Today in History – Wednesday, March 9, 2016

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Today is Wednesday, March 9, the 69th day of 2016. There are 297 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1566 – David Rizzo, confidential secretary to Mary Queen of Scots, is murdered.

1661 – Cardinal Mazarin dies in France and King Louis XIV begins personal rule.

1715 – Portugal ratifies Peace of Utrecht, ending its war with Spain.

1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte, the future emperor of France, marries Josephine de Beauharnais.

1846 – Treaty of Lahore ends first Sikh War in India, whereby Britain gains additional territory.

1860 – After centuries of isolation and years of delicate negotiations, Japan establishes diplomatic relations with the United States. The event is marked by Japanese ambassador Niimi Buzennokami’s arrival in San Francisco.

1905 – Japan defeats Russian forces at Mukden.

1916 – Mexican rebel Francisco “Pancho” Villa attacks Columbus, a town in the U.S. state of New Mexico, setting off a punitive U.S. invasion of Mexico.

1919 – Britain deports Egyptian independence leader Saad Zaghlul to Malta. Britain grants Egypt nominal independence in 1922.

1933 – Congress, called into special session by President Franklin Roosevelt, begins its 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation.

1942 – Japanese complete conquest of Dutch island of Java in Indonesia during World War II.

1945 – U.S. B-29 bombers launch incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, killing 80,000 people and leaving one million homeless in Tokyo.

1959 – Unsuccessful army revolt ends in Mosul, Iraq.

1969 – Lt. Gen. Moneim Riad, chief of staff of Egypt’s armed forces, is killed during Israeli-Egyptian gun battle across Suez Canal.

1970 – United States declines to recognize new white-ruled Republic of Rhodesia and closes consulate in that African nation. After independence a decade later, the country was renamed Zimbabwe.

1976 – Cable car plunges to ground near northern Italian city of Trento, killing 42 skiers.

1990 – Two Germanys begin preliminary reunification talks.

1991 – Yugoslav military moves into Belgrade with dozens of tanks after thousands of anti-communist rebels clash with police in fierce street battles, leaving at least two people dead.

1992 – A demonstration against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and the war in Croatia gathers 50,000 people in Belgrade.

1994 – Irish Republican Army launches first of a series of mortar attacks on Heathrow Airport in London.

1995 – The United States and its allies sign a deal to supply North Korea with two nuclear reactors.

2003 – Thai police say nearly 1,500 people were killed during a nationwide crackdown on methamphetamines.

2004 – Pakistan test-fires its most advanced missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead deep into archrival India.

2008 – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he does not intend to quit despite unprecedented electoral losses that gave the opposition control of five states and one-third of the Parliament.

2011 – Discovery ends its career as the world’s most flown spaceship, returning from orbit to Cape Canaveral for the last time and taking off in a new direction as a museum piece.

2013 – Egyptian soccer fans rampage through the heart of Cairo, furious about the acquittal of seven police officers while death sentences against 21 alleged rioters were confirmed in a trial over a stadium melee that left 74 dead.

2014 – Russian President Vladimir Putin defends the separatist drive in the disputed Crimean Peninsula as in keeping with international law after the Kremlin increases its military presence in the region.

2015 – Two helicopters carrying French sports stars filming a popular European reality show crash in a remote part of Argentina, killing 10 people including two Olympic medal winners and a sailing champion.

Today’s Birthdays:

Amerigo Vespucci, Italian explorer for whom America is named (1451-1512); Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut, first man in space (1934-1968); Raul Julia, Puerto Rican actor (1940-1994); Ornette Coleman, U.S. jazz musician (1930-2015); Charles Gibson, U.S. journalist (1943–); Juliette Binoche, French actress (1964–); Emmanuel Lewis, U.S. actor (1971–).

Thought For Today:

It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him — John Steinbeck, American author (1902-1968).

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