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This day in history

► Monday, March 12, is the 72d day of 2012. There are 294 days left in the year.

► Today’s birthdays: Playwright Edward Albee is 84. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is 80. Actress Barbara Feldon is 79. Broadcast journalist Lloyd Dobyns is 76. Singer Al Jarreau is 72. Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 66. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is 65. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 64. Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) is 64. Rock singer-musician Bill Payne (Little Feat) is 63. Actor Jon Provost (“Lassie’’) is 62. Author Carl Hiaasen is 59. Rock musician Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) is 56. Actor Jerry Levine is 55. Singer Marlon Jackson (The Jackson Five) is 55. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 52. Actor Titus Welliver is 51. Former MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry is 50. Actress Julia Campbell is 49. Actor Aaron Eckhart is 44. ABC News reporter Jake Tapper is 43. Rock musician Graham Coxon is 43. Country musician Tommy Bales (Flynnville Train) is 39. Country singer Holly Williams is 31. Actor Samm Levine is 30. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones is 18. Actress Kendall Applegate (“Desperate Housewives’’) is 13.

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► In 1664, England’s King Charles II granted an area of land in North America known as New Netherland to his brother James, Duke of York.

► In 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA had its beginnings as Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the first American troop of the Girl Guides, a movement which had originated in Britain along with the Boy Scouts.

► In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio “fireside chats,’’ telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation’s economic crisis.

► In 1947, President Truman established what became known as the “Truman Doctrine’’ to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.

► In 1987, the musical play “Les Miserables’’ opened on Broadway.

► In 2002, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge announced that America was at yellow alert as he unveiled a color-coded system for terror warnings.

► In 2007, masked Palestinians kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston at gunpoint in Gaza City. (He was released several months later.)

► In 2011, 15 passengers were killed when a tour bus returning from a Connecticut casino scraped along a guard rail outside New York City, tipped on its side, and hit a pole that sheared it nearly end to end. (The driver faces charges of manslaughter and reckless driving.)

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