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Today in History - March 16

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

Today is Friday, March 16, the 75th day of 2007. There are 290 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 16, 1945, during World War II, Iwo Jima was declared secured by the Allies.

On this date:

In A.D. 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.

In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Va.

In 1802, Congress authorized the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1915, the Federal Trade Commission began operations.

In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Mass.

In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre was carried out by U.S. troops under the command of Lt. William L. Calley Jr.

In 1978, Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by left-wing urban guerrillas, who later murdered him.

In 1984, William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped by gunmen; he died in captivity.

In 1985, Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was abducted in Beirut; he was released in December 1991.

Ten years ago: At the request of a hobbled President Clinton, Russia’s Boris Yeltsin agreed to delay their upcoming summit by one day to give Clinton an extra day to recuperate from knee surgery. Jordan’s King Hussein knelt in mourning with the families of seven Israeli schoolgirls gunned down by a Jordanian soldier.

Five years ago: Gunmen killed Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino, a prominent critic of Colombia’s leftist guerrillas, in Cali. Thirteen-year-old Brittanie Cecil was struck by a flying hockey puck during a game between the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames; she died two days later.

One year ago: Iraq’s new parliament met briefly for the first time; lawmakers took the oath but did no business and adjourned after just 40 minutes, unable to agree on a speaker, let alone a prime minister. The Senate narrowly passed a $2.8 trillion election-year budget blueprint.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 81. Movie director Bernardo Bertolucci is 66. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 66. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 65. Country singer Robin Williams is 60. Actor Erik Estrada is 58. Actor Victor Garber is 58. Actress Kate Nelligan is 56. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 56. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 53. Golfer Hollis Stacy is 53. Actress Isabelle Huppert is 52. Rapper Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 48. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 44. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 43. Actress Lauren Graham is 40. Actress Brooke Burns is 29. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 16.

Thought for Today: “The only joy in the world is to begin.” — Cesare Pavese, Italian novelist (1908-1950).