Today is Friday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2012. There are 339 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft.
On this date:
In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.
In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.
In 1943, some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War II.
In 1944, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.
In 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.
In 1967, more than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.
In 1972, "Queen of Gospel" Mahalia Jackson, 60, died in Evergreen Park, Ill.
In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
In 1977, the Vatican issued a declaration reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church's ban on female priests.
In 1984, singer Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp when pyrotechnics set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi-Cola TV commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Ten years ago: Wafa Idris, a Palestinian paramedic, became the first female suicide bomber against Israel; her attack claimed the life of an 81-year-old man. A munitions depot in Nigeria exploded; more than 1,000 people died, most of them drowning in a nearby canal during the resulting stampede. The Super Bowl matchup was decided as the New England Patriots upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-17, to win the AFC championship and the St. Louis Rams defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 29-24, to win the NFC championship. Thomas Johansson defeated Marat Safin 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to win the Australian Open final.
Five years ago: Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C., calling for the U.S. to get out of Iraq. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Pakistan, where she met with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Serena Williams won her third Australian Open singles title, routing Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2. Kimmie Meissner and Evan Lysacek won their first national titles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.
One year ago: Tens of thousands of Yemenis demanded their president step down; taking inspiration from Tunisians' revolt, they vowed to continue until their U.S.-backed government fell. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that color-coded terror alerts would be phased out by late April 2011.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland is 82. Actor James Cromwell is 72. Actor John Witherspoon is 70. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 66. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 64. Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 57. Country singer Cheryl White is 57. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 57. Actress Mimi Rogers is 56. Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 55. Commentator Keith Olbermann is 53. Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 51. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 51. Actress Bridget Fonda is 48. Actor Alan Cumming is 47. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 44. Rock singer Mike Patton is 44. Rapper Tricky is 44. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 43. Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 43. Actor Josh Randall is 40. Country singer Kevin Denney is 36. Tennis player Marat Safin is 32.
Thought for Today: "The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself." _ Wallace Stevens, American poet and author (1879-1955).
(Above Advance for Use Friday, Jan. 27)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.