Today in History – October 27

312 – Constantine is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

1553 – Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva.

1682 – Philadelphia was founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by William Penn.

1775 – King George III expanded on his Proclamation of Rebellion in the Thirteen Colonies in his speech from the throne at the opening of Parliament.

1795 – The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1810 – United States annexed the former Spanish colony of West Florida.

1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be killed.

1871 – Democratic leader of Tammany Hall NY, Boss Tweed was arrested after the NY Times exposed his corruption.

1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914 – World War I: The new British battleship HMS Audacious was sunk by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

1917 – 20,000 women marched in a suffrage parade in New York City.

1919 – Axeman of New Orleans claimed his last victim.

1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson obtained her divorce, which eventually allowed her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, which forced his abdication from the throne.

1947 – “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx premiered on ABC radio.

1954 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1954 – Walt Disney’s first TV show, “Disneyland”, premiered on ABC.

1955 – “Rebel Without a Cause”, directed by Nicholas Ray, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, was released.

1960 – Singer Ben E. King recorded “Spanish Harlem” & “Stand By Me”.

1961 – NASA tested the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962 – Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down over Cuba by a Soviet-supplied surface-to-air missile.

1962 – By refusing to agree to the firing of a nuclear torpedo at a US warship, Soviet Navy officer Vasily Arkhipov averted nuclear war.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivered a speech on behalf of the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing”.

1967 – Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the ‘Baltimore Four’ protested the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1975 – Covers of both Time & Newsweek magazines featured rock singer Bruce Springsteen.

1988 – Cold War: Ronald Reagan suspended construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow due to Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1988 – “ET the Extra Terrestrial” was released to home video (14 million units presold).

1992 – United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, which precipitated debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.

1995 Dramatic film “Leaving Las Vegas” directed by Mike Figgis and starring Nicolas Cage (Oscar for Best Actor) and Elisabeth Shue premiered.

2018 – A gunman opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 and injured six, including four police officers.

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