Today in History

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Posted: Mar 27, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, March 27, the 86th day of 2011. There are 279 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 27, 1911, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was incorporated.

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon (hwahn pahns duh LEE'-ohn) sighted present-day Florida.

In 1625, Charles I acceded to the English throne upon the death of James I.

In 1794, Congress approved "An Act to provide a Naval Armament" of six armed ships.

In 1836, the first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio.

In 1945, during World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower told reporters in Paris that German defenses on the Western Front had been broken.

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.

In 1961, nine black students from Tougaloo College in Mississippi staged a "read-in" at the whites-only Jackson Municipal Library, and were arrested.

In 1964, Alaska was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunamis that killed about 130 people.

In 1977, 583 people were killed when a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary Island of Tenerife (ten-uh-REEF').

In 1980, 123 workers died when a North Sea floating oil field platform, the Alexander Kielland, capsized during a storm.

Ten years ago: In its first specific accusation against a detained U.S.-based scholar, China said Gao Zhan had confessed to spying for foreign intelligence agencies. (Gao, who had been detained on Feb. 11, was released in July 2001. Although she received a hero's welcome back in the U.S., Gao later pleaded guilty to illegally exporting more than $1 million in military-grade computer microprocessors to a Chinese government agency.) As protesters jeered "Hell, no, we won't pay!," California regulators approved electricity rate hikes of up to 46 percent. An empty train on the wrong side of the tracks crashed into a crowded commuter train in central Belgium, killing eight people.

Five years ago: Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE'-uhs moo-SOW'-ee) testified at his federal trial that he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House. Lyn Nofziger, President Ronald Reagan's political adviser, died in Falls Church, Va., at age 81. TV producer-director Dan Curtis died in Los Angeles at age 78.

One year ago: Lights were switched off across the world from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time to mark Earth Hour, an event organized by the World Wildlife Fund to highlight concerns about global warming. President Barack Obama announced he would bypass a vacationing Senate and name 15 people to key administration jobs using recess appointments. Mao Asada of Japan beat Olympic champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea to win her second title at the World Figure Skating Championships, held in Turin, Italy.

Today's Birthdays: Former newspaper columnist Anthony Lewis is 84. Dance company director Arthur Mitchell is 77. Actor Julian Glover is 76. Actor Jerry Lacy is 75. Actor Austin Pendleton is 71. Actor Michael York is 69. Rock musician Tony Banks (Genesis) is 61. Rock musician Andrew Farriss (INXS) is 52. Jazz musician Dave Koz (kahz) is 48. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 48. Rock musician Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) is 47. Rock musician Johnny April (Staind) is 46. Actress Talisa Soto is 44. Actress Pauley Perrette is 42. Singer Mariah Carey is 41. Rock musician Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) is 41. Actress Elizabeth Mitchell is 41. Actor Nathan Fillion is 40. Hip-hop singer Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is 36. Actress Megan Hilty is 30. Actress Emily Ann Lloyd is 27. Actress Brenda Song (TV: "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody") is 23. Actress Taylor Atelian is 16.

Thought for Today: "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." _ George Santayana, American philosopher (1863-1952).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, March 27)

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