Today in History

Today is Monday, March 30, the 89th day of 2015. There are 276 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 30, 1945, during World War II, the Soviet Union invaded Austria with the goal of taking Vienna, which it accomplished two weeks later.

On this date:

In 1135, the Jewish philosopher Maimonides was born in Cordoba in present-day Spain.

In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.

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. Texas was readmitted to the Union.

In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.

In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.

In 1955, “On the Waterfront” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1954, while its star, Marlon Brando won best actor; in what was regarded as an upset, Grace Kelly won best actress for “The Country Girl,” beating out Judy Garland for “A Star Is Born.”

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 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall. The original version of the TV game show “Jeopardy!,” hosted by Art Fleming, premiered on NBC.

In 1975, as the Vietnam War neared its end, Communist forces occupied the city of Da Nang. James Ruppert, 41, killed 11 members of his family at his mother’s home in Hamilton, Ohio, on Easter Sunday.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded outside a Washington D.C. hotel by assailant John W. Hinckley Jr.

In 2002, Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth died at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.

Ten years ago: Under heavy protection, U.S. first lady Laura Bush visited the capital of Afghanistan, where she talked with Afghan women freed from Taliban repression and urged greater rights. The Supreme Court ruled that federal law allowed people 40 and over to file age bias claims over salary and hiring even if employers never intended any harm. Fred Korematsu, who’d challenged the World War II internment policy that sent Japanese-Americans to detention camps, died in Larkspur, California, at age 86.

Five years ago: 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. The world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, threw together minuscule particles racing at unheard of speeds in conditions simulating those just after the Big Bang. Math teacher Jaime Escalante, who inspired the movie “Stand and Deliver,” died in Roseville, California, at age 79. Morris Jeppson, a weapons test officer aboard the Enola Gay who helped arm the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, died in a Las Vegas hospital at age 87.

One year ago: Four hours of talks in Paris between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov failed to break a tense East-West deadlock over the crisis in Ukraine. Actress Kate O’Mara, 74, best known for her role in the 1980s soap opera “Dynasty,” died in southern England. Harry Richard Black, 92, an artist who created the “Mr. Clean” advertising icon, died in Kettering, Ohio.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 89. Actor Richard Dysart is 86. Actor John Astin is 85. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 78. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 74. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 70. Actor Justin Deas is 67. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 65. Actor Paul Reiser is 58. Rap artist MC Hammer is 52. Singer Tracy Chapman is 51. Actor Ian Ziering is 51. TV personality Piers Morgan is 50. Actress Donna D’Errico (TV: “Baywatch”) is 47. Singer Celine Dion is 47. Actor Mark Consuelos is 44. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 40. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 39. Singer Norah Jones is 36. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 35. Actress Katy Mixon is 34. Actor Jason Dohring is 33. Country singer Justin Moore is 31. Actress Tessa Ferrer is 29. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 25.

Thought for Today: “We do not talk – we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.” – Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).

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