Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 8, the 67th day of 2015. There are 298 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 8, 1965, the United States landed its first combat troops in South Vietnam as 3,500 Marines arrived to defend the U.S. air base at Da Nang.

On this date:

In 1702, England’s Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III.

In 1854, U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry made his second landing in Japan; within a month, he concluded a treaty with the Japanese.

In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclad CSS Virginia rammed and sank the USS Cumberland and heavily damaged the USS Congress, both frigates, off Newport News, Virginia.

In 1874, the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore, died in Buffalo, New York, at age 74.

In 1917, Russia’s “February Revolution” (referring to the Old Style calendar) began in Petrograd; the result was the abdication of the Russian monarchy in favor of a provisional government. The U.S. Senate voted to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

In 1930, the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft, died in Washington at age 72.

In 1944, two days after an initial strike, U.S. heavy bombers resumed raiding Berlin during World War II.

In 1971, Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali by decision in what was billed as “The Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in New York. Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 77.

In 1975, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated. Academy Award-winning movie director George Stevens (Film: “Giant”) died in Lancaster, California, at age 70.

In 1979, technology firm Philips demonstrated a prototype compact disc player during a press conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

In 1983, in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Orlando, Florida, President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.”

In 1999, baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe DiMaggio died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 84.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush said authoritarian rule in the Middle East had begun to ease, and he insisted anew that Syria had to end its nearly three-decade occupation of Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square, chanting support for Syria in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah. Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov was killed in northern Chechnya during a raid by Russian forces.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama made a spirited, shirt-sleeved appeal for passage of health care legislation during a visit to Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. A magnitude 6 earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 41 people.

One year ago: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, vanished during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, setting off a massive search for its whereabouts. (To date, the fate of the jetliner and its occupants has yet to be determined.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Sue Ane (correct) Langdon is 79. College Football Hall of Famer Pete Dawkins is 77. Baseball player-turned-author Jim Bouton is 76. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 71. Actor-director Micky Dolenz (The Monkees) is 70. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 69. Pop singer Peggy March is 67. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice is 62. Singer Gary Numan is 57. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 56. Actor Aidan Quinn is 56. Country musician Jimmy Dormire is 55. Actress Camryn Manheim is 54. Actor Leon (no last name) is 52. Rock singer Shawn Mullins (The Thorns) is 47. Neo-soul singer Van Hunt is 45. Actress Andrea Parker is 45. Actor Boris Kodjoe is 42. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 39. Actor James Van Der Beek is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 37. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 36. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 36. Actress Jessica Collins is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kristinia DeBarge is 25.

Thought for Today: “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Aldous Huxley, English author (1894-1963).

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