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Today in History - March 3

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2007. There are 303 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 3, 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem of the United States.

On this date:

In 1845, Florida became the 27th state.

In 1849, the U.S. Department of the Interior was established.

In 1887, Anne Sullivan arrived at the Alabama home of Captain and Mrs. Arthur H. Keller to become the teacher for their blind and deaf 6-year-old daughter, Helen.

In 1923, Time magazine, founded by Briton Hadden and Henry R. Luce, made its debut.

In 1945, the Allies fully secured the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese forces during World War II.

In 1969, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module.

In 1974, nearly 350 people died when a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris.

In 1987, comedian Danny Kaye died in Los Angeles at age 74.

In 1991, in a case that sparked a national outcry, motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in a scene captured on amateur video.

In 1991, 25 people were killed when a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed while approaching the Colorado Springs, Colo., airport.

Ten years ago: Vice President Al Gore, under fire for his aggressive role in campaign fundraising, acknowledged he’d solicited donations from his White House office but insisted he did not do “anything wrong, much less illegal.” Yet, he said he would never do it again.

Five years ago: Voters in Switzerland approved joining the United Nations, abandoning almost 200 years of formal neutrality. Country songwriter Harlan Howard, whose hits included “I Fall to Pieces” and “Busted,” died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 74.

One year ago: President Bush arrived in Pakistan to meet with top officials, including President Pervez Musharraf, to discuss the war on terror. Former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham was sentenced by a federal judge in San Diego to more than eight years in prison for corruption.

Today’s Birthdays: Socialite Lee Radziwill is 74. Actress Hattie Winston is 62. Singer Jennifer Warnes is 60. Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky is 57. Singer-musician Robyn Hitchcock is 54. Actress Miranda Richardson is 49. Actress Mary Page Keller is 46. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 45. Football player Herschel Walker is 45. Rapper-actor Tone-Loc is 41. Rock musician John Bigham is 38. Actress Julie Bowen is 37. Country singer Brett Warren (The Warren Brothers) is 36. Actor David Faustino is 33. Singer Ronan Keating (Boyzone) is 30. Rapper Lil’ Flip is 26. Actress Jessica Biel is 25.

Thought for Today: “America is a tune. It must be sung together.” — Gerald Stanley Lee, American clergyman and author (1862-1944).