Today is Tuesday, March 31, the 90th day of 2015. There are 275 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo, 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die dispute.
On this date:
In 1814, Paris was occupied by a coalition of Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces; the surrender of the French capital forced the abdication of Emperor Napoleon.
In 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.
In 1943, “Oklahoma!,” the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.
In 1949, Newfoundland (now called Newfoundland and Labrador) entered confederation as Canada’s tenth province.
In 1957, the original version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” starring Julie Andrews, aired live in color on CBS.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing he would not seek re-election.
In 1975, “Gunsmoke” closed out 20 seasons on CBS with its final first-run episode, “The Sharecroppers.”
In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, who was in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)
In 1986, 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.
In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming of a movie in Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had been lodged inside a prop gun. “Star Dust” lyricist Mitchell Parish, 92, died in New York.
In 1995, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Ten years ago: A damning report by a presidential commission concluded the United States knew “disturbingly little” about nuclear and biological threats from dangerous adversaries. The World Bank approved Paul Wolfowitz as its new president. South Carolina defeated Saint Joseph’s, 60-57, in the NIT championship game. Chicken entrepreneur Frank Perdue died in his hometown of Salisbury, Maryland, at age 84.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama threw open a huge swath of East Coast waters and other protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil drilling. A Chechen militant claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on the Moscow subway two days earlier that claimed 40 lives; the claim came hours after two more suicide bombers struck in the southern Russian province of Dagestan, killing a dozen people.
One year ago: In a flood of last-minute sign-ups, hundreds of thousands of Americans rushed to apply for health insurance as deadline day for President Barack Obama’s overhaul brought long waits and a new spate of website ills. North and South Korea fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other’s waters. An umpire’s call was overturned for the first time under Major League Baseball’s expanded replay system, with Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun ruled out instead of safe in a game against the Atlanta Braves. (The Brewers won, 2-0.) Charles H. Keating Jr., 90, the notorious financier who’d served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure in the U.S., died in Phoenix.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 88. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe is 87. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 81. Actress Shirley Jones is 81. Country singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk is 81. Musician Herb Alpert is 80. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 75. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 75. Actor Christopher Walken is 72. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 71. Former Vice President Al Gore is 67. Author David Eisenhower is 67. Actress Rhea Perlman is 67. Actor Ed Marinaro is 65. Rock musician Angus Young (AC/DC) is 60. Actor Marc McClure is 58. Actor William McNamara is 50. Alt-country musician Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) is 44. Actor Ewan McGregor is 44. Rapper Tony Yayo is 37. Actress Kate Micucci is 35. Jazz musician Christian Scott is 32. Pop musician Jack Antonoff (fun.) is 31. Actress Jessica Szohr is 30.
Thought for Today: “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” – Rene Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician (born this date in 1596, died in 1650).