Today in History: April 27

1521 – Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapulapu.

1667 – Blind and impoverished, John Milton sold Paradise Lost to a printer for £10, so that it could be entered into the Stationers’ Register.

1810 – Ludwig van Beethoven composed his famous piano piece “Für Elise”.

1813 – War of 1812: American troops captured York, the capital of Upper Canada, in the Battle of York.

1861 – American President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

1865 – Steamboat “SS Sultana” exploded in the Mississippi River, killing up to 1,800 of the 2,427 passengers in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. Most were paroled Union POWs on their way home.

1877 – Rutherford B. Hayes removed Federal troops from Louisiana, Reconstruction ended.

1911 – Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise was reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate.

1933 – Adolf Hitler authorized the creation of the Ministry of Aviation, in part to revive the German Luftwaffe, under Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering.

1933 – Karl Jansky reported reception of cosmic radio signals in Washington, D.C.

1936 – The United Auto Workers (UAW) gained autonomy from the American Federation of Labor.

1940 – Himmler ordered the establishment of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

1941 – World War II: German troops entered Athens, Greece.

1943 – Witold Pilecki escaped from Auschwitz after having voluntarily been imprisoned there to gain information about the Holocaust.

1945 – World War II: The Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of the Nazi Party, ceased publication.

1945 – World War II: The last German formations withdrew from Finland to Norway. The Lapland War and thus, World War II in Finland, came to an end and the Raising the Flag on the Three-Country Cairn photograph was taken.

1945 – World War II: Benito Mussolini was arrested by Italian partisans in Dongo while attempting escape disguised as a German soldier.

1947 – Babe Ruth Day was celebrated at Yankee Stadium and throughout the US.

1953 – US Operation Moolah offered $50,000 to any pilot who defected with a fully mission-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 to South Korea. The first pilot was to receive $100,000.

1961 – NASA launched Explorer 11 into Earth orbit to study gamma rays.

1964 – John Lennon’s book of poetry and sketches “In His Own Write” was published in US.

1978 – John Ehrlichman, a former aide to U.S. President Richard Nixon, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution, Safford, Arizona, after serving 18 months for Watergate-related crimes.

1978 – Willow Island disaster: In the deadliest construction accident in United States history, 51 construction workers were killed when a cooling tower under construction collapsed at the Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island, West Virginia.

1981 – Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.

1981 – Paul McCartney’s solo rock band Wings broke up.

1982 – Trial of John Hinckley began for the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan.

1986 – The city of Pripyat and surrounding areas were evacuated due to Chernobyl disaster.

1987 – The U.S. Department of Justice barred Austrian President Kurt Waldheim (and his wife, Elisabeth, who had also been a Nazi) from entering the US, charging that he had aided in the deportations and executions of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.

1993 – Most of the Zambia national football team lost their lives in a plane crash off Libreville, Gabon en route to Dakar, Senegal to play a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.

1994 – Former US President Richard Nixon was buried at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.

1998 – Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers included: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Madonna, Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack, Wynonna Judd, and Tsidii Leloka.

2005 – Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft, had its maiden test flight.

2006 – Construction began on the Freedom Tower (later renamed One World Trade Center) in New York City.

2007 – Israeli archaeologists discovered the tomb of Herod the Great south of Jerusalem.

2011 – The 2011 Super Outbreak devastated parts of the Southeastern United States, especially the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. 205 tornadoes touched down on April 27 alone, killing more than 300 and injuring hundreds more.

2018 – Swedish band ABBA announced that they had recorded new songs for the first time since 1982.

2020 – Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 passed 3 million with the death toll at 205,000. US had 1/3 of all new cases.

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