Monday, March 17

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Today is Monday, March 17, the 76th day of 2014. There are 289 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1229 - Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick II, at the head of the Sixth Crusade, enters Jerusalem after gaining the city from the Muslims by treaty.

1328 - Scotland wins its independence from England.

1526 - France's King Francis I is released from Spanish captivity.

1649 - England's Parliament abolishes House of Lords.

1813 - Prussia's Frederick William III declares war on France.

1848 - Revolution under Daniele Manin begins in Venice, Italy.

1860 - Second Maori War breaks out in New Zealand.

1861 - The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed by a parliament assembled in Turin, but Venice and Rome remain outside the power of King Victor Emmanuel.

1888 - Britain establishes protectorate over Sarawak on Borneo.

1921 - Poland's Constitution is established.

1942 - Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.

1948 - Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sign Brussels Treaty for 50-year alliance against armed attack in Europe, and economic, social and military cooperation.

1962 - Soviet Union accuses United States of fighting "undeclared war" in Vietnam and demands removal of American military forces there.

1969 - Golda Meir becomes prime minister of Israel.

1973 - Cambodian Air Force officer steals plane and bombs presidential palace in Phnom Penh, missing President Lon Nol but killing at least 20 people.

1977 - Angolan troops invading Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) take important copper mining center of Kolwezi.

1990 - Lithuania rejects a Soviet deadline to renounce its independence and calls on the Western powers to support it.

1991 - Majority of Soviet voters favor preserving the union, according to referendum.

1992 - White voters in referendum overwhelmingly support reforms toward ending apartheid in South Africa.

1993 - Hundreds of police in Assiut, Egypt, storm two buildings where bomb-throwing extremists are holed up. At least 11 people are killed.

1994 - Serbs and Muslims sign an agreement to ease the stranglehold on Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

1995 - The Azerbaijani army smashes a two-day rebellion by mutinous police in a fierce battle in Northern Baku.

1997 - The Italian coast guard rescues 900 Albanians from a sinking gunboat off Brindisi, Italy.

1998 - Catholics hold the first St. Patrick's Day in the religiously-divided city of Belfast.

1999 - In an unprecedented purge, the International Olympic Committee expels six members for taking cash, travel and lavish gifts from the winning Utah bidders for the 2002 Winter Games.

2000 - Some 500 members of a doomsday cult die in a church fire in a remote part of southwestern Uganda. After the inferno, mass graves containing 400 more corpses are discovered around cult leaders' homes.

2001 - Explosions at four workers' dormitories kill 108 in Shijiazhuang, China. The bomber plus three others charged with supplying explosives and detonators are sentenced to death.

2002 - A grenade attack at a Protestant church near the U.S. Embassy in the heavily guarded diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, kills five worshippers and wounds 40.

2004 - A car bomb shatters a five-story hotel housing foreigners in central Baghdad, killing 27 people just days before the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.

2005 - Under pressure from Egypt and the Palestinian leadership, the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad agree for the first time to halt attacks against Israel.

2006 - A roadside bomb kills five policemen as they travel in a convoy transporting four bodies believed to be Macedonian workers kidnapped in southern Afghanistan the previous week.

2007 - Three suicide bombers driving chlorine-laden trucks strike targets in Iraq's Anbar province, spreading panic and exposing 350 Iraqi civilians and six U.S. troops to the poisonous gas.

2008 - U.N. police storm a courthouse in northern Kosovo to remove Serb protesters occupying the building, setting off clashes that injure dozens of international peacekeepers and demonstrators.

2009 - Pope Benedict XVI says condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and can make the problem worse, setting off criticism as he begins a week-long trip to the continent where some 22 million people are living with HIV.

2010 - A Pakistani court charges five young Americans with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan. They plead not guilty.

2011 — The U.N. Security Council approves a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi's forces. The vote was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.

2012 — Two suicide bombers detonate cars packed with explosives in near-simultaneous attacks on heavily guarded intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing at least 27 people.

2013 — A freed Palestinian prisoner is given a hero's welcome in the Gaza Strip after ending his hunger strike in an Israeli jail and agreeing to a plea bargain that will confine him to the Hamas-run territory for the next 10 years.

Today's Birthdays:

Madame Roland, French author-revolutionary politician (1754-1793); Edmund Kean, British actor (1787-1833); Kate Greenaway, English illustrator (1846-1901); Rudolf Nureyev, Russian dancer (1938-1993); Bakili Muluzi, former president of Malawi (1943--); Kurt Russell, U.S. actor (1951--); Gary Sinise, U.S. actor (1955--); Billy Corgan, U.S. musician (1967--).

Thought For Today:

It is my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it — Sean O'Casey, Irish playwright (1880-1964).

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