Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today in History....March 15

On this day in …

* 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere

* 1820, Maine became the 23rd state

* 1913, President Wilson held the first open presidential news conference

* 1944, during World War II, Allied bombers again raided German-held Monte Cassino

* 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television

* 2002, a Houston jury spared Andrea Yates' life after prosecutors stopped short of demanding the death penalty for the tormented mother who'd drowned her five children in the bathtub. (Yates was sentenced to life in prison; however, she was later acquitted by reason of insanity in a retrial.)

* 2006, Saddam Hussein, testifying for the first time in his trial, called on Iraqis to stop killing each other and instead fight U.S.
troops; the judge reprimanded him for making a rambling, political speech and ordered the TV cameras switched off

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