Today’s Highlights in History:
On March 29, 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the 1968 My Lai (mee ly) massacre. (Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest.) A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were later commuted.)
On this date:
In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.
In 1812, the first White House wedding took place as Lucy Payne Washington, the sister of first lady Dolley Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered plans for a relief expedition to sail to South Carolina’s Fort Sumter, which was still in the hands of Union forces despite repeated demands by the Confederacy that it be turned over.
In 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, with his doomed expedition stranded in an Antarctic blizzard after failing to be the first to reach the South Pole, wrote the last words of his journal: “For Gods sake look after our people.”
In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. (They were executed in June 1953.)
In 1951, The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” opened on Broadway.
In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time. (Johnny Carson debuted as host the following October.)
In 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
In 1974, eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on federal charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The charges were later dismissed.)
In 2003, in Iraq, a bomber posing as a taxi driver blew up his vehicle, killing himself and four American soldiers. A Turkish man who’d hijacked a Turkish Airlines flight the day before was persuaded by Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), to release his 204 hostages after the plane landed in Athens, Greece.
In 2009, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner resigned under White House pressure. A gunman killed seven residents of the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carthage, N.C., along with a nurse. (Robert Kenneth Stewart was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges and sentenced to more than 140 years in prison.)
In 2017, Britain filed for divorce from the European Union as Prime Minister Theresa May sent a six-page letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk. Two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced to prison for creating a colossal traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge for political revenge, a scandal that sank Christie’s White House hopes.
Ten years ago: Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in twin attacks on Moscow subway stations jam-packed with rush-hour passengers, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 100. Pop star Ricky Martin confirmed he was gay in bilingual online posts.
Five years ago: A two-day Arab summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, ended with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force.
One year ago: A federal judge found that President Donald Trump had exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean; the ruling blocked oil and gas development off Alaska and in parts of the Atlantic. As they were honored along with five all-male British bands with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson offered support and encouragement for other female artists. President Donald Trump threatened to shut down America’s border with Mexico unless Mexican authorities immediately halted all illegal immigration. (Trump later eased off of that threat.) Lyft shares soared as the ride-hailing company went public; the stock opened 21 percent higher than its initial offering price and closed with a gain of 8.7 percent.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Guest is 84. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 77. Comedian Eric Idle is 77. Composer Vangelis is 77. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 75. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 73. Actor Bud Cort is 72. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 65. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 65. Actress Marina Sirtis is 65. International Gymnastics Hall of Famer Kurt Thomas is 64. Actor Christopher Lambert is 63. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 61. Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 59. Model Elle Macpherson is 57. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is 56. Actress Annabella Sciorra (shee-OR’-uh) is 56. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (mee-SHEHL’ ah-zah-nah-VEE’-see-oos) is 53. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 53. Actress Lucy Lawless is 52. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 52. Country singer Brady Seals is 51. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is 49. CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is 49. Actor Sam Hazeldine is 48. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati is 44. Actor Chris D’Elia is 40. Rhythm and blues singer PJ Morton is 39. Actress Megan Hilty is 39. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 32.
Thought for Today: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” — William G.T. Shedd, American theologian (1820-1894).