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 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 1959, a narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartkus v. Illinois, ruled that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime did not constitute double jeopardy.
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 1988, the film “Beetlejuice” was released in theaters.
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, Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, would succeed Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.”
In 2020, 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.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama said he was plowing ahead with potential sanctions against countries that kept buying oil from Iran, including allies of the United States, in a deepening campaign to starve Tehran of money for its disputed nuclear program. Anthony Davis became the first Kentucky basketball player and second freshman to be selected The Associated Press’ Player of the Year.
Five years ago: 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; the measure had required that transgender people use public restrooms that corresponded to the sex on their birth certificate. At Cape Canaveral, SpaceX successfully launched and then retrieved its first recycled rocket. Twitter said it was easing its 140-character limit in replies.
One year ago: G. Gordon Liddy, a mastermind of the Watergate burglary and a radio talk show host after emerging from prison, died at age 90 at his daughter’s home in Virginia. NFL team owners agreed to increase the regular season to 17 games and reduce the preseason to three games.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 96. Actor John Astin is 92. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 85. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 77. Actor Justin Deas is 74. Actor Paul Reiser is 66.
Rap artist MC Hammer is 60. Singer Tracy Chapman is 58. Actor Ian Ziering (EYE’-an ZEER’-ing) is 58. TV personality Piers Morgan is 57. Rock musician Joey Castillo is 56. Actor Donna D’Errico is 54. Singer Celine Dion is 54. TV personality/producer Richard Rawlings is 53. Actor Mark Consuelos is 51. Actor Bahar Soomekh is 47. Actor Jessica Cauffiel is 46. Singer Norah Jones is 43. Actor Fiona Gubelmann is 42. Actor Katy Mixon is 41. Actor Jason Dohring is 40. Country singer Justin Moore is 38. Actor Tessa Ferrer is 36. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 32. Rapper NF is 31.