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This Day in U.S. History: March 30


1822 – The Florida Territory is created in the United States.

1842 – Ether anesthesia is used for the first time, in an operation by the American surgeon Dr. Crawford Long.

1855 – Origins of the American Civil War: "Border Ruffians" from Missouri invade Kansas and force election of a pro-slavery legislature.

1867 – Alaska is purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2-cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward.

1870 – Texas is readmitted to the Union following Reconstruction.

1909 – The Queensboro Bridge in New York City opens, linking Manhattan and Queens.

1910 – The Mississippi Legislature founds the University of Southern Mississippi.

1945 – World War II: Soviet forces invade Austria and capture Vienna; Polish and Soviet forces liberate Danzig.

1949 – A riot breaks out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joins NATO.

1964 – Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, debuts.

1965 – Vietnam War: A car bomb explodes in front of the United States Embassy, Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.

1972 – Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive begins after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of South Vietnam.

1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr. Three other people are wounded at the same time.

1982 – Space Shuttle program: STS-3 Mission is completed with the landing of Columbia at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.


1863 – Mary Calkins, American philosopher and psychologist (d. 1930)

1902 – Brooke Astor, American socialite and philanthropist (d. 2007)

1934 – Paul Crouch, American broadcaster, co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network (d. 2013)

1937 – Warren Beatty, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

1960 – Bill Johnson, American skier (d. 2016)

1962 – MC Hammer, American rapper and actor


1981 – DeWitt Wallace, American publisher, co-founded Reader's Digest (b. 1889)

2004 – Alistair Cooke, English-American journalist and author (b. 1908)

2005 – Fred Korematsu, American political activist (b. 1919)