Today in History – Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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Today is Wednesday, March 30, the 90th day of 2016. There are 276 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1820 – Duc de Richelieu re-establishes censorship of French press.

1842 – Ether is used as anesthetic for first time, by Dr. Crawford Long in United States.

1855 – Treaty of Peshawar signed, whereby Britain and Afghanistan form alliance against Persia.

1858 – The eraser-topped pencil is patented by H. L. Lipman of Philadelphia.

1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reaches an agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly.”

1870 – The 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, is declared in effect.

1885 – Russian occupation of Penjdeh, Afghanistan, provokes crisis in Anglo-Russian relations.

1905 – Greeks in Crete revolt against Turkish rule.

1909 – Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opens.

1912 – Sultan of Morocco signs treaty making Morocco a French protectorate.

1933 – James B.M. Hertzog forms national coalition in South Africa and is joined by Jan C. Smuts.

1940 – Japan establishes puppet government in occupied China.

1945 – Soviet Union invades Austria during World War II.

1967 – North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formally closes its military headquarters in France.

1974 – Chinese jetliner arrives in New York in what is described as first civilian flight from Chinese mainland to United States.

1981 – John W. Hinckley Jr. shoots U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who is wounded. Three others are wounded in the incident outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.

1992 – The United Nations starts an effort to return nearly 370,000 refugees to Cambodia.

1993 – After the worst wave of violence in years, Israel closes the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The closure lasts for months.

1994 – Irish Republican Army announces a three-day cease-fire and calls for direct talks with the British government.

1995 – Pope John Paul II issues the 11th encyclical of his papacy in which he condemns abortion and euthanasia as crimes that no human laws could legitimize.

1997 – A grenade attack at a political rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, kills 10 people and wounds 101 others, including Cambodia’s leading opposition politician and an American.

1998 – Rolls-Royce is purchased by German automaker BMW for $570 million.

1999 – Talks with a Russian official fail to move President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia to accept a peace offer with NATO, which expands the range of airstrike targets to include ministry buildings in Belgrade.

2005 – British lawmakers say the death toll in Sudan’s Darfur region has been underestimated and is likely to be around 300,000, calling attacks against civilians “no less serious” than genocide.

2008 – A group of 200 Tibetan exiles and monks try to storm the Chinese Embassy visa office in Nepal’s capital, but police beat them back with bamboo batons. At least 130 protesters are arrested.

2010 – The world’s largest atom smasher at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland throws together minuscule particles racing at unheard of speeds in conditions simulating those just after the Big Bang — a success that kick-starts a megabillion-dollar experiment that could one day explain how the universe began.

2012 – Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says Myanmar’s landmark weekend elections will be neither free nor fair because of widespread irregularities, but vows to continue her candidacy for the sake of the long-repressed nation.

2013 – Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the East African country’s next president and the loser accepts the verdict, ending an election season that riveted the nation with fears of a repeat of 2007-08 violence.

2015 – Campaigning officially begins in Britain’s most unpredictable parliamentary election in decades with Prime Minister David Cameron launching an attack on his main political rival.

Today’s Birthdays:

Francisco Goya, Spanish artist (1746-1828); Paul Verlaine, French author (1844-1896); John Astin, U.S. actor (1930–); Warren Beatty, U.S. actor (1937–); Eric Clapton, British guitarist/singer (1945–), Tracy Chapman, U.S. singer (1964–); Celine Dion, Canadian singer (1968–); Norah Jones, U.S. singer (1979–).

Thought for Today:

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are moveable, and those that move — Arab proverb.

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