(AP) — Today is Wednesday, March 2, the 62nd day of 2016. There are 304 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 2, 1836, the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.
On this date:
In 1793, the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was born near Lexington, Virginia.
In 1865, Congress established the position of Naval Judge Advocate General.
In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.
In 1933, the motion picture “King Kong” had its world premiere at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy.
In 1939, Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected pope on his 63rd birthday; he took the name Pius XII. The Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect. (Georgia and Connecticut soon followed.)
In 1942, the original Stage Door Canteen, a wartime club for U.S. servicemen, officially opened its doors in New York’s theater district.
In 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks’ famous act of defiance, Claudette Colvin, a black high school student in Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white passenger.
In 1965, the movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, had its world premiere in New York.
In 1972, the United States launched the Pioneer 10 space probe, which flew past Jupiter in late 1973, sending back images and scientific data.
In 1985, the government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply.
In 1995, the Internet search engine website Yahoo! was incorporated by founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation deal in New Delhi. A suicide attacker rammed an explosives-packed car into American diplomat David Foy’s car in Karachi, Pakistan, killing Foy and three others. The Senate voted 89-10 to renew the USA Patriot Act. “Killer nurse” Charles Cullen, who’d murdered 22 patients in New Jersey alone, was sentenced in Somerville to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Five years ago: The Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, that a grieving father’s pain over mocking protests at his Marine son’s funeral had to yield to First Amendment protections for free speech in a decision favoring the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. A man armed with a handgun attacked a bus carrying U.S. Air Force troops at Frankfurt airport, killing two airmen before being taken into custody. (Arid Uka, an Islamic extremist, was later sentenced to life in prison.) Militants gunned down the only Christian in Pakistan’s Cabinet outside his widowed mother’s home.
One year ago: Iraqi forces launched a large-scale offensive to take Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit from the Islamic State group, the first step in a campaign to reclaim parts of northern Iraq from the Sunni extremists. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who rose to become the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress, announced she would not seek re-election when her fifth term ended.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Cullum is 86. Author Tom Wolfe is 86. Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is 85. Actress Barbara Luna is 77. Author John Irving is 74. Actress Cassie Yates is 65. Actress Laraine Newman is 64. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is 63. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is 61. Singer Jay Osmond is 61. Pop musician John Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 60. Tennis player Kevin Curren is 58. Country singer Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) is 57. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 54. Blues singer-musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is 53. Actor Daniel Craig is 48. Actor Richard Ruccolo is 44. Rock musician Casey (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 40. Rock singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 39. Actress Heather McComb is 39. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard is 35. NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 34. Actor Robert Iler is 31. Actress Nathalie Emmanuel is 27. Singer-rapper-actress Becky G is 19.
Thought for Today: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” — Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka “Dr. Seuss”), American children’s author (born this day, 1904; died 1991).