Today in History Thursday, April 27, 2017


Today is Thursday, April 27, the 117th day of 2017. There are 248 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 27, 1967, Canada’s Universal and International Exhibition, also known as “Expo 67,” began a six-month run as it was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

On this date:

In 1509, Pope Julius II excommunicated the Republic of Venice for refusing to give up lands claimed by the Papal States. (The pope lifted the interdict in Feb. 1510.)

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

In 1777, the only land battle in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Ridgefield, resulted in a limited British victory.

In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

In 1865, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000.

In 1925, the song “Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby” by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn was published by Irving Berlin, Inc. of New York.

In 1938, King Zog I of the Albanians married Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi.

In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II.

In 1950, Britain formally recognized the state of Israel.

In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he’d destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.

In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity.)

In 1992, the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in Belgrade by the republic of Serbia and its lone ally, Montenegro. Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) threatened stronger punitive actions against North Korea if it reneged on a promise to padlock its sole nuclear reactor. A judge in Madrid indicted three U.S. soldiers in the 2003 death of Jose Couso, a Spanish journalist who was killed when their tank opened fire at a hotel in Baghdad. (The U.S., which found the use of force was justified, refused to hand over the soldiers.) The government reported economic growth slowed to a near crawl of 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007. Master cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (mis-teh-SLAHV’ rah-stroh-POH’-vich) died in Moscow at age 80.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama signed an order aimed at addressing growing complaints about fraudulent marketing and recruiting practices aimed at military families eligible for federal education aid under the GI Bill. The space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a jumbo jet, sailed over the New York City skyline on its final flight before becoming a museum piece aboard the USS Intrepid.

One year ago: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in Chicago to more than a year in prison in a hush-money case that revealed accusations he’d sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill allowing mental health counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs. Philip Kives, the tireless TV pitchman whose commercials implored viewers to “wait, there’s more!” while selling everything from vegetable slicers to hit music compilations on vinyl, died in Winnipeg at age 87.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Anouk Aimee is 85. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is 73. Singer Ann Peebles is 70. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 69. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 68. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 68. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 66. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 58. Actor James Le Gros (groh) is 55. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 52. Singer Mica (MEE’-shah) Paris is 48. Actor David Lascher is 45. Actress Maura West is 45. Actress Sally Hawkins is 41. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 39. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 39. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 38. Neo-soul musician Joseph Pope III (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 38. Country musician John Osborne (Brothers Osborne) is 35. Actress Ari Graynor is 34. Rock singer-musician Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) is 33. Actress Sheila Vand is 32. Actress Jenna Coleman is 31. Pop singer Nick Noonan (Karmin) is 31. Actor William Moseley is 30. Actress Emily Rios is 28. Singer Allison Iraheta is 25.

Thought for Today: “Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.” — Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist (born 1908, died this date in 1965).

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.