Today is Sunday, March 8, the 68th day of 2020. There are 298 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 8, 1979, technology firm Philips demonstrated a prototype compact disc player during a press conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
On this date:
In 1618, German astronomer Johannes Kepler devised his third law of planetary motion.
In 1702, England’s Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III.
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, Virginia.
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 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 arrived to defend the U.S. air base at Da Nang.
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 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 search. (To date, the fate of the jetliner and its occupants has yet to be determined.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama made a spirited, shirt-sleeved appeal for passage of health care legislation during a visit to Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. A magnitude 6 earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 41 people.
Five years 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.
One year ago: Maryland’s highest court denied a new trial for Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial.” (The court agreed with a lower court that Syed’s legal counsel was deficient in failing to investigate an alibi witness, but it disagreed that the deficiency prejudiced the case.) Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who had served years in prison for leaking classified documents, was sent to jail for up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. (Manning remains behind bars, vowing not to cooperate in the investigation.) A grand jury in Chicago indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. (Prosecutors dropped the case in March, but a grand jury revived it in February 2020, indicting Smollett on charges of lying to police about the alleged attack.)
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician George Coleman is 85. Actress Sue Ane (correct) Langdon is 84. College Football Hall of Famer Pete Dawkins is 82. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 76. Actor-director Micky Dolenz (The Monkees) is 75. Singer-musician Randy Meisner is 74. Pop singer Peggy March is 72. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice is 67. Jazz musician Billy Childs is 63. Singer Gary Numan is 62. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 61. Actor Aidan Quinn is 61. Country musician Jimmy Dormire is 60. Actress Camryn Manheim is 59. Actor Leon (no last name) is 59. Country-rock singer Shawn Mullins is 52. Neo-soul singer Van Hunt is 50. Actress Andrea Parker is 50. Actor Boris Kodjoe is 47. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 44. Actress Laura Main is 43. Actor James Van Der Beek is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kameelah Williams (702) is 42. Actor Nick Zano is 42. Rock singer Tom Chaplin (Keane) is 41. Rock musician Andy Ross (OK Go) is 41. Actress Jessica Collins is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kristinia (kris-teh-NEE’-ah) DeBarge is 30.
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).