Today is Thursday, March 9th, the 68th day of 2017. There are 297 days left in the year.
1796: The future emperor of the French, Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple later divorced.)
1862: During the Civil War, the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
1907: Indiana's General Assembly passed America's first involuntary sterilization law, one aimed at "confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles, and rapists" in state custody. (This law was struck down in 1921 by the Indiana Supreme Court, but a new law was passed in 1927 that was repealed in 1974.)
1916: More than 400 Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans. During the First World War, Germany declared war on Portugal.
1933: Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its "hundred days" of enacting New Deal legislation.
1945: During World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers began launching incendiary bomb attacks against Tokyo, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.
1954: CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-communism campaign on "See It Now."
1964: The U.S. Supreme Court, in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, raised the standard for public officials to prove they'd been libeled in their official capacity by news organizations.
1977: About a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)
1987: Chrysler Corp. announced it had agreed to buy the financially ailing American Motors Corp.
1992: Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin died in Tel Aviv at age 78.
1997: Gangsta rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles; he was 24. French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby, 44, died at a hospital outside Paris just after publication of his book "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," which he'd dictated by blinking his left eyelid after being almost totally paralyzed by a stroke.
Former Sen. James L. Buckley, Conservative-N.Y., is 94.
Singer-actress Keely Smith is 89.
Singer Lloyd Price is 84.
Actress Joyce Van Patten is 83.
Country singer Mickey Gilley is 81. Actress Trish Van Devere is 76.
Singer-musician John Cale (The Velvet Underground) is 75.
Singer Mark Lindsay(Paul Revere and the Raiders) is 75.
Former ABC anchorman Charles Gibson is 74.
Rock musician Robin Trower is 72.
Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 69.
Country musician Jimmie Fadden (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 69.