Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2016. There are 308 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1991, Operation Desert Storm came to a conclusion as President George H.W. Bush declared that “Kuwait is liberated, Iraq’s army is defeated,” and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.

On this date:

In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

In 1891, broadcasting pioneer David Sarnoff was born in present-day Belarus.

In 1911, inventor Charles F. Kettering demonstrated his electric automobile starter in Detroit by starting a Cadillac’s motor with just the press of a switch, instead of hand-cranking.

In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.

In 1933, Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag (RYKS’-tahg), was gutted by fire; Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire to justify suspending civil liberties.

In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., effectively outlawed sit-down strikes. Britain and France recognized the regime of Francisco Franco of Spain.

In 1943, during World War II, Norwegian commandos launched a raid to sabotage a German-operated heavy water plant in Norway. The U.S. government began circulating one-cent coins made of steel plated with zinc (the steel pennies proved unpopular, since they were easily mistaken for dimes).

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)

In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved telecasts of its debates on a trial basis.

In 1997, divorce became legal in Ireland.

Ten years ago: “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown was accused in Britain’s High Court of taking material for his blockbuster conspiracy thriller from a 1982 book about the Holy Grail. (The court ruled in favor of Brown’s publisher, Random House, the actual target of the breach-of-copyright lawsuit.) Former Newark Eagles co-owner Effa Manley became the first woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Retired Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott, author of “God Is My Co-Pilot,” died in Warner Robins, Georgia, at age 97. Former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler died at age 78.

Five years ago: “The King’s Speech” won four Academy Awards, including best picture; Colin Firth won best actor for his portrayal of Britain’s King George VI. Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I who’d also survived being a civilian prisoner of war in the Philippines in World War II, died in Charles Town, West Virginia, at age 110. Duke Snider, 84, the Baseball Hall of Famer who helped the Dodgers bring their only World Series crown to Brooklyn, died in Escondido, California.

One year ago: In Tyrone, Missouri, Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, a man who authorities said might have been unhinged by the death of his ailing mother, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after apparently killing seven people in a house-to-house shooting rampage. Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down near the Kremlin. Actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, world famous to “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 86. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 82. Actor Van Williams (TV: “The Green Hornet”) is 82. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 81. Actress Barbara Babcock is 79. Actor Howard Hesseman is 76. Actress Debra Monk is 67. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 62. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 59. Actor Timothy Spall is 59. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 56. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 56. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 55. Basketball Hall of Famer James Worthy is 55. Actor Adam Baldwin is 54. Actor Grant Show is 54. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 51. Actor Noah Emmerich is 51. Actor Donal Logue (DOH’-nuhl LOHG) is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 45. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 43. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 38. Chelsea Clinton is 36. Actor Brandon Beemer is 36. Rock musician Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory) is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 36. Singer Josh Groban is 35. Banjoist Noam (cq) Pikelny is 35. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 33. Actress Kate Mara is 33. Actress Lindsey Morgan is 26.

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