Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, March 8, the 67th day of 2019. There are 298 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 8, 1702, England’s Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III.

On this date:

In 1618, German astronomer Johannes Kepler devised his third law of planetary motion.

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 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 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 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.

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 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 2004, Abul Abbas, the Palestinian guerrilla leader who’d planned the hijacking of the Achille Lauro passenger ship, died while in U.S. custody in Baghdad, Iraq; he was 56. Actor Robert Pastorelli was found dead in his Hollywood Hills, Calif., home; he was 49.

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.

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