Today in History
March 29

845   Led by Ragnar Lodbrok, Viking raiders sack Paris. In exchange for leaving, the Vikings collect a large ransom from the Frankish defenders. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1461   The armies of two kings, Henry VI and Edward IV, collide at Towton.
1638   A permanent European colony is established in present-day Delaware.
1827   Composer Ludwig van Beethoven is buried in Vienna amidst a crowd of over 10,000 mourners.
1847   U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott take possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.
1867   The United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.
1879   British troops of the 90th Light Infantry Regiment repulse a major attack by Zulu tribesmen in northwest Zululand.
1886   Coca-Cola goes on sale for the first time at a drugstore in Atlanta. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton, claims it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold.
1903   A regular news service begins between New York and London on Marconi’s wireless.
1913   The German government announces a rise in taxes in order to finance the new military budget.
1936   Italy firebombs the Ethiopian city of Harar.
1941   The British sink five Italian warships off the Peloponnese coast in the Mediterranean.
1951   The Chinese reject Gen. Douglas MacArthur‘s offer for a truce in Korea.
1951   Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The King and I opens on Broadway starring Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner.
1952   President Harry Truman removes himself from the presidential race.
1961   The 23rd amendment, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote for president, is ratified.
1962   Cuba opens the trial of the Bay of Pigs invaders.
1966   Leonid Brezhenev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. He denounces the American policy in Vietnam and calls it one of aggression.
1967   France launches its first nuclear submarine.
1971   Lt. William L. Calley Jr. is found guilty for his actions in the My Lai massacre.
1973   The last U.S. troops withdraw from South Vietnam.
1975   Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declares that he will reopen the Suez Canal on June 5.
1976   Eight Ohio National Guardsmen are indicted for shooting four Kent State students during an anti-war protest on May 4, 1970.
1986   A court in Rome acquits six men in a plot to kill the Pope.
Born on March 29
1790   John Tyler, 10th President of the United States (1841-1845).
1819   Edwin Drake; drilled the first productive oil well.
1835   Elihu Thomson; English-born American inventor of electric welding and arc lighting.
1867   Cy Young; major league baseball pitcher with the most wins (509 or 511 total).
1875   Lou Henry Hoover, first lady President Herbert Hoover.
1881   Raymond Hood, architect.
1888   James E. Casey; founder of United Parcel Service
1910   Helen Wells; author of the Cherry Ames series.
1916   Eugene McCarthy, U.S. senator and presidential candidate.
1918   Pearl Bailey, singer and actress.
1936   Judith Guest, novelist (Ordinary People).

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