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Today in history: March 10

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, March 10, the 69th day of 2005. There are 296 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
On March 10, 1876, the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”

On this date:
In 1629, England’s King Charles I dissolved Parliament; he did not call it back for 11 years.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.

In 1848, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico.

In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union armies in the Civil War.

In 1880, the Salvation Army arrived in the United States from England.

In 1949, Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted in Washington, D.C., of treason. (She served 12 years in prison.)

In 1965, Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple,” starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney, opened on Broadway.

In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tenn., to the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)

In 1980, “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr. Herman Tarnower was shot to death in Purchase, N.Y. (Jean Harris, convicted of murder, served nearly 12 years in prison before being released in January 1993.)

In 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, Soviet leader for just 13 months, died at age 73.

Ten years ago: The Labor Department reported the nation’s unemployment rate for February dropped to 5.4 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. The Clinton administration released $3 billion to support Mexico’s faltering economy. Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari fled to the United States.

Five years ago: Pope John Paul II approved sainthood for Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia socialite who had taken a vow of poverty and devoted her fortune to helping poor blacks and American Indians. (Drexel, who died in 1955, was canonized the following October.)

One year ago: Teenage sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was sentenced in Chesapeake, Va., to life in prison.

Today’s birthdays: Talk show host Ralph Emery is 72. Bluegrass/country singer-musician Norman Blake is 67. Actor Chuck Norris is 65. Playwright David Rabe is 65. Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) is 65. Actress Katharine Houghton is 60. Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) is 58. Actress Shannon Tweed is 48. Actress Sharon Stone is 47. Rock musician Gail Greenwood is 45. Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is 42. Britain’s Prince Edward is 41. Actress Jasmine Guy is 41. Singer Edie Brickell is 39. Actor Stephen Mailer is 39. Actress Paget Brewster is 36. Country singer Daryle Singletary is 34. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 33. Actor Cristian de la Fuente is 31. Actress Bree Turner is 28. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shannon Miller is 28. Actress Emily Osment is 13.

Thought for today: “There is no tyranny so despotic as that of public opinion among a free people.” — Donn Piatt, American journalist (1819-1891).