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Today In History – March 08 – Joe DiMaggio Passes Away





1782: Pennsylvania militiamen senselessly murder Patriot allies: On this day in 1782, 160 Pennsylvania militiamen murder 96 Christian Indians–39 children, 29 women and 28 men–by hammering their skulls with mallets from behind as they kneel unarmed, praying and singing, in their Moravian Mission at Gnadenhuetten in the Ohio Country. The Patriots then piled their victims’ bodies in mission buildings before burning the entire community to the ground. Two boys managed to survive, although one had lost his scalp to his attackers. Although the militiamen claimed they were seeking revenge for Indian raids on their frontier settlements, the Indians they murdered had played no role in any attack. More here

1957: Egypt opens the Suez Canal: Following Israel’s withdrawal from occupied Egyptian territory, the Suez Canal is reopened to international traffic. However, the canal was so littered with wreckage from the Suez Crisis that it took weeks of cleanup by Egyptian and United Nations workers before larger ships could navigate the waterway.

The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas across Egypt, was completed by French engineers in 1869. For the next 88 years, it remained largely under British and French control, and Europe depended on it as an inexpensive shipping route for oil from the Middle East. More here

1983: Reagan refers to U.S.S.R. as “evil empire”: Speaking to a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida on this day in 1983, President Ronald Reagan publicly refers to the Soviet Union as an evil empire for the second time in his career. He had first used the phrase in a 1982 speech at the British House of Commons. Some considered Reagan’s use of the Star Warsfilm-inspired terminology to be brilliant democratic rhetoric. Others, including many within the international diplomatic community, denounced it as irresponsible bombast. More here

1999: The Supreme Court upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing:  Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a former member of the U.S. Army who became infamous for detonating a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attack killed 168 people, injured 450, and was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

While incarcerated Timothy McVeigh had the Federal Bureau of Prisons register # 12076-064. McVeigh’s death sentence was delayed pending an appeal. One of his appeals for certiorari, taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, was denied on March 8, 1999. McVeigh’s request for a nationally televised execution was also denied. An internet company also sued for the rights to broadcast it. At ADX Florence, McVeigh was housed in the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski, Luis Felipe and Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi made frequent, unsuccessful attempts to convert McVeigh to Islam. More here

1999: Joe DiMaggio passes away: Joseph Paul “Joe” DiMaggio (November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999), nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper”, was an Italian American Major League Baseball center fielder.

He played his entire 13-year baseball career for the New York Yankees. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. He was the middle of three brothers who each became major league center fielders, the others being Vince and Dom.

DiMaggio was a 3-time MVP winner and 13-time All-Star (the only player to be selected for the All-Star Game in every season he played). In his thirteen year career, the Yankees won ten pennants and nine world championships.

At the time of his retirement, he had the fifth-most career home runs (361) and sixth-highest slugging percentage (.579) in history. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15–July 16, 1941), a record that still stands. A 1969 poll conducted to coincide with the centennial of professional baseball voted him the sport’s greatest living player. More here

2004: A new constitution is signed by Iraq’s Governing Council: The Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period (also called the transitional administrative law or TAL), was Iraq’s provisional constitution following the 2003 Iraq War. It was signed on March 8, 2004 by the Iraqi Governing Council. It came into effect on June 28, 2004 following the official transfer of power from the Coalition Provisional Authority (led by the United States), to a sovereign Iraqi government. The law remained in effect until the formation of the current government in May 2006, when it was superseded by thepermanent constitution that had been approved by referendum on October 15, 2005. More here


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