Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, March 8, the 68th day of 2016. There are 298 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 8, 1966, Nelson’s Pillar, a 120-foot-high column in Dublin honoring British naval hero Horatio Nelson, was bombed by the Irish Republican Army.

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 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 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.

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 1986, four French television crew members were abducted in west Beirut; a caller claimed Islamic Jihad was responsible. (All four were eventually released.)

In 1996, the Coen Brothers’ black comedy “Fargo” was placed in limited release by Gramercy Pictures.

In 2014, 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. (To date, the fate of the jetliner and its occupants has yet to be determined.)

Ten years ago: Iran threatened the United States with “harm and pain” if the U.S. tried to use the U.N. Security Council to punish Tehran for its suspect nuclear program. Six months after Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush got a close-up look at the remaining mountains of debris, abandoned homes and boarded-up businesses in New Orleans. The Hornets played their first game at The New Orleans Arena since Katrina; they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-107. NFL owners agreed to the players’ union proposal, extending the collective bargaining agreement for six years.

Five years ago: Voters in Bell, California, went to the polls in huge numbers and threw out the entire City Council after most of its members had been charged with fraud. (Residents were infuriated to find out that former City Manager Robert Rizzo had been receiving an annual salary of $1.5 million, and that four of the five City Council members had paid themselves $100,000 to meet about once a month.)

One year ago: Thousands of people crowded the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, many jammed shoulder to shoulder, to commemorate a bloody confrontation 50 years earlier between police and peaceful protesters that helped bring about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Sam Simon, 59, a co-creator of “The Simpsons” and an animal-rights advocate, died in Pacific Palisades, California.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Sue Ane (correct) Langdon is 80. College Football Hall of Famer Pete Dawkins is 78. Baseball player-turned-author Jim Bouton is 77. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 72. Actor-director Micky Dolenz (The Monkees) is 71. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 70. Pop singer Peggy March is 68. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice is 63. Singer Gary Numan is 58. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 57. Actor Aidan Quinn is 57. Country musician Jimmy Dormire is 56. Actress Camryn Manheim is 55. Actor Leon (no last name) is 53. Rock singer Shawn Mullins (The Thorns) is 48. Neo-soul singer Van Hunt is 46. Actress Andrea Parker is 46. Actor Boris Kodjoe is 43. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 40. Actress Laura Main is 39. Actor James Van Der Beek is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 38. Actor Nick Zano is 38. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 37. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 37. Actress Jessica Collins is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kristinia (kris-teh-NEE’-ah) DeBarge is 26.

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