Today in History
Today is Tuesday, March 29, the 89th day of 2016. There are 277 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On March 29, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. (They were executed in June 1953.) The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” opened on Broadway.
On this date:
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, Virginia.
In 1812, the first White House wedding took place as Lucy Payne Washington, the sister of first lady Dolley Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.
In 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, his doomed expedition stranded in an Antarctic blizzard after failing to be the first to reach the South Pole, wrote the last words of his journal: “For Gods sake look after our people.”
In 1936, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler claimed overwhelming victory in a plebiscite on his policies.
In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began.
In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time, although the network aired a repeat the following night. (Johnny Carson debuted as host the following October.)
In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai (mee ly) massacre. (Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest.) A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were later commuted.)
In 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
In 1974, eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on federal charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The charges were later dismissed.) Chinese farmers digging a well discovered the Terracota Warriors, an “army” of sculpted soldiers dating from the third century B.C.
In 1984, under cover of early morning darkness, the Baltimore Colts football team left its home city of three decades and moved to Indianapolis.
In 1992, Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledged experimenting with marijuana “a time or two” while attending Oxford University, adding, “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again.”
Ten years ago: Hamas formally took over the Palestinian government, with Ismail Haniyeh (IHS’-may-el hah-NEE’-yuh) sworn in as the new prime minister. The U.N. Security Council demanded that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, the first time the body directly urged Tehran to clear up suspicions that it was seeking nuclear weapons. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, accused of war crimes, was flown to Sierra Leone after he was captured in northern Nigeria. (Taylor received a 50-year sentence in 2012 for sponsoring atrocities committed by the Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone in exchange for “blood diamonds.”)
Five years ago: Gunmen held an Iraqi government center in Tikrit (tih-KREET’) hostage in a grisly siege that ended with the deaths of at least 56 people, including three councilmen, plus the attackers, who blew themselves up. A seriously ill 73-year-old British woman was accidentally dropped into the bitterly cold Norwegian Sea as rescue workers took her off the cruise ship Ocean Countess (Janet Richardson later died at a hospital).
One year ago: A two-day Arab summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, ended with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force.
Today’s Birthdays: Political commentator John McLaughlin is 89. Author Judith Guest is 80. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 73. Comedian Eric Idle is 73. Composer Vangelis is 73. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 71. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 69. Actor Bud Cort is 68. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 61. Actor Christopher Lawford is 61. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 61. Actress Marina Sirtis is 61. International Gymnastics Hall of Famer Kurt Thomas is 60. Actor Christopher Lambert is 59. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 57. Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 55. Model Elle Macpherson is 53. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (mee-SHEHL’ ah-zah-nah-VEE’-see-oos) is 49. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 49. Actress Lucy Lawless is 48. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 48. Country singer Brady Seals is 47. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is 45. CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is 45. Actor Sam Hazeldine is 44. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati is 40. Actor Chris D’Elia is 36. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 28.
Thought for Today: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” — William G.T. Shedd, American theologian (1820-1894).