This Day in History: March 14

Stephen Hawking, the best-known theoretical physicist of his time, dies

"Speak of Me" was an exhibition that explored how new technologies were improving communication for the disabled.

"Speak of Me" was an exhibition that explored how new technologies were improving communication for the disabled. (Reuters)

On this day, March 14 …

2018: Stephen Hawking, the best-known theoretical physicist of his time, dies at his home in Cambridge, England, at age 76; he stunned doctors by living with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) for more than 50 years.

Also on this day:

  • 1794: Eli Whitney receives a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that would revolutionize America’s cotton industry.
  • 1883: Karl Marx dies in London at age 64.
  • 1885: The Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera "The Mikado" premieres at the Savoy Theatre in London.
  • 1900: Congress ratifies the Gold Standard Act.
  • 1907: President Theodore Roosevelt signs an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the United States as part of a "gentlemen’s agreement" with Japan.
  • 1962: Democrat Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy officially launches his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Ted Kennedy would serve in the Senate for nearly 47 years until his death in 2009.)
  • 1964: A jury in Dallas finds Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentences him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence would be overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)
  • 1967: The body of President Kennedy is moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
  • 1980: A LOT Polish Airlines jet crashes while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.
  • 1990: The Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies holds a secret ballot that elects Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.
  • 2008: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denounces inflammatory remarks from his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who railed against the United States ("God damn America.") and accused its leaders of bringing on the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
  • 2014: The West braces for a vote by the Crimean Peninsula to secede from Ukraine; calling the results all but a foregone conclusion, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urges Russia’s parliament against accepting any offer to claim Crimea as its own. 
  • 2018:Tens of thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms to demand action on gun violence and school safety; the act of protest comes a month after the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
  • 2018: President Trump chooses Larry Kudlow, a longtime fixture on CNBC, to be his top economic aide and serve as director of the National Economic Council.
  • 2019: Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, announces he is entering the 2020 presidential race.