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Thursday, March 25, 2004


Today is Thursday, March 25th.

The 85th day of 2004.

There are 281 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.


On this date:

In 1, Roman Church historian Dionysius Exiguus (ca.500_550), in calculating his history of the Christian Church, took this day as the supposed date of the Annunciation. March 25th afterward became the first day of the calendar year, until the Gregorian Calendar Reform of 1753 changed the day to January 1st.

In 1634, The Catholic Church gained a foothold in colonial America when the ships "Dove" and "Ark" arrived in Maryland with 128 Catholic colonists, selected by Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore. The colony was under the leadership of Leonard Calvert, Lord Baltimore's brother. They named their community the Town of Saint Mary.

In 1776, The Continental Congress authorized a medal for General George Washington.

In 1807, the first railway passenger service begins in England.

In 1807, Britain abolishes the African slave trade.

In 1821, Greece gained independence from Turkey.

In 1863, the first Army Medal of Honor was awarded.

In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an "army" of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., to demand help from the federal government.

In 1896, The Modern Olympic Games begin in Athens Greece

In 1901, The Mercedes is introduced by Daimler at the five-day "Week of Nice" in Nice, France.

In 1911, in a tragedy that galvanized America's labor movement, 146 immigrant workers, almost all teenage girls and young women, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York.

In 1913, the home of vaudeville, the Palace Theatre, opened in New York City.

In 1915, The first submarine disaster in history occurs when a U.S. F-4 sinks off the Hawaiian coast. Twenty-one people are killed.

In 1947, a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Ill., claimed 111 lives.

In 1954, RCA announced it had begun producing color television sets at its plant in Bloomington, Ind. (The sets, with 12 1/2-inch picture tubes, cost $1,000 each.)

In 1954, at the Academy Awards, "From Here to Eternity" won eight Oscars, including best picture, best director (Fred Zinnemann), best supporting actor (Frank Sinatra) and best supporting actress (Donna Reed). Audrey Hepburn won best actress for "Roman Holiday" and William Holden best actor for "Stalag 17."

In 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.

In 1966, The United States Supreme Court rules that the "poll tax," a tax that is levied on an individual as a prerequisite for voting, is unconstitutional.

In 1968, The 58th and final episode of "The Monkees" TV show was aired.

In 1970, The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.

In 1972, The final episode of "Bewitched" was aired on ABC.

In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded the following June.)

In 1977, The final episode of "Sanford and Son" was aired.

In 1978, the oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil.

In 1982, Wayne Gretzky becomes the first player in NHL history to score 200 points in a season.

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Air Force could ban the wearing of yarmulkes by Jewish military personnel in uniform.

In 1988, Robert Chambers Jr. pleads guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18 year-old Jennifer Levin in what came to be known as the "preppy murder case."

In 1989, In Paris, the Louvre reopened with I.M. Pei's new courtyard pyramid.

In 1990, A fire in Happy Land, an illegal New York City social club, killed 87 people.

In 1990, Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

In 1991, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein launched a major counter-offensive to recapture key towns from Kurds in northern Iraq.

In 1992, Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who'd spent ten months aboard the orbiting "Mir" space station, thereby missing the upheaval in his homeland, finally returned to earth. He had originally been scheduled for a five-month mission, but to cut costs his superiors scrapped another flight and doubled his time. He was amazed upon returning that the Soviet Union no longer existed.

In 1995, Boxer Mike Tyson was released from jail after serving 3 years.

In 1996, An 81-day standoff by the antigovernment Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, MT.

In 1996, The U.S. issued a newly redesigned $100 bill for circulation.

In 1997, Former President George H. W. Bush parachuted from a plane over the Arizona desert. He was 73 years old at the time.

In 1998, A cancer patient was the first known to die under Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law.

In 1998, The FCC nets $578.6 million at auction for licenses for new wireless technology.

In 1998, Quinn Pletcher was found guilty on charges of extortion. He had threatened to kill Bill Gates unless he was paid $5 million.

In 2002, An earthquake that registered 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. At least 1,800 people were killed and 2,000 injured.

In 2002, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed complaints against Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network broadcast of a Victoria's Secret fashion show in November 2001.

Ten years ago (1994):

American troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia.

The Senate approved a $1.51 trillion budget.

Five years ago (1999):

NATO aircraft and missiles blasted targets in Yugoslavia for a second night, directing much of their fire on Kosovo, where fighting raged between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

Alexei Yagudin won the men's title for the second time at the World Figure Skating Championships held in Helsinki, Finland.

One year ago (2003):

The Senate voted to slash President Bush's proposed $726 billion tax-cutting package in half, handing the president a defeat on the foundation of his plan to awaken the nation's slumbering economy.

Former Waterbury, Conn., Mayor Philip Giordano was convicted by a federal jury of violating the civil rights of two preteen girls by sexually abusing them. (Giordano was later sentenced to 37 years in federal prison.)


Today's Birthdays:

Modeling agency founder Eileen Ford is 82.

Former astronaut James Lovell is 76.

Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 72.

Feminist author Gloria Steinem is 70.

Singer Anita Bryant is 64.

Singer Aretha Franklin is 62.

Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 61.

Puppeteer, Movie Director, Actor Frank Oz (Oznowicz) is 60.

Singer Elton John is 57.

Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 56.

Singer Nick Lowe is 55.

Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 51.

Actor James McDaniel is 46.

Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 43.

Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 40.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 39.

Singer-musician Jeff Healey is 38.

Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas is 37.

Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 29.


Thought for Today:

"Uninterpreted truth is as useless as buried gold." -

- Lytton Strachey, English biographer (1880-1932).