Today in History
Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2019. There are 307 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 27, 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.
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, was gutted by fire; Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire to justify suspending civil liberties.
In 1943, during World War II, Norwegian commandos launched a successful raid to sabotage a German-operated heavy water plant in Norway. An explosion inside a coal mine near Bearcreek, Montana, killed 74 miners and one rescue worker. 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, because they were easily mistaken for dimes).
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 1968, at the conclusion of a CBS News special report on the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite delivered a commentary in which he said that the conflict appeared “mired in stalemate.” Former teen singing idol Frankie Lymon, known for such songs as “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and “Goody Goody,” was found dead of a drug overdose in New York at age 25.
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 1982, Wayne Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)
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 1998, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s House of Lords agreed to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son.
In 1999, the Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers. (Lyons, who served nearly five years in prison, was released in 2003.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama told Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. that he would end combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010 and open a new era of diplomacy in the Middle East. The Rocky Mountain News ceased publishing after nearly 150 years in business.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama kicked off his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative from the White House East Room, calling for vigorous efforts to reverse underachievement among young black and Hispanic males. Masked gunmen stormed parliament in Ukraine’s strategic Crimean region while the newly formed interim government pledged to prevent a breakup with strong backing for the West.
One year ago: According to two people informed of the decision, the security clearance of White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner had been downgraded, significantly reducing his access to classified information. (Kushner’s status was restored in May after the completion of his background check.) A five-hour truce ordered by Syria’s Russian allies to let civilians flee a besieged rebel-held enclave near Damascus failed to result in aid deliveries or medical evacuations, as deadly airstrikes and shelling continued. President Donald Trump named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager for his 2020 re-election bid. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States during 2017.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 89. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 85. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 84. Actress Barbara Babcock is 82. Actor Howard Hesseman is 79. Actress Debra Monk is 70. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 65. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 62. Actor Timothy Spall is 62. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 59. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 59. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 58. Basketball Hall of Famer James Worthy is 58. Actor Adam Baldwin is 57. Actor Grant Show is 57. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 54. Actor Noah Emmerich is 54. Actor Donal Logue is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 48. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 46. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker is 41. Chelsea Clinton is 39. Actor Brandon Beemer is 39. Rock musician Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory) is 39. Rock musician Jake Clemons (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 39. Singer Josh Groban is 38. Banjoist Noam Pikelny is 38. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 36. Actress Kate Mara is 36. TV personality JWoww (AKA Jenni Farley) is 33. Actress Lindsey Morgan is 29.