Today in History

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Posted: Mar 26, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 26, the 85th day of 2011. There are 280 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 26, 1911, American playwright Tennessee Williams ("The Glass Menagerie," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof") was born in Columbus, Miss.

On this date:

In 1804, the Louisiana Purchase was divided into the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana.

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, N.J.

In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens.

In 1958, the U.S. Army launched America's third successful satellite, Explorer 3.

In 1971, East Pakistan proclaimed its independence, taking the name Bangladesh.

In 1979, a peace treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (men-AH'-kem BAY'-gihn) 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 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, Calif.

Ten years ago: Comair pilots walked off the job, beginning a three-month strike after contract talks with the regional airline broke off. A fire in a Kenyan secondary school dormitory killed 67 students.

Five years ago: An Afghan court dismissed the case against a man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity. (Abdul Rahman was released and granted asylum by Italy.) Paul Dana, 30, died when he slammed into a stopped car during a warmup session of the Toyota Indy 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

One year 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. 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.

Today's Birthdays: Conductor-composer Pierre Boulez is 86. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is 81. Actor-director Leonard Nimoy is 80. Actor Alan Arkin is 77. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH'-see) is 71. Actor James Caan is 71. Author Erica Jong is 69. Journalist Bob Woodward is 68. Singer Diana Ross is 67. Actor Johnny Crawford is 65. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 63. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 62. Actor Ernest Thomas is 62. Comedian Martin Short is 61. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 61. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 61. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 59. Radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa is 57. Country singer Dean Dillon is 56. Country singer Charly McClain is 55. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 54. Actress Ellia English is 52. Actress Jennifer Grey is 51. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen is 51. Actor Eric Allan Kramer is 49. Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton is 49. Actor Michael Imperioli is 45. Rock musician James Iha (EE'-hah) is 43. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 43. Actor T.R. Knight is 38. Rapper Juvenile is 36. Actress Amy Smart is 35. Actress Bianca Kajlich (KY'-lihk) is 34. Actress Keira Knightley is 26. Rapper J-Kwon is 25.

Thought for Today: "Make voyages. Attempt them. There's nothing else." _ Tennessee Williams, American playwright (1911-1983).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, March 26)

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