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Today in History: March 26

A look at things that have happened on this date in history.

Today is Tuesday, March 26, the 85th day of 2019. There are 280 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 26, 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.

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 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 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.

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

In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, “Populorum Progressio,” on “the progressive development of peoples,” in which he expressed concern for those trying to escape hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance.

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

In 1989, the science-fiction TV series “Quantum Leap,” starring Scott Bakula as an errant time-traveler, premiered on NBC.

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 2005, 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.)

In 2013, 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.)

Ten 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.

Five years ago: 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.)

One year 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. (The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on a challenge to the citizenship question.) A toxicology report obtained by The Associated Press revealed that the late pop music 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; authorities said Jennifer Hart was drunk when she intentionally drove the vehicle over the cliff.

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© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.