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Today in History — March 29

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

Today is Thursday, March 29, the 88th day of 2007. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

On this date:
In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1790, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1847, victorious forces led by General Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.

In 1867, Britain’s Parliament passed the British North America Act (later known as the Constitution Act) to create the Dominion of Canada.

In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.

In 1943, World War II meat, butter and cheese rationing began.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s “Tonight” show for the final time.

In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. (Calley ended up spending three years under house arrest.)

In 1974, eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on federal charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The charges were later dismissed.)

Ten years ago: Vice President Al Gore concluded his tour of Asia, saying that talks in Beijing had created “new momentum” in relations between the U.S. and China.

Five years ago: Israel declared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat an enemy and sent tanks and armored personnel carriers to fully isolate him in his Ramallah, West Bank, headquarters.

One year ago: Hamas formally took over the Palestinian government, with Ismail Haniyeh sworn in as the new prime minister. The U.N. Security Council demanded that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, the first time the body directly urged Tehran to clear up suspicions that it was seeking nuclear weapons. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, accused of war crimes, was flown to Sierra Leone after he was captured in northern Nigeria.

Today’s Birthdays: Political commentator John McLaughlin is 80. Author Judith Guest is 71. Former British Prime Minister John Major is 64. Comedian Eric Idle is 64. Composer Vangelis is 64. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 60. Actor Christopher Lawford is 52. Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 51. Actor Christopher Lambert is 50. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane’s Addiction) is 48. Comedian-actress Amy Sedaris is 46. Model Elle Macpherson is 44. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 40. Actress Lucy Lawless is 39. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 39. Country singer Brady Seals is 38. Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 31.

Thought for Today: “News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read. And it’s only news until he’s read it. After that it’s dead.” — Evelyn Waugh, English author (1903-1966).