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Today in History: Gorbachev succeeds Chernenko as Soviet Communist Party general secretary

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, March 11, the 70th day of 2019. There are 295 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight

in History:

On March 11, 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was chosen to succeed the late Konstantin U. Chernenko as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

On this date:

In 1513, Giovanni de’ Medici was proclaimed pope, succeeding Julius II; he took the name Leo X.

In 1888, the Blizzard of ’88, also known as the “Great White Hurricane,” began inundating the northeastern United States, resulting in some 400 deaths.

In 1918, what are believed to be the first confirmed U.S. cases of a deadly global flu pandemic were reported among U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas; 46 would die. The worldwide outbreak of influenza claimed an estimated 20 to 40 million lives.

In 1935, the Bank of Canada began operations, issuing its first series of bank notes.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Bill, providing war supplies to countries fighting the Axis.

In 1954, the U.S. Army charged that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., and his subcommittee’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had exerted pressure to obtain favored treatment for Pvt. G. David Schine, a former consultant to the subcommittee. The confrontation culminated in the famous Senate Army-McCarthy hearings.

In 1959, the Lorraine Hansberry drama “A Raisin in the Sun” opened at New York’s Ethel Barrymore Theater.

In 1977, more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations.

In 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be U.S. attorney general.

In 2003, a U.S. Army helicopter crashed near Fort Drum in upstate New York, killing 11 soldiers.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of Turkey’s governing party, was named prime minister.

After a four-day walkout that cost New York City $10 million, Broadway musicians settled the first strike on the Great White Way in nearly 30 years.