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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

This day in history

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[March 04, 2009]  (AP)  Today is Wednesday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2009. There are 302 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)

On this date:

In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

In 1809, James Madison was sworn into office as the fourth president of the United States. (The occasion marked the first time an inaugural ball was held the evening after the swearing-in.)

In 1858, Sen. James Henry Hammond, D-S.C., declared "Cotton is king" in a speech to the U.S. Senate.

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States.


In 1908, a fire at Lake View School in Collinwood, Ohio, claimed the lives of 172 children and three adults.

In 1909, William Howard Taft took the oath of office as the 27th president of the United Sates.

In 1929, Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the 31st president of the United States.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America's 32nd president.

In 1977, some 1,500 people were killed in an earthquake that shook southern and eastern Europe.

In 1989, Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced plans for a huge media merger.

Ten years ago: Outraging Italian authorities, a military jury in North Carolina cleared a Marine pilot of charges he was flying recklessly when his jet sliced through a ski gondola cable in the Alps, sending 20 people plunging to their deaths. Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, died in Arlington, Va., at age 90.

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Five years ago: Mounir el Motassadeq, convicted in Germany in connection with the 9/11 attacks, won a retrial from an appeals court. (El Motassadeq was later convicted of helping three of the suicide hijackers and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the maximum possible under German law.)

One year ago: Republican John McCain clinched his party's presidential nomination. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton won primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, while Barack Obama prevailed in Vermont. Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre retired after 17 seasons, saying he was "tired." (Favre later made a comeback with the New York Jets before retiring again.) Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax died in Lake Geneva, Wis., at age 69.

Today's birthdays: Actress Paula Prentiss is 71. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 68. Singer Bobby Womack is 65. Rock musician Chris Squire (Yes) is 61. Singer Shakin' Stevens is 61. Singer Chris Rea is 58. Actor Ronn Moss is 57. Actress Kay Lenz is 56. Musician Emilio Estefan is 56. Movie director Scott Hicks is 56. Actress Catherine O'Hara is 55. Actress Patricia Heaton is 51. Actor Steven Weber is 48. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 46. Actress Stacy Edwards is 44. Rapper Grand Puba is 43. Rock musician Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) is 43. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 42. Actress Patsy Kensit is 41. Chastity Bono is 40. Actor Nick Stabile is 39. Rock musician Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 38. Country singer Jason Sellers is 38. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 32. TV personality Whitney Port is 24. Actress Andrea Bowen ("Desperate Housewives") is 19. Actress Jenna Boyd is 16.

Thought for today: "When a man gets up to speak, people listen, then look. When a woman gets up, people look; then, if they like what they see, they listen." -- Pauline Frederick, American broadcast journalist (1908-1990)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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