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On March 31st, 1889, French engineer Alexandre
Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from
atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its
In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of
Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish
soil, except for those willing to convert to
In 1917, the
United States took possession of the Virgin
Islands from Denmark.
In 1923, the first
US dance marathon, held in New York City, ended
with Alma Cummings setting a world record of 27
hours on her feet.
In 1933, Congress
authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps.
In 1943, Rodgers
and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma!"
opened on Broadway.
In 1945, the
Tennessee Williams play "The Glass
Menagerie" opened on Broadway.
Newfoundland entered confederation as Canada's
In 1968, President
Johnson stunned the country by announcing he
would not run for another term of office.
In 1976, the New
Jersey Supreme Court ruled that coma patient
Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from her
respirator. (Quinlan, who remained comatose, died
In 1986, 167
people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727
crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.
Ten years ago:
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev warned the
defiant Baltic republic of Lithuania to annul its
declaration of independence or face "grave
consequences." Hundreds of people were
injured when rioting erupted in London over
Britain's so-called "poll tax."
Five years ago:
Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez,
23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas,
by the founder of her fan club. (Yolanda Saldivar
was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in
prison.) Baseball players agreed to end their
232-day strike after a judge granted a
preliminary injunction against club owners.
President Clinton briefly visited Haiti, where he
declared the US mission to restore democracy
there a "remarkable success."
One year ago:
Three US Army soldiers were captured by Serb
forces near the Yugoslav-Macedonia border. (Staff
Sergeant Andrew Ramirez, Staff Sergeant
Christopher Stone and Specialist Steven M.
Gonzales were released more than a month later.)
Four New York City police officers were charged
with murder for killing Amadou Diallo, an unarmed
African immigrant, in a hail of bullets (the
officers were acquitted last month).
"It is not enough to
have a good mind. The main thing is to use it
Rene Descartes, French philosopher (1596-1650).