Today in History
Today is Wednesday, March 8, the 67th day of 2023. 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 1618, German astronomer Johannes Kepler devised his third law of planetary motion.
In 1817, the New York Stock & Exchange Board, which had its beginnings in 1792, was formally organized; it later became known as the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1948, the Supreme Court, in McCollum v. Board of Education, struck down voluntary religious education classes in Champaign, Illinois, public schools, saying the program violated separation of church and state.
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 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 1988, 17 soldiers were killed when two Army helicopters from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, collided in mid-flight.
In 1999, baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 84.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton submitted to Congress legislation to establish permanent normal trade relations with China. (The U.S. and China signed a trade pact in November 2000.)
In 2004, Iraq’s Governing Council signed a landmark interim constitution.
In 2008, President George W. Bush vetoed a bill that would have banned the CIA from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists.
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 and ultimately unsuccessful search.
In 2016, Sir George Martin, the Beatles’ urbane producer who guided the band’s swift, historic transformation from rowdy club act to musical and cultural revolutionaries, died at age 90.
Ten years ago: The government reported the jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent the previous month, the lowest level since President Barack Obama took office. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan for his first visit as Pentagon chief. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was lauded at his state funeral as a modern-day reincarnation of Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar and a disciple of Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
Five years ago: U.S. and South Korean officials said President Donald Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un by the end of May to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Mississippi lawmakers passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, making the procedure illegal in most cases after 15 weeks of pregnancy; a federal judge later struck down the law as unconstitutional. Serena Williams beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, 7-5, 6-3, in the first round of a tournament in Indian Wells, California; it was Williams’ first match following a 14-month layoff for the birth of her daughter.
One year ago: President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would ban all Russian oil imports, toughening the toll on Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine as a humanitarian crisis unfolded in the port city of Mariupol. Guy Wesley Reffitt of Texas was convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun, a milestone victory for federal prosecutors in the first trial among hundreds of cases arising from the Jan. 6 riots.
Today’s birthdays: Jazz musician George Coleman is 88. Actor Sue Ane (correct) Langdon is 87. College Football Hall of Famer Pete Dawkins is 85. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 79. Actor-director Micky Dolenz (The Monkees) is 78. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 77. Pop singer Peggy March is 75. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice is 70. Jazz musician Billy Childs is 66. Singer Gary Numan is 65. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 64. Actor Aidan Quinn is 64. Actor Camryn Manheim is 62. Actor Leon (no last name) is 62. Country-rock singer Shawn Mullins is 55. Neo-soul singer Van Hunt is 53. Actor Andrea Parker is 53. Actor Boris Kodjoe is 50. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 47. Actor Laura Main is 46. Actor James Van Der Beek is 46. R&B singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 45. Actor Nick Zano is 45. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 44. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 44. Actor Jessica Collins is 40. R&B singer Kristinia (kris-teh-NEE’-ah) DeBarge is 33.