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Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Today is Tuesday, March 30th

The 90th day of 2004.

There are 276 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer.


On this date:

In 239, B.C.E., was the first recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

In 1814, Britain and its allies against Napoleon marched triumphantly into Paris.

In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation.

In 1843, the Egg Incubator was patented by Napoleon E, Guerin.

In 1853, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh was born. He died in 1890.

In 1858, Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patents his idea of attaching an eraser to the top of a lead pencil.

In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's Folly."

In 1870, the 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect.

In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union.

In 1893, Thomas Francis Bayard was named first American ambassador to Great Britain. The United States previously had a lower-level diplomatic presence in London.

In 1909, The Queensboro Bridge opens, linking Manhattan & Queens. It was the first double decker bridge.

In 1916, Pancho Villa killed 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart is 1st woman to fly solo cross the Atlantic

In 1935, Newfoundland changes time to 3 1/2 hrs W of Greenwich.

In 1941, The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.

In 1942, a directive from Washington, D.C. decrees that men's suits be manufactured without trouser cuffs, pleats and patch pockets for the duration of the war.

In 1944, The U.S. fleet attacked Palau, near the Philippines.

In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II.

In 1946, The Allies seized 1,000 Nazis attempting to revive the Nazi party in Frankfurt.

In 1948, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin ordered all road and rail access to Berlin, Germany blocked, marking the beginning of what would become a complete blockade of the German city three months later -- on June 24.

In 1950, the invention of the Phototransistor was announced at Murray Hill, NJ.

In 1950, U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.

In 1953, Einstein announces revised unified field theory

In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.

In 1964, "Jeopardy" debuted on NBC-TV.

In 1970. American Thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat was born at Meadow Stud in Doswell, Virginia. In 1973 he became the first Triple Crown winner since 1948. He was retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. In 16 years he sired 663 foals. Secretariat was euthanized in 1989 because of complications from laminitis, an incurable hoof disease, and is buried at the farm.

In 1979, Airey Neave, a leading member of the British parliament, was killed by a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army.

In 1984, The U.S. ended its participation in the multinational peace force in Lebanon.

In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm in Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86.

In 1987, Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" sells for record £22.5M ($39.7 million)

In 1993, after 43 years, the unthinkable happened on the comic pages, Charlie Brown was a hero when he hit a homerun and his baseball team won for the first time.

In 1998, Rolls-Royce was purchased by German automaker BMW in a $570 million deal.

In 2000, In the midst of the 2000 presidential campaign, Vice President Al Gore broke with the Clinton administration, saying he supported legislation to allow six-year-old Elian Gonzalez to remain in the country while the courts resolved his custody case.

In 2002, the Queen Mother Elizabeth of England died in her sleep at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.

Ten years ago (1994):

Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to battle each other.

The Clinton administration announced it was lifting virtually all export controls on non-military products to China and the former Soviet bloc.

Five years ago (1999):

Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic insisted that NATO attacks stop before he moved toward peace, declaring his forces ready to fight "to the very end." NATO answered with new resolve to wreck his military with a relentless air assault.

A jury in Portland, Ore., ordered Philip Morris to pay $81 million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking Marlboros for four decades. (The Supreme Court threw out the verdict in October 2003, saying it should be reviewed by lower courts to ensure it was not unconstitutionally excessive.)

One year ago (2003):

A Palestinian suicide bomber wounded some 30 people outside a packed cafe in northern Israel, an attack the Islamic Jihad called "Palestine's gift to the heroic people of Iraq."

An Iraqi official announced that 4,000 Arab volunteers had arrived to carry out more suicide attacks against U.S. and British forces.


Today's Birthdays:

Singer Frankie Laine is 91.

Actor Richard Dysart is 75.

Actor John Astin is 74.

Game show host Peter Marshall (Pierre LaCock) is 74.

Actor-director Warren Beatty is 67.

Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 63.

Rock musician Eric (Patrick) Clapton is 59.

Actor Robbie Coltrane is 54.

Actor Paul Reiser is 47.

Rap artist MC Hammer is 41.

Singer Tracy Chapman is 40.

Actor Ian Ziering is 40.

Singer Celine Dion is 36.

Actor Mark Consuelos is 34.

Singer Norah Jones is 25.

Singer-musician Scott Moffatt (The Moffatts) is 21.


Thought for Today:

"All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are moveable, and those that move." -

- Arab proverb.


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