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Saturday, March 29

March 22, 2014

Today is Saturday, March 29, the 88th day of 2014. There are 277 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1801 - Britain seizes Danish and Swedish islands in West Indies.

1812 - The first White House wedding takes place when First Lady Dolly Madison’s sister Lucy Payne Washington marries Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.

1814 - Jews get equal rights in Denmark.

1830 - Spain’s King Ferdinand VII passes law allowing females to be heirs to throne.

1847 - Victorious American forces led by General Winfield Scott occupy the city of Veracruz after Mexican defenders capitulate.

1848 - Denmark’s three-year war with Prussia starts. Danes are defeated and lose a large chunk of the southern Jutland peninsula.

1849 - Britain annexes Punjab in India by treaty with Maharajah of Lahore.

1864 - Ionian Islands are ceded by Britain to Greece.

1867 - British Parliament passes the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

1901 - Australia’s first federal elections are held, with Labor Party winning power.

1943 - Rationing of meat, butter and cheese in United States begins during World War II.

1946 - New constitution goes into effect in the British Gold Coast colony — now Ghana — becoming first British African colony with majority of Africans in legislature.

1951 - Chinese government rejects U.S. offer for truce discussions in Korea; Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage by U.S. court and are executed in June 1953.

1961 - Washington D.C. residents win the right the vote in U.S. presidential elections.

1967 - France launches its first nuclear submarine.

1971 - U.S. Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. is convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. He spends three years under house arrest.

1972 - Government of Bolivia orders 119 members of Soviet Embassy staff to leave country accusing embassy of financing leftist rebel movements.

1973 - Last American troops leave South Vietnam, ending direct military role of United States in Vietnam war.

1974 - Eight Ohio National Guardsmen are indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. They are later acquitted.

1988 - A bomb planted in a jeep kills at least four Soviet soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

1989 - Two Czechoslovak teenagers hijack a Hungarian airliner from Prague to Frankfurt in attempt to reach United States.

1990 - Prime Minister Bob Hawke claims victory in Australian election, becoming first Labor winner of four consecutive terms.

1992 - Snipers kill three people and refugees flood out of towns in violence-torn Bosnia.

1993 - More than 2,300 refugees take advantage of a cease-fire and a rare relief convoy to flee the cold and hunger of Srebrenica, Bosnia.

1994 - Serbs and Croats sign a cease-fire to end the war between them in Croatia.

1995 - Thousands of Rwandan refugees fleeing violence in Burundi begin a two-day trek toward Tanzania.

1996 - In Rio De Janeiro, prison inmates put liquid gas canisters around 20 hostages and threaten to explode them unless officials provide guns and getaway cars.

1997 - A boat carrying dozens of Albanians seeking refuge in Italy strikes an Italian navy ship and sinks in Adriatic waters. A total of 52 bodies are recovered after the ship is hauled up from seabed in October.

1999 - Ousted president of Paraguay, Raul Cubas, leaves for political asylum in Brazil after the assassination of his vice president the week before sparked violent protests.

2001 - Soldiers from Uruguay become the first armed U.N. troops to set up camp in Congo in an effort to end the 2 1/2-year civil war.

2002 - Israeli forces storm Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s compound and West Bank cities after two suicide attacks kill 26 people in Netanya.

2003 - Recent collapse of three companies involved in pyramid schemes in the Philippines has cheated two million victims out of more than $2 billion they had collectively invested. Officials are calling it the largest pyramid fraud in the country’s history.

2004 - Two women set off bombs at a children’s store and bus stop in the Uzbek capital, capping 12 hours of mayhem that kill 19 people in this former Soviet republic. The violence, including two assaults on police and an explosion at a bomb-making hideaway, also marks the first outbreak of terrorism in this majority Muslim country since the secular government became a staunch U.S. ally after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

2005 - Iraq’s lawmakers fail to choose a parliament speaker in a session marked by shouting and finger-pointing, unveiling tensions that have left Iraq without a government two months after its historic elections.

2006 - Charles Taylor is flown to Sierra Leone, opening the way for the former Liberian president to become the first African head of state tried for war crimes by an international court.

2008 - Zimbabweans vote on whether to keep the ruler blamed by opponents for their country’s economic collapse, though President Robert Mugabe’s challengers claim the election was rigged even before the polls opened.

2009 - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir receives a red-carpet welcome in Qatar as he arrives to attend an Arab summit in his most brazen act of defiance against an international arrest warrant on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

2010 - Terror returns to the heart of Russia, with two deadly suicide bombings on the Moscow subway at rush hour. At least 38 people are killed and more than 60 wounded in the morning blasts, the first such attacks in Moscow in six years.

2011 - A sweeping array of world powers — from the United States to the United Nations, from the Arab League to NATO — speak from the same script in forcefully calling for Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi to step down.

2012 - Sunni Muslim rulers largely shun an Arab League summit hosted by Shiite-led Iraq, illustrating how powerfully the sectarian split and the rivalry with Iran define Middle Eastern politics in the era of the Arab Spring.

2013 - Pope Francis veers from the message of his predecessor and praises “the friendship of so many Muslim brothers” during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Today’s Birthdays:

Edna St. Vincent Millay, U.S. poet/dramatist (1892-1950); Pearl Bailey, U.S. entertainer (1918-1990); Giulietta Masina, Italian actress (1921-1994); Eric Idle, British actor/comedian of “Monty Python” (1943--); Elle Macpherson, Australian model (1963--); Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress (1968--); Amy Sedaris, U.S. comedian/actress/author (1961--).

Thought for Today:

“Personally I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (1874-1965)

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