Today is the 68th day of 2017 and the 79th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1847, the first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history was launched in the Mexican seaport of Veracruz.
In 1945, 334 B-29 bombers began Operation Meetinghouse, a firebombing campaign of the city of Tokyo that was the deadliest air raid of World War II.
In 1959, Mattel introduced the Barbie doll at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.
In 2004, a Virginia court sentenced the Washington, D.C.-area "Beltway Sniper" John Allen Muhammad to death.
In 2011, the space shuttle Discovery completed its 39th and final flight.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Samuel Barber (1910-1981), composer; Mickey Spillane (1918-2006), author; Walter Kohn (1923-2016), physicist/Nobel Prize winner; Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), cosmonaut/first person in space; Raul Julia (1940-1994), actor; Bobby Fischer (1943-2008), chess grandmaster; Charles Gibson (1943- ), TV journalist; Juliette Binoche (1964- ), actress; Oscar Isaac (1979- ), actor; Clint Dempsey (1983- ), soccer player; Brittany Snow (1986- ), actress; Bow Wow (1987- ), actor/rapper.
TODAY'S FACT: Mattel Inc. reports that 90 percent of American girls between ages 3 and 10 own at least one Barbie doll.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1995, league owners unanimously approved the addition of major league baseball expansion franchises in Arizona and Tampa Bay, Florida.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "We brought a man back who should have died long ago. The present can't stand a man like that anymore. Now they want indecision and compromise and reluctance and fear." -- Mickey Spillane, "The Snake"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 148,221,675 -- miles flown by the space shuttle Discovery during its 26 years of operation, the equivalent of 300 round trips to the moon.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (March 5) and full moon (March 12).