Today in History
Today is Thursday, March 29, the 89th day of 2012. There are 277 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 29, 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, his expedition stranded in an Antarctic blizzard after failing to be the first to reach the South Pole, wrote in his journal, "We shall stick it out to the end but we are getting weaker of course and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more." Scott concluded with: "Last entry. For Gods sake look after our people." (Scott is presumed to have died shortly thereafter; his four companions also perished.)
On this date:
In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.
In 1790, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.
In 1792, Sweden's King Gustav III died, nearly two weeks after he had been shot and mortally wounded by assassins during a masquerade party.
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 1871, the Royal Albert Hall in London was opened by Queen Victoria.
In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.
In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began.
In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.) The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" opened on Broadway.
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 in Oct. 1962.)
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 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." More than a month after winning the Olympic gold medal in ladies figure skating, Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States won the world championship title in Oakland, Calif.
Ten years ago: Israeli troops stormed Yasser Arafat's headquarters complex in the West Bank in a raid that was launched in response to anti-Israeli attacks that had killed 30 people in three days.
Five years ago: A defiant, Democratic-controlled Senate approved legislation calling for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within a year. Veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker was sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq. West Virginia beat Clemson, 78-73, for its first NIT title in 65 years.
One year ago: Gunmen held an Iraqi government center in Tikrit 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).
Today's Birthdays: Political commentator John McLaughlin is 85. Author Judith Guest is 76. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 69. Comedian Eric Idle is 69. Composer Vangelis is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 67. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 65. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 57. Actor Christopher Lawford is 57. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 57. International Gymnastics Hall of Famer Kurt Thomas is 56. Actor Christopher Lambert is 55. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane's Addiction) is 53. Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 51. Model Elle Macpherson is 49. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (Film: "The Artist") is 45. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 45. Actress Lucy Lawless is 44. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 44. Country singer Brady Seals is 43. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is 41. Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 36. Actor Chris D'Elia (TV: "Whitney") is 32. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 24.
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).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.