February 27: Today In History - KMOV.com

February 27: Today In History

Today is Monday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2012. There are 308 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1942, the Battle of the Java Sea began during World War II; Imperial Japanese naval forces scored a decisive victory over the Allies.

On this date:

In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

In 1911, inventor Charles F. Kettering demonstrated his electric automobile starter in Detroit by starting a Cadillac's motor with just the press of a switch, instead of hand-cranking.

In 1912, author Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet, was born in India.

In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.

In 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.

In 1939, the Supreme Court, in National Labor Relations Board v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp., outlawed sit-down strikes.

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)

In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)

In 1982, Wayne Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight, Eastern time.

Ten years ago: U.S. officials announced a $5 million reward for information in the kidnap-murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. A mob of Muslims set fire to a train carrying hundreds of Hindu nationalists in Godhra, India; some 60 people died. At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Alicia Keys won five prizes, including song of the year for "Fallin"'; Irish rockers U2 won four Grammys, including record of the year for "Walk On"; album of the year went to the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. Comedian Spike Milligan died in Rye, East Sussex, England, at age 83.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber struck Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was rushed to a bomb shelter. (Twenty-three people were killed; Cheney was unhurt.) The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 416.02 points, the worst drop since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

One year ago: "The King's Speech" won four Academy Awards, including best picture; Colin Firth won best actor for his portrayal of Britain's King George VI. Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I who'd also survived being a civilian prisoner of war in the Philippines in World War II, died in Charles Town, W.Va., at age 110. Duke Snider, 84, the Baseball Hall of Famer who helped the Dodgers bring their only World Series crown to Brooklyn, died in Escondido, Calif.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 82. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 78. Opera singer Mirella Freni is 77. Actress Barbara Babcock is 75. Actor Howard Hesseman is 72. Actress Debra Monk is 63. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 58. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 55. Actor Timothy Spall is 55. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 52. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 52. Rock musician Leon Mobley (Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) is 51. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 51. Actor Adam Baldwin is 50. Actor Grant Show is 50. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 47. Actor Donal Logue is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 41. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 39. Country-rock musician Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers) is 34. Actor Brandon Beemer is 32. Chelsea Clinton is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino is 32. Singer Josh Groban is 31. Rock musician Jared Champion (Cage the Elephant) is 29. Actress Kate Mara is 29.

Thought for Today: "I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expense is equal to my wishes." -- Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794).

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