TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Friday, March 8, the 67th day of 2013. There are 298 days left in the year.
On March 8, 1917, Russia's "February Revolution" (so called because of the Old Style calendar used by Russians at the time) began with rioting and strikes in Petrograd; the result was the abdication of the Russian monarchy in favor of a provisional government.
On this date:
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, Va.
In 1942, Imperial Japanese forces occupied Yangon in Burma during World War II.
In 1963, a military coup in Syria brought the Baath Party to power.
In 1965, the United States landed its first combat troops in South Vietnam as 3,500 Marines were brought in 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.
In 1983, in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Orlando, Fla., 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, Ky., collided in mid-flight.
Ten years ago: The militant Islamic group Hamas vowed revenge after one of its founding members and three bodyguards were killed in an Israeli helicopter attack in Gaza; the Israeli army promised to strike the militants again.
Five years ago: 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.
Today's birthdays: Actress Sue Ane Langdon is 77. Baseball player-turned-author Jim Bouton is 74. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 69. Actor-director Micky Dolenz is 68. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 67. Pop singer Peggy March is 65. Singer Gary Numan is 55. Actor Aidan Quinn is 54. Country musician Jimmy Dormire is 53. Actress Camryn Manheim is 52. Rock singer Shawn Mullins (The Thorns) is 45. Actress Andrea Parker is 43. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 37. Actor James Van Der Beek is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 35. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 34. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kristinia DeBarge is 23.
Thought for today: "Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing." -- Dodie Smith, English playwright (1896-1990)