Good morning, it’s Sunday, March 30, the 89th day of 2014. There are 276 days left in the year. We’ll start the day in the upper 40s, but we’re expecting highs in the upper 70s this afternoon under a sunny sky. Temperatures will drop into the lower 50s overnight.
On March 30, 1867—147 years ago today--U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward made a deal that turned out to be a steal. Although it was roundly ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly,” the agreement allowed the U.S. to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, which works out to less than 2 cents an acre.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded in the attack were White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.
On This Date:
In 1135, the Jewish philosopher Maimonides was born in Cordoba in present-day Spain.
In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.
In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.
In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. Texas was readmitted to the Union.
In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.
In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.
In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II.
In 1959, a narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartkus v. Illinois, ruled that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime did not constitute double jeopardy.
In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall. The original version of the TV game show "Jeopardy!," hosted by Art Fleming, premiered on NBC.
In 1974, the Ramones' first concert took place at Performance Studio in New York.
In 1984, the adventure-romantic comedy "Romancing the Stone," starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, was released by 20th Century Fox.
In 2002, Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth died at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.
Ten years ago:
In a reversal, President George W. Bush agreed to let National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice testify publicly and under oath before an independent panel investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks. British-born American broadcaster Alistair Cooke died in New York at age 95.
Five years ago:
President Barack Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry, rejecting turnaround plans from General Motors and Chrysler and raising the prospect of controlled bankruptcy for either ailing auto giant. Federal food safety officials warned consumers to stop eating all foods containing pistachios while they figured out the source of a possible salmonella contamination. Gunmen attacked a police academy on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, killing at least 12 people.
One year ago:
Kaufman County, Texas, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found killed in their house two months after one of his assistants, Mark Hasse, was gunned down near their office. (Ex-Justice of the Peace Eric Williams and his wife, Kim, are charged with capital murder.) North Korea warned Seoul the Korean Peninsula was in "a state of war" and threatened to shut down a border factory complex that was the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. The Associated Press became the first international news agency to open a bureau in Myanmar. Phil Ramone, 79, the masterful award-winning engineer, arranger and producer, died in New York.
Game show host Peter Marshall is 88. Actor Richard Dysart is 85. Actor John Astin is 84. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 77. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 73. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 69. Actor Justin Deas is 66. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 64. Actor Paul Reiser is 57. Rap artist MC Hammer is 51. Singer Tracy Chapman is 50. Actor Ian Ziering is 50. TV personality Piers Morgan is 49. Singer Celine Dion is 46. Actor Mark Consuelos is 43. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 39. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 38. Singer Norah Jones is 35. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 34. Actress Katy Mixon is 33. Actor Jason Dohring is 32. Country singer Justin Moore is 30. Actress Tessa Ferrer (TV: "Grey's Anatomy") is 28.
Thought for Today:
"In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby." - Alistair Cooke (1908-2004).