By the Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, March 26, the 85th day of 2014. There are 280 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 26, 1964, the musical play “Funny Girl,” starring Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, opened on Broadway.
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, 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 1937, a 6-foot-tall statue of the cartoon character Popeye was unveiled during the Second Annual Spinach Festival in Crystal City, Texas.
In 1958, the U.S. Army launched America’s third successful satellite, Explorer 3.
In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Baker v. Carr, gave federal courts the power to order reapportionment of states’ legislative districts.
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 1989, the science-fiction TV series “Quantum Leap,” starring Scott Bakula as an errant time-traveler, premiered on NBC.
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: Phoenix Bishop Thomas O’Brien was sentenced to four years’ probation and 1,000 hours of community service for a deadly hit-and-run that claimed the life of pedestrian Jim Reed. Actress Jan Sterling died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 82. Jan Berry, half of the surf music duo Jan and Dean, died at age 62.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama held an unprecedented Internet town hall from the White House as he made a direct sales pitch for his $3.6 trillion budget. A 23,000-ton Norwegian-owned vessel with a crew of 27 was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coastline. (The Bow Asir was released two weeks later.) A Soyuz capsule carrying a Russian-American crew and U.S billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi blasted off for the international space station. All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada received a sentence of a year’s probation for misleading Congress about an ex-teammate’s use of performance-enhancing drugs. Evan Lysacek became the first American since Todd Eldredge in 1996 to win the men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championship, held in Los Angeles.
One year ago: A new 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. 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. (In Jan. 2014, an appeals court upheld the murder conviction of Knox, who said she would never willingly return to Italy to face her 28½-year prison sentence.)
Today’s Birthdays: Conductor-composer Pierre Boulez is 89. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is 84. Actor-director Leonard Nimoy is 83. Actor Alan Arkin is 80. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is 79. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH’-see) is 74. Actor James Caan is 74. Author Erica Jong is 72. Journalist Bob Woodward is 71. Singer Diana Ross is 70. Actor Johnny Crawford is 68. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 66. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 65. Actor Ernest Thomas is 65. Comedian Martin Short is 64. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 64. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 64. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 62. Radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa is 60. Country singer Dean Dillon is 59. Country singer Charly McClain is 58. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 57. Actress Ellia English is 55. Actress Jennifer Grey is 54. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen is 54. Actor Billy Warlock is 53. Actor Eric Allan Kramer is 52. Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton is 52. Actor Michael Imperioli is 48. Rock musician James Iha (EE’-hah) is 46. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 46. Actress Leslie Mann is 42. Actor T.R. Knight is 41. Rapper Juvenile is 39. Actress Amy Smart is 38. Actress Bianca Kajlich (KY’-lihk) is 37. Actress Keira Knightley is 29. Rapper J-Kwon is 28. Actress Carly Chaikin is 24.