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Today in History: March 29, US combat troops leave Vietnam

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Today in History

Today is Friday, March 29, the 89th day of 2024. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 29, 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

On this date:

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered plans for a relief expedition to sail to South Carolina’s Fort Sumter, which was still in the hands of Union forces despite repeated demands by the Confederacy that it be turned over.

In 1867, Britain’s Parliament passed, and Queen Victoria signed, the British North America Act creating the Dominion of Canada, which came into being the following July.

In 1943, World War II rationing of meat, fats and cheese began, limiting consumers to store purchases of an average of about two pounds a week for beef, pork, lamb and mutton using a coupon system.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. (They were executed in June 1953.)

In 1971, Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the 1968 My Lai (mee ly) massacre. (Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest.) And a jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were commuted when the California state Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.)

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.)

In 1984, under cover of early morning darkness, the Baltimore Colts football team left its home city of three decades and moved to Indianapolis.

In 2002, Israeli troops stormed Yasser Arafat’s headquarters complex in the West Bank in a raid that was launched in response to anti-Israeli attacks that had killed 30 people in three days.

In 2004, President George W. Bush welcomed seven former Soviet-bloc nations (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia) into NATO during a White House ceremony.

In 2010, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in twin attacks on Moscow subway stations jam-packed with rush-hour passengers, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 100.

In 2020, country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s, died at 61 from what a spokesman said were complications from COVID-19.

In 2018, Russia announced the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, and said it was closing a U.S. consulate in retaliation for Western expulsions of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain.

In 2021, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd went on trial with prosecutors showing the jury video of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on the Black man’s neck for several minutes as onlookers yelled at him repeatedly to get off and Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breathe. (Chauvin would be convicted of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.)

In 2021, G. Gordon Liddy, a mastermind of the Watergate burglary and a radio talk show host after emerging from prison, died at age 90 at his daughter’s home in Virginia.

In 2022, the Foo Fighters canceled all upcoming concert dates four days after the death of the band’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Judith Guest is 88. Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major is 81. Comedian Eric Idle is 81. Basketball Hall of Famer Walt Frazier is 79. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 77. Actor Bud Cort is 76. Actor Brendan Gleeson is 69. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell is 69. Actor Marina Sirtis is 69. Actor Christopher Lambert is 67. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) is 65. Comedian-actor Amy Sedaris is 63. Model Elle Macpherson is 61. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is 60. Actor Annabella Sciorra is 60. Movie director Michel Hazanavicius (mee-SHEHL’ ah-zah-nah-VEE’-see-oos) is 57. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 57. Actor Lucy Lawless is 56. Country singer Brady Seals is 55. Actor Sam Hazeldine is 52. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati is 48. R&B singer PJ Morton is 43. Actor Megan Hilty is 43. Pop singer Kelly Sweet is 36.

By The Associated Press

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