Today in history


Today is Monday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2017. There are 307 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1942, the Battle of the Java Sea began during World War II; Imperial Japanese naval forces scored a decisive victory over the Allies.

On this date:

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

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, responding to a copper shortage, 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 the following May.)

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

In 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.

In 1997, a jury in Fayetteville, North Carolina, convicted former Army paratrooper James N. Burmeister of murdering Jackie Burden and Michael James, a black couple, so he could get a skinhead tattoo. (Burmeister, sentenced to life, died at a federal prison hospital in Missouri in 2007.) Divorce became legal in Ireland.

Ten years ago: A suicide bomber struck the entrance to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was unhurt; 23 people were killed in the attack claimed by the Taliban. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 416.02 points to end the day at 12,216.24, the worst drop since 9/11.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama urged the nation’s governors at the White House to invest more state resources in education, saying a highly skilled workforce was crucial for the U.S. to remain competitive with other countries. Three students were shot to death in a Chardon, Ohio, high school cafeteria by a 17-year-old who later received three life terms in prison.

One year ago: Hillary Clinton overwhelmed Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary. A cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russia went into effect across Syria. A violent altercation between Ku Klux Klan members and counter-protesters in Anaheim, California, left three people stabbed. “Fifty Shades of Grey” nabbed five prizes at the Golden Raspberry Awards: worst screenplay, actor, actress, screen combo, and film of the year in a tie with “Fantastic Four.”

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 87. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 83. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 82. Actress Barbara Babcock is 80. Actor Howard Hesseman is 77. Actress Debra Monk is 68. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 63. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 60. Actor Timothy Spall is 60. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 57. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 57. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer James Worthy is 56. Actor Adam Baldwin is 55. Actor Grant Show is 55. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 52. Actor Noah Emmerich is 52. Actor Donal Logue (DOH’-nuhl LOHG) is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 46. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 44. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 39. Chelsea Clinton is 37. Actor Brandon Beemer is 37. Rock musician Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory) is 37. Rock musician Jake Clemons (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 37. Singer Josh Groban is 36. Banjoist Noam (cq) Pikelny is 36. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 34. Actress Kate Mara is 34. Actress Lindsey Morgan is 27.

Thought for Today: “Reasoning with a child is fine, if you can reach the child’s reason without destroying your own.” — John Mason Brown, American essayist (1900-1969).

By The Associated Press

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