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March 29, 2013

Today in History

Today is Good Friday, March 29, the 88th day of 2013. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War. In an address to the nation, President Richard Nixon declared, “For the first time in 12 years, no American military forces are in Vietnam.”

On this date:

In 1613, King James I granted a charter officially designating the Irish city of Derry as “Londonderry.”

In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1790, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1812, the first White House wedding took place as Lucy Payne Washington, the sister of first lady Dolley Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.

In 1871, the Royal Albert Hall in London was opened by Queen Victoria.

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

In 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, his doomed expedition stranded in an Antarctic blizzard after failing to be the first to reach the South Pole, wrote the last words of his journal: “For Gods sake look after our people.”

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

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.) The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” opened on Broadway.

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time, although the network aired a repeat the following night. (Johnny Carson debuted as host the following October.)

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

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