Today in History

Today is Friday, March 26, the 85th day of 2021. There are 280 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 26, 1982, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington, D.C., for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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 Game 4 of the finals by a score of 9-1.

In 1945, during World War II, Iwo Jima was fully secured by U.S. forces following a final, desperate attack by Japanese soldiers.

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Baker v. Carr, gave federal courts the power to order reapportionment of states' legislative districts.

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 (men-AH'-kem BAY'-gihn) and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter at the White House.

In 1992, a judge in Indianapolis sentenced former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson to six years in prison for raping a Miss Black America contestant. (Tyson ended up serving three years.)

In 1997, the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate techno-religious cult who committed suicide were found inside a rented mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

In 2010, 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.

Ten years ago: Former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party nominee for the office, died in Boston at 75.

Five years ago: Bernie Sanders scored wins over Hillary Clinton in the Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii Democratic caucuses. Author Jim Harrison ("Legends of the Fall") died in Patagonia, Arizona, at age 78.

One year ago: Federal officials said two men who had been on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship stalled for days off the California coast had died; officials confirmed that fewer than half the ship's 2,400 passengers were tested for the virus. (More than 100 people who were on the Grand Princess were found to be infected with the coronavirus; at least eight died.) The government reported a record-high number of new unemployment claims – nearly 3.3 million – amid an economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The U.S. surpassed official Chinese government numbers to become the country with the most reported coronavirus infections, more than 85,000. The U.S. Justice Department indicted Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolás Maduro and several aides on charges of narcoterrorism. Fred "Curly" Neal, the dribbling wizard who starred with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, died at the age of 77.

Today's Birthdays: Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is 91. Actor Alan Arkin is 87. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is 86. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 81. Actor James Caan is 81. Author Erica Jong is 79. Journalist Bob Woodward is 78. Singer Diana Ross is 77. Actor Johnny Crawford is 75. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 73. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 72. Actor Ernest Thomas is 72. Comedian Martin Short is 71. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 71. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 71. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 69. Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is 68. Radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa is 67. Country singer Dean Dillon is 66. Country singer Charly McClain is 65. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 64. Actor Ellia English is 62. Actor Jennifer Grey is 61. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen is 61. Actor Billy Warlock is 60. Actor Eric Allan Kramer is 59. Basketball and College Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton is 59. Actor Michael Imperioli is 55. Rock musician James Iha (EE'-hah) is 53. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 53. Movie director Martin McDonagh (Film: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri") is 51. Actor Leslie Mann is 49. Actor T.R. Knight is 48. Rapper Juvenile is 46. Actor Amy Smart is 45. Actor Bianca Kajlich (KY'-lihk) is 44. Moderator Margaret Brennan (TV: "Face the Nation") is 41. Actor Sterling Sulieman is 37. Actor Keira Knightley is 36. Rapper J-Kwon is 35. Actor Carly Chaikin is 31.