Today in History
Today is Saturday, May 27, the 147th day of 2017. There are 218 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 27, 1937, the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, was opened to pedestrian traffic (vehicles began crossing the next day).
On this date:
In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois.
In 1929, Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. married Anne Morrow in Englewood, New Jersey.
In 1933, the Chicago World’s Fair, celebrating “A Century of Progress,” officially opened. Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated short “The Three Little Pigs” was first released.
In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, unanimously struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” legislative program.
In 1936, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary left England on its maiden voyage to New York. The first Aer Lingus flight took place as a de Havilland Dragon carried five passengers from Dublin to Bristol, England.
In 1941, 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 with the loss of more than 1,400 lives. Amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency” during a radio address from the White House.
In 1942, Doris “Dorie” Miller, a cook aboard the USS West Virginia, became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for displaying “extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety” during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1957, the single “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly’s group The Crickets was released by Brunswick Records.
In 1962, a dump fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania, ignited a blaze in underground coal deposits that continues to burn to this day.
In 1977, the punk rock single “God Save the Queen,” the Sex Pistols’ sardonic salute to Queen Elizabeth II, was released by Virgin Records.
In 1985, in Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification for an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997.
In 1998, Michael Fortier (FOR’-tee-ur), the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (Fortier was freed in Jan. 2006.)
Ten years ago: American forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis in a raid on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad. Dario Franchitti (DA’-ree-oh fran-KEE’-tee) won a rain-abbreviated Indy 500. Broadway actress Gretchen Wyler died in Camarillo, California, at age 75.
Five years ago: Syria strongly denied allegations that its forces had killed scores of people — including women and children — in Houla, but the U.N. Security Council condemned government forces for shelling residential areas. At the Cannes Film Festival, Austrian director Michael Haneke won the top prize for a second time with his stark film, “Amour.” Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time. Johnny Tapia, the five-time boxing champion whose turbulent career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law, was found dead at his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home; he was 45.
One year ago: President Barack Obama became the first American chief executive to visit Hiroshima, the city where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb during World War II, declaring it a fitting place to summon people everywhere to embrace the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. SpaceX pulled off another rocket landing, the third in just under two months, as the first-stage booster of the unmanned Falcon rocket settled vertically onto a barge 400 miles off Florida’s east coast, eight minutes after the late afternoon liftoff.
Today’s Birthdays: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Herman Wouk (wohk) is 102. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 94. Former FBI Director William Sessions is 87. Author John Barth is 87. Actress Lee Meriwether is 82. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 82. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 81. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raymond Sanders (The Persuasions) is 78. Country singer Don Williams is 78. Actor Bruce Weitz is 74. Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Christopher Dodd is 73. Singer Bruce Cockburn (KOH’-burn) is 72. Singer-actress Dee Dee Bridgewater is 67. Actor Richard Schiff is 62. Singer Siouxsie Sioux (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees) is 60. Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (The Finn Brothers) is 59. Actress Peri Gilpin is 56. Actress Cathy Silvers is 56. Comedian Adam Carolla is 53. Actor Todd Bridges is 52. Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) is 51. Actor Dondre Whitfield is 48. Actor Paul Bettany is 46. Rock singer-musician Brian Desveaux (Nine Days) is 46. Country singer Jace Everett is 45. Actor Jack McBrayer is 44. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 42. Rapper Jadakiss is 42. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 42. Alt-country singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is 41. Actor Ben Feldman is 37. Actor Michael Steger is 37. Actor Darin Brooks is 33. Actor-singer Chris Colfer is 27. Actor Ethan Dampf is 23.
Thought for Today: “Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one.” — Thomas Carlyle, Scottish critic and historian (1795-1881).