Today is Saturday, March 29, the 88th day of 2003. There are 277 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 29, 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

On this date:

In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.

In 1790, the tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Va.

In 1847, victorious forces led by General Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.

In 1867, the British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.

In 1943, World War II meat, butter and cheese rationing began.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)

In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC's "Tonight" show for the final time.

In 1971, Army Lieutenant William L. Calley Junior was convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. (Calley ended up spending three years under house arrest.)

In 1992, Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledged experimenting with marijuana "a time or two" while attending Oxford University, adding, "I didn't inhale and I didn't try it again."

Ten years ago: "Unforgiven" won the Academy Award for best picture as well as best director for Clint Eastwood; Emma Thompson won best actress for "Howards End" and Al Pacino won best actor for "Scent of a Woman."

Five years ago: Twenty-two people were killed when a Russian-made Antonov military plane crashed into a Peruvian shantytown outside the northern city of Piura. The Lady Vols of Tennessee won a third straight NCAA basketball championship, defeating Louisiana Tech 93-75.

One year ago: Israel declared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat an enemy and sent tanks and armored personnel carriers to fully isolate him in his Ramallah, West Bank headquarters.

Today's Birthdays: Former U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy is 87. Political commentator John McLaughlin is 76. Former British Prime Minister John Major is 60. Comedian Eric Idle is 60. Composer Vangelis is 60. Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) is 56. Actor Chris Lawford is 48. Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 47. Actor Christopher Lambert is 46. Rock singer Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros; Jane's Addiction) is 44. Model Elle Macpherson is 40. Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) is 36. Actress Lucy Lawless is 35. Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) is 35. Country singer Brady Seals is 34. Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is 27.

Thought for Today: "News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to read. And it's only news until he's read it. After that it's dead." - Evelyn Waugh, English author (1903-1966).


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