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This day in history

► Monday, March 19, is the 79th day of 2012. There are 287 days left in the year.

► Today’s birthdays: Former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 87. Theologian Hans Kung is 84. Jazz musician Ornette Coleman is 82. Author Philip Roth is 79. Actress Renee Taylor is 79. Actress-singer Phyllis Newman is 79. Actress Ursula Andress is 76. Singer Clarence “Frogman’’ Henry is 75. Singer Ruth Pointer is 66. Actress Glenn Close is 65. Producer Harvey Weinstein is 60. Actor Bruce Willis is 57. Playwright Neil LaBute is 49. Actor Connor Trinneer is 43. Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s Choice) is 42. Rapper Bun B is 39. Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy Eat World) is 36. Actress Abby Brammell is 33. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor is 23. Actor Philip Bolden is 17.

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► In 1687, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River, was murdered by mutineers in present-day Texas.

► In 1859, the opera “Faust’’ by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.

► In 1918, Congress approved daylight saving time.

► In 1920, the Senate rejected, for a second time, the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.

► In 1931, Nevada Governor Fred B. Balzar signed a measure legalizing casino gambling. ► In 1945, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the carrier USS Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved. Adolf Hitler issued his so-called “Nero Decree,’’ ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.

► In 1962, Bob Dylan’s first album, “Bob Dylan,’’ was released by Columbia Records.

► In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.

► In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)

► In 2007, an explosion in a Siberian coal mine killed 110 workers. Death claimed R&B singer Luther Ingram at 69 and TV performer Calvert DeForest, a.k.a. “Larry ‘Bud’ Melman,’’ at age 85.

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