Highlight in History
On March 9, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, raised the standard for proving libel, unanimously ruling that public officials who charged they’d been defamed by the press concerning their official duties had to demonstrate “actual malice” on the part of the news organization in order to recover damages.
On this date
In 1661, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the chief minister of France, died, leaving King Louis XIV in full control.
In 1796, the future emperor of the French, Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple later divorced.)
In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Va.
In 1916, Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans.
In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of enacting New Deal legislation.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.
In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign on “See It Now.”
In 1964, the first Ford Mustang, a Wimbledon White convertible, rolled off the production line in Dearborn, Mich. (Instead of being kept by Ford Motor Co., the car was mistakenly sold to Canadian airline pilot Stanley Tucker, who later agreed to trade it back to Ford in exchange for the one-millionth Mustang.)
In 1977, about a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)
In 1989, the Senate rejected President George H.W. Bush’s nomination of John Tower to be defense secretary by a vote of 53-47. (The next day, Bush tapped Wyoming Rep. Dick Cheney, who went on to win unanimous Senate approval.)
In 1994, the U.N. Human Rights Commission condemned anti-Semitism, putting the world body on record for the first time as opposing discrimination against Jews.