By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Friday, March 17, the 76th day of 2017. There are 289 days left in the year. This is St. Patrick’s Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 17, 1942, six days after departing the Philippines during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater.
On this date:
In 1776, the Revolutionary War Siege of Boston ended as British forces evacuated the city.
In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed the first king of a united Italy.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt first likened crusading journalists to a man with “the muckrake in his hand” in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.
In 1912, the Camp Fire Girls organization was incorporated in Washington, D.C., two years to the day after it was founded in Thetford, Vermont. (The group is now known as Camp Fire.)
In 1936, Pittsburgh’s Great St. Patrick’s Day Flood began as the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers and their tributaries, swollen by rain and melted snow, started exceeding flood stage; the high water was blamed for more than 60 deaths.
In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C.
In 1956, comedian Fred Allen, 61, died in New York.
In 1966, a U.S. Navy midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain. (It took several more weeks to actually recover the bomb.)
In 1970, the United States cast its first veto in the U.N. Security Council, killing a resolution that would have condemned Britain for failing to use force to overthrow the white-ruled government of Rhodesia.
In 1988, Avianca Flight 410, a Boeing 727, crashed after takeoff into a mountain in Colombia, killing all 143 people on board.
In 1992, 29 people were killed in the truck bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Whites in South Africa voted by a greater than 2-1 majority to forge ahead with talks to end white rule and give blacks voting rights for the first time in the country’s history. In Illinois, Sen. Alan Dixon was defeated in his Democratic primary re-election bid by Carol Moseley-Braun, who went on to become the first black woman in the U.S. Senate.
Ten years ago: Denouncing a conflict entering its fifth year, protesters across the country raised their voices against U.S. policy in Iraq and marched by the thousands to the Pentagon. John Backus, the developer of Fortran, a programming language that changed how people interacted with computers, died in Ashland, Oregon, at age 82.
Five years ago: Twin suicide car bombings killed at least 27 people near intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital of Damascus. John Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk), 91, convicted of being a low-ranking guard at the Sobibor death camp, but who maintained his innocence, died in Bad Feilnbach (bahd FYLN’-bahk), Germany.