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March 31, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, March 31, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On March 31, 1943, “Oklahoma!,” the first musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway.

On this date

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

In 1913, American financier J.P. Morgan died in Rome at age 75.

In 1931, Notre Dame college football coach Knute Rockne, 43, was killed in the crash of a TWA plane in Bazaar, Kan.

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

In 1949, Newfoundland entered confederation as Canada’s tenth province.

In 1953, Stanley Kubrick’s first feature, a war drama titled “Fear and Desire,” premiered in New York.

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 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

American forces battled Iraqi defenders in fierce street fighting 50 miles south of Baghdad, pointing toward a drive on the capital. Seven Iraqi women and children were killed by U.S. troops at an Army checkpoint when their van refused orders to stop.

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