- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2009

Today is Sunday, March 29, the 88th day of 2009. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 29, 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

On this date:

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

In 1790, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, victorious forces led by Gen. Winfield Scott occupied the city of Veracruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.

In 1867, Britain’s Parliament passed the British North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

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

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

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)

In 1959, the Billy Wilder farce “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, opened in New York.

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time.

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.)

Ten years ago: NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia continued for a sixth night. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time, ending the day at 10,006.78. Connecticut beat top-ranked Duke, 77-74, for its first NCAA basketball championship. Legendary jazz singer Joe Williams died in Las Vegas at age 80.

Five 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.

One year ago: Anti-American Shiite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers to defy orders from the Iraqi government to surrender their weapons. Zimbabweans voted in an election seen as the biggest test of Robert Mugabe’s 28-year rule. (Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claimed victory, but the Election Commission ordered a runoff; Mugabe claimed victory in that contest, which was widely denounced as a sham.)

Today’s Birthdays: Political commentator John McLaughlin is 82. Author Judith Guest is 73. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 66. Comedian Eric Idle is 66. Composer Vangelis is 66. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 62. Actor Christopher Lawford is 54. Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 53. Actor Christopher Lambert is 52. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 50. Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 48. Model Elle Macpherson is 46. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 42. Actress Lucy Lawless is 41. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 41. Country singer Brady Seals is 40. Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 33. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 21.

Thought for Today: “Tolerance always has limits _ it cannot tolerate what is itself actively intolerant.” _ Sidney Hook, American philosopher and author (1902-1989).

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