Today is Monday, March 9, the 69th day of 2020. There are 297 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 9, 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers began launching incendiary bomb attacks against Tokyo, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.

On this date:

In 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. The Amistad, ruled 7-1 in favor of a group of illegally enslaved Africans who were captured off the U.S. coast after seizing control of a Spanish schooner, La Amistad; the justices ruled that the Africans should be set free.

In 1916, more than 400 Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa (VEE’-uh) attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans. During the First World War, Germany declared war on Portugal.

In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its "hundred days" of enacting New Deal legislation.

In 1959, Mattel's Barbie doll, created by Ruth Handler, made its public debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

In 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.

In 1976, a cable car in the Italian ski resort of Cavalese fell some 700 feet to the ground when a supporting line snapped, killing 43 people.

In 1981, Dan Rather made his debut as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

In 1987, Chrysler Corp. announced it had agreed to buy the financially ailing American Motors Corp.

In 1989, the Senate rejected President George H.W. Bush's nomination of John Tower to be defense secretary by a vote of 53-47. (The next day, Bush tapped Wyoming Rep. Dick Cheney, who went on to win unanimous Senate approval.)

In 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.

In 2005, Dan Rather signed off for the last time as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

In 2009, President Barack Obama lifted George W. Bush-era limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research.

Ten years ago: Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Israel, condemned an Israeli plan to build hundreds of homes in east Jerusalem. Former television producer Robert "Joe" Halderman pleaded guilty in New York to attempted grand larceny for trying to blackmail talk show host David Letterman. (Halderman was sentenced to six months in jail; he actually served four.) Doris "Granny D" Haddock, a New Hampshire woman who'd walked across the country at age 89 to promote campaign finance reform, died at age 100.

Five years ago: In northwestern Argentina, two helicopters collided and burst into flames shortly after taking off near the remote settlement of Villa Castelli, killing both pilots and eight French nationals. (Among the victims were Olympic champion swimmer Camille Muffat (MOO’-fah), Olympic bronze-medalist boxer Alexis Vastine and pioneering sailor Florence Arthaud, who were contestants on a European reality TV show which was being shot in the sparsely populated region.) Solar Impulse 2, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft, took off from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel (however, overheated batteries grounded the plane in Hawaii). Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch in San Francisco.

One year ago: R&B singer R. Kelly walked out of a Chicago jail after someone who officials said did not want to be publicly identified paid $161,000 that Kelly owed in back child support. (Kelly would be arrested in July and ordered held without bond as he awaited sex-related charges in Chicago and New York.) Julia Ruth Stevens, the last surviving daughter of Hall of Fame baseball slugger Babe Ruth, died at an assisted living facility in Nevada at the age of 102; she had been a decades-long champion of Ruth’s legacy.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. James L. Buckley, Conservative-N.Y., is 97. Singer Lloyd Price is 87. Actress Joyce Van Patten is 86. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 84. Actress Trish Van Devere is 79. Singer-musician John Cale (The Velvet Underground) is 78. Singer Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders) is 78. Former ABC anchorman Charles Gibson is 77. Rock musician Robin Trower is 75. Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 72. Country musician Jimmie Fadden (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 72. Actress Jaime Lyn Bauer is 71. Magazine editor Michael Kinsley is 69. TV newscaster Faith Daniels is 63. Actress Linda Fiorentino is 62. Actor Tom Amandes is 61. Actor-director Lonny Price is 61. Country musician Rusty Hendrix (Confederate Railroad) is 60. Actress Juliette Binoche is 56. Rock musician Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five) is 52. Rock musician Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) is 50. Rapper C-Murder (AKA C-Miller) is 49. Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 49. Actress Jean Louisa Kelly is 48. Actor Kerr Smith is 48. Actor Oscar Isaac is 41. Comedian Jordan Klepper (TV: "The Daily Show") is 41. Rapper Chingy is 40. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler is 40. Rock musician Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory) is 39. Roots rock musician Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) is 37. NHL defenseman Brent Burns is 35. Actress Brittany Snow is 34. Rapper Bow Wow is 33. Rapper YG is 30. Actor Luis Armand Garcia is 28. Actress Cierra Ramirez is 25.

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