Today is Thursday, March 26, the 85th day of 2015. There are 280 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On March 26, 1945, during World War II, Iwo Jima was fully secured by U.S. forces following a final, desperate attack by Japanese soldiers. Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, 82, died in Ty Newydd, Llanystumdwy, Wales.
On this date:
In 1812, an earthquake devastated Caracas, Venezuela, causing an estimated 26,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 1827, composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Vienna.
In 1874, poet Robert Frost was born in San Francisco.
In 1892, poet Walt Whitman died in Camden, New Jersey.
In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens.
In 1934, Britain enacted a Road Traffic Act reimposing a 30 mile-per-hour speed limit in “built-up areas” and requiring driving tests for new motorists.
In 1958, the U.S. Army launched America’s third successful satellite, Explorer 3.
In 1964, the musical play “Funny Girl,” starring Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, opened on Broadway.
In 1979, a peace treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter at the White House.
In 1982, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington D.C., for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
In 1990, “Driving Miss Daisy” won the Academy Award for best picture; its star, Jessica Tandy, was named best actress. Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for “My Left Foot” while Oliver Stone was honored as best director for “Born on the Fourth of July.” Designer Halston died in San Francisco at age 57.
In 1997, the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate techno-religious cult who’d committed suicide were found inside a rented mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Ten years ago: German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stood in for Pope John Paul II during the Easter Vigil Mass at the Vatican. (Ratzinger later succeeded John Paul, becoming Pope Benedict XVI.) Former British Prime Minister James Callaghan died one day before his 93rd birthday in East Sussex, England.
Five years ago: The U.S. and Russia sealed the first major nuclear weapons treaty in nearly two decades, agreeing to slash the former Cold War rivals’ warhead arsenals by nearly one-third. A South Korean warship exploded and sank near a disputed maritime border with North Korea, killing 46 sailors. (South Korea blamed North Korea, which denied involvement.) A truck collided with a van on I-65 in Kentucky, killing 10 Mennonites in the van and the truck driver. NBA player Gilbert Arenas was sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house for bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room.
One year ago: Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, was convicted in New York for his role as al-Qaida’s fiery chief spokesman after 9/11. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.) In a ruling that stunned the college sports industry, a federal agency said that football players at Northwestern University could create the nation’s first union of college athletes. (Northwestern has urged the National Labor Relations Board to overturn the regional ruling.)
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Bob Elliott is 92. Conductor-composer Pierre Boulez is 90. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is 85. Actor Alan Arkin is 81. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is 80. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is 75. Actor James Caan is 75. Author Erica Jong is 73. Journalist Bob Woodward is 72. Singer Diana Ross is 71. Actor Johnny Crawford is 69. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 67. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 66. Actor Ernest Thomas is 66. Comedian Martin Short is 65. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 65. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 65. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 63. Radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa is 61. Country singer Dean Dillon is 60. Country singer Charly McClain is 59. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 58. Actress Ellia English is 56. Actress Jennifer Grey is 55. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen is 55. Actor Billy Warlock is 54. Actor Eric Allan Kramer is 53. Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton is 53. Actor Michael Imperioli is 49. Rock musician James Iha is 47. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 47. Actress Leslie Mann is 43. Actor T.R. Knight is 42. Rapper Juvenile is 40. Actress Amy Smart is 39. Actress Bianca Kajlich is 38. Actress Keira Knightley is 30. Rapper J-Kwon is 29. Actress Carly Chaikin is 25.
Thought for Today: “Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.” – Tennessee Williams, American playwright (1911-1983).