Today is Thursday, March 26, the 85th day of 2009. 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 and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter at the White House.

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 1859, English poet A.E. Housman was born in Worcestershire.

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, defeating the Montreal Canadiens.

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

In 1959, American author Raymond Chandler died in La Jolla, Calif., at age 70.

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

In 1982, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington 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: American-led NATO forces launched a third night of airstrikes against Yugoslavia. Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted in Pontiac, Mich., of second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection to a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease, an action videotaped and broadcast on CBS' "60 Minutes." (Kevorkian served eight years in prison.) A cunning computer virus named "Melissa" began infecting computers across the country.

Five years ago: Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien was sentenced to four years' probation and 1,000 hours of community service for a hit-and-run accident that killed 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.

One year ago: Behind the Pentagon's closed doors, U.S. military leaders told President George W. Bush they were worried about the Iraq war's mounting strain on troops and their families, but indicated they'd go along with a brief halt in pulling out troops during summer 2008. The space shuttle Endeavour landed at Cape Canaveral, Fla., ending a 16-day mission.

Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician James Moody is 84. Conductor-composer Pierre Boulez is 84. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is 79. Actor-director Leonard Nimoy is 78. Actor Alan Arkin is 75. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 69. Actor James Caan is 69. Author Erica Jong is 67. Journalist Bob Woodward is 66. Singer Diana Ross is 65. Actor Johnny Crawford is 63. Rock singer Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is 61. Singer and TV personality Vicki Lawrence is 60. Actor Ernest Thomas is 60. Singer Teddy Pendergrass is 59. Comedian Martin Short is 59. Country singer Ronnie McDowell is 59. Movie composer Alan Silvestri is 59. Rock musician Monte Yoho is 57. Country singer Dean Dillon is 54. Country singer Charly McClain is 53. TV personality Leeza Gibbons is 52. Actress Jennifer Grey is 49. Retired Utah Jazz great John Stockton is 47. Actor Michael Imperioli is 43. Rock musician James Iha is 41. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 41. Actor T.R. Knight is 36. Rapper Juvenile is 34. Actress Amy Smart is 33. Actress Bianca Kajlich is 32. Actress Keira Knightley is 24. Rapper J-Kwon is 23.

Thought for Today: "Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece." _ Nadia Boulanger, French music teacher (1887-1979).

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