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Today is Friday, March 15, the 74th day of 2019. There are 291 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 15, 44 B.C., Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.

On this date:

In 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arrived back in the Spanish harbor of Palos de la Frontera, two months after concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson met with about 100 reporters for the first formal presidential press conference.

In 1916, a U.S. expeditionary force led by Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing entered Mexico on an ultimately futile mission to capture Pancho Villa.

In 1937, America's first hospital blood bank was opened at Cook County Hospital in Illinois.

In 1956, the Lerner and Loewe musical play "My Fair Lady," based on Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," opened on Broadway.

Ten years ago: A chorus of outrage on Capitol Hill greeted news that some $165 million in executive bonuses were being paid by bailed-out insurance giant American International Group.

Five years ago: Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, said a Malaysian jetliner missing for a week had deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than seven hours after severing contact with the ground, meaning it could have gone as far northwest as Kazakhstan or into the Indian Ocean's southern reaches.

One year ago: A pedestrian bridge that was under construction collapsed onto a busy Miami highway, crushing vehicles beneath massive slabs of concrete and steel; six people died and 10 were injured.

Today's Birthdays: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 86. Actor Judd Hirsch is 84. Jazz musician Charles Lloyd is 81. Rock musician Phil Lesh is 79. Singer Mike Love (The Beach Boys) is 78. Rock singer-musician Sly Stone is 76. Rock singer-musician Howard Scott (War; Lowrider Band) is 73. Actress Frances Conroy is 66. Rock singer Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) is 64. Actor Joaquim de Almeida is 62. Movie director Renny Harlin is 60. Model Fabio is 58. Singer Terence Trent D'Arby (AKA Sananda Maitreya) is 57. Rock singer Bret Michaels (Poison) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rockwell is 55.  Rock singer Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) is 51. Country singer-musician Matt Thomas (Parmalee) is 45. Actress Eva Longoria is 44. Rapper-musician will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) is 44. Rock DJ Joseph Hahn (Linkin Park) is 42. . Actor Sean Biggerstaff is 36. Rock musician Ethan Mentzer is 36. Actor Kellan Lutz is 34. Actress Caitlin Wachs is 30.

Thought for Today: "You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling." — Billie Holiday, American singer (1915-1959).

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