Today is Wednesday, March 7, the 67th day of 2012. There are 299 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 7, 1912, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen arrived in Hobart, Australia, where he dispatched telegrams announcing his success in leading the first expedition to the South Pole the previous December.
On this date:
In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, France declared war on Spain.
In 1850, in a three-hour speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.
In 1911, President William Howard Taft ordered 20,000 troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the Mexican Revolution.
In 1926, the first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversations took place between New York and London.
In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, using the damaged but still usable Ludendorff Bridge.
In 1960, Jack Paar returned as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" nearly a month after walking off in a censorship dispute with the network.
In 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was broken up in Selma, Ala., by state troopers and a sheriff's posse.
In 1975, the U.S. Senate revised its filibuster rule, allowing 60 senators to limit debate in most cases, instead of the previously required 2/3 of senators present.
In 1981, anti-government guerrillas in Colombia executed kidnapped American Bible translator Chester Bitterman, whom they'd accused of being a CIA agent.
In 1994, the Supreme Court, in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., ruled that a parody that pokes fun at an original work can be considered "fair use" that doesn't require permission from the copyright holder. (The ruling concerned a parody of the song "Pretty Woman" by the rap group 2 Live Crew.)
Ten years ago: The House passed, 417-3, a bill cutting taxes and extending unemployment benefits. By a razor-thin margin, voters in Ireland rejected a government plan to further toughen the country's already strict anti-abortion laws.
Five years ago: Sex offender John Evander Couey was found guilty in Miami of kidnapping, raping and murdering 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who'd been buried alive. (Couey was sentenced to death, but died of natural causes in Sept. 2009.) Ten people, most of them children, were killed in The Bronx, N.Y., when fire tore through their home. A suicide attacker blew himself up in a cafe northeast of Baghdad, killing 30 people.
One year ago: Reversing course, President Barack Obama approved the resumption of military trials at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ending a two-year ban. Charlie Sheen was fired from the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" by Warner Bros. Television following repeated misbehavior and weeks of the actor's angry, often-manic media campaign against his studio bosses.
Today's Birthdays: Photographer Lord Snowdon is 82. TV personality Willard Scott is 78. Auto racer Janet Guthrie is 74. Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 72. Former Walt Disney Co. chief executive officer Michael Eisner is 70. Rock musician Chris White (The Zombies) is 69. Actor John Heard is 66. Rock singer Peter Wolf is 66. Rock musician Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) is 66. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris is 62. Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer Lynn Swann is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 60. Actor Bryan Cranston is 56. Actress Donna Murphy is 53. Actor Nick Searcy is 53. Golfer Tom Lehman is 53. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Ivan Lendl is 52. Actress Mary Beth Evans is 51. Singer-actress Taylor Dayne is 50. Actor Bill Brochtrup is 49. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 48. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 48. Rock musician Randy Guss (Toad the Wet Sprocket) is 45. Actor Peter Sarsgaard is 41. Actress Rachel Weisz (wys) is 41. Classical singer Sebastien Izambard (Il Divo) is 39. Rock singer Hugo Ferreira (Tantric) is 38. Actress Jenna Fischer is 38. Actress Audrey Marie Anderson is 37. Actor TJ Thyne (TV: "Bones") is 37. Actress Laura Prepon is 32.
Thought for Today: "In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects." -- J. William Fulbright, U.S. senator (1905-1995).