Today is Tuesday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2014. There are 302 days left in the year.
On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)
On this date:
In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States. The U.S. Government Printing Office began operation. The Confederate States of America adopted as its flag the original version of the Stars and Bars.
In 1863, the Idaho Territory was created.
In 1913, the “Buffalo nickel” officially went into circulation.
In 1930, Coolidge Dam in Arizona was dedicated by its namesake, former President Calvin Coolidge.
In 1944, mobsters Louis Capone, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter and Emanuel Weiss were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y., for the murder of business owner Joseph Rosen.
In 1952, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, Calif.
In 1964, Teamsters president James Hoffa and three co-defendants were found guilty by a federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., of jury tampering.
In 1974, the first issue of People magazine, then called People Weekly, was published by Time-Life Inc.; on the cover was actress Mia Farrow, then co-starring in “The Great Gatsby.”
In 1989, Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced plans for a huge media merger.
In 1994, in New York, four extremists were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured more than a thousand. Actor-comedian John Candy died in Durango, Mexico, at age 43.
In 1999, Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, died in Arlington, Va., at age 90.
Ten years ago: Mounir el Motassadeq, convicted in Germany in connection with the 9/11 attacks, won a retrial from an appeals court. (El Motassadeq was later convicted of helping three of the suicide hijackers and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the maximum possible under German law.)
Five years ago: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, addressing a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, called on Americans to look beyond their own tumbling financial markets to see a world gripped by an “economic hurricane” that could be turned around with U.S. help. Playwright Horton Foote, who’d won an Oscar for his screen adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died in Hartford, Conn. at age 92.
One year ago: Cardinals from around the world gathered inside the Vatican for their first round of meetings before the conclave to elect the next pope, following the retirement of Benedict XVI. Kenya’s presidential election drew millions of eager voters, but the balloting was marred by deadly violence. (Uhuru Kenyatta beat seven other presidential candidates with 50.07 percent of the vote.) Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis headed the 2013 class for the International Tennis Hall of Fame; also named were Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac. (Australian player Thelma Coyne Long’s election was announced earlier.)
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