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 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, first used ether as an anesthetic during an operation to remove a patient’s neck tumor.
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 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish.
In 1975, as the Vietnam War neared its end, Communist forces occupied the city of Da Nang.
In 1987, at the 59th Academy Awards, “Platoon” was named best picture; Marlee Matlin received best actress for “Children of a Lesser God” and Paul Newman was honored as best actor for “The Color of Money.”
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.
In 2010, 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.
In 2015, 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. Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, would succeed Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.”
Ten years ago: A top Libyan official, Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, defected to Britain, dealing a blow to leader Moammar Gadhafi. Tilikum, the killer whale that had drowned trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, resumed performing for the first time since the woman’s death.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 61 drug offenders, including more than a third serving life sentences. A Hennepin County, Minnesota, prosecutor announced that two Minneapolis police officers involved in the Nov. 2015 fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a Black man, would not face criminal charges, a decision that drew outrage from community members.
One year ago: Florida authorities arrested a megachurch pastor after they said he held two Sunday services with hundreds in attendance in violation of coronavirus restrictions. (The charges were later dropped.) A Navy hospital ship arrived in New York City to help relieve the coronavirus crisis gripping the city’s hospitals. (President Donald Trump said a week later that he would allow coronavirus patients to be treated aboard the ship in addition to patients who did not have the virus.) Macy’s, Kohl’s and Gap Inc. all said they would stop paying tens of thousands of employees who were thrown out of work when the chains temporarily closed their stores because of the pandemic. Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that included “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” died at 81 in Los Angeles.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 95. Actor John Astin is 91. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 84. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 80.
Rock musician Eric Clapton is 76. Actor Justin Deas is 73. Actor Paul Reiser is 65. Rap artist MC Hammer is 59. Singer Tracy Chapman is 57. Actor Ian Ziering (EYE’-an ZEER’-ing) is 57. TV personality Piers Morgan is 56. Rock musician Joey Castillo is 55. Actor Donna D’Errico is 53. Singer Celine Dion is 53. TV personality/producer Richard Rawlings is 52. Actor Mark Consuelos is 50. Actor Bahar Soomekh is 46. Actor Jessica Cauffiel is 45. Singer Norah Jones is 42. Actor Fiona Gubelmann is 41. Actor Katy Mixon is 40. Actor Jason Dohring is 39. Country singer Justin Moore is 37. Actor Tessa Ferrer is 35. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 31. Rapper NF is 30.