updated 3/12/2007 12:02:55 AM ET 2007-03-12T04:02:55

BC-History-March 12, Adv12,0623

Adv12

For release Monday, March 12

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, March 12, the 71st day of 2007. There are 294 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 12, 1933, President Roosevelt delivered the first of his radio “fireside chats,” telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation’s economic crisis.

On this date:

In 1664, England’s King Charles II granted land in the New World known as New Netherland to his brother James, the Duke of York.

In 1857, the opera “Simon Boccanegra,” by Giuseppe Verdi, premiered in Venice, Italy.

In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant became commander in chief of the Union armies in the Civil War.

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Guides, which later became the Girl Scouts of America.

In 1930, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi began a 200-mile march to protest a British tax on salt.

In 1938, the Anschluss took place as German troops entered Austria.

In 1947, President Truman established what became known as the “Truman Doctrine” to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.

In 1951, “Dennis the Menace,” created by cartoonist Hank Ketcham, made its syndicated debut in 16 newspapers.

In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was sentenced to death; after years on death row, he was executed in May 1994.)

In 1987, the musical play “Les Miserables” opened on Broadway.

Ten years ago: Authorities in Los Angeles arrested Mikhail Markhasev as a suspect in the shooting death of Bill Cosby’s son, Ennis. (Markhasev, who later admitted his guilt, is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.)

Five years ago: Houston homemaker Andrea Yates was convicted of murder in the drowning deaths of her five children in the family bathtub. (Yates was later retried and found not guilty by reason of insanity.) Homeland security chief Tom Ridge announced that America was at yellow alert as he unveiled a color-coded system for terror warnings. The U.N. Security Council approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution endorsing a Palestinian state for the first time. The space shuttle Columbia returned to Earth, ending the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission. Martin Buser captured his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

One year ago: Bombers blew apart two markets in a Baghdad Shiite slum, killing nearly 60 people and wounding more than 200. A roadside bomb killed four U.S. troops passing by in an armored vehicle in eastern Afghanistan.

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Wally Schirra is 84. Playwright Edward Albee is 79. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is

75. Broadcast journalist Lloyd Dobyns is 71. Singer Al Jarreau is

67. Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 61. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is 60. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 59. Rock singer-musician Bill Payne (Little Feat) is 58. Actor Jon Provost (“Lassie”) is 57. Author Carl Hiaasen is 54. Rock musician Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) is 51. Actor Jerry Levine is 50. Singer Marlon Jackson (The Jackson Five) is 50. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 47. Actor Titus Welliver is 46. Former baseball player Darryl Strawberry is 45. Actress Julia Campbell is 44. Actor Aaron Eckhart is 39. Rock musician Graham Coxon is 38. Actor Samm Levine is 25. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones is 13.

Thought for Today: “If power corrupts, being out of power corrupts absolutely.” — Douglass Cater, American author and educator (1923-1995).

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