Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 30, 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.
On this date:
In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.
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 ridiculed by critics as “Seward’s Folly.”
In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.
In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.
In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall. The original version of the TV game show “Jeopardy!,” hosted by Art Fleming, premiered on NBC.
In 1975, as the Vietnam War neared its end, Communist forces occupied the city of Da Nang.
In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm in Stanfordville, New York, at age 86.
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 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 2009, 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.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama signed a single measure sealing his health care overhaul and making the government the primary lender to students by cutting banks out of the process. The world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, threw together minuscule particles racing at unheard of speeds in conditions simulating those just after the Big Bang. Math teacher Jaime Escalante, who inspired the movie “Stand and Deliver,” died in Roseville, California, at age 79. Morris Jeppson, a weapons test officer aboard the Enola Gay who helped arm the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, died in a Las Vegas hospital at age 87.
Five years ago: German officials confirmed that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was once diagnosed with suicidal tendencies and received lengthy psychotherapy before receiving his pilot’s license; they believed Lubitz deliberately smashed his Airbus A320 into the French Alps, killing 150 people. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted of unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter in his retrial on corruption charges. Two men dressed as women and driving a stolen SUV ignored officers’ orders at the gate to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland; police fired on the SUV, which then rammed into a police vehicle. One man was killed. Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, would succeed Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.”
One year ago: The Rolling Stones announced that they would be postponing their latest tour so that Mick Jagger could receive medical treatment. Texas Tech reached the Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament for the first time in the school’s history, defeating Gonzaga 75-69 in the West Regional final; Virginia advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1984 by beating Purdue 80-75 in overtime.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 94. Actor John Astin is 90. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 83. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 79. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 75. Actor Justin Deas is 72. Actor Paul Reiser is 64. Rap artist MC Hammer is 58. Singer Tracy Chapman is 56. Actor Ian Ziering (EYE’-an ZEER’-ing) is 56. TV personality Piers Morgan is 55. Rock musician Joey Castillo is 54. Actress Donna D’Errico is 52. Singer Celine Dion is 52. TV personality/producer Richard Rawlings is 51. Actor Mark Consuelos is 49. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 45. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 44. Singer Norah Jones is 41. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 40. Actress Katy Mixon is 39. Actor Jason Dohring is 38. Country singer Justin Moore is 36. Actress Tessa Ferrer is 34. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 30. Rapper NF is 29.
Thought for Today: “We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.” — Eric Hoffer, American philosopher (1898-1983).