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Today in History

Friday, March 30, 2012

Today is Friday, March 30, the 90th day of 2012. There are 276 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured in an assassination attempt outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Wounded along with Reagan were his press secretary, James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.

On this date:

In 1135, the Jewish philosopher Maimonides was born in Cordoba in present-day Spain.

In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. Texas was readmitted to the Union.

In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.

In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.

In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II.

In 1959, a narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartkus v. Illinois, ruled that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime did not constitute double jeopardy.

In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall. The original version of the TV game show "Jeopardy!," hosted by Art Fleming, premiered on NBC.

In 1972, North Vietnamese forces launched their three-pronged Easter Offensive against South Vietnam; the fighting lasted until the following October.

In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm in Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86.

In 1991, Patricia Bowman of Jupiter, Fla., told authorities she'd been raped hours earlier by William Kennedy Smith, the nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, at the family's Palm Beach estate. (Smith was acquitted at trial.)

Ten years ago: Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth died in her sleep at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old. The United States joined other U.N. Security Council members in adopting a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw its troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, where Yasser Arafat's headquarters was under siege.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he apologized to troops face to face for shoddy conditions in outpatient housing. The Food and Drug Administration said it had found melamine, a chemical used to make plastics, in samples of Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient in the wet-style products.

One year ago: A top Libyan official, Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, defected to Britain, dealing a blow to leader Moammar Gadhafi. Tilikum, the killer whale that drowned trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., resumed performing for the first time since the woman's death.

Today's Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 86. Actor Richard Dysart is 83. Actor John Astin is 82. Entertainer Rolf Harris (song: "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport") is 82. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 75. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 71. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 67. Actor Justin Deas (TV: "Guiding Light") is 64. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 62. Actor Paul Reiser is 55. Rap artist MC Hammer is 49. Singer Tracy Chapman is 48. Actor Ian Ziering is 48. Singer Celine Dion is 44. Actor Mark Consuelos is 41. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 37. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 36. Singer Norah Jones is 33. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 32. Actress Katy Mixon is 31. Country singer Justin Moore is 28.

Thought for Today: "It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well." -- Rene Descartes, French philosopher (1596-1650).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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