Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, May 27, the 148th day of 2016. There are 218 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On May 27, 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives. Amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency” during a radio address from the White House.

On this date:

In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois.

In 1929, Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. married Anne Morrow in Englewood, New Jersey.

In 1933, the Chicago World’s Fair, celebrating “A Century of Progress,” officially opened. Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated short “The Three Little Pigs” was first released.

In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, unanimously struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” legislative program.

In 1936, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary left England on its maiden voyage to New York. The first Aer Lingus flight took place as a de Havilland Dragon carried five passengers from Dublin to Bristol, England.

In 1937, the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, was opened to pedestrian traffic (vehicles began crossing the next day).

In 1942, Navy Cook 3rd Class Doris “Dorie” Miller became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for his “extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety” during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1944, Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist play “Huis clos” (known in English as “No Exit”) was first performed in Paris.

In 1962, a dump fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania, ignited a blaze in underground coal deposits that continues to burn this day.

In 1964, independent India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died.

In 1985, in Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification for an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997.

In 1998, Michael Fortier (FOR’-tee-ur), the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (Fortier was freed in Jan. 2006.)

Ten years ago: A 6.3-magnitude earthquake in central Indonesia killed some 5,800 people. Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was born in Namibia, where the family had traveled for privacy.

Five years ago: Astronauts Mike Fincke and Gregory Chamitoff made history as the final spacewalkers of NASA’s 30-year shuttle program, completing construction of the International Space Station with the smooth addition of an extension pole. Rich countries and international lenders said at a Group of Eight summit in Deauville, France, they were aiming to provide $40 billion in funding for Arab nations trying to establish democracy, starting with Egypt and Tunisia. President Barack Obama, visiting Poland, honored the memories of those slain in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazis. Gil Scott-Heron, 62, widely considered one of the godfathers of rap music, died in New York. Actor Jeff Conaway died at a hospital in Encino, California; he was 60.

One year ago: The U.S. government launched an attack on what it called deep-seated and brazen corruption in soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, indicting 14 influential figures on charges of racketeering and taking bribes. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, an aggressive advocate for conservative family values, launched a 2016 Republican White House bid. Nebraska’s Legislature abolished the death penalty over the objections of Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican supporter of capital punishment.

Today’s Birthdays: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Herman Wouk (wohk) is 101. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 93. Former FBI Director William Sessions is 86. Author John Barth is 86. Actress Lee Meriwether is 81. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 81. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raymond Sanders (The Persuasions) is 77. Country singer Don Williams is 77. Actor Bruce Weitz is 73. Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Christopher Dodd is 72. Singer Bruce Cockburn (KOH’-burn) is 71. Singer-actress Dee Dee Bridgewater is 66. Actor Richard Schiff is 61. Singer Siouxsie Sioux (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees) is 59. Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (The Finn Brothers) is 58. Actress Peri Gilpin is 55. Actress Cathy Silvers is 55. Comedian Adam Carolla is 52. Actor Todd Bridges is 51. Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) is 50. Actor Dondre Whitfield is 47. Actor Paul Bettany is 45. Rock singer-musician Brian Desveaux (Nine Days) is 45. Country singer Jace Everett is 44. Actor Jack McBrayer is 43. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 41. Rapper Jadakiss is 41. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 41. Alt-country singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is 40. Actor Ben Feldman is 36. Actor Michael Steger is 36. Actor Darin Brooks is 32. Actor-singer Chris Colfer is 26. Actor Ethan Dampf is 22.

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