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Today in History - March 6

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

Today is Tuesday, March 6, the 65th day of 2007. There are 300 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
One hundred and fifty years ago, on March 6, 1857, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Scott, a slave, was not a U.S. citizen and could not sue for his freedom in federal court.

On this date:
In 1834, the city of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto.

In 1836, the Alamo in San Antonio fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.

In 1853, Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” premiered in Venice, Italy.

In 1933, a nationwide bank holiday declared by President Roosevelt went into effect.

In 1935, retired Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. died in Washington.

In 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin during World War II.

In 1957, the former British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent state of Ghana.

In 1967, the daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva, appeared at the U.S. Embassy in India and announced her intention to defect to the West.

In 1981, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time as principal anchorman of “The CBS Evening News.”

In 1987, 193 people died when the British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Ten years ago: A gunman stole a $1 million Picasso portrait (“Tete de Femme”) from a London gallery. (The painting was recovered and two suspects arrested a week later.) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II launched the first official royal Web site. China introduced new laws to bolster its campaigns against dissent, ethnic separatism and subversive Western ideals.

Five years ago: Independent Counsel Robert Ray issued his final report in which he wrote that former President Clinton could have been indicted and probably would have been convicted in the scandal involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Federal regulators approved the proposed $22 billion merger of Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp.

One year ago: South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation banning most abortions in his state (abortion-rights groups were able to get enough signatures to put the measure to a vote, and the ban was rejected in the November election). Dana Reeve, who’d won admiration for her devotion to her husband, actor Christopher Reeve, through his decade of paralysis, died in New York City; she was 44. Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died in Phoenix at age 45.

Today’s Birthdays: Orchestra conductor Julius Rudel is 86. TV personality Ed McMahon is 84. Former FBI and CIA director William Webster is 83. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is 81. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez is 79. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is 70. Country singer Doug Dillard is 70. Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., is 68. Actress-writer Joanna Miles is 67. Actor Ben Murphy is 65. Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is 63. Singer Mary Wilson (The Supremes) is 63. Rock musician Hugh Grundy (The Zombies) is 62. Rock singer-musician David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) is 61. Actor-director Rob Reiner is 60. Singer Kiki Dee is 60. Rock singer-musician Phil Alvin (The Blasters) is 54. Actor Tom Arnold is 48. Actor D.L. Hughley is 43. Country songwriter Skip Ewing is 43. Actress Yvette Wilson is 43. Actor Shuler Hensley is 40. Actress Connie Britton is 39. Actress Moira Kelly is 39. Actress Amy Pietz is 38. Basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is 35. Country singer Trent Willmon is 34. Country musician Shan Farmer (Ricochet) is 33. Rapper Beanie Sigel is 33. Rapper Bubba Sparxxx is 30. Actor Eli Marienthal is 21. Actor Jimmy Galeota is 21. Actress Savannah Stehlin (“The Family Stone”) is 11.

Thought for Today: “Le sens commun n’est pas si commun.” (Common sense is not so common.) — Voltaire, French author and philosopher (1694-1778).