Today is Tuesday, March 10, the 69th day of 2009. There are 296 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 10, 1876, the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, "Mr. Watson _ come here _ I want to see you."

On this date:

In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.

In 1848, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War.

In 1880, the Salvation Army arrived in the United States from England.

In 1948, the body of the anti-Communist foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk, was found in the garden of Czernin Palace in Prague.

In 1949, Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as "Axis Sally," was convicted in Washington D.C. of treason. (She served 12 years in prison.)

In 1959, the Tennessee Williams play "Sweet Bird of Youth," starring Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, opened at Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre.

In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tenn., to assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)

In 1980, "Scarsdale Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower was shot to death at his home in Purchase, N.Y. (Tarnower's former lover, Jean Harris, was convicted of his murder; she served nearly 12 years in prison before being released in January 1993.)

In 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, who was the Soviet Union's leader for just 13 months, died at age 73.

Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton, during his tour of Central America, addressed lawmakers in El Salvador, then traveled to Guatemala, where he acknowledged the U.S. role in Central America's "dark and painful period" of civil wars and repression.

Five years ago: Teenage sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was sentenced in Chesapeake, Va., to life in prison for an October 2002 killing spree in the Washington D.C. area that left 10 people dead.

One year ago: A suicide bomber killed five U.S. soldiers as they chatted with shop owners while on a foot patrol in central Baghdad. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized after allegations surfaced that he had paid thousands of dollars for a high-end call girl, scandal which eventually led to his resignation. Democrat Barack Obama ridiculed the idea of being Hillary Rodham Clinton's running mate, saying in Columbus, Miss., that voters had to choose between the two for the top spot on the fall ticket.

Today's Birthdays: Talk show host Ralph Emery is 76. Bluegrass/country singer-musician Norman Blake is 71. Actor Chuck Norris is 69. Playwright David Rabe is 69. Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) is 69. Actress Katharine Houghton is 64. Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) is 62. Producer-director-writer Paul Haggis is 56. Alt-country/rock musician Gary Louris is 54. Actress Shannon Tweed is 52. Pop/jazz singer Jeanie Bryson is 51. Actress Sharon Stone is 51. Rock musician Gail Greenwood is 49. Magician Lance Burton is 49. Actress Jasmine Guy is 47. Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is 46. Music producer Rick Rubin is 46. Britain's Prince Edward is 45. Actor Stephen Mailer is 43. Actress Paget Brewster is 40. Actor Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") is 38. Country singer Daryle Singletary is 38. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 37. Actor Cristian de la Fuente is 35. Rock musician Jerry Horton (Papa Roach) is 34. Singer Robin Thicke is 32. Actress Bree Turner is 32. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shannon Miller is 32. Football player Logan Mankins is 27. Country singer Carrie Underwood is 26. Actress Emily Osment is 17.

Thought for Today: "There is no tyranny so despotic as that of public opinion among a free people." _ Donn Piatt, American journalist (1819-1891).

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