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Today in history: August 27

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Aug. 27, the 239th day of 2006. There are 126 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 27, 1859, Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, near Titusville, Pa.

On this date:
In 1770, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart.

In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

In 1892, fire seriously damaged New York’s original Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1894, Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which contained a provision for a graduated income tax that was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

In 1908, Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

In 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills.

In 1975, Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia’s 3,000-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at age 83 almost a year after being overthrown.

In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

Ten years ago: First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Democratic convention in Chicago, forcefully making her husband’s case for re-election while rebutting her Republican critics. California Gov. Pete Wilson signed an executive order aimed at halting state benefits to illegal immigrants. Actor Greg Morris (“Mission: Impossible”) was found dead at his Las Vegas home; he was 61.

Five years ago: Israeli helicopters fired a pair of rockets through office windows and killed senior PLO leader Mustafa Zibri. Peru’s Congress voted to lift the constitutional immunity of former President Alberto Fujimori, so that prosecutors could charge him with crimes against humanity.

One year ago: Coastal residents jammed freeways and gas stations as they rushed to get out of the way of Hurricane Katrina, which was headed toward New Orleans. President Bush asked Americans in his weekly radio address to be patient with the U.S. military mission in Iraq as thousands of pro-Bush and anti-war demonstrators competed for attention in his tiny hometown of Crawford, Texas.

Today’s Birthdays: Cajun-country singer Jimmy C. Newman is 79. Actor Tommy Sands is 69. Bluegrass singer-musician J.D. Crowe is 69. Musician Daryl Dragon is 64. Actress Tuesday Weld is 63. Rock singer-musician Tim Bogert is 62. Actress Marianne Sagebrecht is 61. Actress Barbara Bach is 59. Ex-porn star Harry Reems is 59. Country musician Jeff Cook (Alabama) is 57. Actor Paul Reubens is 54. Singer Willy DeVille is 53. Rock musician Alex Lifeson (Rush) is 53. Actress Diana Scarwid is 51. Rock musician Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) is 50. Actor Peter Stormare is 48. Country singer Jeffrey Steele is 45. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams is 44. Country musician Matthew Basford (Yankee Grey) is 44. Writer-producer Dean Devlin is 44. Rock musician Mike Johnson (Dinosaur Jr.) is 41. Rap musician Bobo (Cypress Hill) is 38. Actress Chandra Wilson is 37. Rock musician Tony Kanal (No Doubt) is 36. Actress Sarah Chalke is 30. Rapper Mase is 29. Rock musician Jon Siebels (Eve 6) is 27. Singer Mario is 20. Actress Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”) is 18.

Thought for Today: “What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business — except the journalist’s.” — Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-born American newspaper publisher (1847-1911).