Posted: Mar 09, 2017 12:05 AM MST
Updated: Mar 09, 2017 12:05 AM MST
2011: The space shuttle Discovery makes its final landing after 39 flights over 27 years. Discovery was the third shuttle to enter service (after Columbia and Challenger) and spent a cumulative total of nearly a year in space.
2011: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation abolishing the death penalty in his state and commuting the sentences of all remaining death row inmates.
1997: The Notorious B.I.G., the rapper best known for songs such as "Big Poppa," "Mo Money Mo Problems," "Hypnotize" and "One More Chance," is killed by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His double-disc set "Life After Death," released 16 days later, rose to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.
1996: Actor George Burns, whose career in show business lasted for 93 years, dies at the age of 100 in Beverly Hills, California. Born Nathan Birnbaum, his career spanned vaudeville, film, radio and television. He rose to fame with his wife, Gracie Allen, in the 1920s, playing the straight man to her zany scatterbrain. The two found success on stage, on radio and on television before Allen retired in 1958. Following her death in August 1964, Allen relaunched his career at age 79 playing an old comedian in the 1975 film "The Sunshine Boys," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued to work until shortly before his death, including roles playing God in the "Oh, God!" movies.
1992: Menachem Begin, the sixth Israeli prime minister and the recipient of the Nobel Prize, dies at age 78 in Tel Aviv, Israel, six days after suffering a heart attack. He and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord through the Camp David Accords.
1989: Financially troubled Eastern Air Lines filed for bankruptcy. The airline, once a dominant carrier on the East Coast, continued operations initially, but stopped flying at midnight on Jan. 19, 1991.
1987: Rapper and actor Bow Wow is born Shad Gregory Moss in Columbus, Ohio. He's best known for the No. 1 rap hits "Bounce with Me," "Bow Wow (That's My Name)," "Let Me Hold You," "Like You," "Shortie Like Mine" and "I'm a Flirt."
1984: World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso is born in Reno, Nevada. She won the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics and also earned two silver medals in 2010 and a bronze in 2014. Her four Olympic medals are the most ever for a female American alpine skier.
1979: Actor Oscar Isaac, best known for his roles in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "A Most Violent Year" and "Ex Machina," is born Oscar Isaac Hernández in Guatemala.
1977: Armed Hanafi Muslims seize three Washington, D.C., buildings, including the District Building (pictured) housing the municipal offices and chambers of the mayor and District Council of the District of Columbia. They took 149 people hostage and ended up killing two people before the 39-hour standoff ended.
1976: A cable car falls while descending Cermis mountain (seen here) near the Italian ski resort of Cavalese after a supporting cable snapped. The incident killed 43 people, making it the worst cable-car accident in history.
1974: Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who fought in World War II, surrenders 29 years after the war had ended. Onoda, seen here as a young officer in 1944 or 1945, had spent the time since the war as a guerrilla operating in the Philippines. Among Japanese soldiers who fought in World War II, only Pvt. Teruo Nakamura, arrested on Dec. 18, 1974, in Indonesia, held out for longer.
1971: Actor Emmanuel Lewis, best known for his role as a child actor on the sitcom "Webster," is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1964: Actress Juliette Binoche, best known for her roles in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," "The English Patient" and "Chocolat," is born in Paris, France. She earned an Academy Award and a BAFTA for her performance in "The English Patient" and was again nominated for an Oscar for "Chocolat."
1964: Production begins on the Ford Mustang in Dearborn, Michigan. The new car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964, at the New York World's Fair.
1959: The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. This date is also used as Barbie's official birthday.
1958: Actress Linda Fiorentino, best known for movies such as "Vision Quest," "After Hours," "The Last Seduction," "Men in Black" and "Dogma," is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1954: CBS broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow critically reviews U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-Communism campaign on "See It Now." Murrow's reporting on the issue contributed to the eventual political downfall McCarthy.
1945: The United States Army Air Forces begins firebombing Tokyo, Japan, in a series of air raids known as Operation Meetinghouse. The operation, which continued through the night to the following morning, is estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in history. About 15.8 square miles of the city was destroyed and between 80,000 and 100,000 people were killed.
1943: Chess grandmaster and author Bobby Fischer, the 11th World Chess Champion and considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time, is born in Chicago, Illinois. Fischer, seen here in 1972, was also an eight-time U.S. champion, winning his first title in 1958 at the age of 14. He died from degenerative renal failure at the age of 64 on Jan. 17, 2008.
1936: Country music singer and musician Mickey Gilley is born in Ferriday, Louisiana. Among his biggest hits are "Room Full of Roses" and "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time."
1934: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, who on April 12, 1961, became the first man to travel into space, is born in Klushino, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. At the age of 27 he rode the Vostok 1 spacecraft into space, orbiting the Earth once in one hour and 29 minutes at a maximum altitude of 187 miles. He never went into space again, instead touring the Soviet Union and training other pilots. On March 27, 1968, he died at the age of 34 along with another pilot in the crash of a two-seat jet aircraft while on what was described as a routine training flight.
1933: Congress passes President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies. The legislation handed the president a far-reaching grip over bank dealings and foreign transactions during the Great Depression.
1918: Author Mickey Spillane, best known for his best-selling crime novels featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer, is born in Brooklyn, New York. Seen here in a 1974 guest appearance in an episode of the TV series "Columbo," Spillane died of pancreatic carcinoma at age 88 on July 17, 2006.
1916: Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. The raiders attacked a detachment of the 13th Cavalry Regiment, burned the town and seized 100 horses and mules and other military supplies. Eighteen Americans and about 80 of Villa's raiders were killed in the conflict. As a result of the raid, U.S. Army Gen. John J. Pershing pursued Villa unsuccessfully for nine months before being called back to Washington, D.C., when the U.S. entered into World War I.
1864: Ulysses S. Grant is promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and given command of all active United States forces during the Civil War.
1862: During the American Civil War, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads in Virginia. The incident marked the first battle between two ironclad warships.
1847: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz during the Mexican-American War. The siege lasted for 20 days before the seaport surrendered and U.S. forces occupied the city. They then began the march inland toward Mexico City.
1842: Giuseppe Verdi's third opera, "Nabucco," receives its premiere performance in Milan, Italy. The success of the production helped establish Verdi as one of Italy's foremost opera writers.
1841: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in the United States v. The Amistad case that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
1820: U.S. President James Monroe's daughter Maria marries in the White House. Her wedding was the first of a president's child in the White House.
1788: Connecticut becomes the fifth state to join the United States.