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Today in History

Friday March 29, 2002

Today is Good Friday, March 29, the 88th day of 2002. There are 277 days left in the year. 


Highlight in History: 

On March 29, 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time. 


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, victorious forces led by Gen. Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated. 

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

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

In 1932, a vaudeville comedian made his radio debut by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say, ‘Who cares?”’ 

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

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

In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. (Calley ended up spending three years under house arrest.) 

In 1971, a jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were later commuted.) 

Ten years ago: Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledged experimenting with marijuana “a time or two” while attending Oxford University, adding, “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again.” 

Five years ago: Vice President Gore concluded his tour of Asia, saying that talks in Beijing had created “new momentum” in relations between the U.S. and China. 

One year ago: James Kopp, the fugitive wanted in the 1998 slaying of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a Buffalo, N.Y., abortion provider, was captured in France. (Kopp is fighting extradition to the United States.) A chartered jet crashed near Aspen, Colo., killing all 18 people aboard. Pianist John Lewis, who masterminded the Modern Jazz Quartet, died in New York at age 80. 


Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy is 86. Former British Prime Minister John Major is 59. Comedian Eric Idle is 59. Composer Vangelis is 59. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 55. Actor Chris Lawford (“Thirteen Days”) is 47. Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 46. Actor Christopher Lambert is 45. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 43. Model Elle MacPherson is 39. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 35. Actress Lucy Lawless is 34. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina) is 34. Country singer Brady Seals is 33. Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 26.