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Today in History - Feb. 27

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

BC-History-Feb 27, Adv27,0728


For release Tuesday, Feb. 27

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2007. There are 307 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

Two hundred years ago, on Feb. 27, 1807, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine.

On this date:

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

In 1902, American author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif.

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

In 1933, Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.

In 1939, the Supreme Court 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 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.

Ten years ago: A jury in Fayetteville, N.C., convicted former Army paratrooper James N. Burmeister of murdering a black couple so he could get a skinhead tattoo. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.) Divorce became legal in Ireland. Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect.

Five 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, Irish rockers U2 won four prizes, including record of the year for “Walk On”; album of the year went to the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, while Alicia Keys won five Grammys, including song of the year for “Fallin’.” British comedian Spike Milligan died in Rye, England, at age 83.

One year ago: “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown was accused in Britain’s High Court of taking material for his blockbuster conspiracy thriller from a 1982 book about the Holy Grail. (The court ruled in favor of Brown’s publisher, Random House, the actual target of the breach-of-copyright lawsuit.) Former Newark Eagles co-owner Effa Manley became the first woman elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. Retired Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott, author of “God Is My Co-Pilot,” died in Warner Robins, Ga., at age 97. Former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler died at age 78.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joanne Woodward is 77. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 75. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 73. Actress Barbara Babcock is 70. Actor Howard Hesseman is 67. Actress Debra Monk is 58. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 53. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 50. Actor Timothy Spall is 50. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 47. Country singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant) is 47. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 46. Actor Adam Baldwin is

45. Actor Grant Show is 45. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is

42. Actor Donal Logue is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 36. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark is 34. Chelsea Clinton is

27. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobby Valentino (formerly Bobby Wilson) is 27. Singer Josh Groban is 26. Actress Kate Mara is 24.

Thought for Today: “He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).