Today is Thursday, March 8, the 68th day of 2012. There are 298 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 8, 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.
On this date:
In 1702, England's Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III.
In 1782, the Gnadenhutten (jih-NAY'-duhn-huh-tuhn) massacre took place as more than 90 Indians were slain by militiamen in Ohio in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.
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, N.Y., at age 74.
In 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 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 1942, Imperial Japanese forces occupied Yangon in Burma (Myanmar) during World War II.
In 1944, two days after an initial strike, U.S. heavy bombers resumed raiding Berlin during World War II.
In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon won the New Hampshire presidential primary.
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. Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 77.
In 1988, 17 soldiers were killed when two Army helicopters from Fort Campbell, Ky., collided in mid-flight.
Ten years ago: Kmart Corp., struggling to climb out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announced the closing of 284 stores and elimination of 22,000 jobs. The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to a bill cutting taxes and extending unemployment benefits.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as he began a 6-day tour of Latin America. House Democrats unveiled legislation that would require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of 2008; the White House said President Bush would veto it. In his first news conference since taking over command of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus said insurgents were seeking to intensify attacks and that it was "very likely" additional U.S. forces would be sent to areas outside Baghdad where militant groups were regrouping.
One year ago: Voters in Bell, Calif., 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.)
Today's Birthdays: Actress Sue Ane (correct) Langdon is 76. Baseball player-turned-author Jim Bouton is 73. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 68. Actor-director Micky Dolenz is 67. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 66. Pop singer Peggy March is 64. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice is 59. Singer Gary Numan is 54. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 53. Actor Aidan Quinn is 53. Country musician Jimmy Dormire is 52. Actress Camryn Manheim is 51. Actor Leon (no last name) is 49. Rock singer Shawn Mullins (The Thorns) is 44. Actress Andrea Parker is 42. Actor Boris Kodjoe is 39. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 36. Actor James Van Der Beek is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 34. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 33. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kristinia DeBarge is 22.
Thought for Today: "The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell." -- Simone Weil, French philosopher (1909-1943).