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March 31, 2014

Today in History

Today is Monday, March 31, the 90th day of 2014. There are 275 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On March 31, 1814, Paris was occupied by a coalition of Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces; the surrender of the French capital forced the abdication of Emperor Napoleon.

On this date:

In 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.

In 1914, Nobel Prize-winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz was born in Mexico City.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1943, “Oklahoma!,” the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.

In 1949, Newfoundland (now called Newfoundland and Labrador) entered confederation as Canada’s tenth province.

In 1953, Stanley Kubrick’s first feature, a war drama titled “Fear and Desire,” premiered in New York.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing he would not seek re-election.

In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, who was in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)

In 1986, 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.

In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming of a movie in Wilmington, N.C., when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had been lodged inside a prop gun.

In 1995, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2005, Terri Schiavo, 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die dispute.

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