Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 29, 2004, President George W. Bush welcomed seven former Soviet-bloc nations (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia) into NATO during a White House ceremony.
On this date:
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 1867, Britain’s Parliament passed, and Queen Victoria signed, the British North America Act creating the Dominion of Canada, which came into being the following July.
In 1941, 3rd NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Wisconsin beats Washington State, 39-34; Badgers’ forward John Kotz is named tournament Most Outstanding Player.
In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began, limiting consumers to store purchases of an average of about two pounds a week for beef, pork, lamb and mutton using a coupon system.
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 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 commuted when the California state Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.)
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 1984, under cover of early morning darkness, the Baltimore Colts football team left its home city of three decades and moved to Indianapolis.
In 2002, Israeli troops stormed Yasser Arafat’s headquarters complex in the West Bank in a raid that was launched in response to anti-Israeli attacks that had killed 30 people in three days.
In 2010, 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.
In 2020, country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s, died at 61 from what a spokesman said were complications from COVID-19.
Ten years ago: A divided House approved, 228-191, a $3.6 trillion Republican budget recasting Medicare and imposing sweeping cuts in domestic programs.
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd went on trial with prosecutors showing the jury video of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on the Black man’s neck for several minutes as onlookers yelled at him repeatedly to get off and Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breathe. (Chauvin would be convicted of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.) Salvage teams dislodged a huge container ship that had blocked the Suez Canal for six days. The Biden administration extended a federal moratorium on evictions of tenants who’d fallen behind on rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Guest is 86. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 79. Comedian Eric Idle is 79. Composer Vangelis is 79. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 77. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 75. Actor Bud Cort is 74. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 67. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 67. Actor Marina Sirtis is 67. Actor Christopher Lambert is 65.
Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 63. Comedian-actor Amy Sedaris is 61. Model Elle Macpherson is 59. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is 58. Actor Annabella Sciorra (shee-OR’-uh) is 58. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (mee-SHEHL’ ah-zah-nah-VEE’-see-oos) is 55. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 55. Actor Lucy Lawless is 54. Country singer Brady Seals is 53. Actor Sam Hazeldine is 50. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati is 46. Actor Chris D’Elia is 42. R&B singer PJ Morton is 41. Actor Megan Hilty is 41. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 34.