Today is Sunday, March 17, the 76th day of 2013. There are 289 days left in the year. This is St. Patrick’s Day.
On March 17, 1973, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, a freed prisoner of the Vietnam War, was joyously greeted by his family on the tarmac at Travis Air Force Base in California in a scene captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by Slava Veder of the Associated Press.
In A.D. 461 (or A.D. 493, depending on sources), St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul.
In 1762, New York’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt first likened crusading journalists to a man with “the muckrake in his hand” in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.
In 1912, the Camp Fire Girls organization was incorporated in Washington, D.C., two years to the day after it was founded in Thetford, Vt. (The group is now known as Camp Fire USA.)
In 1943, the Taoiseach of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, delivered a radio speech about “The Ireland That We Dreamed Of.”
In 1950, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, “californium.”
In 1963, Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, an American, was beatified by Pope John XXIII. (She was canonized 12 years later by Pope Paul VI.)
In 1966, a U.S. midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.
In 1970, the United States cast its first veto in the U.N. Security Council. (The U.S. killed a resolution that would have condemned Britain for failure to use force to overthrow the white-ruled government of Rhodesia.)
In 1988, Avianca Flight 410, a Boeing 727, crashed after takeoff into a mountain in Colombia, killing all 143 people on board.
In 1993, Helen Hayes, the “First Lady of the American Theater,” died in Nyack, N.Y., at age 92.
Ten years ago: Edging to the brink of war, President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave his country. Iraq rejected Bush’s ultimatum, saying that a U.S. attack to force Saddam from power would be “a grave mistake.”
In Washington, D.C., tobacco farmer Dwight Ware Watson, claiming to be carrying bombs, drove a tractor and trailer into a pond on the National Mall; the threat disrupted traffic for two days until Watson surrendered; there were no bombs. (Watson served 16 months in prison.)
Five years ago: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, recalling a goodwill trip she’d made to Bosnia as first lady in March 1996, said she remembered landing under “sniper fire” — a statement that conflicted with accounts of the time. David Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York; he succeeded Eliot Spitzer, who’d resigned because of a prostitution scandal. A female suicide bomber struck Shiite Muslim worshippers in the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 49 people. Paul McCartney’s divorce from Heather Mills was settled for $48.6 million.
One year ago: Bombings killed at least 27 people near intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital Damascus. John Demjanjuk, 91, convicted of being a low-ranking guard at the Sobibor death camp, but who maintained his innocence, died in Bad Feilnbach, Germany.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Gabriele Ferzetti is 88. Jazz/New Age musician Paul Horn is 83. The former national chairwoman of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams, is 80. Former NASA astronaut Ken Mattingly is 77. Rock musician Paul Kantner is 72. Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly is 70. Singer-songwriter John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful) is 69. Former National Security Agency Director and former CIA Director Michael Hayden is 68. Rock musician Harold Brown (War; Lowrider Band) is 67. Actor Patrick Duffy is 64. Actor Kurt Russell is 62. Country singer Susie Allanson is 61. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 59. Actor Mark Boone Jr. is 58. Country singer Paul Overstreet is 58. Actor Gary Sinise is 58. Actor Christian Clemenson is 55. Former basketball and baseball player Danny Ainge is 54. Actress Vicki Lewis is 53. Actor Casey Siemaszko (sheh-MA’-zshko) is 52. Writer-director Rob Sitch is 51. Actor Rob Lowe is 49. Rock singer Billy Corgan is 46. Rock musician Van Conner (Screaming Trees) is 46. Actor Mathew St. Patrick is 45. Actor Yanic (YAH’-neek) Truesdale is 44. Rock musician Melissa Auf der Maur is 41. Soccer player Mia Hamm is 41. Rock musician Caroline Corr (The Corrs) is 40. Actress Amelia Heinle is 40. Actress Marisa Coughlan is 39. Rapper Swifty (D12) is 38. Actress Natalie Zea (zee) is 38. Actress Brittany Daniel is 37. Actress Eliza Hope Bennett is 21.
Thought for Today: “History is not life. But since only life makes history, the union of the two is obvious.” — Louis D. Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1856-1941).
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, March 17)
Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.