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Today in History — March 24

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

Today is Saturday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2007. There are 282 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 24, 1765, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

On this date:

In 1882, German scientist Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis.

In 1934, President Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.

In 1944, in occupied Rome, the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before that killed 32 German soldiers.

In 1955, the Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opened on Broadway with Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie, Ben Gazzara as Brick and Burl Ives as Big Daddy.

In 1958, rock-and-roll singer Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tenn.

In 1976, the president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military.

In 1980, one of El Salvador’s most respected Roman Catholic Church leaders, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, was shot to death by gunmen as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.

In 1989, the nation’s worst oil spill occurred as the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking 11 million gallons of crude.

In 1995, for the first time in 20 years, no British soldiers were patrolling the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1999, NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country.

Ten years ago: Vice President Gore arrived in China for the highest level U.S. visit in eight years. At the 69th Annual Academy Awards, “The English Patient” won best picture and director (Anthony Minghella); Geoffrey Rush won best actor for “Shine,” and Frances McDormand best actress for “Fargo.”

Five years ago: President Bush, during a six-hour visit to El Salvador, held out the promise of expanded trade to Central American nations. At the Academy Awards, Halle Berry became the first black actress to win an Oscar for a leading role for her work in “Monster’s Ball,” while Denzel Washington became the second black actor, after Sidney Poitier, to win in the best actor category, for “Training Day.” “A Beautiful Mind” won four Oscars, including best picture and best director for Ron Howard.

One year ago: Thousands of people across the country protested against legislation cracking down on illegal immigrants. In Selmer, Tenn., Mary Winkler was charged with shooting to death her minister husband, Matthew Winkler, in the parsonage of their church. (Mary Winkler is awaiting trial.)

Today’s Birthdays: Fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie is

67. Actor R. Lee Ermey is 63. Movie director Curtis Hanson is 62. Rock musician Lee Oskar is 59. Rock musician Dougie Thomson (Supertramp) is 56. Comedian Louie Anderson is 54. Actress Donna Pescow is 53. Actor Robert Carradine is 53. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 47. Rhythm-and-blues DJ Rodney “Kool Kollie” Terry (Ghostown DJs) is 46. TV personality Star Jones Reynolds is 45. Actress Annabella Sciorra is 43. Rock singer-musician Sharon Corr (The Corrs) is 37. Actress Lara Flynn Boyle is 37. Rapper Maceo (AKA P.A. Pasemaster Mase) is 37. Actress Alyson Hannigan (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is 33. Football player Peyton Manning is 31. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes is 17.

Thought for Today: “Self-esteem equals Success over Pretensions.” — William James, American psychologist (1842-1910). (EDITOR’S NOTE — James wrote this in the form of a mathematical equation, which would be denoted as: “Self-esteem

Success/Pretensions,” with “Success” as the numerator and “Pretensions” as the denominator of a fraction.)