A closer look at the key events on March 23 in history:

In 2021, the Suez Canal gets blocked

The Ever Given, a 400 meter mega freight ship gets blocked as a result of high winds, sandstorm and human error, completely blocking the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes. The global economy was severely affected, as it by March 27, 300 ships were lined waiting for access through the canal. It was finally freed on March 29.

Ever Given container ship is seen in Suez Canal in this satellite image taken by Satellogic?s NewSat-16 on March 25, 2021. Satellogic/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT

In 1983, the Star Wars initiative is announced

Speaking on national television in the midst of the Cold War, on March 23 US President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, most popularly titled Star Wars, a proposed strategic defensive system against potential nuclear attacks by the Soviet Union.

In 1933, Hitler gains dictatorial powers

The German Reichstag, which was dominated by the Nazi Party and German National People’s Party, passed the Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler’s government to issue decrees independently of the Reichstag and the presidency.

Hitler stands beside Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Gestapo, to observe a parade of Nazi Stormtroopers, 1940. REUTERS/Corbis

In 1806, Lewis and Clark’s return trip begins
Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, after completing the first US expedition to the Louisiana Purchase and the Pacific Northwest, began their return to St. Louis, Missouri. The expedition, which commenced in May 1804, was a major chapter in the history of American exploration.

Bust portraits of Lewis and Clark. National Parks. 1992 Gallery

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