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Back In the Day-A National Park, Kidnapped Child, and Grand Theft Coffin

The first day of March brought us 2 states, a kidnapped baby, Charlie’s Coffin Stolen and Val Kilmer as a Door.

1803 - OHIO (The Buckeye State) became the 17th state to enter the Union.

1867 - NEBRASKA (The Cornhusker State) became the 37th state to enter the Union.

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1872 - YELLOWSTONE became the United States’ FIRST NATIONAL PARK.

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1932 - THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY: Someone crept onto the estate of CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, climbed a homemade ladder, placed a ransom note on the window sill, and KIDNAPPED THE LINDBERGH BABY.  Although the $50,000 ransom was paid, Charles Jr. was not returned and 73 days later, the remains of the 20-month-old infant were found in the woods near the house dead of a fractured skull.

After a two-year manhunt, police arrested 35-year-old illegal German immigrant Bruno Hauptmann who was convicted and executed.

1941 - W47NV – Nashville, became the first U.S. commercial FM radio station on the air.

1949 - JOE LOUIS retired as Heavyweight Boxing Champion.  “The Brown Bomber” had held the title longer than any other champ 11 years, eight months and seven days!

1961 - PRESIDENT KENNEDY established the PEACE CORPS.

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1968 - JOHNNY CASH married his wife, JUNE CARTER CASH.  They are now both deceased.  (June died on May 15, 2003. . . Johnny died on September 12, 2003.)

1969 - MICKEY MANTLE announced his retirement from baseball.

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1970 – REGIS PHILBIN married Joy Senese.  Today’s their 41st anniversary.

1972 - Country singer MERLE HAGGARD was pardoned by California Governor Ronald Reagan.  Haggard had served time in San Quentin during the late ’50s for attempted burglary.

1975 - STEVIE WONDER won five Grammys, including Best Album;  OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN won the Record of the Year for “I Honestly Love You”;  and the Song of the Year was BARBRA STREISAND’S “The Way We Were”.

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1978 - Swiss grave robbers stole a coffin containing CHARLIE CHAPLIN.  The coffin, and Charlie, were recovered a couple of months later, in May.

1985 – “THE SURE THING” WAS RELEASED starring John Cusack, Anthony Edwards and Daphne Zuniga.

1985 - LIZA MINNELLI entered the Betty Ford Drug Center!

1988 - JOE BESSER, one of the lesser-known Three Stooges, died at age 80.  (–He replaced Shemp, who had replaced his brother Curly, who had replaced. . . HIS BROTHER SHEMP.  Besser was also STINKY on “The Abbott & Costello Show”.)

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1991 – “THE DOORS” was released starring VAL KILMER as JIM MORRISON.

1994 - At the 36th Grammy Awards, WHITNEY HOUSTON won Album of the Year for “The Bodyguard”, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Record for “I Will Always Love You”. . . while TONI BRAXTON was named Best New Artist.

1995 - At the 37th annual Grammy Awards, TONY BENNETT won Best Album for “MTV Unplugged” and SHERYL CROW took Best Record, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best New Artist for “All I Wanna Do”.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN also won four Grammys, including Song of the Year, for his AIDS anthem “Streets of Philadelphia”.

1995 – R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry had to leave the stage during a Switzerland concert after having a brain aneurysm.

2005 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional for juveniles who committed their crimes under the age of 18.

2005 – GERALD LEVERT was PEPPER-SPRAYED and arrested after he drunkenly shoved an officer giving a friend of his a speeding ticket.  (Levert was charged with drunken driving, impeding traffic, obstructing police business and resisting arrest.)

2006 – An entry for the Jordanhill railway station in Scotland became the one millionth article published on the English language version of Wikipedia.

2006 – JACK WILD who played young Jimmy, the owner of FREDDIE THE MAGIC FLUTE, on “H.R. Pufnstuf” died from MOUTH CANCER at the age of 53.

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