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March 23, 2013

Today in History for Saturday, March 23, 2013

VALDOSTA — Highlight in History

On March 23, 1913, five days of heavy rain began falling in the Ohio River Valley; Dayton, Ohio, saw catastrophic flooding as the rising Great Miami River breached its levees. Hundreds of deaths in the region were blamed on the weather.

On this date

In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.

In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, Calif.

In 1965, America’s first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a $938 billion health care overhaul, declaring “a new season in America.”

In 2011, Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at age 79.

Ten years ago

During the Iraq War, a U.S. Army maintenance convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah; 11 soldiers were killed, including Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa; six were captured, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued on April 1, 2003. Also in Nasiriyah, 18 U.S. Marines from Charlie Company were killed in the vicinity of the Saddam Canal Bridge. A U.S. Air Force helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, killing all six people on board.

Five years ago

A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000.

One year ago

Urging Americans to “do some soul searching,” President Barack Obama injected himself into the emotional debate over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” The U.S. Army formally charged Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of 17 villagers, more than half of them children, during a shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan.

Pope Benedict XVI landed in Mexico to throngs of faithful who gathered at the tarmac and lined more than 20 miles of his route into the city of Leon.

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