Today in History: March 26, Beethoven dies at age 56


Today is Sunday, March 26, the 85th day of 2023. There are 280 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 26, 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.

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 at age 56.

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 1973, the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” premiered on CBS-TV.

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 1988, Jesse Jackson stunned fellow Democrats by soundly defeating Michael S. Dukakis in Michigan’s Democratic presidential caucuses.

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 2014, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO’-lay-mahn AH’-boo gayth), 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 2020, the U.S. surpassed official Chinese government numbers to become the country with the most reported coronavirus infections.

Ten years ago: Italy’s top criminal court overturned the acquittal of American Amanda Knox in the grisly murder of British roommate Meredith Kercher and ordered Knox to stand trial again. (Although convicted in absentia, Knox was exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court in 2015.) A study from the Society of Actuaries said that insurance companies would have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. President Obama named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency’s first female director.

Five years ago: The Commerce Department said the 2020 U.S. Census would include a question about citizenship status; opponents said the question would discourage immigrants from responding to the census. A toxicology report obtained by The Associated Press revealed that the late pop superstar Prince had levels of fentanyl in his body that multiple experts described as “exceedingly high.” Two women and their six adopted children were killed when one of the women drove their SUV off a cliff into the ocean about 150 miles north of San Francisco.

One year ago: President Joe Biden said in Poland that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” dramatically escalating the rhetoric against the Russian leader after his brutal invasion of Ukraine. The White House attempted to clarify soon after that he was not calling for a new government in Russia. Chinese authorities officially confirmed that there were no survivors in the crash of a China Eastern 737-800 with 132 people on board. U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska resigned from office after a jury convicted him of lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign donation from a foreign national.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is 93. Actor Alan Arkin is 89. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is 88. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 83. Author Erica Jong is 81. Journalist Bob Woodward is 80. Singer Diana Ross is 79. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 75. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 74. Actor Ernest Thomas is 74. Comedian Martin Short is 73. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 73. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 73. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 71. Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is 70. Radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa is 69. Country singer Dean Dillon is 68. Country singer Charly McClain is 67. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 66. Actor Ellia English is 64. Actor Jennifer Grey is 63. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen is 63. Actor Billy Warlock is 62. Actor Eric Allan Kramer is 61. Basketball and College Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton is 61. Actor Michael Imperioli is 57. Rock musician James Iha is 55. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 55. Movie director Martin McDonagh is 52. Actor Leslie Mann is 51. Actor T.R. Knight is 50. Rapper Juvenile is 48. Actor Amy Smart is 47. Actor Bianca Kajlich (KY’-lihk) is 46. Moderator Margaret Brennan (TV: “Face the Nation”) is 43. Actor Sterling Sulieman is 39. Actor Keira Knightley is 38. Rapper J-Kwon is 37. Actor Carly Chaikin is 33.

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