updated 3/14/2006 12:02:26 AM ET 2006-03-14T05:02:26

Today is Tuesday, March 14th, the 73rd day of 2006. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 14th, 1743, the first recorded town meeting in America was held, at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

On this date:
In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1923, President Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax report.

In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation.

In 1943, Aaron Copland’s orchestral work “Fanfare for the Common Man” premiered in New York, with George Szell conducting.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

In 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

In 1965, Israel’s cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

In 1980, a Polish airliner crashed while making an emergency landing near Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1991, a British court reversed the convictions of the “Birmingham Six,” who had spent 16 years in prison for an Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

Ten years ago: During a visit to Israel, President Clinton pledged $100 million to the fight against terrorism. Steve Forbes dropped his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

Five years ago: Inspectors tightened U.S. defenses against foot-and-mouth disease a day after a case was confirmed in France. Doug Swingley won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska for the third straight year.

One year ago: A judge in San Francisco ruled that California’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. China’s parliament enacted a law authorizing force to stop rival Taiwan from pursuing formal independence. About one million people rallied in Beirut, Lebanon, demanding Syrian withdrawal and the arrest of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s killers. U2, The Pretenders, The O’Jays, Percy Sledge and blues legend Buddy Guy were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Frank Borman is 78. Singer Phil Phillips is 75. Actor Michael Caine is 73. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 73. Former astronaut Eugene Cernan is 72. Movie director Wolfgang Petersen is 65. Country singer Michael Martin Murphey is 61. Rock musician Walt Parazaider (Chicago) is 61. Actor Steve Kanaly is 60. Comedian Billy Crystal is 58. Country singer Jann Browne is 52. Actor Adrian Zmed is 52. Prince Albert of Monaco is 48. Actress Tamara Tunie is 47. Actress Penny Johnson Jerald is 45. Producer-director-writer Kevin Williamson is 41. Actress Megan Follows is 38. Rock musician Derrick (Jimmie’s Chicken Shack) is 34. Actor Jake Fogelnest is 27. Actor Chris Klein is 27. Actress Kate Maberly is 24. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) is 23.

Thought for Today: “There are only two kinds of people in the world that really count. One kind’s wheat and the other kind’s emeralds.” — Edna Ferber, American author (1887-1968).

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