Home U.S This Day in History: March 5

This Day in History: March 5

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On this day, March 5 …

1982: Comedian John Belushi, 33, is found dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in Hollywood.

Also on this day:

  • 1770: The Boston Massacre takes place as British soldiers who were been taunted by a crowd of colonists open fire, killing five people.
  • 1868: The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson begins in the U.S. Senate, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding. (Johnson, the first U.S. president to be impeached, is accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors” stemming from his attempt to fire Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.)
  • 1946: Winston Churchill delivers his “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., in which he says: “From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the continent, allowing police governments to rule Eastern Europe.”
  • 1953: Soviet dictator Josef Stalin dies after three decades in power.
  • 1955: Elvis Presley makes his television debut on “Louisiana Hayride” carried by KSLA-TV Shreveport.
  • 1963: Country music stars Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, along with pilot Randy Hughes (Cline’s manager), die in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn.
  • 1970: The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons goes into effect after 43 nations ratify it.
  • 1998: NASA scientists say enough water is frozen in the loose soil of the moon to support a lunar base and perhaps a human colony someday.
  • 2002: President George W. Bush slaps tariffs of 8 to 30% on several types of imported steel in an attempt to aid the ailing U.S. industry.
  • 2009: As thousands demonstrate outside, California Supreme Court justices listen to legal arguments over the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. 
  • 2014: President Obama’s choice to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Debo Adegbile, is blocked by bipartisan Senate opposition over his legal work at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who’s serving life in prison in the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
  • 2014: Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the controversy over the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, once again refuses to answer questions at a House hearing.
  • 2020: Chief Justice John Roberts publicly chastises Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over comments he made outside the Supreme Court as the justices were hearing a case on abortion rights.

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