Today's highlight in history:
On March 12, 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA had its beginnings as
Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the first American
troop of the Girl Guides, a movement which had originated in Britain
along with the Boy Scouts.
On this date:
In 1664, England's King Charles II granted an area of land in
present-day North America known as New Netherland to his brother
James, the Duke of York.
In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to the rank of
general-in-chief of the Union armies in the Civil War by President
In 1913, Canberra was officially designated the future capital of
In 1932, the so-called "Swedish Match King," Ivar Kreuger, was found
shot dead in his Paris apartment, an apparent suicide, leaving
behind a financial empire that turned out to be worthless.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his
30 radio "fireside chats," telling Americans what was being done to
deal with the nation's economic crisis.
In 1938, the Anschluss merging Austria with Nazi Germany took place
as German forces crossed the border between the two countries.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman established what became known as
the "Truman Doctrine" to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.
In 1951, "Dennis the Menace," created by cartoonist Hank Ketcham,
made its syndicated debut in 16 newspapers.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson won the New Hampshire
Democratic primary, but Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota placed a
strong second. The African island of Mauritius became independent of
British rule. (On this date in 1992, Mauritius became a republic.)
In 1971, Hafez Assad was confirmed as president of Syria in a
In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the
murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was sentenced to
death; he was executed in May 1994.)
In 1987, the musical play "Les Miserables" opened on Broadway.
Ten years ago: Houston homemaker Andrea Yates was convicted
of murder in the drowning deaths of her five children in the family
bathtub. (Yates was later retried and found not guilty by reason of
insanity.) Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge announced that America
was at yellow alert as he unveiled a color-coded system for terror
warnings. The U.N. Security Council approved a U.S.-sponsored
resolution endorsing a Palestinian state for the first time. The
space shuttle Columbia returned to Earth, ending the Hubble Space
Telescope repair mission. Martin Buser captured his fourth victory
in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
[to top of second column]
Five years ago: President George W. Bush promoted free trade
as a salve to Latin America's woes as he spoke out against poverty
during a visit to Guatemala; the president then traveled to Mexico.
Masked Palestinians kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston at gunpoint
in Gaza City. (He was released several months later.) R.E.M. and Van
Halen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
One year ago: Fifteen passengers were killed when a tour bus
returning from a Connecticut casino scraped along a guard rail on
the outskirts of New York City, tipped on its side and slammed into
a pole that sheared it nearly end to end. (The driver faces charges
of manslaughter and reckless driving.) A Cuban court found U.S.
contractor Alan Gross guilty of bringing satellite phones and other
communication equipment to Cuba illegally while working on a USAID-funded
democracy-building program and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
The Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly
zone to protect Libyan rebels. Legendary American jazz drummer Joe
Morello, 82, a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, died in
Today's birthdays: Playwright Edward Albee is 84. Former
Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is 80. Actress Barbara Feldon is 79.
Broadcast journalist Lloyd Dobyns is 76. Singer Al Jarreau is 72.
Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 66. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney is 65. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 64. Sen. Kent
Conrad, D-N.D., is 64. Rock singer-musician Bill Payne (Little Feat)
is 63. Actor Jon Provost ("Lassie") is 62. Author Carl Hiaasen (HY'-ah-sihn)
is 59. Rock musician Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) is 56. Actor Jerry
Levine is 55. Singer Marlon Jackson (The Jackson Five) is 55. Actor
Courtney B. Vance is 52. Actor Titus Welliver is 51. Former MLB
All-Star Darryl Strawberry is 50. Actress Julia Campbell is 49.
Actor Aaron Eckhart is 44. ABC News reporter Jake Tapper is 43. Rock
musician Graham Coxon is 43. Country musician Tommy Bales (Flynnville
Train) is 39. Country singer Holly Williams is 31. Actor Samm (cq)
Levine is 30. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones is 18. Actress Kendall
Applegate (TV: "Desperate Housewives") is 13.
Thought for today: "A proverb is a short sentence based on
long experience." -- Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist,
dramatist and poet (1547-1616)
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or