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Today in History: March 31, Ferdinand and Isabella expel Jews from Spain

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Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 31, the 91st day of 2024. There are 275 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 31, 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish soil, except those willing to convert to Christianity.

On this date:

In 1814, Paris was occupied by a coalition of Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces; the surrender of the French capital forced the abdication of Emperor Napoleon.

In 1917, the United States took formal possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

In 1931, Notre Dame college football coach Knute Rockne (noot RAHK’-nee), 43, was killed in the crash of a TWA plane in Bazaar, Kansas.

In 1968, at the conclusion of a nationally broadcast address on Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned listeners by declaring, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

In 1991, the Warsaw Pact military alliance came to an end.

In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming of a movie in Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had become lodged inside a prop gun.

In 1995, baseball players agreed to end their 232-day strike after a judge granted a preliminary injunction against club owners.

In 2004, four American civilian contractors were killed in Fallujah, Iraq; frenzied crowds dragged the burned, mutilated bodies and strung two of them from a bridge.

In 2005, Terri Schiavo (SHY’-voh), 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die court fight.

In 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu took office as Israel’s new prime minister after the Knesset approved his government.

In 2018, amid tight security, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and her family returned to her hometown in Pakistan for the first time since she was shot in the head in 2012 for her work as an advocate for young women’s education.

In 2019, rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside the clothing store he had founded to help rebuild his troubled South Los Angeles neighborhood; he was 33.

In 2020, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan officially stepped down from duties as members of the royal family.

In 2021, the Pentagon swept away Trump-era policies that largely banned transgender people from serving in the military.

In 2022, scientists announced they had finally finished deciphering the full genetic blueprint for human life.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Daniels is 97. Actor Richard Chamberlain is 90. Actor Shirley Jones is 90. Musician Herb Alpert is 89. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 84. Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 84. Actor Christopher Walken is 81. Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 80. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is 80. Rock musician Mick Ralphs (Bad Company; Mott the Hoople) is 80. Former Vice President Al Gore is 77. Author David Eisenhower is 76. Actor Rhea Perlman is 76. Actor Ed Marinaro is 74. Rock musician Angus Young (AC/DC) is 69. Actor Marc McClure is 67. Actor William McNamara is 59. Alt-country musician Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) is 53. Actor Ewan McGregor is 53. Actor Erica Tazel is 49. Actor Judi Shekoni is 46. Rapper Tony Yayo is 46. Actor Kate Micucci is 44. Actor Brian Tyree Henry is 42. Actor Melissa Ordway is 41. Musician and producer Jack Antonoff (Fun, Taylor Swift) is 40. Actor Jessica Szohr is 39.

By The Associated Press