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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Today in history—March 30

1855: Representing the North American Insurance Co., attorney Abraham Lincoln loses when a Springfield (Ill.) jury returns a $2,000 verdict for the plaintiff.

1858: One of the great convenience inventions is made as Hiram Lipman of Philadelphia patents the pencil with an attached eraser.

1867: The United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, or about two cents an acre. Most of this press thinks that the price is way too high.

1926: Ingvar Kamprad, a dyslexic who will start selling matches from a bicycle and later found the IKEA furniture empire, is born at Agunnaryd, Sweden.

1931: Rupert Whitehead, whose wife Blanche is ailing, invites Caro and Frank Davis to come to California to care for her; the subsequent dispute will become Davis v. Jacoby.

1951: Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the U.S. Census Bureau.

1964: The television show Jeopardy debuts for the first time.

1970: Secretariat is born at Caroline County, Virginia. He will enjoy the fruits of his Triple Crown career by getting to sire more than 600 foals.

1986: Actor James Cagney, who never actually said, "You dirty rat!" in a film, dies at Stanfordville, New York.

1987: Illustrating the fact that great art is priceless, Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Sunflowers" is purchased for about $40 million.

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