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Today in History — March 22

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, March 22, the 81st day of 2007. There are 284 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 22, 1765, Britain enacted the Stamp Act of 1765 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 (The Act was repealed the following year.)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 for defying Puritan orthodoxy.

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 3.2 percent alcohol legal.

In 1941, the Grand Coulee hydroelectric 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 hotel towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1987, a garbage barge, carrying 3,200 tons of refuse, left Islip, N.Y., on a six-month journey in search of a place to unload. (The barge was turned away by several states and three other countries until space was found back in Islip.)

Ten years ago: A day after a suicide bomber killed three women in Tel Aviv, Israeli troops clashed with hundreds of Palestinians in Hebron. Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest women’s world figure skating champion.

Five years ago: President Bush joined a U.N. poverty summit in Monterrey, Mexico, where he urged world leaders to demand political reform from poor countries in exchange for increased aid and warned that unchecked poverty can foster terrorism. The Postal Rate Commission announced approval of higher postal rates, including a 3-cent boost for first-class letters, to 37 cents.

One year ago: More than 125,000 hourly workers of General Motors Corp. and auto supplier Delphi Corp. were offered buyouts to help cut the companies’ crippling labor costs. The Basque separatist group ETA announced a permanent cease-fire with Spain. A Gabon-bound ferry sank off the coast of Cameroon; more than 120 people are believed to have died. A bus carrying cruise ship tourists plunged off a highway in northern Chile and tumbled down a mountainside, killing 12 Americans.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Karl Malden is 95. Pantomimist Marcel Marceau is 84. USA Today founder Allen H. Neuharth is 83. Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 77. Actor William Shatner is

76. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is 73. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 72. Actor-singer Jeremy Clyde is 66. Singer-guitarist George Benson is

64. Writer James Patterson is 60. CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer is

59. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 59. Actress Fanny Ardant is 58. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 55. Country singer James House is 52. Actress Lena Olin is 52. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 50. Actor Matthew Modine is 48. Actor Cole Hauser is 32. Actress Kellie Williams is 31. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 31. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 30.

Thought for Today: “El amor es fuego, pero con el no se cuece el puchero.” (Love is a furnace, but it will not cook the stew.) — Spanish proverb.