Today in History

Today is Monday, March 9, the 68th day of 2015. There are 297 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 9, 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Tokyo, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.

On this date:

In 1661, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the chief minister of France, died, leaving King Louis XIV in full control.

In 1796, the future emperor of the French, Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple later divorced.)

In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In 1916, Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans.

In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of enacting New Deal legislation.

In 1935, the animated cartoon character Porky Pig first appeared in the Warner Bros. animated short “I Haven’t Got a Hat.”

In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign on “See It Now.”

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, raised the standard for public officials to prove they’d been libeled in their official capacity by news organizations.

In 1965, the Rev. James Reeb, a white minister from Boston who’d gone to Selma, Alabama, to show support for civil rights marchers, was attacked by a group of white men and struck on the head; he died two days later at age 38.

In 1977, about a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)

In 1981, Dan Rather made his debut as principal anchorman of “The CBS Evening News.”

In 1990, Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as surgeon general, becoming the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the job.

Ten years ago: Michael Jackson’s young accuser took the witness stand, saying he once considered the pop star being tried for allegedly molesting him “the coolest guy in the world.” (Jackson was later acquitted.) Dan Rather signed off for the last time as principal anchorman of “The CBS Evening News.”

Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Israel, condemned an Israeli plan to build hundreds of homes in east Jerusalem. Former television producer Robert “Joe” Halderman pleaded guilty in New York to attempted grand larceny for trying to blackmail talk show host David Letterman. (Halderman was sentenced to six months in jail; he actually served four.) Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a New Hampshire woman who’d walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform, died at age 100.

One year ago: The search continued for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 that had gone missing the day before while over the South China Sea with 239 people on board.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. James L. Buckley, Conservative-N.Y., is 92. Singer-actress Keely Smith is 87. Singer Lloyd Price is 82. Actress Joyce Van Patten is 81. Actor-comedian Marty Ingels is 79. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 79. Actress Trish Van Devere is 74. Singer Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders) is 73. Former ABC anchorman Charles Gibson is 72. Rock musician Robin Trower is 70. Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 67. Country musician Jimmie Fadden (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 67. Actress Jaime Lyn Bauer is 66. Magazine editor Michael Kinsley is 64. TV newscaster Faith Daniels is 58. Actor Tom Amandes is 56. Actor-director Lonny Price is 56. Actress Linda Fiorentino is 55. Country musician Rusty Hendrix (Confederate Railroad) is 55. Actress Juliette Binoche is 51. Rock musician Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five) is 47. Rock musician Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) is 45. Rapper C-Murder (AKA C-Miller) is 44. Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 44. Actress Jean Louisa Kelly is 43. Actor Kerr Smith is 43. Rapper Chingy is 35. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler is 35. Rock musician Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory) is 34. Roots rock musician Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) is 32. Actress Brittany Snow is 29. Rapper Bow Wow is 28. Rapper YG is 25. Actor Luis Armand Garcia is 23. Actress Cierra Ramirez is 20.

Thought for Today: “It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.” – John Steinbeck, American author (1902-1968).

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