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Today in History — March 25

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

Today is Sunday, March 25, the 84th day of 2007. There are 281 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.

On this date:

In 1634, Maryland was founded by English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore.

In 1807, Britain abolished its slave trade.

In 1865, during the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked Fort Stedman in Virginia, but were forced to withdraw by counterattacking Union troops.

In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an “army” of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington to demand help from the federal government.

In 1911, 146 immigrant workers were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York.

In 1947, a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Ill., claimed 111 lives.

In 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.

In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. (The nephew was beheaded in June 1975.)

In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City.

In 1996, the redesigned $100 bill went into circulation.

Ten years ago: The Federal Reserve nudged interest rates higher for the first time in two years, hoping to stifle any threat of rising inflation. Gov. Zell Miller of Georgia signed into law a ban on a controversial form of late-term abortion. Former President George Bush, at age 73, parachuted from a plane over the Arizona desert.

Five years ago: A powerful earthquake rocked Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, killing up to 1,000 people.

One year ago: In Los Angeles, 500,000 people marched to protest federal legislation to make illegal immigration a felony and build more walls along the border. In Seattle, Aaron Kyle Huff opened fire in a house full of ravers, killing six of them before killing himself. Kimmie Meissner won the ladies’ World Figure Skating Championships title in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Country music star Buck Owens died in Bakersfield, Calif., at age 76. Movie director Richard Fleischer died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 89.

Today’s Birthdays: Modeling agency founder Eileen Ford is 85. Former astronaut James Lovell is 79. Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 75. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 73. Singer Anita Bryant is 67. Singer Aretha Franklin is 65. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 64. Singer Elton John is 60. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is

59. Singer Nick Lowe is 58. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 54. Actor James McDaniel is 49. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 47. Actress Brenda Strong is 47. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 46. Actress Marcia Cross is 45. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 43. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 42. Singer-musician Jeff Healey is 41. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas is 40. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 32. Auto racer Danica Patrick is 25. Singer Katharine McPhee (“American Idol”) is 23.

Thought for Today: “Scratch a pessimist, and you find often a defender of privilege.” — Lord Beveridge, British economist (1879-1963).