Today in History


Today is Thursday, April 27, the 117th day of 2023. There are 248 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 27, 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon was remembered at an outdoor funeral service attended by all five of his successors at the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, California.

On this date:

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

In 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote one of his most famous piano compositions, the Bagatelle in A-minor.

In 1813, the Battle of York took place in Upper Canada during the War of 1812 as a U.S. force defeated the British garrison in present-day Toronto before withdrawing.

In 1865, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000.

In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.

In 1973, acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he’d destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.

In 1978, 51 construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold inside a cooling tower at the Pleasants Power Station site in West Virginia fell 168 feet to the ground.

In 1992, Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

In 2010, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was extradited from the United States to France, where he was later convicted of laundering drug money and received a seven-year sentence.

In 2011, powerful and deadly tornadoes raked the South and Midwest; more than 60 tornadoes crossed parts of Alabama, leaving about 250 people dead and thousands of others injured in the state.

In 2015, rioters plunged part of Baltimore into chaos, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers hours after thousands attended a funeral for Freddie Gray, a Black man who died from a severe spinal injury he’d suffered in police custody; the Baltimore Orioles’ home game against the Chicago White Sox was postponed because of safety concerns.

In 2019, a gunman opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of Passover, killing a woman and wounding the rabbi and two others. (John Earnest, a white supremacist, has been sentenced to both federal and state life prison terms.)

Ten years ago: North Korea announced that Kenneth Bae, an American missionary detained for nearly six months, was being tried in the Supreme Court on charges of plotting to overthrow the government (Bae was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labor; he was released in November 2014 along with another American, Matthew Miller). Center-left leader Enrico Letta forged a new Italian government in a coalition with former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s conservatives.

Five years ago: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history by crossing over to South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in; it was the first time a member of the Kim dynasty had set foot on southern soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released a lengthy report concluding that it found no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. The members of the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA announced that they had recorded new material for the first time in 35 years, with two new songs.

One year ago: Russia cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria and threatened to do the same to other countries, using its most essential export as an attempt to punish and divide the West for its united support of Ukraine. The United States and Russia carried out an unexpected prisoner exchange in a time of high tensions over the war in Ukraine, trading a Marine veteran jailed by Moscow for a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving a long prison sentence in America. World leaders and the U.S. political and foreign policy elite gathered at Washington’s National Cathedral to pay their respects to the late Madeleine Albright, America’s first female secretary of state.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Anouk Aimee (ah-NOOK’ EM’-ee) is 91. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 81. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 75. R&B singer Herb Murrell (The Stylistics) is 74. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 74. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 72. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is 72. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 64. Actor James Le Gros (groh) is 61. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 58. Singer Mica (MEE’-shah) Paris is 54. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is 54. Actor David Lascher is 51. Actor Maura West is 51. Actor Sally Hawkins is 47. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 45. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 45. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 44. Country musician John Osborne (Brothers Osborne) is 41. Actor Francis Capra is 40. Actor Ari Graynor is 40. Rock singer-musician Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) is 39. Actor Sheila Vand is 38. Actor Jenna Coleman is 37. Actor William Moseley is 36. Singer Lizzo is 35. Actor Emily Rios is 34. Singer Allison Iraheta is 31.

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