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Reuters historical calendar - March 26

Written by: Staff

LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 26 since 1900: 1902 - Cecil Rhodes, British-born statesman and financier, died.

He became enormously wealthy from his commercial exploitation of the British African empire.

1923 - Sarah Bernhardt, French actress and the greatest ''tragedienne'' of her day, died.

1959 - Raymond Chandler, U.S. crime writer, died. Creator of the private detective character Philip Marlowe in his novels including ''The Big Sleep'' and ''Farewell My Lovely''.

1971 - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared East Pakistan the independent republic of Bangladesh.

1973 - President Anwar Sadat of Egypt took over the premiership, saying ''the stage of total confrontation (with Israel) has become inevitable''.

1973 - Women were allowed on to the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time.

1973 - Noel Coward, English playwright, died; he produced several films based on his own scripts, including ''In Which We Serve'' and ''Brief Encounter''.

1979 - In a ceremony at the White House, President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel signed a peace treaty ending 30 years of war between the two countries.

1992 - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for rape.

1997 - The bodies of 39 people, dressed alike and lying on mattresses or cots, were found scattered through a California mansion, members of a cult who died in a mass suicide.

1999 - Dr. Jack Kevorkian, assisted-suicide crusader was convicted in the United States of second-degree murder for fatally injecting a terminally ill man.

2001 - Sixty-one teenage boys burned to death when fire ripped through their boarding school dormitory in Machackos town near the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

2002 - Up to 1,000 people were killed after a series of quakes struck Baghlan Province in Afghanistan, about 160 km (100 miles) north of Kabul.

2003 - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. senator, died. He helped shape a generation of Democratic thinkers and was the only person to serve in the highest levels of four successive administrations - John Kennedy through Gerald Ford. He was 76.

2004 - In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court ordered the government and a Japanese firm to pay 88 million yen (0,300) in compensation to a group of Chinese for being forced to work in Japan during World War Two.

2004 - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan opened a memorial conference on the 1994 Rwanda genocide at the UN by accepting institutional and personal blame for the 800,000 deaths initially ignored by world leaders.

**2005 - Former British Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan, who presided over a chaotic winter of strikes in 1978-79, died on the eve of his 93rd birthday.


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