Today in History

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Posted: Feb 27, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2011. There are 307 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1911, inventor Charles F. Kettering demonstrated his electric automobile starter by installing the device in a Cadillac in Detroit and starting the motor with just the press of a switch, replacing the need for hand-cranking.

On this date:

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

In 1861, in Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland; five marchers were killed.

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 as justification for suspending civil liberties.

In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., outlawed sit-down strikes.

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, Calif. (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 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)

In 1991, 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.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush went before Congress with a $1.9 trillion spending plan that would sharply reduce growth in many government programs while leaving room to give Americans the biggest tax cut in two decades.

Five 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, Ga., at age 97. Former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler died at age 78.

One year ago: In Chile, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami killed 524 people, caused $30 billion in damage and left over 200,000 homeless. Steven Holcomb drove USA-1 to the Olympic gold medal in four-man bobsledding in Vancouver, ending a 62-year drought for the Americans in the event.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 81. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 79. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 77. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 76. Actress Barbara Babcock is 74. Actor Howard Hesseman is 71. Actress Debra Monk is 62. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 57. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 54. Actor Timothy Spall is 54. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 51. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 51. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 50. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 50. Actor Adam Baldwin is 49. Actor Grant Show is 49. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 46. Actor Donal Logue (DOH'-nuhl LOHG) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 40. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 38. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 33. Chelsea Clinton is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 31. Singer Josh Groban is 30. Actress Kate Mara is 28.

Thought for Today: "He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce." _ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (born this date in 1807, died in 1882).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Feb. 27)

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