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Monday, March 30, 2009

This day in history

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[March 30, 2009]  (AP)  Today is Monday, March 30, the 89th day of 2009. There are 276 days left in the year.

HardwareToday's highlight in history:

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.

On this date:

In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation.

In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's Folly."

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving all citizens the right to vote regardless 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 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 violate the Constitution's protection against double jeopardy.

In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.

In 1979, Airey Neave, a leading member of the British Parliament, was killed in London by a bomb planted in his car by the Irish National Liberation Army.

In 2002, Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth died in her sleep at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.

Ten years ago: Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic insisted that NATO attacks stop before he moved toward peace, declaring his forces ready to fight "to the very end." NATO answered with new resolve to wreck his military with a relentless air assault. A jury in Portland, Ore., ordered Philip Morris to pay $81 million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking Marlboros for four decades. (The U.S. Supreme Court twice struck down the punitive damages part of the award, which was repeatedly upheld by Oregon courts; the high court agreed in June 2008 to review the judgment a third time.)

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Five years ago: In a reversal, President George W. Bush agreed to let National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice testify publicly and under oath before an independent panel investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. British-born American broadcaster Alistair Cooke died in New York at age 95.

One year ago: The Army said the remains of Sgt. Matt Maupin, captured in Iraq in 2004, had been found and identified. Chinese spectators cheered as Greece handed off the Olympic flame for its journey to Beijing and relay through 20 countries; but protesters brandishing Tibetan flags stole the limelight. President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Washington's new stadium, Nationals Park; the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, in the first regular-season game played at the park. Cambodian-born journalist Dith Pran, whose story became the subject of the award-winning film "The Killing Fields," died in New Brunswick, N.J., at age 65.

Today's birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 83. Actor Richard Dysart is 80. Actor John Astin is 79. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 72. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 68. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 64. Actor Justin Deas (TV: "Guiding Light") is 61. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 59. Actor Paul Reiser is 52. Rap artist MC Hammer is 46. Singer Tracy Chapman is 45. Actor Ian Ziering is 45. Singer Celine Dion is 41. Actor Mark Consuelos is 38. Disc jockey DJ AM is 36. Singer Norah Jones is 30.

Thought for today: "If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet." -- Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American Nobel Prize-winning author (1904-1991)

[Associated Press]

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

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