By the Associated Press
Today is Easter Sunday, March 27, the 87th day of 2016. There are 279 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 27, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon (hwahn pahns duh LEE’-ohn) sighted present-day Florida.
On this date:
In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio, by Joseph Smith Jr.
In 1884, the first telephone line between Boston and New York was inaugurated.
In 1912, first lady Helen Herron Taft and the wife of Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Viscountess Chinda, planted the first two of 3,000 cherry trees given as a gift by the mayor of Tokyo.
In 1933, Japan officially withdrew from the League of Nations.
In 1945, during World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower told reporters in Paris that Germany’s main defensive line on the Western Front had been broken.
In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.
In 1964, Alaska was hit by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake (the strongest on record in North America) and tsunamis that together claimed about 130 lives.
In 1976, the first section of Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail, 4.2 miles long, was opened to the public.
In 1977, 583 people were killed when a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary Island of Tenerife (ten-uh-REEF’).
In 1980, 123 workers died when a North Sea floating oil field platform, the Alexander Kielland, capsized during a storm.
In 1990, the U.S. began test broadcasts of TV Marti (mahr-TEE’) to Cuba, which promptly jammed the signal.
In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s (YIT’-sahk rah-BEENZ’) confessed assassin of murder, then sentenced the former law student, Yigal Amir (YEE’-gahl ah-MEER’), to life in prison.
Ten years ago: Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) testified at his federal trial that he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House. Lyn Nofziger, President Ronald Reagan’s political adviser, died in Falls Church, Virginia, at age 81. TV producer-director Dan Curtis died in Los Angeles at age 78.
Five years ago: International air raids targeted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte (surt) for the first time as rebels quickly closed in on the regime stronghold. Miami’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh accomplished something that hadn’t been done in more than 50 years: Each had 30-10 nights – James with 33 points and 10 rebounds, Bosh with 31 points and 12 rebounds, and Wade with 30 points and 11 boards – as the Heat beat the Houston Rockets 125-119.
One year ago: Italy’s highest court overturned the murder conviction of Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of Knox’s roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that had captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced he would retire the following year.
Today’s Birthdays: Dance company director Arthur Mitchell is 82. Actor Julian Glover is 81. Actor Jerry Lacy is 80. Hall of Fame racer Cale Yarborough is 77. Actor-director Austin Pendleton is 76. Actor Michael York is 74. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 66. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 57. Jazz musician Dave Koz (kahz) is 53. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 53. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 52. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 51. Actress Talisa Soto is 49. Actress Pauley Perrette is 47. Singer Mariah Carey is 46. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 46. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 46. Actor Nathan Fillion is 45. Hip-hop singer Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is 41. Actress Megan Hilty is 35. Actress Emily Ann Lloyd is 32. Actress Brenda Song is 28. Pop singer/songwriter Kimbra is 26. Actress Taylor Atelian is 21. Classical crossover singer Amira Willighagen (TV: “Holland’s Got Talent”) is 12.