Today in History


Today is Wednesday, March 29, the 88th day of 2023. There are 277 days left in the year.

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 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: 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. A 16-story building that was about to be completed collapsed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 36 people, most of them laborers or bystanders.

Five years ago: Russia announced the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, and said it was closing a U.S. consulate in retaliation for Western expulsions of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain. Malala Yousafzai returned home to Pakistan for a four-day visit, the first by the 20-year-old Nobel laureate since she was shot by the Taliban five years earlier for speaking out in support of education of girls. The 2018 baseball season began with a home run from Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs on the season’s first pitch, while Giancarlo Stanton hit two homers in his debut with the New York Yankees.

One year ago: Russia announced it would significantly scale back military operations near Ukraine’s capital and a northern city, as the possibility of a deal to end the grinding war came into view. (The talks would not lead to a deal and the war would continue). President Joe Biden signed a bill into law making lynching a federal hate crime, more than 100 years after such legislation was first proposed. The Foo Fighters canceled all upcoming concert dates four days after the death of the band’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Guest is 87. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 80. Comedian Eric Idle is 80. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 78. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 76. Actor Bud Cort is 75. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 68. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 68. Actor Marina Sirtis is 68. Actor Christopher Lambert is 66. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) is 64. Comedian-actor Amy Sedaris is 62. Model Elle Macpherson is 60. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is 59. Actor Annabella Sciorra is 59. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (mee-SHEHL’ ah-zah-nah-VEE’-see-oos) is 56. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 56. Actor Lucy Lawless is 55. Country singer Brady Seals is 54. Actor Sam Hazeldine is 51. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati is 47. R&B singer PJ Morton is 42. Actor Megan Hilty is 42. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 35.

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