Valdosta Daily Times

March 31, 2014

Today in History for Monday, March 31, 2014


The Associated Press

-- — Highlight in History

On March 31, 1814, Paris was occupied by a coalition of Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces; the surrender forced the abdication of Emperor Napoleon.



On this date

In 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French tricolor from atop the Eiffel Tower, officially marking its completion.

In 1914, Nobel Prize-winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz was born in Mexico City.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1949, Newfoundland (now called Newfoundland and Labrador) entered confederation as Canada’s tenth province.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the country by announcing he would not seek re-election.

In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Ann Quinlan, who was in a persistent vegetative state, could be disconnected from her respirator. (Quinlan, who remained unconscious, died in 1985.)

In 1986, 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in a remote mountainous region of Mexico.

In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, 28, was accidentally shot to death during the filming of a movie in Wilmington, N.C., when he was hit by a bullet fragment that had been lodged inside a prop gun. “Star Dust” lyricist Mitchell Parish, 92, died in New York.

In 1995, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, was shot to death in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the founder of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2005, Terri Schiavo, 41, died at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., 13 days after her feeding tube was removed in a wrenching right-to-die dispute.



Ten years ago

Four American civilian contractors were killed in Fallujah, Iraq; frenzied crowds dragged the burned, mutilated bodies and strung two of them from a bridge. Air America, intended as a liberal voice in network talk radio, made its debut on five stations. (The network folded in Jan. 2010.)



Five years ago

President Barack Obama arrived in London with his wife, Michelle, at the start of a trip to Europe, his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months earlier. Benjamin Netanyahu took office as Israel’s new prime minister after the Knesset approved his government. Former Argentine President Raul Alfonsin died at age 82.



One year ago

Pope Francis marked Christianity’s most joyous day at the Vatican with a passionate plea for world peace as he celebrated his first Easter Sunday as pontiff. The Houston Astros, coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons, made an impressive debut in the American League, trouncing the Texas Rangers 8-2 on opening night.