Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today in History.....March 30

On this day in …

* 1822, Florida became a United States territory

* 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation

* 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's Folly"

* 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union

* 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II

* 1981, President Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer

* 1995, Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to battle each other. ALSO: The Clinton administration announced it was lifting virtually all export controls on non-military products to China and the former Soviet bloc

* 1996, the space shuttle Atlantis narrowly avoided having to make an emergency landing when its cargo-bay doors wouldn't open at first to release built-up heat

* 2000, Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic insisted that NATO attacks stop before he moved toward peace, declaring his forces ready to fight "to the very end." NATO answered with new resolve to wreck his military with a relentless air assault. ALSO: A jury in Portland, Ore., ordered Philip Morris to pay $81 million to the family of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking Marlboros for four decades. (The Supreme Court threw out the verdict in October 2003, saying it should be reviewed by lower courts to ensure it was not unconstitutionally excessive.)

* 2004, a "Palestinian" suicide bomber, a practitioner of that "religion of peace", wounded some 30 people outside a packed cafe in northern Israel, an attack the Islamic Jihad called "Palestine's gift to the heroic people of Iraq."

* 2005, under heavy protection, First Lady Laura Bush visited the capital of Afghanistan, where she talked with Afghan women freed from Taliban repression and urged greater rights. The Supreme Court ruled that federal law allows people 40 and

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