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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.


Today is Monday, March 29th

The 89th day of 2004

There are 277 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On March 29, 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.


On this date:

In 1139, Pope Innocent II grants the Templars 'every best gift' and makes them an independent unit within the Church

In 1626, the Plymouth Colony enacts forestry legislation requiring approval for the exportation of lumber.

In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1790, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1798, Republic of Switzerland formed.

In 1812, the first wedding was performed in the White House. Mrs. Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of President James Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Dodd.

In 1847, victorious forces led by General Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.

In 1848, Niagara Falls stops flowing for 30 hours due to an ice jam

In 1867, the British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

In 1867, Major league pitcher Denton True "Cy" Young was born in Gilmore, OH. During his 22 years in the major leagues he pitched in 906 games and won 511 (a record which still stands) and had three perfect "no-hit" games. He retired from baseball in 1911. In 1937 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He died in 1955. In his honor, the Cy Young Award for the best major league pitcher of the year was established in 1956; since 1967 the award has been given to the best pitcher in each league.

In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.

In 1886, the first batch of Coca Cola was brewed over a fire in a backyard in Atlanta, GA. Dr. John Pemberton created the concoction as a "hangover" cure and a stomach ache/headache remedy. He advertised it as a "brain tonic and intellectual beverage". Cocaine was an ingredient of Coke until 1904 when Congress banned it. It went on sale to the public on May eighth that year.

In 1903, A regular news service began between New York and London on Marconi's wireless.

In 1927, Major Henry O. de Hane becomes the first person to drive a car over 200 miles per hour.

In 1932, American comedian Jack Benny makes his radio debut.

In 1943, World War II meat, butter and cheese rationing began.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)

In 1961, The 23rd Amendment is ratified, giving residents of Washington, D.C. the right to vote in presidential elections.

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC's "Tonight" show for the final time.

In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. (Calley ended up spending three years under house arrest.)

In 1974, In Los Angeles, a jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers -- Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie Van Houten -- for the August 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. Their sentences were later commuted to life in prison when the state's death penalty of the day was ruled unconstitutional.

In 1974, eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The guardsmen were later acquitted.)

In 1974, The Mariner 10 spacecraft, launched by NASA in November, is the first spacecraft to visit Mercury and take close-up pictures of the planet.

In 1979, The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.

In 1984, The 100th episode of "Knots Landing" aired.

In 1988, leaders of the Assemblies of God ordered Rev. Jimmy Swaggart to stop preaching for at least a year because of "moral failure."

In 1991, Former President Ronald Reagan reverses his position by coming out in favor of seven day waiting periods for purchases of handguns.

In 1992, Bill Clinton said "I didn't inhale" in reference to when he had used marijuana.

In 1993, The South Korean government agreed to pay financial support to women who had been forced to have sex with Japanese troops during World War II.

In 1996, the House Ethics Committee said Speaker Newt Gingrich violated House rules by having close dealings with a wealthy GOP giver who had business interests affected by congressional legislation. It was the third time in two months the panel had notified Gingrich that he'd broken the rules.

In 2000, Cuba's Fidel Castro announced that the father of 6-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez was ready to fly to the United States to take custody of his son.

In 2334, Dr. Beverley Crusher (Star Fleet - USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D/E) will be born in Copernicus Luna.

In 2336, Ship Counsellor Deanna Troi (Star Fleet - USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D/E) will be born on Betazed.

Ten years ago (1994):

Mexico's ruling party picked Ernesto Zedillo to be its new presidential candidate, replacing the assassinated Luis Donaldo Colosio.

Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson resigned, capping a longstanding feud with team owner Jerry Jones.

Five years ago (1999):

NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia continued for a sixth night.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time, ending the day at 10,006.78.

Connecticut beat top-ranked Duke, 77-74, for its first NCAA basketball championship.

Legendary jazz singer Joe Williams died in Las Vegas at age 80.

One year ago (2003):

In Iraq, a bomber posing as a taxi driver blew up his vehicle, killing himself and four American soldiers

A Turkish man who had hijacked a Turkish Airlines flight the day before was persuaded by Turkey's prime minister to release his 204 hostages after the plane landed in Athens, Greece.

Michelle Kwan became only the third American to win five World Figure Skating Championships, after Dick Button and Carol Heiss.


Today's Birthdays:

Former U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy is 88.

Political commentator John McLaughlin is 77.

Former British Prime Minister John Major is 61.

Comedian Eric Idle is 61.

Composer Vangelis is 61.

Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 57.

Actor Bud Cort is 54.

Actor Chris Lawford is 49.

Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 48.

Actor Christopher Lambert is 47.

Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane's Addiction) is 45.

Actress Kelly LeBrock is 44.

Model Elle Macpherson is 41.

Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 37.

Actress Lucy Lawless (Xena) is 36.

Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 36.

Country singer Brady Seals is 35.

Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 28.


Thought for Today:

"Materialists and madmen never have doubts." -

- G.K. Chesterton, English author (1874-1936).