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Sunday, March 30, 1997

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  • "I pray that God will take this terrible news of a mass suicide and turn it into a message of hope, the hope found only in the Bible, for all to hear."

    -- Mark Applewhite

    Today's Events

  • Central European time changes from GMT +1 to GMT +2 except for Portugal. U.K. time moves from GMT to GMT +1.

  • An independent trade union of Serbian farmers threatens to block roads if the government does not pay debts for purchased crops by this date.

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    On the horizon

  • On Monday, March 31, Timothy McVeigh is scheduled to begin federal trial for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. His co-defendant, Terry Nichols, will be tried separately at a later date.

  • On Tuesday, April 1, American and National league teams begin the 1997 baseball season. Active rosters must be reduced to 25 players.

  • On Wednesday, April 2, the space shuttle Columbia will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, beginning a 16-day microgravity science laboratory mission.

  • On Thursday, April 3, the 5th Beijing International Trade Exhibition is scheduled to Beijing.

  • On Friday, April 4, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons is scheduled to hold a Non-Violence Day rally in Los Angeles.

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    On this day

  • In 1406, James I of Scotland was captured and imprisoned by King Henry IV of England.

  • In 1806, Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, was proclaimed king of Naples.

  • In 1814, Britain and its allies against Napoleon marched triumphantly into Paris.

  • In 1842, the first surgical operation using an anaesthetic was carried out by Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia.

  • In 1856, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War and guaranteeing the integrity of Ottoman Turkey.

  • In 1863, William, Prince of Denmark, was recognized as king of Greece and took the title George I.

  • In 1867, a treaty for the purchase of Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre, was submitted to the U.S. Senate.

  • In 1870, U.S. Congress readmitted Texas to the Union after it had seceded in 1861 to join the Confederate States.

  • In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, stating that race was no bar to voting rights.

  • In 1917, the Russian provisional government accepted the idea of an independent Poland.

  • In 1945, the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (Gdansk) was captured by the Russians.

  • In 1966, Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami resigned because of protests that he was the only member of the government in parliament.

  • In 1967, the Greek government resigned after it found itself unable to pass an agreed electoral law.

  • In 1972, the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act came into force decreeing direct rule from London. Brian Faulkner, prime minister of Northern Ireland, resigned.

  • In 1973, the U.S. military role in Vietnam came to a formal end when the last U.S. prisoner was released and the last soldier withdrew.

  • In 1979, Airey Neave, opposition Conservative spokesman on Northern Ireland, died when a bomb exploded in his car in the House of Commons car park.

  • In 1979, in a two-day referendum, the people of Iran voted overwhelmingly in favor of establishing an Islamic Republic.

  • In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by would-be assassin John Hinckley as he left a Washington hotel.

  • In 1987, "Sunflowers" by Vincent van Gogh was sold at auction in London for $39.7 million.

  • In 1993, Israel ordered the closure of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and relaxed open-fire regulations for soldiers after Arabs shot dead two policemen.

  • In 1993, the Macedonian government rejected the name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, proposed by mediators to help the republic gain international recognition and admittance to the U.N.

  • In 1994, the Bosnian parliament voted unanimously to set up a Croat-Muslim federation, ending over a year of war between two of Bosnia's three ethnic factions.

  • In 1994, French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur formally scrapped a discredited youth wage law which had sparked nationwide street protests.

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    Holidays and more

  • It is Easter throughout much of the world.

  • Today is the Birthday of the Sultan in Malaysia.

  • Actor John Astin is 67.

  • Actor Warren Beatty is 59.

  • Singer Eric Clapton is 52.

  • Actor Paul Reiser is 40.

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    Sources: Associated Press,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan

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