This Day in History: March 12

on Mar12
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On this day, March 12 …

2019: Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among 50 wealthy people charged in the largest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Also on this day: 

  • 1864: Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assumes command as General-in-Chief of the Union armies in the Civil War.
  • 1912: The Girl Scouts of the USA has its beginnings as Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., establishes the first American troop of the Girl Guides.
  • 1914: American inventor George Westinghouse dies in New York at age 67.
  • 1923: Inventor Lee De Forest publicly demonstrates his sound-on-movie-film system, called “Phonofilm,” in New York City.
  • 1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers the first of his 30 radio addresses that came to be known as “fireside chats,” telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation’s economic crisis.
  • 1947: President Harry S. Truman announces what would become known as the “Truman Doctrine” to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.
  • 1955: Legendary jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker dies in New York City at age 34.
  • 1971: Hafez Assad is confirmed as president of Syria in a referendum.
  • 1980: A Chicago jury finds John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (Gacy would be sentenced to death the next day and executed in May 1994.)
  • 1993: Janet Reno is sworn in as the first female U.S. attorney general. 
  • 1993: A three-day blizzard that would become known as “The Storm of the Century” begins inundating the eastern third of the United States.
  • 1993: A series of bombings in Mumbai, India, kills 257 people. (Authorities believe India’s most wanted man, Mumbai mobster Dawood Ibrahim, was the mastermind behind the attacks. He continues to elude authorities today.)
  • 2003: Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom in 2002, is found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb with two drifters, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. 
  • 2009: Financier Bernard Madoff pleads guilty in New York City to 11 federal charges in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. 
  • 2009: Lindsey Vonn becomes the first American woman to win the super-G season finale at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden.
  • 2018: Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee say they completed a draft report concluding that there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. 
  • 2018: British Prime Minister Theresa May says Russia is “highly likely” to blame for poisoning a former spy and his daughter in an English city with a military-grade nerve agent. 
  • 2018: After a 46-year career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, conductor James Levine is fired following an investigation that found evidence of sexual abuse and harassment.

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