Today is Tuesday, March 6, the 66th day of 2012. There are 300 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1834 – The city of York in Upper Canada is incorporated as Toronto.
1836 – Alamo mission in San Antonio, Texas, falls to Mexican army after 13–day siege in which Davy Crockett and 186 other defenders die.
1853 – Verdi's opera "La Traviata" premieres in Venice, Italy
1857 – In its Dred Scott decision, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court.
1922 – United States prohibits export of arms to China.
1936 – The British Supermarine Spitfire MKI takes to the air, as a prototype of German's fastest fighter plane.
1945 – German city of Cologne falls to U.S. First Army in World War II.
1946 – France recognizes Vietnam as free state within Indochina Federation.
1953 – G.M. Malenkov succeeds the late Joseph Stalin as Premier of Soviet Union.
1957 – Two former British colonies of Gold Coast and Togoland form independent West African nation of Ghana; Israeli troops hand over Gaza Strip to U.N. force.
1962 – United States pledges to defend Thailand against direct Communist aggression without waiting for action by Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.
1965 – U.S. Defense Department announces that 3,500 Marines are being sent to South Vietnam — the first U.S. ground combat troops committed to fighting against Communist guerrillas.
1970 – Alexander Dubcek, former Czech Communist Party boss, is suspended from party.
1975 – Arab terrorist raid on a Tel Aviv hotel leaves 14 dead.
1988 – Thousands of Tibetans demanding independence set fires throughout their capital city of Lhasa.
1989 – At least 109 people, most of them laborers, die after drinking homemade liquor in India's western city of Baroda.
1990 – Afghan defense minister Shahnawaz Tanai leads unsuccessful coup attempt against government of Najibullah.
1991 – Iraqi troops appear to have crushed a rebellion in Basra and are reported to be moving on other southern cities in revolt.
1993 – UNITA rebels capture Angola's second largest city, Huambo, after a two–month battle with government troops.
1994 – Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid rejects a peace agreement reached by 12 other faction leaders in Cairo.
1995 – The dollar plummets to 92.70 yen, its lowest level against the yen anywhere in the world since modern exchange rates were established in the late 1940s.
1997 – Separatist Tamil Tiger rebels break a two–month lull in Sri Lanka's civil war by raiding an army base and an air field in coordinated, pre–dawn attacks that leave 213 people dead.
1998 – U.S. House of Representatives votes to let Puerto Rico decide in a referendum if it wants to remain a territory or become an independent nation or a U.S. state.
1999 – Ta Mok, the last leader of the murderous Khmer Rouge, is captured by the Cambodian army and flown to the capital for trial.
2000 – Three New York City police officers are convicted of conspiring to cover up an officer's role in the 1997 precinct house sodomy attack of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima, who had a broken broomstick rammed into his rectum.
2003 – An Algerian passenger jet crashes in the Sahara Desert shortly after takeoff, killing 116 people.
2004 – Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels dismiss a powerful eastern commander Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, who had earlier broken away from the main insurgent army creating an unprecedented split in the separatist group.
2005 – Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena says she does not rule out that U.S. troops may have shot at her car on purpose as she headed to Baghdad airport in the minutes after she was freed from a month as the hostage of Iraqi insurgents.
2006 – Several cats test positive for the deadly strain of bird flu in Austria and Poland reports its first outbreak of the disease, as the World Health Organization calls bird flu a greater global challenge than any previous infectious disease.
2007 – France and the United Arab Emirates sign an agreement to open a branch of the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, despite criticism that the French government is peddling the country's artistic treasures. New York's Guggenheim museum also has signed on to build a franchise in the wealthy Gulf state.
2008 – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announces that he is breaking relations with Colombia because of his opposition to the Colombian raid on a guerrilla base in Ecuador.
2009 – North Korea threatens South Korea passenger planes amid rising tensions on Korean Peninsula, prompting some other airlines to re–route flights.
2010 – Iran's hard–line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the official version of the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks a "big lie" used by the U.S. as an excuse for battling terror.
2011 – The two opposition parties that triumphed in Ireland's election, conservative Fine Gael and left–wing Labour, agree to form the country's next coalition government after compromising on plans to repair the debt–battered economy.
Michelangelo, Italian renaissance artist (1475–1564); Cyrano de Bergerac, French author–duellist (1620–1655); Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet (1806–1861); Ed McMahon, U.S. host/announcer (1923––2009); Lorin Maazel, French–born conductor of the NY Philharmonic (1930––); Rob Reiner, U.S. director/actor (1947––); Shaquille O'Neal, U.S. basketball player (1972––); Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist (1927––).
Thought For Today:
Le sens commun n'est pas si commun (Common sense is not so common.) — Voltaire (News - Alert), French author and philosopher (1694–1778).