This day in history

Tuesday, March 12, is the 71st day of 2013. There are 294 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Playwright Edward Albee is 85. Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young is 81. Actress Barbara Feldon is 80. Singer Al Jarreau is 73. Actress-singer Liza Minnelli is 67. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is 66. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 65. Author Carl Hiaasen is 60.

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


In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to the rank of general-in-chief of the Union armies in the Civil War by President Lincoln.

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In 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA had its beginnings as Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the first troop of the Girl Guides.

In 1923, inventor Lee De Forest publicly demonstrated his sound-on-movie-film system, called ‘‘Phonofilm,’’ in New York.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio addresses that came to be known as ‘‘fireside chats.’’

In 1938, the Anschluss merging Austria with Nazi Germany took place.


In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was sentenced to death; he was executed in May 1994.)

In 1993, Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female US attorney general.

In 2003, Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old girl who had vanished from her bedroom nine months earlier, was found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb with two drifters, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, who are serving prison terms for kidnapping her.

In 2008, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned two days after reports had surfaced that he was a client of a prostitution ring.