Today in history: March 22

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, March 22, the 81st day of 2005. 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 (The Act was repealed the following year.)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 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumiere showed their first movie to an invited audience in Paris.

In 1933, during Prohibition, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to 3.2 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.

Ten years ago: Shouting erupted in the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats bitterly accused majority Republicans of trying to ram through a mean-spirited welfare overhaul bill. Convicted Long Island Rail Road gunman Colin Ferguson was sentenced to life in prison for killing six people.

Five years ago: Journeying to the cradle of Christianity, Pope John Paul II knelt and prayed in Bethlehem at the traditional spot of Jesus’ birth. Some 1,100 women denied jobs with the now-defunct U.S. Information Agency and its broadcast branch, the Voice of America, won $508 million from the government in the largest-ever settlement of a federal sex discrimination case.

One year ago: Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, enraging Palestinians. Terry Nichols went on trial for his life in the Oklahoma City bombing. (Nichols, already serving a life sentence for his conviction on federal charges, was found guilty of 161 state murder charges, but was again spared the death penalty when the jury couldn’t agree on his sentence.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Karl Malden is 93. Pantomimist Marcel Marceau is 82. USA Today founder Allen H. Neuharth is 81. Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is 75. Actor William Shatner is 74. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is 71. Actor M. Emmet Walsh is 70. Singer-guitarist George Benson is 62. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 57. Actress Fanny Ardant is 56. Sportscaster Bob Costas is 53. Country singer James House is 50. Actress Lena Olin is 50. Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is 48. Actor Matthew Modine is 46. Actor Cole Hauser is 30. Actress Kellie Williams is 29. Actress Reese Witherspoon is 29. Rock musician John Otto (Limp Bizkit) is 28.

Thought for Today: “Kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.” — Joseph Joubert, French moralist (1754-1824).