630 Mar 21, Heraclius restored the True Cross, which he had recaptured from the Persians.
1556 Mar 21, Former Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (66), scheduled to denounce his errors and be burned at the stake, denounced his own confessions and was hustled off to be burned. He then put forth his hand and declared: “Forasmuch as my hand offended, writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished.”
1790 Mar 21, Thomas Jefferson (46) reported to President Washington in New York as the new US Secretary of state.
1871 Mar 21, Journalist Henry M. Stanley began his famous expedition to Africa to locate the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone.
1944 Mar 21, Charles Chaplin went on trial in Los Angeles, accused of transporting former protegee Joan Barry across state lines for immoral purposes. Chaplin was acquitted, but later lost a paternity suit despite tests showing he wasn’t the father of Barry’s child.
1980 Mar 21, President Carter announced to the U.S. Olympic Team that they would not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a boycott against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
1997 Mar 21, President 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.
1998 Mar 21, Maciej Slomczynski, Polish translator, died at age 77. He made Polish translations of Shakespeare’s complete works, Joyce’s “Ulysses” and works by Faulkner, Swift and Milton.
2000 Mar 21, Pres. Clinton began a 5 day stay in India. India rejected his call for further curbs in the nuclear program.
2000 Mar 21, Pope John Paul II landed in Tel Aviv and began his official visit to Israel with a welcome from Pres. Ezer Weizman. It was the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.
2002 Mar 21, President Bush began a four-day trip to Latin America.
2005 Mar 21, Pres. Bush in the early hours signed an emergency bill called the “Palm Sunday Compromise” to permit the reinsertion of a feeding tube to keep Terri Schiavo alive in Florida.
2005 Mar 21, Bobby Short (80), Cabaret singer who embodied the NYC style and sophistication, died. He was a fixture at his piano in the Carlyle Hotel for more than 35 years.
2006 Mar 21, Sgt. Michael J. Smith, an Army dog handler at Abu Ghraib, was convicted at Fort Meade, Md., of abusing prisoners. Smith was later sentenced to 179 days in prison.
2008 Mar 21, 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.”
2008 Mar 21, Daniel Wortham (39), a plumber in Washington state, was killed by his daughter (16) and her boyfriend, Edmund Washington (17), after returning home from work. Prosecutors later said Jackie Wortham and her boyfriend used a baseball bat, knife, wrench and a 3-foot-long sword in the murder. In 2009 Jackie Wortham (18) was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
2010 Mar 21, President Barack Obama announced that he will reaffirm a ban on using federal funds to pay for abortions, which convinced some holdout Democrats to support the healthcare overhaul but riled Republicans who said the decision could be easily reversed. US House Democrats voted 219-212 late in the day to send legislation to Obama that would extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, reduce deficits and ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
2011 Mar 21, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, secretary general of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, underscored the commitment of Qatar and the UAR to the international military coalition striking Libya but stressed the mission seeks only to protect civilians.
2012 Mar 21, Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, wanted by Baghdad on terror charges, released photographs showing his bodyguard, Amir Sarbut Zaidan al-Batawi, was tortured before his body was handed to his family. A senior Iraqi general and a judicial spokesman, however, said Batawi died of kidney failure and other conditions after refusing treatment. Investigators reportedly filmed Batawi confessing to criminal activity on January 14.
2013 Mar 21, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill recognizing same-sex civil unions. The law takes effect May 1.
2014 Mar 21, Turkey blocked access to Twitter after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the social network where links have proliferated to recordings that appear to incriminate him and other top officials in corruption.