Good morning, it’s Saturday, March 30, the 89th day of 2013. There are 276 days left in the year. We’ll start the day around 60 and should warm up into the upper 70s this afternoon under a mostly cloudy sky. There’s a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day and overnight, as temperatures fall into the lower 60s.
On March 30, 1867—146 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 escaped an attempt on his life outside a Washington D.C. hotel, where he was shot and seriously wounded by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded 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 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 1963, singer Lesley Gore, age 16, recorded her hit "It's My Party" for Mercury Records in New York.
In 1972, North Vietnamese forces launched their three-pronged Easter Offensive against South Vietnam; the fighting lasted until the following October.
In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm in Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86.
In 2002, Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth died at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.
Ten years ago:
A Palestinian suicide bomber wounded some 30 people outside a packed cafe in northern Israel, an attack the Islamic Jihad called "Palestine's gift to the heroic people of Iraq."
Five years ago:
The Army said the remains of Sgt. Matt Maupin, captured in Iraq in 2004, had been found and identified. Chinese spectators cheered as Greece handed off the Olympic flame for its journey to Beijing and relay through 20 countries; but protesters brandishing Tibetan flags stole the limelight. President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Washington's new stadium, Nationals Park; the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, in the first regular-season game played at the park. Cambodian-born journalist Dith Pran, whose story became the subject of the award-winning film "The Killing Fields," died in New Brunswick, N.J. at age 65.
One year ago:
President Barack Obama said he was plowing ahead with potential sanctions against countries that kept buying oil from Iran, including allies of the United States, in a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program. Anthony Davis became the first Kentucky basketball player and second freshman to be selected The Associated Press' Player of the Year.
Game show host Peter Marshall is 87. Actor Richard Dysart is 84. Actor John Astin is 83. Entertainer Rolf Harris is 83. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 76. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 72. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 68. Actor Justin Deas is 65. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 63. Actor Paul Reiser is 56. Rap artist MC Hammer is 50. Singer Tracy Chapman is 49. Actor Ian Ziering is 49. Singer Celine Dion is 45. Actor Mark Consuelos is 42. Actress Bahar Soomekh is 38. Actress Jessica Cauffiel is 37. Singer Norah Jones is 34. Actress Fiona Gubelmann is 33. Actress Katy Mixon is 32. Actor Jason Dohring is 31. Country singer Justin Moore is 29.
Thought for Today:
"Prophecy, however honest, is generally a poor substitute for experience." - Benjamin N. Cardozo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1870-1938).