Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 29, the 88th day of 2014. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On March 29, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)

On this date:

In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1790, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1812, the first White House wedding took place as Lucy Payne Washington, the sister of first lady Dolley Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.

In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.

In 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, his doomed expedition stranded in an Antarctic blizzard after failing to be the first to reach the South Pole, wrote the last words of his journal: “For Gods sake look after our people.”

In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began.

In 1951, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” opened on Broadway.

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time, although the network aired a repeat the following night. (Johnny Carson debuted as host the following October.)

In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai 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 later commuted.)

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.) Chinese farmers digging a well discovered the Terracota Warriors, an “army” of sculpted soldiers dating from the third century B.C.

In 1989, at the Academy Awards, “Rain Man” won best picture, best director for Barry Levinson and best actor for Dustin Hoffman; Jodie Foster won best actress for “The Accused.” (This was the Oscars ceremony that featured the notorious opening number with Rob Lowe and “Snow White.”)

Ten years ago: 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. In a stinging rebuke, Secretary-General Kofi Annan fired one top U.N. official and demoted another for security failures leading to the August bombing of the U.N.’s Baghdad headquarters that killed 22 people. At least 19 people were killed in a wave of terrorist violence in Uzbekistan.

Five years ago: General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner resigned under White House pressure. A gunman killed seven residents of the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carthage, N.C., along with a nurse. (Robert Kenneth Stewart was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges and sentenced to between roughly 141 and 177 years in prison.) A stampede at a World Cup qualifying soccer match in the Ivory Coast killed 22 people. Actor Andy Hallett, 33, who’d played good-guy demon Lorne in the TV series “Angel,” died in Los Angeles of heart disease.

One year ago: President Barack Obama promoted a plan to create construction and other jobs by attracting private money to help rebuild roads, bridges and other public works projects during a visit to a Miami port that was undergoing $2 billion in upgrades paid for with government and private dollars.

Associated Press

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