Today the 85th day of 2012. There are 281 days left in the year.
1965: The Rev Martin Luther King Jr led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.
1306: Robert the Bruce was crowned the King of Scots.
1634:English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore arrived in present-day Maryland.
1776: General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was awarded the first Congressional Gold Medal by the Continental Congress for leading the liberation of Boston from British troops during the Revolutionary War.
1865: During the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked Fort Stedman in Virginia but were forced to withdraw by counterattacking Union troops.
1894: Jacob S. Coxey began leading an “army” of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, DC, to demand help from the federal government.
1911: 146 people, mostly young female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York.
1947: A coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois, claimed 111 lives.
1957: Tthe Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.
1960: The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled that the DH Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was not obscene and could be sent through the mails.
1975: King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded in June 1975.)
1990: Eoghty-seven people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.
1996: An 81-day standoff by the anti-government Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan.
2002: A powerful earthquake rocked Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, killing some 1,000 people.
2005: Iran announced it was partially suspending cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog agency, citing what it called “illegal and bullying” Security Council sanctions imposed on the country for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi won Mauritania’s first free presidential election in a run-off.
2011: Canadian opposition parties brought down the Conservative government in a no-confidence vote, triggering an election that gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper a clear Conservative majority in Parliament. Olga Ulyanova, 89, a chemist and niece of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin who’d written several books praising her uncle and family, died in Moscow.
Modeling agency founder Eileen Ford is 90. Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 86. Former astronaut James Lovell is 84. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 78. Singer Anita Bryant is 72. Singer Aretha Franklin is 70. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 69. Singer Elton John is 65. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 64. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 59. Actor James McDaniel is 54. Former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is 54. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 52. Actress Brenda Strong is 52. Actor Fred Goss is 51. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 51. Actress Marcia Cross is 50. Author Kate DiCamillo is 48. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 48. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 47. Former MLB All-Star pitcher Tom Glavine is 46. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas, M.D., is 45. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 37. Actor Lee Pace is 33. Actor Sean Faris is 30. Auto racer Danica Patrick is 30. Singer Katharine McPhee is 28. Singer Jason Castro (“American Idol”) is 25. Actress-singer Aly (AKA Alyson) Michalka is 23.
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