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Today in History for March 8, 2022

1991 Gulf War US Troops

Troops from the US Army's 1st Calvary Division celebrate their impending departure from Saudi Arabia in a hanger at Dhahran airport in Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 8, 1991. 

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.

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: Jesse Owens was posthumously made an inaugural member of the IAAF Hall of Fame more than 75 years after he won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. (Owens, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and nine others were the first athletes to be honored by the IAAF in its newly created Hall of Fame.) James T. “Jimmy” Ellis, 74, the frontman for The Trammps who released “Disco Inferno,” died in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Five years ago: Hawaii became the first state to sue to stop President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban (the state had previously sued over Trump’s initial travel ban, but that lawsuit was put on hold while other cases played out across the country). Many American women stayed home from work, joined rallies or wore red to demonstrate how vital they were to the U.S. economy, as International Women’s Day was observed with a multitude of events around the world, including the Day Without a Woman in the U.S. Fire swept through a crowded youth shelter near Guatemala City, killing 40 girls.

One year ago: According to some long-awaited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated Americans could now gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. Novak Djokovic surpassed Roger Federer for the most weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings; it was his 311th week in the top spot.

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