updated 3/21/2005 12:17:51 PM ET 2005-03-21T17:17:51

Today is Monday, March 21, the 80th day of 2005. There are 285 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 21, 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

On this date:
In 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.

In 1790, Thomas Jefferson reported to President Washington in New York as the new secretary of state.

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 1871, journalist Henry M. Stanley began his famous expedition to Africa to locate the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone.

In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany.

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

In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

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: Thousands of Japanese police raided the offices of a secretive religious group, Aum Shinri Kyo, in connection with nerve-gas attacks on Tokyo subways that killed 12 people and sickened thousands.

Five years ago: Pope John Paul II began the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel. A divided Supreme Court ruled the government lacked authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton administration’s main anti-smoking initiative.

One year ago: The White House disputed assertions by President Bush’s former counterterrorism coordinator, Richard A. Clarke, that the administration had failed to recognize the risk of an attack by al-Qaida in the months leading up to Sept. 11. (Clarke’s assertions were contained in a new book, “Against All Enemies,” that went on sale the next day.) Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid won the prestigious 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first woman to receive the profession’s highest honor.

Today’s Birthdays: Violinist-conductor Joseph Silverstein is 73. Actor Al Freeman Jr. is 71. Actress Kathleen Widdoes is 66. Singer Solomon Burke is 65. Actress Marie-Christine Barrault is 61. Singer-musician Rose Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) is 60. Actor Timothy Dalton is 59. Singer Eddie Money is 56. Rock singer-musician Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) is 55. Rock musician Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) is 54. R&B singer Russell Thompkins Jr. (The Stylistics) is 54. Actress Sabrina LeBeauf is 47. Actor Gary Oldman is 47. Actor Matthew Broderick is 43. Comedian Rosie O’Donnell is 43. Rock musician Jonas “Joker” Berggren (Ace of Base) is 38. Rock MC Maxim (Prodigy) is 38. Rock musician Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel) is 37. “Hip-hop DJ” DJ Premier (Gang Starr) is 36.

Thought for Today: “One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible.” — Henry Brooks Adams, American historian and author (1838-1918).

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