Today is Tuesday, March 17, the 76th day of 2009. There are 289 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 17, A.D. 461 (or A.D. 493, according to other authorities), St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul.

On this date:

In 1776, British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt first likened crusading journalists to a man with "the muckrake in his hand" in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.

In 1910, the Camp Fire Girls organization was formed. (It was formally presented to the public on this date two years later.)

In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C.

In 1950, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, "californium."

In 1958, the U.S. Navy launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in the wake of a failed uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule.

In 1966, a U.S. midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.

In 1969, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.

In 1992, 29 people were killed in the truck bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ten years ago: A panel of medical experts concluded that marijuana had medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and AIDS. The International Olympic Committee expelled six of its members, but backed president Juan Antonio Samaranch, in the wake of a bribery scandal. Instant replay was voted back in the NFL for the 1999 season.

Five years ago: A car bomb tore apart a five-story hotel catering to foreigners in the heart of Baghdad, killing seven people. Charles A. McCoy, Jr., suspected in a series of highway shootings in central Ohio, was arrested in Las Vegas. (McCoy later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gail Knisley plus 10 other charges, and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.) Former MTV personality John "J.J." Jackson died in Los Angeles at age 62.

One year ago: David Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York; he succeeded Eliot Spitzer, who'd resigned because of a prostitution scandal. A female suicide bomber struck Shiite Muslim worshippers in the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 49 people. Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills was settled for $48.6 million.

Today's Birthdays: The former national chairwoman of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams, is 76. Rock musician Paul Kantner is 68. Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly is 66. Singer-songwriter John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful) is 65. Rock musician Harold Brown (War; Lowrider Band) is 63. Actor Patrick Duffy is 60. Actor Kurt Russell is 58. Country singer Susie Allanson is 57. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 55. Country singer Paul Overstreet is 54. Actor Gary Sinise is 54. Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is 50. Actress Vicki Lewis is 49. Actor Casey Siemaszko is 48. Writer-director Rob Sitch is 47. Actor Rob Lowe is 45. Rock singer Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) is 42. Rock musician Van Conner (Screaming Trees) is 42. Actor Mathew St. Patrick is 41. Actor Yanic Truesdale is 40. Rock musician Melissa Auf der Maur is 37. Rock musician Caroline Corr (The Corrs) is 36. Actress Marisa Coughlan is 35. Rapper Swifty (D12) is 34. Actress Natalie Zea is 34. Actress Brittany Daniel is 33. Singer Stephen Gately is 33. Actress Eliza Hope Bennett is 17.

Thought for Today: "History is not life. But since only life makes history, the union of the two is obvious." _ Louis D. Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1856-1941).

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