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Sunday, March 9
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-03-02 11:01 AM

Today is Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014. 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 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.

1996 - Socialist Jorge Sampaio is sworn in as Portugal's new president.

1997 - Albanian President Sali Berisha agrees to his biggest concession yet to quell the stubborn rebellion in southern Albania -- a broad coalition government and new elections.

1998 - A Bosnian Serb pleads guilty to a crime against humanity for raping four Muslim women in 1992, resulting in the first rape conviction at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

1999 - In the first visit by an Iranian president to a Western nation since the 1979 revolution, Mohammad Khatami arrives in Italy for a three-day visit, including a visit with the pope.

2000 - Fire sweeps through a locked dormitory at a high school in the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu, killing 18 teenage girls and their supervisor.

2001 - Ethnic Albanian rebels attack Macedonian forces near a northern village, trapping senior government officials in a remote area despite U.S. moves to cut the flow of supplies to the insurgents from Kosovo.

2002 - David Trimble, first minister of Northern Ireland, calls for a referendum on whether the province should remain part of Britain, as advocated by unionists, who are mostly Protestant; or merge with the Republic of Ireland, as desired by Roman Catholic nationalists.

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. The launch of the Shaheen 2 from an undisclosed location in Pakistan with its 2,000-kilometer (1,250-mile) range is a vivid reminder of the fragile peace between the longtime enemies.

2005 - A morning snack of cassava -- a root that turns into poisonous cyanide if not prepared correctly -- kills 27 and sickens 100 children at an elementary school in the south-central Philippines.

2006 - Argentina's air force acknowledges for the first time that some of its members committed abuses during the country's Dirty War, a seven-year crackdown on dissent that erupted 30 years ago.

2007 - Survivors of the Mar. 10, 1945 U.S. firebombing of Tokyo during World War II and bereaved family members sue the Japanese government for $10.3 million, alleging it did not assist victims in the aftermath -- the first group lawsuit of its kind.

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.

2009 - Chinese ships surround and harass a U.S. Navy mapping ship, strewing debris in its path.

2010 - Turkey's leaders pledge to build quake-proof homes after a magnitude 6 temblor shatters mud-brick homes in the eastern part of the country, killing 51 people.

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.

2012 - A high-profile international mission to end the Syrian crisis stumbles before it begins as the opposition rejects calls by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for dialogue with resident Bashar Assad as pointless and out of touch after a year of violence.

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.

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--); 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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