On This Day March 23
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1944 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, born Richard Theodore Otcasek (“Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Good Times Roll,” “Let’s Go,” “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think”) (d. 2019)
1839 – The word “OK” is introduced to the world when the initials are published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for “oll korrect,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time, OK steadily makes its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
1933 – The German Reichstag (Parliament) passes the Enabling Act of 1933, which marks the start of Adolf Hitler’s transformation from chancellor to dictator by enabling him to implement laws without Reichstag consent.
1983 – In a televised speech to Americans, President Ronald Reagan calls for development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to protect the U.S. from a nuclear missile attack. The program is also referred to as “Star Wars.”
1998 – The tide rises for “Titanic” at the 70th annual Academy Awards. The James Cameron blockbuster, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, ties with 1959’s “Ben Hur” for most wins by sweeping 11 categories, including the coveted Best Picture Oscar.
2011 – Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor (“National Velvet,” “A Place in the Sun,” “Giant,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Taylor starred in more than 50 movies and won two Academy Awards during her colorful acting career.