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Today in History — June 27

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

Today is Wednesday, June 27, the 178th day of 2007. There are 187 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on June 27, 1957, more than 500 people were killed when Hurricane Audrey slammed through coastal Louisiana and Texas.

On this date:
In 1844, Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.

In 1846, New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.

In 1893, the New York stock market crashed.

In 1944, during World War II, American forces completed their capture of the French port of Cherbourg from the Germans.

In 1950, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.

In 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village; patrons fought back in clashes considered the birth of the gay rights movement.

In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, struck down state laws and bar association rules that prohibited lawyers from advertising their fees for routine services.

In 1977, the Republic of Djibouti became independent of France.

In 1986, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that the United States had broken international law and violated the sovereignty of Nicaragua by aiding the contras.

In 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black to sit on the nation’s highest court, announced his retirement.

Ten years ago: The Supreme Court threw out a key part of the Brady gun-control law, saying the federal government could not make local police decide whether people were fit to buy handguns. However, the court left intact the five-day waiting period for gun purchases.

Five years ago: In a landmark church-state decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that tuition vouchers were constitutional. The Group of Eight nations concluded a two-day summit in Alberta, Canada, by announcing aid packages for Russia and Africa. John Entwistle, the bass player who co-founded The Who, was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room; he was 57.

One year ago: A constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the American flag died in a Senate cliffhanger, falling one vote short of the 67 needed to send it to states for ratification. Surgeon General Richard Carmona issued a report saying breathing any amount of someone else’s tobacco smoke harms nonsmokers. “Railroad Killer” Angel Maturino Resendiz, linked to 15 murders, was executed in Texas for the slaying of physician Claudia Benton in 1998.

Today’s Birthdays: Business executive Ross Perot is 77. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Army General John Shalikashvili, is 71. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 69. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 65. Actress Julia Duffy is 56. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 52. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 48. Actor Brian Drillinger is 47. Actor Yancey Arias is 36. Actor Tobey Maguire is 32. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 31. Actor Drake Bell (TV: “Drake and Josh”) is 21. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 16.

Thought for Today: “Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer — into selflessness which links us with all humanity.” — Viscountess Nancy Astor, American-born British politician (1879-1964).