March 23 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1775, in a speech supporting the arming of the Virginia militia, Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty or give me death."
In 1909, Theodore Roosevelt began his post-presidency, embarking on the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition, part specimen collection, part hunting trip.
In 1933, the Enabling Act was passed by the German government, giving Chancellor Adolf Hitler the ability to enact laws unilaterally. Opening a session of the Reichstag, Hitler threatened to "destroy all those seeking to damage our people," while at the same time stressing "we are sincere friends of peace and shall heal the wounds from which all are suffering."
In 1965, astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young were launched in Gemini 3, the first U.S. two-man crew in space. Along for the ride, a corned beef sandwich snuck aboard the Gemini 3 probe by astronaut John Young.
In 1966, Pope Paul VI met Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, the first meeting between the heads of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in 400 years.
In 1983, the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, Barney Clark of Seattle, died in a Salt Lake City hospital.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan called for the development of an anti-missile defense system to protect the United States from potential nuclear attacks. The Strategic Defense Initiative was dubbed "Star Wars" by some.
In 1985, the United States completed the secret air evacuation of 800 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
In 1994, Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party was fatally shot during a campaign appearance in Tijuana.
In 1996, Taiwan elected Lee Teng-hui in the island's first direct presidential election.
In 1998, Titanic won 11 Academy Awards, tying the record total won by Ben-Hur in 1959. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King also won 11 -- in 2004.
In 2001, the Russian space station Mir was brought down in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji after more than 15 years in orbit.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The landmark legislation was designed to extend health insurance to about 32 million Americans over a 10-year period. Obama said it would "set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see."
In 2019, Italy became the first G7 country to sign on to China's Belt and Road initiative, a deal experts said was meant to expand the country's global ambitions into Europe.