Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 30, 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 ridiculed by critics as “Seward’s Folly.”
On this date:
In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.
In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.
In 1945, during World War II, the Soviet Union invaded Austria with the goal of taking Vienna, which it accomplished two weeks later.
In 1970, Triple Crown winner Secretariat was born at The Meadow near Doswell, Virginia.
In 1975, as the Vietnam War neared its end, Communist forces occupied the city of Da Nang.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John W. Hinckley, Jr.; also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a District of Columbia police officer, Thomas Delahanty.
In 1991, Patricia Bowman of Jupiter, Florida, 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.)
In 1999, Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH’-dahn mee-LOH’-shuh-vich) 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.
In 2002, Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth died at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.
In 2004, 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 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In 2006, American reporter Jill Carroll, a freelancer for The Christian Science Monitor, was released after 82 days as a hostage in Iraq.
In 2017, a massive fire caused an interstate bridge to collapse during rush hour in Atlanta; no one was hurt. North Carolina rolled back its “bathroom bill” in a bid to end a yearlong backlash over transgender rights that had cost the state dearly in business projects, conventions and basketball tournaments. At Cape Canaveral, SpaceX successfully launched and then retrieved its first recycled rocket.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry, rejecting turnaround plans from General Motors and Chrysler and raising the prospect of controlled bankruptcy for either ailing auto giant. Federal food safety officials warned consumers to stop eating all foods containing pistachios while they figured out the source of a possible salmonella contamination. Gunmen attacked a police academy on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, killing at least 12 people.
Five years ago: Four hours of talks in Paris between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov failed to break a tense East-West deadlock over the crisis in Ukraine. Actress Kate O’Mara, 74, best known for her role in the 1980s soap opera “Dynasty,” died in southern England.
One year ago: The widow of the gunman who slaughtered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was acquitted on charges that she had helped plot the attack and had lied to the FBI afterward. Thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s border with Israel and Palestinian health officials said 15 of the protesters were killed by Israeli fire on the first day of what Hamas organizers said would be six weeks of daily protests against a border blockade; it was the area’s deadliest violence in four years.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 93. Actor John Astin is 89. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 82. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 78. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 74. Actor Justin Deas is 71. Actor Paul Reiser is 63. Rap artist MC Hammer is 57. Singer Tracy Chapman is 55. Actor Ian Ziering (EYE’-an ZEER’-ing) is 55. TV personality Piers Morgan is 54. Rock musician Joey Castillo is 53. Actress Donna D’Errico is 51. Singer Celine Dion is 51. TV personality/producer Richard Rawlings is 50. Actor Mark Consuelos is 48. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 44. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 43. Singer Norah Jones is 40. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 39. Actress Katy Mixon is 38. Actor Jason Dohring is 37. Country singer Justin Moore is 35. Actress Tessa Ferrer is 33. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 29. Rapper NF is 28.
Thought for Today: “We do not talk — we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.” — Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).
By The Associated Press