On This Day March 24
1958 – Elvis Presley swaps his blue suede shoes for military boots as he reports for duty in U.S. Army as a private at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. The King achieves the rank of sergeant in February 1960, and a month later, is honorably discharged from active duty at the age of 25.
1992 – A class-action lawsuit against Milli Vanilli’s record label is resolved when a judge approves a plan to refund up to $3 to everyone who bought the pop duo’s music before November 27, 1990 — the date they admitted to not actually singing their songs. Fans who bought tickets to a Milli Vanilli concert could claim a rebate of up to $2.50.
1989 – The tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound off Alaska and spills 11 million gallons of crude oil into one of nature’s richest habitats, eventually contaminating 1,300 miles of coastline. This was the largest oil spill in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico caused a 168-million-gallon spill.
1996 – Astronaut Shannon Lucid begins the first full day of a five-month stay aboard the Russian space station Mir. She transfers from the space shuttle Atlantis, becoming the first female American astronaut to live in a space station.
2002 – Halle Berry becomes the first African-American performer to win a Best Actress Oscar (for “Monster’s Ball”) and only the second African-American actress ever to be honored by the Academy (the first was Hattie McDaniel, who won for her supporting role in 1939’s “Gone With the Wind”).
1976 – Retired star NFL quarterback and actor Peyton Manning, who set records for most career passing yards and most career passing touchdowns while playing for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos