updated 3/19/2005 12:05:16 AM ET 2005-03-19T05:05:16

Today is Saturday, March 19th, the 78th day of 2005. There are 287 days left in the year. This is the date the swallows traditionally return to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 19th, 1945, during World War II, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the U.S. carrier “Franklin” off Japan; the ship, however, was saved.

On this date:
In 1859, the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.

In 1917, the Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads.

In 1918, Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time.

In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling.

In 1945, Adolf Hitler issued his so-called “Nero Decree,” ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.

In 1951, Herman Wouk’s World War Two novel “The Caine Mutiny” was first published.

In 1976, Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage.

In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

In 1985, in a legislative victory for President Reagan, the Senate voted, 55-to-45, to authorize production of the MX missile.

In 2003, President Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20th in Iraq.)

Ten years ago: Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Jewish settlers, killing two people. After a 21-month hiatus, Michael Jordan returned to professional basketball with his former team, the Chicago Bulls.

Five years ago: President Clinton arrived near New Delhi on the first presidential visit to India in 22 years as he opened a six-day trip through troubled South Asia.

One year ago: President Bush, on the first anniversary of the Iraq war, urged unity in the war against terrorism. Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and his vice president were shot and slightly wounded in an apparent assassination attempt on the final day of Taiwan’s presidential campaign. The Army dropped all charges against Captain James Yee, a military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who had been accused of mishandling classified information.

Today’s Birthdays: Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 80. Actor-director Patrick McGoohan is 77. Theologian Hans Kung is 77. Jazz musician Ornette Coleman is 75. Author Philip Roth is 72. Actress Renee Taylor is 72. Actress-singer Phyllis Newman is 72. Actress Ursula Andress is 69. Singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry is 68. Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) is 59. Actress Glenn Close is 58. Actor Bruce Willis is 50. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s Choice) is 35. Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy Eat World) is 29. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 16. Actor Philip Bolden is ten.

Thought for Today: “History is principally the inaccurate narration of events which ought not to have happened.” — Ernest Albert Hooten, American anthropologist (1887-1954).

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