This Day in History — March 30, 2021

Today is the 89th day of 2021. There are 276 days left in the year.


1870: The 15th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, is declared in effect.



1135: The Jewish philosopher Maimonides is born in Cordoba in present-day Spain.

1822: Florida becomes a United States territory.

1842: Ether is used as anaesthetic for the first time, by Dr Crawford Long in the US.

1858: The eraser-topped pencil is patented by H L Lipman of Philadelphia.

1867: US Secretary of State William H Seward reaches an agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for US$7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly”.

1923: The Cunard liner RMS Laconia becomes the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrives in New York.

1905: Greeks in Crete revolt against Turkish rule.

1909: Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opens.

1945: The Soviet Union invades Austria during World War II.

1959: A narrowly divided US Supreme Court, in Bartkus v Illinois, rules that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime does not constitute double jeopardy.

1964: The original version of the TV game show Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, premieres on NBC.

1972: North Vietnamese forces launch their three-pronged Easter Offensive against South Vietnam; the fighting lasts until the following October.

1974: Chinese jetliner arrives in New York in what is described as first civilian flight from Chinese mainland to United States.

1981: President Ronald Reagan is shot and seriously injured in an assassination attempt outside a Washington, DC, hotel by John W Hinckley Jr. Wounded along with Reagan are his Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.

1986: Actor James Cagney dies at his farm in Stanfordville, New York, at age 86.

1990: Estonia’s Parliament declares Soviet Union an occupying power and pledges to seek full independence.

1991: Patricia Bowman of Jupiter, Florida, tells authorities she had been raped hours earlier by William Kennedy Smith, the nephew of Senator Edward Kennedy, at the family’s Palm Beach estate. (Smith was acquitted at trial.)

1995: Pope John Paul II issues the 11th encyclical of his papacy in which he condemns abortion and euthanasia as crimes that no human laws could legitimise.

1998: Blamed for the Government’s inability to implement economic reforms, Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea bows to months of pressure and resigns; Rolls-Royce is purchased by German automaker BMW for US$570 million.

1999: Talks with a Russian official fail to move President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia to accept a peace offer with NATO, which expands the range of air strike targets to include ministry buildings in Belgrade.

2002: Britain’s Queen Mary, widow of King George VI and mother of his successor to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 101.

2003: Worldwide anti-war protests continue during the second week of the US-led invasion of Iraq, with major demonstrations in Indonesia, Pakistan and South Korea.

2005: British lawmakers say the death toll in Sudan’s Darfur region has been underestimated and is likely to be around 300,000, calling attacks against civilians “no less serious” than genocide.

2007: Nepal’s seven ruling political parties and the country’s former Maoist rebels agree to form a joint government, the latest step in ending a decade of civil war.

2008: A group of 200 Tibetan exiles and monks try to storm the Chinese Embassy visa office in Nepal’s capital, but police beat them back with bamboo batons. At least 130 protesters are arrested.

2010: The world’s largest atom smasher throws together minuscule particles racing at unheard of speeds in conditions simulating those just after the Big Bang — a success that kick-starts a mega billion-dollar experiment that could one day explain how the universe began.

2011: Fears about contaminated seafood spread despite reassurances that radiation in the waters off Japan’s troubled atomic plant pose no health risk, as the country’s respected emperor consoles evacuees from the tsunami and nuclear emergency zone.



Francisco Goya, Spanish artist (1746-1828); Paul Verlaine, French author (1844-1896); John Astin, US actor (1930- ); Warren Beatty, US actor (1937- ); Eric Clapton, British guitarist/singer (1945- ); Tracy Chapman, US singer (1964-); Celine Dion, Canadian singer (1968- ); Norah Jones, US singer (1979- )


— AP

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