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March 9, 2013

Today in History for Saturday, March 9, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On March 9, 1963, two Los Angeles police officers, Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger, were disarmed and abducted by ex-convicts Gregory Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith during a traffic stop in Hollywood; the officers were taken to an onion field near Bakersfield, Calif., where Campbell was shot to death while Hettinger managed to escape. (Powell and Smith were sent to prison; the case was detailed in the book “The Onion Field” by Joseph Wambaugh.)

On this date

In 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, Va.

In 1916, Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.

In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign on “See It Now.”

In 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.)

In 1983, Margaret Heckler was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services, the same day Anne M. Burford resigned as head of the embattled Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1997, gangsta rapper The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles; he was 24.

Ten years ago

Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a seat in the Turkish parliament, clearing way for him to become prime minister. The film musical “Chicago” tap-danced away with a haul of movie honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including best ensemble cast and the lead-actress prize for star Renee Zellweger.

Five years ago

Spain’s governing Socialists won a second term, but without a majority in parliament.

One year ago

A high-profile international mission to end the Syrian crisis stumbled before it began as the opposition rejected calls by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for dialogue with President Bashar Assad as pointless and out of touch after a year of violence. Lindsey Vonn of the United States won the World Cup giant slalom race in Are, Sweden to clinch her fourth overall title.

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