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President Barack Obama gives a thumbs-up to one of the stage participants in the Blue Room as they leave to take part in the minimum wage Executive Order signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 12, 2014.
11:00AM THE PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
2:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks and signs an Executive Order
6:55PM THE PRESIDENT and PRESIDENT HOLLANDE arrive Joint Base Andrews
7:20PM THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House
This day in history, March 23: President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, a $938 billion health care overhaul
Today is Tuesday, March 23, the 82nd day of 2021. There are 283 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 23, 2010, claiming a historic triumph, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a $938 billion health care overhaul.
In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
In 1792, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the “Surprise” symphony) had its first public performance in London.
In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
In 1942, the first Japanese-Americans evacuated by the U.S. Army during World War II arrived at the internment camp in Manzanar, California.
In 1965, America’s first two-person space mission took place as Gemini 3 blasted off with astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young aboard for a nearly 5-hour flight.
In 1973, before sentencing a group of Watergate break-in defendants, Chief U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica read aloud a letter he’d received from James W. McCord Jr. which said there was “political pressure” to “plead guilty and remain silent.”
In 1993, scientists announced they’d found the renegade gene that causes Huntington’s disease.
In 2001, Russia’s orbiting Mir space station ended its 15-year odyssey with a planned fiery plunge into the South Pacific.
In 2003, during the Iraq War, a U.S. Army maintenance convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE’-uh) 11 soldiers were killed, including Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa (py-ES’-tuh-wah) six were captured, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued on April 1, 2003.
In 2004, a federal commission concluded that Clinton and Bush administration officials had engaged in lengthy, ultimately fruitless diplomatic efforts instead of military action to try to get Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks top Bush officials countered that the terror attacks would have occurred even if the United States had killed the al-Qaida leader.
Ten years ago: Academy Award-winning actor Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at age 79. NATO ships began patrolling off Libya’s coast as airstrikes, missiles and energized rebels forced Moammar Gadhafi’s tanks to roll back from two key western cities. A blast blamed on Palestinian militants ripped through a bus stop in Jerusalem, killing Mary Jean Gardner, a 59-year-old British tourist, and wounding two dozen other people, including five Americans. Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty at his court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state to the murders of three unarmed Afghan civilians (he was sentenced to 24 years in prison).
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, on a fence-mending state visit to Buenos Aires, held up Argentina as an emerging world leader worthy of U.S. support, as he and President Mauricio Macri broke with years of tensions between their countries. Death claimed former baseball player-turned-broadcaster Joe Garagiola at age 90 and actor Ken Howard at age 71.
One year ago: President Donald Trump said he wanted to reopen the country for business in weeks, not months he asserted that continued closures could result in more deaths than the coronavirus itself. Britain became the latest European country to go into effective lockdown, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of most retail stores and banned public gatherings. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to convert a New York City convention center into a hospital with 1,000 beds. The Federal Reserve unleashed its boldest effort yet to protect the U.S. economy from the coronavirus the Fed would buy both government-backed and corporate debt. An Arizona health system said a Phoenix-area man had died, and his wife was in critical condition, after the couple took chloroquine phosphate, an additive used to clean fish tanks President Donald Trump had falsely stated days earlier that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the use of the anti-malaria medication chloroquine to treat coronavirus.
Today’s birthdays: Movie director Mark Rydell is 92. International Motorsports Hall of Famer Craig Breedlove is 84. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is 69. Singer Chaka Khan is 68. Actor Amanda Plummer is 64. Actor Catherine Keener is 62. Actor Hope Davis is 57. Actor Richard Grieco is 56. Actor Marin Hinkle is 55. Rock singer-musician Damon Albarn (Blur) is 53. Actor Kelly Perine is 52. Actor-singer Melissa Errico is 51. Rock musician John Humphrey (The Nixons) is 51. Bandleader Reggie Watts (TV: “The Late Late Show With James Corden”) is 49. Actor Randall Park is 47. Actor Michelle Monaghan is 45. Actor Keri Russell is 45. Actor Anastasia Griffith is 43. Gossip columnist-blogger Perez Hilton is 43. Actor Nicholle Tom is 43. Actor Brandon Dirden is 43. Country singer Brett Young is 40. Actor Nicolas Wright is 39. Actor Ben Rappaport is 35. NBA point guard Kyrie Irving is 29.
Journalism, it’s often said, is the first-draft of history. Check back each day for what’s new … and old.
The Mexican American War
United States General Zachary Taylor was victorious over Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. Named for a nearby hacienda, the Battle of Buena Vista was fought near Monterrey in northern Mexico. On the evening of February 21, General Taylor received a message from General Santa Anna offering to accept an American surrender and be spared the battle. Taylor reportedly replied: “I decline accepting your request.” For the next two days, the Mexican army of over 15,000 troops assaulted the smaller U.S. force of only 5,000 men. The agile field artillery and advantageous battle position, however, favored General Taylor against overwhelming odds. By nightfall of February 23, the exhausted and dispirited Mexican army retreated Taylor elected not to pursue the troops and remained to secure the region.
“A little more grape Capt. Bragg”—General Taylor at the Battle of Buena Vista, Feby 23d, 1847. John Cameron, artist New York: Lith. & pub. by N. Currier, c.1847. Popular Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division
General Winfield Scott landed at Veracruz in March and headed west toward Mexico City. At the Battle of Cerro Gordo in April, he defeated the Mexican army Santa Anna again escaped capture. Despite strong resistance, Scott pressed forward and captured the Mexican capital in September, securing U.S. victory in the Mexican American War.
Samuel McNeil, an Ohio shoemaker who ventured to California, tells of General Taylor’s bravery on the battlefield in his book McNeil’s Travels in 1849, to, through and from the Gold Regions, in California:
I must mention one circumstance that happened there, which shows the extraordinary coolness of Gen. Z. Taylor in battle. He saw a small cannon ball coming directly towards his person. Instead of spurring “Old Whitey” out of its way, he coolly rose in his very short stirrups and permitted the ball to pass between his person and the saddle. Col. Wyncoop has mentioned this circumstance in his book, and if he lies wilfully [sic], you may be sure that the shoemaker lies unwilfully [sic].
McNeil’s Travels in 1849, to, through and from the Gold Regions, in California. By Samuel McNeil. Columbus: Scott & Bascum, printers, 1850. p15. “California as I Saw It”: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 to 1900. General Collections
On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City, ending the war. Five years later, the Gadsden Purchase set the current boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.
Taylor’s victories at the Battle of Buena Vista and the 1846 Battle of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, won him national fame that contributed greatly to his election as president in 1848. Scott, too, ran for president but was defeated in 1852 by another veteran of the Mexican American War, Franklin Pierce.
Zachary Taylor, Half-length Portrait… Mathew B. Brady, ca. 1844-1849. Daguerreotypes. Prints & Photographs Division Winfield Scott, Head-and-shoulders Portrait… Mathew B. Brady, ca. 1851-1860. Daguerreotypes. Prints & Photographs Division