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updated 3/21/2007 1:00:03 AM ET 2007-03-21T05:00:03

Today is Wednesday, March 21, the 80th day of 2007. There are 285 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 21, 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.

On this date:
In 1804, the French civil code, or the “Code Napoleon” as it was later called, was adopted.

In 1806, Mexican statesman Benito Juarez was born in Oaxaca.

In 1907, U.S. Marines arrived in Honduras to protect American lives and interests in the wake of political violence.

In 1946, the United Nations set up temporary headquarters at Hunter College in New York.

In 1957, President Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan began a four-day conference in Bermuda.

In 1960, some 70 people were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, when police fired on demonstrators.

In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

In 1979, the Egyptian Parliament unanimously approved a peace treaty with Israel.

In 1985, police in Langa, South Africa, opened fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville shootings, killing at least 21 demonstrators.

Ten years ago: President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion, but able to agree on slashing nuclear weapons arsenals. A suicide bomber blew himself up in Tel Aviv, killing three Israeli women.

Five years ago: President Bush began a four-day trip to Latin America. Marjorie Knoller, whose two huge dogs had mauled neighbor Diane Whipple to death in their San Francisco apartment building, was convicted in Los Angeles of second-degree murder; her husband, Robert Noel, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. (A judge later threw out the murder conviction against Knoller, replacing it with manslaughter, but the murder conviction was reinstated by an appeals court.) Alexei Yagudin won the men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Nagano, Japan. Former Georgia governor and U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge died in Hampton, Ga., at age 88.

One year ago: President Bush predicted American forces would remain in Iraq for years and that it would be up to a future president to decide when to bring them all home. But defying critics and plunging polls, Bush declared, “I’m optimistic we’ll succeed.” Sgt. Michael J. Smith, an Army dog handler at Abu Ghraib, was convicted at Fort Meade, Md., of abusing prisoners. (Smith was later sentenced to 179 days in prison.)

Today’s Birthdays: Violinist-conductor Joseph Silverstein is 75. Actor Al Freeman Jr. is 73. Actress Kathleen Widdoes is 68. Singer Solomon Burke is 67. Actress Marie-Christine Barrault is 63. Singer-musician Rose Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) is 62. Actor Timothy Dalton is 61. Singer Eddie Money is 58. Rock singer-musician Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) is 57. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is 56. Rock musician Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Russell Thompkins Jr. (The Stylistics) is 56. Comedy writer-performer Brad Hall is 49. Actress Sabrina LeBeauf is 49. Actor Gary Oldman is 49. Actor Matthew Broderick is 45. Comedian-talk show host Rosie O’Donnell is 45. Rock musician Jonas “Joker” Berggren (Ace of Base) is 40. Rock M-C Maxim (Prodigy) is 40. Rock musician Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel) is 39. “Hip-hop DJ” DJ Premier (Gang Starr) is 38. Actress Laura Allen is 33.

Thought for Today: “Never lose your temper with the press or the public is a major rule of political life.” — Dame Christabel Pankhurst, English suffragist (1880-1958).

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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