Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Today in History....March 13

On this day in …

* 1868, for the first time in U.S. history, the impeachment trial of an American president gets underway in the U.S. Senate. President Andrew Johnson, reviled by the Republican-dominated Congress for his views on Reconstruction, stood accused of having violated the controversial Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress over his veto in 1867

* 1881, Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, is killed in the streets of St. Petersburg by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary "People's Will" group. The People's Will, organized in 1879, employed terrorism and assassination in their attempt to overthrow Russia's czarist autocracy. They murdered officials and made several attempts on the czar's life before finally assassinating him

* 1925, a law went into effect in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution

* 1933, banks began to reopen after a "holiday" declared by President Roosevelt

* 1964, bar manager Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, 28, was stabbed to death near her New York City home; the case generated controversy over charges that Genovese's neighbors had failed to respond to her cries for help

* 1969, the Apollo 9 astronauts splashed down, ending a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module

* 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire on a class of kindergartners, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself

* 1997, a Jordanian soldier -- a practitioner of that "religion of peace" -- fired on Israeli junior high school girls on a field trip, killing seven of them. (The soldier, Corp. Ahmed Daqamseh, was later sentenced by a military court to life in prison.) ALSO: In a southern Egyptian village, four masked militants -- practitioners of that "religion of peace" -- shot and killed 14 people before escaping

* 2002, President Bush declared at a news conference that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was a menace "and we're going to deal with him," and said Osama bin Laden had been reduced to a marginal figure in the war on terrorism


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