Today in History
Today is Friday, March 10, the 69th day of 2023. There are 296 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On March 10, 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tennessee, to assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)
On this date:
■ In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.
■ In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America’s minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.
■ In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln assigned Ulysses S. Grant, who had just received his commission as lieutenant-general, to the command of the Armies of the United States.
■ In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, Thomas Watson, heard Bell say over his experimental telephone: “Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you” from the next room of Bell’s Boston laboratory.
■ In 1913, former slave, abolitionist and Underground Railroad “conductor” Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York; she was in her 90s.
■ In 1965, Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple,” starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney, opened on Broadway.
■ In 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, who was the Soviet Union’s leader for 13 months, died at age 73; he was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev.
■ In 1988, pop singer Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, at age 30 of heart inflammation.
■ In 2015, breaking her silence in the face of a growing controversy over her use of a private email address and server, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded that she should have used government email as secretary of state but insisted she had not violated any federal laws or Obama administration rules.
■ In 2019, a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from the capital, Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board; the crash was similar to one in October 2018 in which a 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on the plane. (The aircraft would be grounded worldwide after the two disasters, bringing fierce criticism to Boeing over the design and rollout of the jetliner.)
Ten years ago: The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’zeye), accused the Taliban and the U.S. of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence would worsen if most foreign troops left — an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, rejected as “categorically false.”