Today in History
Today is Friday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2017. There are 338 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft. More than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the deploying of nuclear weapons in outer space.
On this date:
In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.
In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.
In 1913, the musical play “The Isle O’ Dreams,” featuring the song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by Ernest R. Ball, Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Jr., opened in New York.
In 1944, during World War II, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.
In 1945, during World War II, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.
In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
In 1977, the Vatican issued a declaration reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.
In 1984, singer Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp when pyrotechnics set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi-Cola TV commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
In 1998, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on NBC’s “Today” show, charged the sexual misconduct allegations against her husband, President Bill Clinton, were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
In 2001, 10 people were killed when a plane bringing people home from Oklahoma State University’s basketball game against Colorado crashed in a field outside Denver.
Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C., calling for the U.S. to get out of Iraq. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Pakistan, where she met with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Serena Williams won her third Australian Open singles title, routing Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2. Kimmie Meissner and Evan Lysacek won their first national titles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Washington.
Five years ago: Addressing students at the University of Michigan, President Barack Obama issued a warning to the nation’s colleges and universities, threatening to strip their federal aid if they “jack up tuition” every year and give the money instead to schools showing restraint and value. A federal judge in Seattle sentenced “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore to 6½ years in prison for his infamous two-year, international crime spree of break-ins and boat and plane thefts. (Harris-Moore was transferred from prison to a work-release facility in Sept. 2016.) Former Boston Mayor Kevin H. White died at age 82.
One year ago: The Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department agreed to overhaul its policies, training and practices as part of a sweeping deal with the Justice Department following the 2014 fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. As he honored four people for risking their lives to protect Jews, President Barack Obama warned during a visit to the Israeli Embassy in Washington that anti-Semitism was on the rise and that an attack on any faith was an attack on all faiths.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor James Cromwell is 77. Actor John Witherspoon is 75. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 71. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 69. Latin singer/songwriter Djavan is 68. Political commentator Ed Schultz is 63. Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 62. Country singer Cheryl White is 62. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 62. Actress Mimi Rogers is 61. Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 60. Actress Susanna Thompson is 59. Political and sports commentator Keith Olbermann is 58. Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 56. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 56. Actress Tamlyn Tomita is 54. Actress Bridget Fonda is 53. Actor Alan Cumming is 52. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 49. Rock singer Mike Patton is 49. Rapper Tricky is 49. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 48. Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 48. Actor Josh Randall is 45. Country singer Kevin Denney is 41. Tennis player Marat Safin is 37. Neo-soul musician Andrew Lee (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 31. Rock musician Matt Sanchez (American Authors) is 31. Actor Braeden Lemasters is 21.
Thought for Today: “If we die, we want people to accept it… We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.” — Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom (1926-1967).