Today in History

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

Today is Friday, May 27, the 147th day of 2011. There are 218 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On May 27, 1941, amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an "unlimited national emergency" during a radio address from the White House. The British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France, with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood.

On this date:

In 1861, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal circuit court judge in Baltimore, ruled that President Abraham Lincoln lacked the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (Lincoln disregarded the ruling).

In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Mo., and East St. Louis, Ill.

In 1911, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was born in Wallace, S.D.; actor Vincent Price was born in St. Louis, Mo.; longtime Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was born in Austria-Hungary.

In 1929, Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. married Anne Morrow in Englewood, N.J.

In 1935, the Supreme Court struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act.

In 1936, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary left England on its maiden voyage to New York.

In 1937, the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, Calif., was opened to pedestrian traffic (vehicular traffic began crossing the bridge the next day).

In 1964, independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (jah-WAH'-hahr-lahl NAY'-roo), died.

In 1985, in Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification on the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.

In 1993, five people were killed in a bombing at the Uffizi (oo-FEET'-zee) museum of art in Florence, Italy.

Ten years ago: Indy rookie Helio Castroneves led teammate and fellow Brazilian Gil de Ferran in a 1-2 Roger Penske finish, giving the renowned owner a triumphant return to the Indianapolis 500.

Five years ago: A 6.3-magnitude earthquake in central Indonesia killed some 5,800 people. Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was born in Namibia, where the family had traveled for privacy.

One year ago: On the defensive more than five weeks into the nation's worst-ever oil spill, President Barack Obama insisted his administration, not oil giant BP, was calling the shots in the still-unsuccessful response. The Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House approved measures to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law that allowed gay people to serve in the armed services only if they hid their sexual orientation. Activist Lori Berenson walked out of a prison in Peru after serving three-quarters of a 20-year term for aiding leftist rebels. (Under her parole, Berenson cannot leave Peru until her sentence ends in 2015, or her sentence is commuted.)

Today's Birthdays: Dolores Hope (widow of Bob Hope) is 102. Novelist Herman Wouk (wohk) is 96. Actor Christopher Lee is 89. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 88. Author John Barth is 81. Actress Lee Meriwether is 76. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 76. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raymond Sanders (The Persuasions) is 72. Country singer Don Williams is 72. Actor Bruce Weitz is 68. Singer Cilla Black is 68. Former Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is 67. Singer Bruce Cockburn (KOH'-burn) is 66. Singer-actress Dee Dee Bridgewater is 61. Actor Richard Schiff is 56. Singer Siouxsie Sioux (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees) is 54. Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (The Finn Brothers) is 53. Actress Peri Gilpin is 50. Actress Cathy Silvers is 50. Comedian Adam Carolla is 47. Actor Todd Bridges is 46. Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) is 45. Actor Dondre Whitfield is 42. Actor Paul Bettany is 40. Rock singer-musician Brian Desveaux (Nine Days) is 40. Country singer Jace Everett is 39. Actor Jack McBrayer is 38. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 36. Rapper Jadakiss is 36. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 36. Alt-country singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is 35. Actor Michael Steger is 31. Actor-singer Chris Colfer (TV: "Glee") is 21. Actor Ethan Dampf is 17.

Thought for Today: "It is not half so important to know as to feel." _ Rachel Carson, American biologist-ecologist (born this date in 1907, died 1964).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, May 27)

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