Today is the 69th day of 2014 and the 80th day of winter.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed Ulysses S. Grant's commission to command the U.S. Army.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell spoke the first intelligible words transmitted over a telephone: "Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you."
In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1971, the U.S. Senate passed the 26th Amendment, lowering the minimum voting age to 18.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908), violinist/composer; Albert Fraenkel (1848-1916), physician; Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), playwright/politician; Chuck Norris (1940- ), actor; Jim Valvano (1946-1993), basketball coach; Sharon Stone (1958- ), actress; Rick Rubin (1963- ), record producer; Rod Woodson (1965- ), football player; Jon Hamm (1971- ), actor; Matt Kenseth (1972- ), race car driver; Timbaland (1972- ), rapper/producer; Robin Thicke (1977- ), singer-songwriter; Carrie Underwood (1983- ), singer-songwriter/actress; Olivia Wilde (1984- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: From 1875 through 1893, the Bell Telephone Company faced 587 unsuccessful court challenges to its patents, including five decided by the Supreme Court.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1995, retired basketball superstar Michael Jordan announced his retirement from baseball after a single season in the minor leagues. Jordan played his comeback game with the NBA's Chicago Bulls nine days later.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul." -- Jim Valvano
TODAY'S NUMBER: 129.1 million -- Americans who voted in the 2012 presidential election.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (March 8) and full moon (March 16).