Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, March 31, the 91st day of 2016. There are 275 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing during a televised address that he would not seek re-election.

On this date:

In 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.

In 1923, the first U.S. dance marathon, held in New York City, ended with Alma Cummings, who had danced with six consecutive male partners, setting a world record of 27 hours on her feet.

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 10th province.

In 1953, Stanley Kubrick’s first feature, a war drama titled “Fear and Desire,” premiered in New York.

In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman 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 1991, the Warsaw Pact was formally dissolved.

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 become lodged inside a prop gun.

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.

In 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.

Ten years ago: Auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. unveiled a broad restructuring plan that would cut 8,500 salaried jobs and shut or sell a third of its plants worldwide. Seventy deaths were reported after three strong earthquakes struck western Iran. A Brazilian airliner crashed, killing all 19 people on board.

Five years ago: Moammar Gadhafi struck a defiant stance after two high-profile defections from his regime, saying the Western leaders who had decimated his military with airstrikes should resign immediately – not him. (Gadhafi’s message was in the form of a scroll across the bottom of state TV as he remained out of sight.) Baseball fan Bryan Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, California, suffered traumatic injuries and brain damage as he was brutally beaten following the Dodgers’ home opener against the Giants in Los Angeles. (Two men, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, pleaded guilty in the attack; Sanchez was sentenced to eight years in prison, while Norwood received a four-year sentence.)

One year ago: Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) rested their case in his federal death penalty trial, a day after they began presenting testimony designed to show his late older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind of the 2013 terror attack. Muhammadu Buhari (moo-HAH’-mah-doo boo-HAH’-ree), a former general who once rose to power in a military coup, won Nigeria’s presidential election, defeating President Goodluck Jonathan.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 89. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe is 88. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 82. Actress Shirley Jones is 82. Country singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk is 82. Musician Herb Alpert is 81. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 76. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 76. Actor Christopher Walken is 73. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 72. Former Vice President Al Gore is 68. Author David Eisenhower is 68. Actress Rhea Perlman is 68. Actor Ed Marinaro is 66. Rock musician Angus Young (AC/DC) is 61. Actor Marc McClure is 59. Actor William McNamara is 51. Alt-country musician Bob Crawford (The Avett (AY’-veht) Brothers) is 45. Actor Ewan (YOO’-en) McGregor is 45. Actress Judi Shekoni (TV: “Heroes Reborn”) is 38. Rapper Tony Yayo is 38. Actress Kate Micucci is 36. Jazz musician Christian Scott is 33. Pop musician Jack Antonoff (fun.) is 32. Actress Jessica Szohr is 31.

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