On This Day March 29
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1955 – Actor-director Brendan Gleeson, who played Alastor “Madeye” Moody in the “Harry Potter” movies (“In Bruges,” “28 Days Later,” “Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Paddington 2”)
1929 – For the first time in history, a telephone sits on the president’s desk in the Oval Office. President Herbert Hoover had one installed after growing tired of using a phone in the foyer just outside his office.
1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets and are sentenced to death. During sentencing, Judge Irving Kaufman tells the couple, “I consider your crime worse than murder.”
1951 – A pipe bomb explosion at Grand Central Station becomes one in a series of terrorist attacks at New York City landmarks by the so-called “Mad Bomber.” The reign of terror finally ends in 1957 when authorities arrest 53-year-old George Metesky, who confesses to his crimes. Metesky planted a total of 33 homemade bombs dating back to 1940.
1974 – The unmanned space probe Mariner 10, launched by NASA four months earlier, becomes the first spacecraft to visit Mercury, sending back close-up images of a planet normally obscured because of its proximity to the sun.
1986 – Austrian musician Falco (real name Johann Hölzel) owns the No. 1 single in the U.S. with “Rock Me Amadeus.” His tribute to the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart holds the top spot for three weeks.