History: March 8, 2019

1917

Riots and protests erupt in Petrograd, marking the start of the February Revolution in Russia.

A week later Czar Nicholas II abdicated.

His brother was put in charge, but refused the title of Czar. (Czar comes from the name Caesar).

The fall of the monarchy and the rise of the People eventually led to communist rule across Russia and its territories.

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1942

Dutch troops fighting in Japan surrender to Japanese on the island of Java.

The Dutch had occupied the south-Pacific island since the late 1500s, and was a base of the Dutch East India Company, known for establishing trade routes throughout the region by sea.

As an Allied force, the Dutch agreed to invade the islands of Borneo and Celebes. This ticked off the Japanese, who later stormed Java.

The Dutch agreed to pull out, and surrendered Java. It then became a part of the Republic of Indonesia.

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1950

Volkswagen begins production of its microbus.

The official model name was the Volkwagen Type 2.

The Type 1 designation went to the Beetle. Within a matter of years, hippies in the U.S. adopted the bus as their favorite mode of communal transportation.

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1971

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier square off in the “Fight of the Century.”

The bout happened at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Ali had been suspended for 3 and-a-half years, when boxing commissions took away his license for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.

At the time of the fight, both Ali and Frazier were undefeated. Both had Olympic gold medals to their credit.

Celebrities poured in to see the fight firsthand. Frank Sinatra even sat court side, taking pictures for a Life magazine article.

Frazier would win the fight with a left hook to Ali’s chin, knocking him down for the first time in his career. Ali stood back up, but it wasn’t a knockout.

In their subsequent fights in 1974 and ’75, Ali won.

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2004

Iraq agrees to a new constitution.

Its interim Governing Council hammered out the document.

It went into effect that summer, when Coalition Forces transferred power to the Iraqis.

Iraqis knew it would only be temporary, as a full-fledged government was slated to take power in 2006.