Today is Tuesday, March 29, the 88th day of 2011. There are 277 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 29, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered plans for a relief expedition to sail to South Carolina's Fort Sumter, which was still in the hands of Union forces despite repeated demands by the Confederacy that it be turned over.
On this date:
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 1867, Britain's Parliament passed the British North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.
In 1871, the Royal Albert Hall in London was opened by Queen Victoria.
In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.
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 1961, the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing citizens in the District of Columbia to vote in presidential elections, was ratified.
In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai (mee ly) 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.)
In 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
Ten years ago: James Kopp, the fugitive wanted in the 1998 slaying of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a Buffalo, N.Y., abortion provider, was captured in France. (Kopp was convicted in 2003 of killing Slepian and is serving a sentence of 25 years to life.) A chartered jet crashed near Aspen, Colo., killing all 18 people aboard. Pianist John Lewis, who masterminded the Modern Jazz Quartet, died in New York at age 80.
Five years ago: Hamas formally took over the Palestinian government, with Ismail Haniyeh (IHS'-may-el hah-NEE'-yuh) sworn in as the new prime minister. The U.N. Security Council demanded that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, the first time the body directly urged Tehran to clear up suspicions that it was seeking nuclear weapons. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, accused of war crimes, was flown to Sierra Leone after he was captured in northern Nigeria. (Taylor's war crimes trial ended March 11, 2011 with judges expected to take months to reach a verdict on whether Taylor can be linked to murders and amputations during Sierra Leone's civil war.)
One year ago: Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in twin attacks on Moscow subway stations jam-packed with rush-hour passengers, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 100. Pop star Ricky Martin confirmed he was gay in bilingual online posts.
Political commentator John McLaughlin is 84.
Author Judith Guest is 75.
Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 68.
Comedian Eric Idle is 68.
Composer Vangelis is 68.
Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 66.
Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 64.
Actor Brendan Gleeson is 56.
Actor Christopher Lawford is 56.
Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 56.
International Gymnastics Hall of Famer Kurt Thomas is 55.
Actor Christopher Lambert is 54.
Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane's Addiction) is 52.
Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 50.
Model Elle Macpherson is 48.
Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 44.
Actress Lucy Lawless is 43.
Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 43.
Country singer Brady Seals is 42.
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is 40.
Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 35.
Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 23.
Thought for Today: "We do not talk -- we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests." -- Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.