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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 27, the 178th day of 2017. There are 187 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 27, 1957, Hurricane Audrey slammed into coastal Louisiana and Texas as a Category 4 storm; the official death toll from the storm was placed at 390, although a variety of state, federal and local sources have estimated the number of fatalities at between 400 and 600.

On this date:

In 1787, English historian Edward Gibbon completed work on his six-volume work, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

In 1844, Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois.

In 1864, Confederate forces repelled a frontal assault by Union troops in the Civil War Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia.

In 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World was founded in Chicago.

In 1922, the first Newberry Medal, recognizing excellence in children’s literature, was awarded to “The Story of Mankind” by Hendrik Willem van Loon.

In 1944, during World War II, American forces liberated the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans.

In 1966, the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon opened an official visit to the Soviet Union.

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws and bar association rules that prohibited lawyers from advertising their fees for routine services. The Republic of Djibouti became independent of France.

In 1986, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled the United States had broken international law and violated the sovereignty of Nicaragua by aiding the contras. (The U.S. had already said it would not consider itself bound by the World Court decision.)

In 1990, NASA announced that a flaw in the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope was preventing the instrument from achieving optimum focus. (The problem was traced to a mirror that had not been ground to exact specifications; corrective optics were later installed to fix the problem.)

In 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation’s highest court, announced his retirement. (His departure led to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)

Ten years ago: Former Treasury chief Gordon Brown became British prime minister, succeeding fellow Labourite Tony Blair. In her first televised interview since being released from custody, a subdued Paris Hilton told CNN’s Larry King she would never again drink and drive and that her time in jail was “a time-out in life.”

Five years ago: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness offered each other the hand of peace during a private meeting inside Belfast’s riverside Lyric Theatre. A 22-year-old former Texas Tech University student from Saudi Arabia, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari (KAH’-lihd ah-lee-EHM’ al-duh-SAHR’-ee), was convicted in Amarillo of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. (He later received life in prison.)

One year ago: The U.S. Supreme Court issued its strongest defense of abortion rights in a quarter-century, striking down 5-3 Texas’ widely replicated rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the nation’s second-most-populous state. The Supreme Court overturned the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), sending the case back to a lower court (prosecutors ended up deciding not to retry McDonnell). Mack Rice, composer of the ’60s hit “Mustang Sally” and co-writer of the Staple Singers’ landmark “Respect Yourself,” died in Detroit at age 82. Eric Lindros was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of 2016 class that also featured Soviet star Sergei Makarov (SEHR’-gay muh-KAH’-rahf), goaltender Rogie Vachon, and the late coach and executive Pat Quinn.

Today’s Birthdays: Business executive Ross Perot is 87. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 79. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 75. Fashion designer Vera Wang is 68. Actress Julia Duffy is 66. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 62. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 58. Actor Brian Drillinger is 57. Writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams is 51. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is 49. Olympic gold and bronze medal figure skater Viktor Petrenko is 48. Actor Edward “Grapevine” Fordham Jr. is 47. TV personality Jo Frost is 47. Actor Yancey Arias is 46. Actor Christian Kane is 43. Actor Tobey Maguire is 42. Rock singer Bernhoft is 41. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 41. Musician Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) is 35. Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 33. Actor Drake Bell is 31. Actor Sam Claflin is 31. Actress India de Beaufort is 30. Actor Ed Westwick is 30. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 26. Pop singer Lauren Jauregui (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 21. Actor Chandler Riggs is 18.

Thought for Today: “A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?” — John Steinbeck, American author (1902-1968).

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