spotlight Today in history: March 21 Mar 21, 2020 Mar 21, 2020 Major events that happened around the world on this day in history. 1918: The Western Front In 1918, during World War I, Germany launched its Spring Offensive on the Western Front, hoping to break through the Allied lines before American reinforcements could arrive. (Although successful at first, the Spring Offensive ultimately failed.) AP 1945: World War II In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany. AP 1963: Alcatraz In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates and closed at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. AP 1972: The Supreme Court In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, ruled that states may not require at least a year's residency for voting eligibility. J. Scott Applewhite 1976: Vladimir "Spider" Sabich In 1976, champion skier Vladimir "Spider" Sabich was shot and killed by his girlfriend, actress-singer Claudine Longet, in the home they had shared in Aspen, Colorado; Longet, who maintained the shooting was an accident, served 30 days in jail for negligent homicide. AP 1981: Michael Donald In 1981, Michael Donald, a black teenager in Mobile, Alabama, was abducted, tortured and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. (A lawsuit brought by Donald's mother, Beulah Mae Donald, later resulted in a landmark judgment that bankrupted one Klan organization.) AP 1990: Namibia In 1990, Namibia became an independent nation as the former colony marked the end of 75 years of South African rule. AP 1997: Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin In 1997, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion, but able to agree on slashing nuclear weapons arsenals. AP 2006: Twitter In 2006, the social media website Twitter was established with the sending of the first "tweet" by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who wrote: "just setting up my twttr." AP 2007: Al Gore In 2007, former Vice President Al Gore made an emotional return to Congress as he pleaded with House and Senate committees to fight global warming; skeptical Republicans questioned the science behind his climate-change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." AP 2010: France Ten years ago: France's long-flailing political left made a big comeback, crushing President Nicolas Sarkozy's (sahr-koh-ZEEZ') conservatives in regional elections. AP 2010: Immigration Ten years ago: Frustrated with the pace of action to overhaul the country's immigration system, thousands of immigrant rights supporters descended on the nation's capital, waving American flags and holding homemade signs in English and Spanish. AP 2015: Barack Obama Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in an interview with The Huffington Post, said he took Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "at his word" for saying an independent Palestinian state would never co-exist with Israel as long as he was in office, yet another sign of the strained relations between longtime allies. AP 2015: Marcel Hirscher Five years ago: In Meribel, France, Marcel Hirscher of Austria became the first skier to win the men's World Cup overall title for a fourth straight year. AP 2015: Mont Saint-Miche Five years ago: A super tide turned France's famed Mont Saint-Michel into an island and then retreated out of sight, delighting thousands of visitors who had come to see the rare phenomenon. AP 2017: Neil Gorsuch In 2017, on the second day of his Senate confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch declared he'd made no promises to President Donald Trump or anyone else about how he would vote on abortion or other issues. AP 2019: Cesar Sayoc One year ago: A Florida man, Cesar Sayoc, pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump in the days before the 2018 midterm elections; no one was harmed. (Sayoc was later sentenced to 20 years in prison by a judge who concluded that the bombs were not designed to explode.) AP 2019: Facebook One year ago: Facebook acknowledged that it had left hundreds of millions of user passwords readable by its employees for years, storing them in readable plain text. AP 2019: Ichiro One year ago: Ichiro Suzuki, a batting star in Japan and with the Seattle Mariners, played in his final game at the age of 45; it was the second of two games in Japan between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. AP 2019: Mississippi One year ago: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws, one that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. (A federal judge blocked the law from taking effect.) AP 2019: The Golan Heights One year ago: President Donald Trump abruptly declared that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy. 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