updated 3/22/2006 12:01:12 AM ET 2006-03-22T05:01:12

Today is Wednesday, March 22, the 81st day of 2006. There are 284 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 22, 1765, Britain enacted the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies. (The Act was repealed the following year.)

On this date:
In 1638, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1820, U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Washington D.C.

In 1882, Congress outlawed polygamy.

In 1933, during Prohibition, President Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to three-point-two percent alcohol legal.

In 1941, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state went into operation.

In 1945, the Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.

In 1946, the British mandate in Transjordan came to an end.

In 1972, Congress sent the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to the states for ratification. (It fell three states short of the 38 needed for approval.)

In 1978, Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1986, world financier Michele Sindona died two days after ingesting cyanide in his Italian prison cell in what authorities later ruled a suicide.

Ten years ago: The shuttle Atlantis carrying astronaut Shannon Lucid to a rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Five years ago: An 18-year-old student opened fire at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California, wounding three classmates and two teachers before he was shot by a police officer. (Jason Hoffman later hanged himself while in jail.) Yevgeny Plushchenko captured the World Figure Skating Championships crown in Vancouver, British Columbia. Animation pioneer William Hanna died in Los Angeles at age 90.

One year ago: Terri Schiavo’s parents begged a federal appeals court to order the severely brain-damaged woman’s feeding tube reinserted after their emergency request was turned down by a federal judge in Tampa, Florida. A woman claimed to have found a fingertip while eating Wendy’s chili at a restaurant in San Jose, California, costing the fast-food chain millions in lost sales before she admitted it was a hoax.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Karl Malden is 94. Pantomimist Marcel Marceau is 83. U.S.A. Today founder Allen H. Neuharth is 82. Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 76. Actor William Shatner is 75. Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) is 72. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 71. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 63. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is 58. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 58. Actress Fanny Ardant is 57. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 54. Country singer James House is 51. Actress Lena Olin is 51. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 49. Actor Matthew Modine is 47. Actor Cole Hauser is 31. Actress Kellie Williams is 30. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 30. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 29.

Thought for Today: “I do not get my ideas from people on the street. If you look at faces on the street, what do you see? Nothing. Just boredom.” — Marcel Marceau.

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