Borman is 92.

Actor Michael Caine is 87.

Comedian Billy Crystal is 72.

Actor-writer-comedian-radio personality Rick Dees is 69.

Actress Laila Robins is 61.

Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is 23.

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