Thursday, March 18

Today is Thursday, March 18, the 77th day of 2009. There are 288 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1554 - Britain's Princess Elizabeth is sent to the Tower of London for suspected complicity in Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion.

1766 - Great Britain repeals the Stamp Act, after Americans decried that taxation without representation was tyranny.

1776 - George Washington's troops occupy Boston, Massachusetts, after evacuation of British in American Revolutionary War.


1813 - Hamburg, Germany, is occupied by Russians following patriotic outbreak in city against French.

1848 - Revolution breaks out in Milan against Austrian rule, and Joseph Radetzky's forces abandon city.

1909 - Einar Dessau of Denmark uses a shortwave transmitter to converse with a government radio post about 10 kilometers (6 miles) away in what is believed to have been the first broadcast by a "ham" operator.

1913 - Greece's King George I is assassinated in Salonika.

1922 - Mahatma Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison in India for civil disobedience.

1931 - Schick Inc. markets the first electric razor in the United States.

1937 - A gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas, kills more than 400 people, most of them children.

1940 - Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hold a meeting at the Brenner Pass during which the Italian dictator agrees to join in Germany's war against France and Britain.


1946 - Status of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana changes from French West Indian territories to Overseas Departments, making them parts of France.

1949 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is formed.

1959 - U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Hawaii statehood bill.

1962 - French and Algerian rebel delegations in Evian-les-Bains, France, sign cease-fire agreement in Algerian War.

1965 - The first spacewalk takes place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov leaves his Voskhod 2 capsule and remains outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, secured by a tether.

1967 - Soviet Union expels two Chinese diplomats from Moscow, charging them with anti-Soviet activity.

1969 - U.S. President Richard Nixon orders secret bombing of Cambodia; U.S. and Soviet Union propose international treaty to ban nuclear weapons from ocean floor.

1970 - Cambodia's Prince Norodom Sihanouk is deposed as chief of state while he is on a visit to Moscow.


1990 - East German voters signal that they want unification with West Germany as soon as possible, giving the Conservative alliance 48 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections.

1991 - More than 70,000 people mass in the streets of several east German cities demanding an end to economic woes.

1992 - An explosion destroys the Israeli Embassy near downtown Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding 252.

1994 - The Bosnian government and Croatia sign a federation accord.

1999 - The Kosovo peace talks collapse after ethnic Albanian delegates unilaterally sign a peace accord that defiant Serbs reject.

2000 - Aid arrives in Mozambique, where flooding left as many as 700 people dead and destroyed the homes or livelihood of another 2 million. Taiwan ends more than a half-century of Nationalist Party rule, electing an opposition leader, Chen Shui-bian.

2001 - In Paris, Socialists win municipal elections, ending nearly a century of unbroken rule by the right.

2004 - Poland's President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key U.S. ally in Iraq, says that Poland was "misled" about whether Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction and was considering withdrawing its troops from Iraq several months earlier than envisaged.


2005 - More than 2,000 Shiites march through Baghdad to protest the alleged involvement of a Jordanian in a suicide attack one month earlier that killed 125 people.

2006 - Thousands of anti-war protesters take to the streets around the world, marking the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with demands that coalition troops leave immediately.

2007 - Attackers hurl explosives and open fire on an Islamic school in the Sabayoi district of southern Thailand's Songkhla province, killing three students and sparking a riot by angry Muslim villagers.

2008 - Three mortar rounds targeting the U.S. Embassy in Yemen crash into a high school for girls next door, killing a Yemeni security guard and wounding more than a dozen girls.

2009 - Austrian incest father Josef Fritzl abruptly pleads guilty to all charges against him, a surprising twist amid disclosures that the daughter he imprisoned for 24 years in a dungeon where she bore him seven children secretly sat in on the trial. €"

Today's Birthdays:

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer (1844-1908); Rudolf Diesel, German engineer (1858-1913); Neville Chamberlain, British statesman (1869-1940); Peter Graves, U.S. actor (1926--); John Updike, U.S. writer (1932-2009); F.W. de Klerk, former South African president, co-winner of 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (1936--); Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier (1956--); Irene Cara, U.S. singer (1959--); Queen Latifah, U.S. rapper/actress (1970--).

Thought For Today:


It's easy to be independent when you've got money. But to be independent when you haven't got a thing €" that's the Lord's test €" Mahalia Jackson, American gospel singer (1911-1972).

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