This Day in History – March 22

Today is the 81st day of 2021. There are 284 days left in the year.


1991: High school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of recruiting her teenage lover and his friends to kill her husband, Gregory, is convicted in Exeter, New Hampshire, of murder-conspiracy and being an accomplice to murder and is sentenced to life in prison without parole.


1594: Paris opens its gates to King Henry VI, newly converted to Catholicism. He is said to have uttered “Paris is well worth a mass!”

1622: About 35 Virginians are killed in the first massacre by Native Americans of European colonists in North America.

1794: US Congress passes law prohibiting American ships from supplying slaves to other countries.

1882: US Congress outlaws polygamy.

1895: Auguste and Louis Lumiere show their first movie to an invited audience in Paris; this is generally regarded as the first public display of a movie projected onto a screen.

1917: United States becomes first nation to recognise new provisional Government in Russia.

1945: Arab League is founded in Cairo, Egypt.

1962: Right wing French terrorists attack government forces in Algiers.

1963: United States attempts to mediate political dispute that threatens civil war in South Vietnam.

1978: Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of The Flying Wallendas high-wire act, falls to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two buildings of a hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1987: Chadian soldiers seize major Libyan ground and air base at Ouadi Doum in northern Chad after heavy fighting.

1988: Both houses of the US Congress override President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.

1989: Delegates from 105 countries, meeting in Switzerland, adopt a draft UN treaty to control international transport of dangerous wastes.

1990: A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, finds former tanker Captain Joseph Hazelwood innocent of three major charges in connection with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but convict him of a minor charge of negligent discharge of oil.

1991: Police fire on pro-democracy protesters in Bamako, Mali, killing 30, in violence that leads to the overthrow of dictator General Moussa Traore.

1992: Twenty-seven people are killed when a USAir Fokker F-28 jetliner bound for Cleveland crashes on take-off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport; 24 people survive.

1993: Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia attack an ethnic Vietnamese fishing village, killing 35.

1994: A Russian Airbus A-310 crashes in Siberia en route to Hong Kong after the pilot’s teenage son takes the controls. All 75 people aboard die.

1996: UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issues the first indictments for crimes against Serbs, charging three Bosnian Muslims and a Bosnian Croat with murder, torture and rape.

1998: Albanians in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo hold elections for a shadow Government.

1999: US envoy Richard Holbrooke meets with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in a last-ditch attempt to gain concessions on Kosovo, while Yugoslav police and army troops burn villages in the rebel province.

2001: The United States orders the ouster of more than 50 Russian diplomats suspected of undercover intelligence activities.

2002: Britain’s High Court grants a quadriplegic woman the right to have her life support switched off. The decision marks the first time in Britain a person whose medical treatment offered her a normal life expectancy won the right to die.

2005: The only man to challenge Hosni Mubarak for the presidency is charged with forging signatures to win approval for his party – an escalation in the government’s confrontation with Ayman Nour, the most prominent figure in Egypt’s fledgling reform movement.

2006: Governments, not private companies, should take the lead in improving public access to safe drinking water, representatives of 148 countries conclude at the end of a forum in Mexico City on improving global water supplies.

2010: President Nicolas Sarkozy dismisses his labour minister and reshuffles several other Cabinet posts after leftists wallop his conservatives in France’s regional elections – a defeat that exposes his inability to convince the public on his economic reforms.

2011: Yemen’s US-backed president, his support crumbling among political allies and the army, warns that the country could slide into a civil war as the Opposition rejects his offer to step down by the end of the year.

2017: A knife-wielding man ploughs a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, then stabs an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament before being shot dead by authorities.



Anthony van Dyck, Dutch artist (1599-1641); Robert Andress Millikan, US scientist (1868-1953); Marcel Marceau, French mime (1923-2007); Karl Malden, US actor (1912-2009); Stephen Sondheim, US composer (1930- ); William Shatner, Canadian-born actor (1931- ); Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer (1948- ); Reese Witherspoon, US actress (1976- )


– AP

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