On This Day March 8
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1971 – Boxing titans Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier meet for the “Fight of the Century” before a crowd of more than 20,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The showdown marks Ali’s return to the ring three and a-half years after his boxing license was revoked over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War. Frazier wins by unanimous decision, retaining his heavyweight champion title and delivering Ali the first loss of his career.
1973 – Terrorists affiliated with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) set off two powerful car bombs in London, killing one person and injuring 243 others. Most of the suspects are arrested trying to leave Heathrow Airport. The blasts cause chaos not seen since World War II.
1983 – Addressing the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Florida, President Ronald Reagan publicly refers to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” for the second time in his political career.
2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, loses contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur then veers off course and vanishes. Most of the Boeing 777, and everyone on board, are never seen again.
1965 – Bob Dylan releases “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” which becomes his first Top 40 single, peaking at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track, from his “Bringing it All Back Home” album, is used in one of the first modern promotional film clips ever produced — a precursor to the music video.