31st March: Today In History

Today is Friday, March 31st, the 90th day of 2017. There are 275 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
1917:  The United States took formal possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark.
1492:  King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling Jews from Spanish soil, except those willing to convert to Christianity.
1889:  French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.
1923:  The first U.S. dance marathon, held in New York City, ended with Alma Cummings, who had danced with six consecutive male partners, setting a world record of 27 hours on her feet.
1933:  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.
1943:  “Oklahoma!,” the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.
1957:  The original version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s TV musical “Cinderella,” starring Julie Andrews, aired live in color on CBS.
1968:  President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing during a televised address that he would not seek re-election.
1976:  The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)
1986:  167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.
1993:  Actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming the movie “The Crow” in Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had become lodged inside a prop gun.
1995: Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
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 dispute.

Actor William Daniels is 90.
Actor Richard Chamberlain is 83.
Actress Shirley Jones is 83. Musician Herb Alpert is 82.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is 77.
Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is 77.
Actor Christopher Walken is 74.
Comedian Gabe Kaplan is 73.
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is 73.
Rock musician Mick Ralphs (Bad Company; Mott the Hoople) is 73.
Former Vice President Al Gore is 69.

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