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Today in history: March 8
An inauspicious day: In 1874 President Millard Fillmore died, and 56 years later, so did President William Howard Taft
President Taft with his wife Helen at a baseball game in New York in 1910.
President Taft with his wife Helen at a baseball game in New York in 1910. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

March 8

On this day. 1874: Millard Fillmore died. He was the 13th president, serving between 1850-53. He took over after Zachary Taylor died.

On this day. 1930: William Howard Taft died. He was the 27th president, serving between 1909-13. After his presidency, Taft became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court — the only person to serve in both roles.

On this day. 1983: In one of the most famous speeches of his presidency, Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an "Evil Empire." In 1982, Reagan told the British Parliament "the march of freedom and democracy" would leave Marxism-Leninism on the "ash heap of history." Reagan later tempered his rhetoric, meeting frequently with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and entering into arms agreements with the Kremlin.

Quote of the day

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." –George Washington


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